α.kamaroo, kameroShow more kamaroo, kamero, kamerup, komaroo; β.camberoo, kambarooShow more camberoo, kambaroo, kambro, kambroo.
Nama, Khoikhoi, Afrikaans, EnglishShow more Adaptation of Nama cama-re-, cama-re-bi, perhaps from //gami (or Khoikhoi kama-) water + //hoe- or //ho- container + diminutive -forming element -ro-. Nienaber (in Hottentots, 1963) suggests that the β forms kambro, kambaroo, etc., result from the inclusion of a bridging -b- to facilitate pronunciation by Afrikaans and English speakers.
Any of several plants of the Asclepiadaceae, particularly Fokea edulis, but also other plants of the genera Brachystelma, Fokea, and Pachypodium, characterized by large, edible tubers.See also ku.
1790tr. ofF. Le Vaillant’s Trav.II. 82That [root]..known under the Hottentot name of kamero, is shaped like a radish, and is as large as a melon. It has a most sweet and agreeable taste, and is excellent for allaying thirst.
1795C.R. Hopsontr. ofC.P. Thunberg’s Trav.II. 150Kamerup was the name given here to the Hottentot’s Watermelon, a large succulent root.
1897Edmonds & MarlothElementary Botany 125The natives of the central and northern districts know very well how to find such underground reservoirs of the precious liquid, e.g. the ‘Komaroo’ (Fockea) and ‘Barroe’ (Cyphia).
1912E. London Dispatch 27 July 20 (Pettman)‘Have you seen a Cape Kamaroo?’ asked the doctor, ‘that enormous plant of milky tubers, of which locally, by the way, we make an alluring komfyt?’
1913C. PettmanAfricanderisms 274Komaroo or Kambroo, A plant of the genus Fockea (glabra), the root of which contains a large quantity of water, of which the natives avail themselves during the long droughts...The word is sometimes shortened to ‘Koo’.
1872E.J. Dunn inA.M.L. RobinsonSel. Articles from Cape Monthly Mag. (1978) 54The principal varieties consumed by them are two kinds of ‘camberoo’ and ‘uintjes’. The ‘camberoo’ has but a tiny leaf on the surface. Following this down among the stones,..for a few inches or a foot, a large root is found from half a pound to two or three pounds in weight.
1913C. PettmanAfricanderisms 247Kambaroo, Several species of Fockea, which are eaten raw by the natives and made into preserve by the farmers’ wives.
1924L.H. BrinkmanGlory of Backveld 53The kambro is a large, thick root, like a sweet potato, very watery, but sweet and refreshing on a hot day.
1966C.A. SmithCommon Names 272Kamb(a)roo, A name applied to several of the larger tuberous-rooted species of Asclepiadaceae.., usually with some special habitat prefix.
1975W. SteenkampLand of Thirst King 129The baroe is a round milky fruit with a light-brown peel and the kambro looks like a sweet-potato but contains a very edible milky fruit. You can eat the kambro raw or make it into a fine jam which has a strange but pleasant flavour.
1976A.P. BrinkInstant in Wind 196It has lately become possible once again, for Adam to locate and dig out the rare barroe or ngaap or kambro on their way.
1988Smuts & AlbertsForgotten Highway through Ceres & Bokkeveld 184There are many little things: kambro (Fockea), now, it’s like a sweet potato, it pushes up its shoot right in the middle of a bush. Now, if you find a kambro here, then ten paces this way or ten paces that way you’ll find another one.
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