1834T.H. Bowker Journal. 27 Dec.Inspan for the Church, return with Merai to his place for his Cattle and horses, and sheep.
1838J.E. AlexanderExped. into Int.I. 179On inspanning we had a battle with a young ox, which would not submit its neck to the yoke.
1838T. Shone Diary. 18 JulyInspan’d for town. Call’d at Jolly’s Canteen.
1839J. Collett Accounts. II. 14 Feb.Inspanned about midday and rode on to the Field Cornet Ans Delange.
1851R. GrayJrnls of Two VisitationsII. 88We were just in-spanning in the morning, and I had settled with Mr. Shepstone that he should not go on further with us.
1860D.L.W. Stainbank Diary. (Killie Campbell Africana Library KCM8680) 12 JuneWe inspanned and started at sunrise crossing the Amanzimtoti about breakfast time.
1871E.J. Dugmore Diary. 27 Nov.As we were preparing to inspan this afternoon my brother came.
1881E. London Dispatch 15 Jan. 3Inspanning at daybreak, we again started, but after driving about for some hours across country I told the escort we would stop where we were.
1893F.C. SelousTrav. & Adventure 93I determined to inspan and hold on my course to the south.
1896R. WallaceFarming Indust. of Cape Col. 269The practice is to inspan an hour before sunset, and to go on till say eleven o’clock, then outspan for a few hours, tying up the cattle in the yoke where they lie.
1901P.J. Du ToitDiary (1974) 30The English are moving down to Klerksdorp from Lichtenburg and have already had a skirmish with result one killed and two wounded. Inspan and off. Artillery, horsemen, waggons, cattle, carts every living thing is being got out of the way.
1915D. FairbridgeTorch Bearer 202Not another half-hour do we stop by this place. Tell Koos to inspan. I will pack at once.
1938F.C. SlaterTrek 18Now must we inspan and up-saddle, Saddle-up, inspan and travel afar, For aloft in the East is the morning-star!
1976V. RosenbergSunflower 13After the last Sunday service the farmers would inspan and disappear in different direction, leaving no trace behind them but their wagon tracks and a littered market place.
b.transitive.To yoke or harness (draught animals) to a vehicle; to ready (a vehicle) for travel by harnessing draught animals to it; transferred sense, to make (oneself) ready for a journey; to couple (a tractor or other towing vehicle) to a trailer; spanverb sense 1 b; to span in, see spanverb sense 2 a.
1834T.H. Bowker Journal. 25 Dec.Arrive at [M]erais after sunset find the waggons inspanned ready for going away.
1883O.E.A. SchreinerStory of Afr. Farm 276Gregory carried her out in his arms to the waggon which stood ‘inspanned’ before the door.
1887A.A. Anderson25 Yrs in WaggonII. 122It was arranged to inspann the waggon, and bring it round the best way we could through the forest to as near the dead giraffe as possible.
1895A.B. Balfour1200 Miles in Waggon 74Our oxen were inspanned (harnessed) about 6 p.m., and we all walked behind.
1900A.W. CarterInformant, Ladybrand 8 Feb.I had the spider inspanned and went forth.
1911L. CohenReminisc. of Kimberley 100They inspanned horses to Rossmore’s cape cart, and away the three jolly souls went.
1934B.I. BuchananPioneer Days 90The farmer forthwith inspanned his wagon and returned to Maritzburg.
1955A. DeliusYoung Trav. in S. Afr. 141The two white boys helped Charlie and an older boy...to inspan a team of oxen for the early ploughing.
1962F.C. MetrowichScotty Smith 27A party of four Boers with their wives and families were trekking and had stopped for the night. When Scotty joined them they were already inspanned and ready to move.
1975Sunday Times 10 Aug. 7She need not be clever, but she must know how to inspan a team of donkeys.
1986S. Afr. Panorama Feb. 14The history of South Africa is the history of its people; people who did not hesitate to load their wagon, inspan their oxen and trek when circumstances at the Cape no longer suited them.
1991F. le Roux inS. Afr. Panorama Jan.–Feb. 83A sturdy and powerful tractor was ‘inspanned’ to pull the trailer.
1900E. RossDiary of Siege of Mafeking (1980) 101They did not lose much time in inspanning me at my new redoubt, for I had no sooner arrived there..than I was ordered to do sentry-go.
1914R. Kipling inGeog. Jrnl Apr. 373One man, apparently without effort, inspans the human equivalent of ‘three blind ’uns and a bolter’ and makes them do miracles.
1925D. KiddEssential Kafir 324The gathering-in of the harvest is a great event, and all hands are ‘in-spanned’ for it.
1937C.R. PranceTante Rebella’s Saga 176As it was all in English the schoolmistress was inspanned to translate it viva-voce for the edification of the crowd.
1949Cape Times 13 Sept. 8To rescue the Coloured man, all forces will have to be inspanned to raise him economically.
1955W. IllsleyWagon on Fire 80The Bantu Worker’s Christian Union will inspan every worker, young or old, male or female.
c1966J. Hobbs inNew S. Afr. Writing 161The one successful farmer works like a slave for five months of the year, toiling from before dawn till well into the night with teams of relatives inspanned to pack.
1971J. FryeWar of Axep.xHe had been trained as a printer early in life, and in the completion of his task he had to inspan all of his talents.
1972E. Prov. Herald 12 Aug. 8The UP did not inspan the party machine but the NP’s public representatives were not shy in working openly in some wards for the people they favoured.
1980S. Afr. Panorama Dec. 46It awaited only the courage and ingenuity of the pioneers to inspan these natural resources in the service of civilisation.
1981Daily Dispatch 8 June 11Nationalist newspapers have suggested that some senior SABC officials are blocking attempts to inspan the Corporation in support of Mr P.W. Botha’s reform programme.
1990M. KentridgeUnofficial War 166Vlok..scoffed at the efforts of clergymen involved in peace initiatives, and said they had been ‘inspanned by the ANC-SACP to do their devilish work’.
To prepare for a journey (by harnessing draught animals to a vehicle); to span in, see spanverb2 b.
To yoke or harness (draught animals) to a vehicle; to ready (a vehicle) for travel by harnessing draught animals to it; transferred sense, to make (oneself) ready for a journey; to couple (a tractor or other towing vehicle) to a trailer; spanverb1 b; to span in, see spanverb2 a.
To enlist the help of (someone); to ‘round (someone) up’; to make use of (resources); to span in, see spanverb2 c.
Hence inspannounobsolete, and inspanningverbal noun, the preparations for a journey, especially the harnessing of draught animals to vehicles; also attributive.
1849E.D.H.E. NapierExcursions in Sn Afr.II. 12A ‘spann’ means, I believe, in Dutch, a team of oxen, or other draught animals; hence the terms ‘inspanning’ and ‘outspanning,’ or yoking and unyoking.
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