baboon spider, noun phrase

Origin:
South African DutchShow more Probably translation of South African Dutch baviaan spinnekop; see quotations 1905 and 1968.
Any of several large, hairy, burrowing spiders of the Theraphosidae, including the genera Harpactira, Ceratogyrus, Pterinochilus, and Harpactirella; baviaan spider; baviaan spinnekop. Also attributive, and (occasionally) figurative.
1905 W.F. Purcell in Flint & Gilchrist Science in S. Afr. 179The members of the principal genus, Harpactera, are locally known as ‘Baviaan Spinnekoppen’ (Baboon spiders), either because baboons are supposed to be fond of them or on account of the resemblance of the velvet-padded feet to the fingers of a monkey.
1936 C. Birkby Thirstland Treks 317An old hunter once told me the secret of how Bushman poison is made..how they caught big ‘baboon spiders’, pounded them..then spread the paste out to lie for three nights in the light of the full moon the while they muttered weird incantations over it.
1963 S.H. Skaife Naturalist Remembers 76A large black baboon spider,..a big hairy brute with fangs nearly a quarter of an inch long and a spread of legs that would almost cover the palm of the hand.
1963 S.H. Skaife Naturalist Remembers 77The baboon spider..had taken refuge in the slipper and bit me when my toe squeezed it...The pain passed off very quickly; there was no swelling, and within a quarter of an hour all effects of the bite had disappeared.
1968 J.H. Yates Spiders of Sn Afr. 155The large female..was thickly covered with soft, dark-grey hair and it is this feature, together with the smooth grey padding on the under surface of the legs — a padding similar to that on the fingers of a baboon — that has given this species its name.
1973 Cape Times 27 Jan. (Weekend Mag.)The great baboon spider..can inflict a painful bite, but will never do so unprovoked.
1979 J. Ledger Afr. Insect Life 330The formidable baboon spider, black and hairy, with red round the mouth and with a stout body about an inch and a half long.
1980 Sunday Times 26 Oct. (Mag. Sect.) 1There are no squeals of revulsion when..Marc or..Paul present their mother with a large hairy baboon spider. She’s far more likely to say: ‘Ooh give it to me! What a beautiful Ceratogyrus. Nearly as big as my hand!’
1982 A.P. Brink Chain of Voices 399Only Adonis, shifty old baboon-spider that he was, gave us trouble.
1987 E. Prov. Herald 11 Apr. 5‘Flatties’ are not to be confused with baboon spiders, which only occasionally wander indoors. They are those heavy-bodied, flesh-brown jobs with long, angular legs...The ‘baboons’ are favourite victims of large wasps which paralyse them and hide them in shallow holes.
1987 G. Newlands Spiders & ScorpionsVery little is known about baboon spider venoms and their natural history.
Any of several large, hairy, burrowing spiders of the Theraphosidae, including the genera Harpactira, Ceratogyrus, Pterinochilus, and Harpactirella; baviaan spider; baviaan spinnekop. Also attributive, and (occasionally) figurative.

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19051987