doblejie, dubbeljeeShow more Also doblejie, dubbeljee, dubbeltje, dubbeltjee, dubbletje, dubeltie.
Afrikaans, South African DutchShow more Afrikaans (earlier South African Dutch dubbeltje).
The ultimate origin is uncertain: probably named for the two-four construction of the thorns (from Dutch dubbel double); or perhaps an adaptation of Dutch duiveltje ‘little devil’, from the supposed resemblance of the fruit, especially that of Tribulus terrestris, to a horned devil.
A name given to the angular, spiny fruit of any of several indigenous herbaceous plants, and to the plants themselves: a.Any of several species of Tribulus of the Zygophyllaceae, especially T. terrestris; dubbeltjedoorn.b.Emex australis of the Polygonaceae. In both senses also called devil’s thorn, doublejee (sense 2), duiweltjie. Also attributive.
The sheep disease tribulosis (see geeldikkop) is caused by the ingestion of any of several species of Tribulus.
1795C.R. Hopsontr. ofC.P. Thunberg’s Trav.I. 148Great complaints were made of the seed-vessels of the rumex spinosus (dubelties), which grew very common here, as the sharp prickles of them cut the feet of the slaves and others, who walked bare-footed.
1827G. ThompsonTrav. 125The soil was also sprinkled with the seed of a plant covered with prickles, making it very unpleasant to sit or lie down. These seeds are jocularly called by the colonists dubbeltjes.
1833Graham’s Town Jrnl 25 Apr. 3My mistress moved the stocks up and down, to make the dubbeljees come in contact with my person and give me more pain.
1860J. Sanderson inJrnl of Royal Geog. Soc.XXX. 239I here for the first time met with a low creeping plant, called by the Dutch ‘dubbeltjes,’ and producing a prickly seed-vessel like caltrops, exceedingly injurious to sheep from striking into their hoofs.
1868T. Stubbs Reminiscences. 50The place was covered with thorns (doblejies).
1906W.S. JohnsonOrangia 14Many other plants have spiny seeds, such as the dubbeltje, which often punctures the tyres of our bicyles.
1913J.J. DokeSecret City 51Even when..one..had crept sleepy into bed only to find the pillows doctored with pepper or dibbeltjies at one’s feet..it was almost impossible to be cross.
1919R.Y. StormbergWith Love from Gwenno 44‘Dubbletjes’ — says Gabriel — ‘are a joint invention of South Effrica end the devil whichwith to mock cyclists.’
1936C. BirkbyThirstland Treks 252I saw erstwhile desert blooming with golden sheets of dubbeltjie flowers and the sheep all plump and prospering.
1943D. ReitzNo Outspan 69A troublesome growth of spiked thorn (dubbeltjies) springs up, and if left undisturbed kills off the grass, and as ostriches eagerly graze the thorn they are used as animated weeding machines.
1956P. BeckerSandy Tracks 96To the accompaniment of the cracking of whips and sjamboks they made Oom Tys dance among the ‘dubbeltjies’, the dreaded three-pronged ‘devil thorns’ of the South African veld.
1963M. KavanaghWe Merry Peasants 39It was possible to invite a puncture that took time to mend, merely by deviating from the rough road and collecting thorns, ‘dubbeltjies’, in our tyres.
1981J. VahrmeijerPoisonous Plants of Sn Afr. 90Tribulus terrestris,..(‘Dubbeltjie’ family)...The dubbeltjie is generally regarded by farmers in the Karoo as an essential and life-saving fodder plant...It has, however, been proved that under certain weather conditions dubbeltjies are associated with ‘geeldikkop’ in sheep.
1986Farmer’s Weekly 25 July 14Broad-leaved weeds, such as dubbeltjies (Emex australis) can be effectively eliminated in the grain by using a suitable herbicide.
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