fat-tailed, adjective

a. In the n. phr. fat-tailed sheep (occasionally also fat-tailed ram), an indigenous hairy sheep with a large tail of solid fat; Cape sheep, see Cape sense 2 a. Occasionally elliptical, fat-tail. See also Afrikander noun sense 7, sheep’s tail fat.
The tails of these sheep, much prized for culinary purposes, were sometimes so heavy that they needed small wheeled carts or ‘tail trucks’ to support them (see quotation 1937).
[1598 J. Davys in R. Raven-Hart Before Van Riebeeck (1967) 20Their Sheepe have exceeding great tailes only of fat, weighing twelve or fourteene pounds: they have no wooll but a long shag haire.]
[1688 G. Tachard Voy. to Siam 73The Captain accepted our Presents, and in gratitude sent us two fatSheep each of whose Tails weighed above twenty pound weight.]
[1812 A. Plumptre tr. of H. Lichtenstein’s Trav. in Sn Afr. (1928) I. 107The sheep that bear the fine wool are separated from those with the fat tails.]
1858 G. Grey in Corresp. between Colonial Office & Governor Sir George Grey Respecting his Recall from Cape of G.H. (H.C.216–1860) 4They (sc. the boers) would keep nothing but hairy fat-tailed sheep.
1871 W.G. Atherstone in A.M.L. Robinson Sel. Articles from Cape Monthly Mag. (1978) 89The fat-tailed sheep in these parts are considered full-grown and at maturity, are sold to the butcher, at twenty months old.
1888 Castle Line Handbk & Emigrant’s Guide 55The farmers generally were very slow to appreciate the advantages of the wool bearers over the old hairy fat-tailed sheep of the country. The fat-tails held their own for many years.
1898 W.C. Scully Vendetta 11His flock of fat-tailed sheep were kraaled at an outpost which was in charge of a Hottentot herd.
1909 H.E.S. Fremantle New Nation 287The Boers were so prejudiced, that they would keep nothing but hairy fat-tailed sheep.
1937 S. Cloete Turning Wheels 178The main thing that worried her was how Blesbock, her fat-tailed ram, had got on...No one could fasten on the little cart — it was really a plank with two wheels — that carried his long, fat tail as securely, or as comfortably, as she.
1941 C.W. De Kiewiet Hist. of S. Afr. 9Wool failed, though the wiry-haired fat-tailed sheep did well.
1968 J.T. McNish Rd to El Dorado 109Dry, stunted Karoo bushes upon which an occasional skinny goat or a fat-tailed sheep fed listlessly.
1974 The 1820 Vol.47 No.9, 10Before 1820 the Dutch farmers had concentrated on fat-tailed sheep, useful for the production of cooking fat, tallow and soap.
1989 Reader’s Digest Illust. Hist. of S. Afr. 21The fat-tailed sheep that were acquired by the Khoikhoi were in fact known in the Middle East about 4000 years before, when they were tended by Semitic-speaking people.
b. Having a large tail of solid fat.
1953 S. Afr. Stockbreeder & Farmer Ref. Bk 230The non-woolled sheep are mostly fat-tailed, e.g. the indigenous Namaqua and Ronderib Afrikaner, the Blackhead Persian and the van Rooy. Recently a non-woolled sheep without a fat tail, viz.: the Dorper, has been developed.
an indigenous hairy sheep with a large tail of solid fat; Cape sheep, see Cape2 a. Occasionally elliptical, fat-tail.
Having a large tail of solid fat.
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