This is another of those posts sparked by my noticing an unfamiliar word and spending too much time trying to figure it out. There’s an African antelope (Damaliscus lunatus lunatus) called either tsessebe or sassaby; Wikipedia and AHD have it under the former, the OED under the latter. The duality goes way back; Richard Lydekker’s The Game Animals of Africa (R. Ward, 1908) has a section headed THE TSESSEBE OR SASSABY. Why hasn’t a single form been settled on? Furthermore, the OED (entry from 1909) gives the pronunciation as /səˈseɪbi/ (sə-SAY-be), with early alternate spellings that fit it (sas(s)ayby, sassaybe, sassaybi), but the current pronunciation stresses the initial syllable (AHD tsĕs′ə-bē′). The OED says it’s from Setswana tsessébe, tsessábi, the AHD from Tswana tshêsêbê (Tswana is of course the same language as Setswana). Webster’s Third New International has “sassaby or tsessebe or tsesseby” (initial stress), with the same etymology as AHD. And just to add to the fun, the Russian word (at least according to Wikipedia) is топи [tópi], which is not in any of my dictionaries and for which I cannot find an etymology. As always, all thoughts are welcome.