doctor, noun

EnglishShow more Special senses of general English doctor.
a. A traditional African healer. Cf. witchdoctor.
1731 G. Medley tr. of P. Kolben’s Present State of Cape of G.H. I. 173The Doctor of the Kraal is call’d with his Amulet to remove it; which tho’ he cannot do, ’tis still Witchcraft, and is so call’d to the End of the Chapter.
1980 [see smell].
b. With distinguishing epithet denoting a healer’s particular field of expertise:
lightning and hail doctor, lightning doctor;
medicine doctor;
poison doctor;
rain doctor;
smelling doctor, isanusi;
war doctor.
1887 J.W. Matthews Incwadi Yami 40It may not be out of the way here for me to mention the different recognized kinds of doctors (izinyanga): 1st, the wizard or diviner (inyanga yokubula); 2nd, the rain doctor; 3rd, the lightning and hail doctor; 4th, the medicine doctor (inyanga yokwelapa).
1985 J.B. Peires in Staffrider Vol.6 No.2, 29The best-known of Robben Island’s early prisoners was the giant prophet and wardoctor Nxele (Makana), who attacked Grahamstown in 1819.
2. figurative.  obsolete. The Doctor: Elliptical for the Cape Doctor, see Cape Doctor.
Used also in the West Indies and Australia of similar winds.
1843 J.C. Chase Cape of G.H. 22At the Cape..the south-east wind is proverbially designated ‘the Doctor’, and no doubt by driving off the miasmatic exhalations, converts what might constitute malaria, into the most salubrious atmosphere in the world.
1856 F.P. Fleming Sn Afr. 62The South-Easter, from blowing all pestilential vapours and effluvia out to sea..has obtained the local epithet of ‘the Doctor’.
A traditional African healer.
Elliptical for the Cape Doctor, see Cape Doctor.
Hence (sense 1) doctor transitive verb, doctoress noun, doctoring verbal noun.
1890 J. Macdonald Light in Afr. 178After this the army is assembled, and war dances are held at intervals while the process of ‘doctoring’ proceeds.
1949 O. Walker Proud Zulu (1951) 143John was not the anointing of the king with special medicines. He saw Cetewayo only after he had been doctored.

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