asbos, noun

Forms:
asbosch, asbosjeShow more Formerly also asbosch, asbosje, aschbosje.
Origin:
AfrikaansShow more Afrikaans, as ash + bos (earlier bosch, bosje, see boschje) bush.
Any of several species of shrub of the genus Psilocaulon of the Mesembryanthemaceae, which when burnt yields an ash rich in alkali; ash bush. See also lidjes ganna (ganna sense 2).
Note:
Used in the past in soap-making (see Boer soap) and the curing of tobacco.
1860 J. Sanderson in Jrnl of Royal Geog. Soc. XXX. 247The raisins are prepared by the aid of an alkali — the ash of a plant which grows only in the colony, and is used also for making soap: it is known as aschbosje, or ashbush.
1910 A.B. Lamont Rural Reader 260The asbos is a common bush of the High Veld, where it is burnt and the ash used by the people in place of soda.
1913 C. Pettman Africanderisms 302A potash salt obtained by burning a small karoo bush with cylindrical fleshy leaves, known as the ‘Asbosje’ (ash bush). The salt thus obtained is used as a lye in the manufacture of the coarser Boer or Kaffir tobacco as it is called.
1926 P.W. Laidler Tavern of Ocean 97Soap was made from the fat of cattle and sheep, and the ash of the kanna bush, the asbosch of the backveld.
1973 M.A. Cook Cape Kitchen 104The lye was obtained by burning various sorts of ‘lye-bush’ growing in the veld, e.g. asbos (Psilocaulon species) or gannabos (Salsola species), several of which yielded an alkaline ash.
Any of several species of shrub of the genus Psilocaulon of the Mesembryanthemaceae, which when burnt yields an ash rich in alkali; ash bush.
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