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kambro, noun

Forms:
α. kamaroo, kameroShow more kamaroo, kamero, kamerup, komaroo;
β. camberoo, kambarooShow more camberoo, kambaroo, kambro, kambroo.
Origin:
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.
α.
1790 tr. of F. 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.
1913 C. Pettman Africanderisms 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’.
β.
1872 E.J. Dunn in A.M.L. Robinson Sel. 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.
1988 Smuts & Alberts Forgotten 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.
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.

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