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.
Note:
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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15981989