doepa, noun

Forms:
Also dupa.
Plurals:
unchanged, or doepas.
Origin:
Afrikaans, MalayShow more Afrikaans, from Malay dupa incense.
1. A love potion or magic potion, either taken by mouth or worn as an amulet, and believed to give the user luck and power.
Note:
Originally used of gum benzoin (see sense 2 below), the word now applies to a variety of herbs and balsams.
1857 Ku’eep in Cape Monthly Mag. I. June 369There is..a belief among them that any one who is in possession of ‘Doepa,’ or Gum Benzoin, can work with and tame the best oxen.
1864 T. Baines Explor. in S.-W. Afr. 425His chief object..at present was to get us to make him dupas, or pastilles, Snyman having told him the tales current among the Malays at the Cape respecting their efficacy as love charms or other surgical properties.
1934 C.P. Swart Supplement to Pettman. 42Doepa, (Malay doepa, incense). A Malay love potion.
1948 E. Hellmann Rooiyard 64Zulu mothers, in their fear of the..Basotho sickness’ take the most elaborate precautions to ensure the well-being of their babies...A herb, dupa, is sewn into a braid and put around his neck.
1966 I.D. Du Plessis Poltergeists 53The use of dupa for the same purpose (sc. of attracting a girl) is another popular belief. Dupa is a Malay word for incense; but in this connection it is used for a love potion which is given to the desired one.
1970 J.F. Prinsloo Informant, Lüderitz (Namibia)Doepa. A mixture of so-called magic power placing the user under a spell. Also a formula used by anglers in their bait to attract the fish.
1978 A.P. Brink Rumours of Rain 235Next week I’m rounding up all the women again for injections. No use giving them the pill, they just throw it away or carry it in a bag round their necks for doepa.
1989 Sunday Times 29 Oct. 3Mr J— accused Mr B— of giving Miss J— a magic potion (doepa) to make her besotted with him, and threatened to get a Malay diviner to lift the spell on his daughter.
2.
a. Gum benzoin, a patent medicine used, either as a powder or in small pieces, for colic and flatulence. See also (old) Dutch medicine (Dutch adjective sense 2).
1919 Dunell, Ebden & Co.’s Price List Oct. 20Doepa 3/6.
a1970 Lennon’s Dutch Medicine HandbkDoepa,This preparation gives relief in cases of wind, flatulence and colic and can be taken for minor kidney and bladder complaints.
1988 S. Vollenhoven in Frontline Apr. 11She never takes modern medicine. The chest of drawers is decorated with Duiwel’s Drek, Doepa and many other little Heynes Mathew bottles.
1989 D. Smuts Folk Remedies 25Colic: Crush doepa finely: ¼ teaspoon taken 3 times a day.
b. comb.
doepa-olie /-ˌʊəlɪ/ noun [Afrikaans, olie oil], gum benzoin or balsam of Peru, used for chest ailments and as an ointment for the treatment of wounds.
1919 Dunell, Ebden & Co.’s Price List Oct. 20Doepa Olie, 2 dram 5/-.
a1970 Lennon’s Dutch Medicine HandbkDoepa-olie, A useful remedy for coughs, croup and bronchitis...Externally, mixed with lard, it is a useful antiseptic ointment.
1972 N. Sapeika in Std Encycl. of Sn Afr. VII. 302A list of..traditional remedies..includes bloedstillende druppels (tincture of ferric perchloride), boegoe-essens (tincture of buchu), doepa (benzoin), doepa-olie (balsam of Peru), [etc.].
A love potion or magic potion, either taken by mouth or worn as an amulet, and believed to give the user luck and power.
Gum benzoin, a patent medicine used, either as a powder or in small pieces, for colic and flatulence. See also (old) Dutch medicine (Dutchadjective2).
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