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calabash, noun

Forms:
Also calabass, calibash.
Origin:
English, Spanish, ArabicShow more Special senses of general English calabash any of several gourds, or their (dried, hollowed-out) fruits; adaptation of Spanish calabaza probably from Arabic qar’ah yabisah dry gourd.
1. obsolete. rare. [Named for the shape of the tree’s fruits.] The baobab tree, Adansonia digitata of the Bombacaceae.
1810 J. Mackrill Diary. 88The Baobab, or Adansonia, the Calabash of Africa, the largest tree in the World..is totally distinct from the Cresentia or American Calibash tree.
1817 J. Leyden Hist. Acct of Disc. & Trav. in Afr. I. 201The other tree is the baobab, which he called calabash, remarkable not for its height, which does not exceed sixty feet, but for its prodigious thickness.
2. As in general English, the fruit of the bottle gourd Lagenaria siceraria of the Cucurbitaceae (see maranka) when used as a receptacle, but in the following combinations peculiar to South African English:
calabash milk, curdled milk prepared in a calabash; see also maas sense 1;
calabash pipe, a tobacco pipe made of a small gourd; occasionally also elliptical, calabash.
1900 E.E.K. Lowndes Every-Day Life 87This (sc. stamped mealies), with ‘calabash milk’ forms the staple Kaffir food.
1969 I.D. Colvin in Lennox-Short & Lighton Stories S. African 130He himself did nothing except sit on his stoep with a keg of Hollands..or some other potent spirit by his side, a bocal in his hand and a large calabash pipe in his mouth.
The baobab tree, Adansonia digitata of the Bombacaceae.

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