fly, noun

Origin:
Elliptical for tsetse-fly, see tsetse.
1. tsetse sense 1. Frequently attributive, and combination. fly-belt, fly-infested country.
1835 A. Smith Diary (1940) II. 165He lost his cattle from..‘the flies’.
1871 J. Mackenzie Ten Yrs N. of Orange River 176The missionary’s cattle had been bitten by the deadly fly.
1878 A. Aylward Tvl of Today 83Of sixty horses..a few had been stung by the fly..— these had also died.
1881 P. Gillmore Land of Boer 370Into the fly country I went, game I found in the utmost abundance, particularly buffalo.
1890 F.C. Selous Hunter’s Wanderings 131The natives living in the ‘fly’ country possess both dogs and goats, I admit, but these..have become acclimatised...Even now, the natives told me, out of a litter of pups, born in the country and of acclimatised parents, some always die of ‘fly’ symptoms.
1896 Purvis & Biggs S. Afr. 237The terrible fly-belt, where once the ubiquitous tsetse reigned supreme.
1935 H.N. Hemans Log of Native Commissioner 53The proximity or otherwise of ‘Fly’, should you be in a district where the dreaded Tsetse are found.
1940 F.B. Young City of Gold 317The widest fly-belts could be avoided.
1952 H. Klein Land of Silver Mist 137The Nabatema lived out of the ‘fly’ belt and were rich in cattle.
1961 T.V. Bulpin White Whirlwind 55At night the deadly fly was inclined to be less active...They would have to make a very early start and get through the fly area before light.
1979 T. Gutsche There Was a Man 12All was not as idyllic as it seemed. Some of the lovely country, rich in grazing, was verboten territory because of ‘fly’.
1979 T. Gutsche There Was a Man 203Animals should be protectively stabled during the fly season.
2. transferred sense.
a. Pathology nagana. Also combinationfly-proof adjective, immune to nagana.
1850 A. Coqui in T. Baines Jrnl of Res. (1964) II. 177Some of the Kafirs caught the Tsetse, or fly, and..we pushed on as speedily as possible to save our cattle from its deadly sting.
1907 J.P. Fitzpatrick Jock of Bushveld 414It was clear that, not drought and poverty, but ‘fly’ was the cause of their weakness.
1937 J. Stevenson-Hamilton S. Afr. Eden 211There are many places in Africa where fly exists without any game being available for its support, and conversely others where game exists without attendant fly.
1940 F.B. Young City of Gold 356When the last commando had been disbanded, Janse bought a new wagon and a fine team of fly-proof mules and went down to the Low Country again.
1968 E.A. Walker Hist. of Sn Afr. 363Fly and redwater fever were playing havoc with the transport cattle.
b. obs. tsetse sense 2 b.
1868 J. Chapman Trav. I. 163At night, as the moon rose, we started to get through the fly, but, on entering it, our wagon struck against a large tree.
1895 A.B. Balfour 1200 Miles in Waggon 222From there to the coast you have to go through ‘the fly’..that is, the belt of land infested with the tsetse fly, whose bite is certain death to cattle, horses, and donkeys.
tsetse1. Frequently attributive, and combination.fly-belt, fly-infested country.
nagana. Also combinationfly-proofadjective, immune to nagana.
tsetse2 b.
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18351979