gifbol, noun

Forms:
gift-bol, giftbollShow more Also gift-bol, giftboll, gyfbol.
Plurals:
gifbolle.
Origin:
Afrikaans, South African DutchShow more Afrikaans (earlier South African Dutch giftbol), gif poison + bol bulb.
Any of several species of plant of the family Amaryllidaceae with highly toxic bulbs and leaves, especially Boophone disticha (see sore-eye flower sense b); occasionally, the poison derived from this plant. See also slangkop.
[1776 F. Masson in Phil. Trans. of Royal Soc. LXVI. 277A large bulbous root, growing on dry precipices, which the Dutch call vergift-boll, poison bulb; the juice of which, they say, the Hottentots use as an ingredient to poison their arrows. We found it to be a species of amaryllis.]
1796 C.R. Hopson tr. of C.P. Thunberg’s Trav. II. 163Poisonous bulbous plants (Giftbolles, Amaryllis disticha) grow in several places common, with their beautiful clusters of flowers.
1822 W.J. Burchell Trav. I. 539This plant is well known to the Bushmen, on account of the virulent poison contained in its bulb. It is also known to the Colonists and Hottentots, by the name of Gift-bol (Poison bulb).
[1828 T. Pringle Ephemerides 174Powerful vegetable and mineral poisons; the former being generally the juice of the root of a species of amaryllis, called by the boors..the gift-bol, or poison bulb.]
1839 W.C. Harris Wild Sports 312The due admixture of powerful vegetable and mineral poisons; the former being generally obtained from the root of a species of amaryllis, called by the colonists the gift-bol.
a1875 T. Baines Jrnl of Res. (1964) II. 32I found a beautiful flower, or rather a crown of crimson bell flowers...Jan called it gyf bol, or poison bulb, or headache flower.
1911 J.F. Pentz in Farmer’s Weekly 11 Oct. 158 (letter)We have a bulb here called ‘gif-bol’ or ‘slangkop,’ and we have sometimes wondered whether that plant was not the cause of the trouble (sc. livestock disease), but..we decided against that plant as the likely cause of the disease.
1921 R. Marloth in B. Van der Riet, Letters. (Cory Library) 2 Feb.There grows also Buphane disticha in those parts, the giftbol. That has mostly a thick padding of old skins (an inch or more thick) and may be up to 10 inch[es] in diam.
1974 J.M. Coetzee Dusklands 99I cut myself a willow bow and with arrows tipped in giftbol spent the mornings lying in wait for animals coming to drink.
Any of several species of plant of the family Amaryllidaceae with highly toxic bulbs and leaves, especially Boophone distichasore-eye flowerb; occasionally, the poison derived from this plant.
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17761974