South African Dutch, DutchShow more South African Dutch, from Dutch eschenhout, esch, eschen ash + hout wood.
Either of two species of tree, especially Ekebergia capensis: a.Ekebergia capensis; Cape ash, see Cape sense 2 a. b. The Natal mahogany sense (a) (see Natal sense b), Trichilia emetica; occasionally with defining word, rooi-essenhout [Afrikaans rooi red], (see quotation 1984). In both senses also called essenwood.
[1786G. Forstertr. ofA. Sparrman’s Voy. to Cape of G.H.I. 311The name of Essen-bosch is given to a kind of woody tract along Essen-rivier, which, as well as the wood, has taken its name from the esse or ash-tree.]
[1789W. PatersonNarr. of Four Journeys 80A tree very useful in making waggons, which the Dutch call Essen or ash.]
1798S.H. Wilcocketr. ofJ.S. Stavorinus’s Voy. to E. IndiesII. 79Among the various sorts of timber, either unknown, or extremely rare in Europe, the following abound here, viz...essenhout, the ash (ekebergia capensis), which is hard and of a close texture, and is used for making of tools and implements of various kinds; [etc.].