blaasop, noun

Forms:
blaaz-op, blasopShow more Also blaaz-op, blasop, blassop, blos op.
Plurals:
blaasops, or unchanged.
Origin:
Afrikaans, South African Dutch, DutchShow more Afrikaans, earlier South African Dutch blaazop, from Dutch opblazen to inflate.
1. obsolete. Any of several species of forest-dwelling grasshoppers of the Pneumoridae, the males having greatly distended abdomens which serve as resonance chambers; ghonya; oppblazer.
1786 G. Forster tr. of A. Sparrman’s Voy. to Cape of G.H. I. 312Here were..insects of that peculiar genus..pneumora...Their abdomen, one single small gut excepted, is always found empty, and at the same time quite pellucid, as well as blown up and distended; on which account they are called blaaz-ops by the Colonists, and are said to live on nothing but wind.
1853 F.P. Fleming Kaffraria 77The Pneumora, or as they are styled by the Dutch, ‘the Blos Op,’ are also common, and by their loud buzzing noise often attract notice to their large inflated bodies, which are of the most beautiful light green tints, spotted all over with silver.
1918 S.H. Skaife Animal Life in S. Afr. 65The peculiar green blaasop also belongs to this family. The distended, bladder-like abdomen of the male probably serves to increase the volume of the sound made by this insect.
2. Any of a number of poisonous sea fishes of the Tetraodontidae which are able to inflate their bodies into nearly spherical shape (see quotation 1986); blaasoppie.
[1853 L. Pappe Synopsis of Edible Fishes 8This fish (Blaasopvisch; Balloonfish; Toadfish) is never found in Table Bay, but is very common in the bays to the east of it.]
1902 J.D.F. Gilchrist in Trans. of S. Afr. Philological Soc. XI. iv. 227 (Pettman)Blassop, Toad-fish (E. London). Tetrodon honkenyi.
1913 W.W. Thompson Sea Fisheries of Cape Col. 159Tetrodon honkenyi..Blaasop; Toad-fish (East London).
1930 C.L. Biden Sea-Angling Fishes 279Men catching blaasop..at Simonstown, and not knowing the fish, fried and ate some with fatal results...Blaasop is known as ‘swell-fish’ by Americans.
1947 L.G. Green Tavern of Seas 36It should not be necessary to warn anyone that the blaasop’s liver contains a deadly poison, for the appearance of the fish is so revolting that I cannot imagine anyone even considering eating one.
1953 Drum Mar. 31They catch anything, from sharks to sardines, and lots of little fat blasops.
1959 M.W. Spilhaus Under Bright Sky 44Sometimes the boys catch blaasop, and they are Deadly Poison!
1968 J.L.B. Smith High Tide 24Poisonous and dangerous creatures are generally the best known. Because of their peculiar appearance and characteristics, blaasops have attracted attention from the earliest times.
1976 E. Prov. Herald 18 Nov. 37Even blaasops have been known to chew through nylon with their parrot like beaks.
1986 Smith & Heemstra Smiths’ Sea Fishes 894Blaasops (or puffers) are so called because they can inflate their body by swallowing water (or air) to form an almost spherical, generally spiny ball to deter predators...The skin, liver and particularly the ovaries of most (perhaps all) species of tetradontids contain a potent alkaloid poison called tetraodotoxin.
1993 R. Van der Elst Guide to Common Sea Fishes 377Blackback blaasop, reference to its colour and ability to inflate itself.
3. Any of several species of burrowing frog of the genus Breviceps of the Microhylidae, characterized by their tendency to inflate themselves when alarmed. See also donder padda sense b, rain frog.
1908 Batrachos in E. London Dispatch 23 Oct. 5Another very curious frog is the ‘Blas-op’..[which] spends most of his time underground, coming only to the surface after very wet weather.
c1939 S.H. Skaife S. Afr. Nature Notes 208A frog that..blows itself up like a bladder when it is annoyed..is called a blaasop.
1950 W. Rose Reptiles & Amphibians 8The number of eggs deposited varies greatly, from the twenty or so of the Chirping Frog or the Blaasop to the 24 000 odd of the Leopard Toad.
1973 S. Afr. Panorama Sept. 50The Blaasop (Breviceps adspersus adspersus) often digs its way into a white-ant hill, and then comes out with the first rains.
1993 [see rain frog].
Any of several species of forest-dwelling grasshoppers of the Pneumoridae, the males having greatly distended abdomens which serve as resonance chambers; ghonya; oppblazer.
Any of a number of poisonous sea fishes of the Tetraodontidae which are able to inflate their bodies into nearly spherical shape (see quotation 1986); blaasoppie.
Any of several species of burrowing frog of the genus Breviceps of the Microhylidae, characterized by their tendency to inflate themselves when alarmed.

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