kukumakranka, noun

Forms:
cokimakranki, koekmakrankiShow more Also cokimakranki, koekmakranki, koekemakranki, koekoemakranki, kookamakranki, kukamakranka, kukumakrānki.
Plurals:
kukumakrankas, occasionally unchanged.
Origin:
Khoikhoi, AfrikaansShow more Probably a Khoikhoi name; koekoemakranka is the Afrikaans form.
Note:
An unlikely etymology is provided by L.G. Green in Beyond the City Lights, 1957, p.14: ‘This quaint name, which sounds like Hottentot, appears to have been corrupted from the Afrikaans words “goed vir my krank maag” (good for my sick stomach).’
Any of several species of the small perennial bulbous plant genus Gethyllis of the Amaryllidaceae, bearing fragrant white flowers and an edible underground fruit; this fruit. Also attributive.
1793 tr. of C.P. Thunberg’s Trav. Europe, Afr. & Asia I. 116Kukumakranka (gethyllis) is the name given to the legumen or pod of a plant, that grew at this time among the sand-hills near the town, without either leaves or flowers. This pod was of the length of one’s finger, somewhat wider at top than at bottom, had a pleasant smell, and was held in great esteem by the ladies. The smell of it resembled in some measure that of strawberries, and filled the whole room.
1798 Lady A. Barnard in Lord Lindsay Lives of Lindsays (1849) III. 424On these banks there grows..the Cokimakranki; or what I call Hottentot pine-apple; it has the same colour, the same flavour, and is filled with an aromatic juice and seeds.
1809 J. Mackrill Diary. 59Kukumakranka, Gethyllis...is Gethylis not wrong. I believe it a Renealmia/Wild Pine.
1822 W.J. Burchell Trav. I. 55In the neighbourhood of Cape Town, grows a celebrated little plant which still preserves its original Hottentot name being known by no other than that of Kukumakrānki.
1850 L. Pappe Florae Capensis 39The elongated, club-shaped, orange-coloured fruit of this plant has a peculiar fragrance, and still preserves its old Hottentot name of Kukumakranka.
1868 W.H. Harvey Genera of S. Afr. Plants 384Gethyllis,..is known to colonial children by the name ‘Kukumakranka’.
1887 S.W. Silver & Co.’s Handbk to S. Afr. 140There are some fruits which have not as yet got names from any of the languages of Europe. One of these is the Kukamakranka; it is the Gethillis spirilis.
1894 R. Marloth in Trans. of S. Afr. Phil. Soc. p.lxxxivGethyllis spiralis (kukumakranka).
1906 B. Stoneman Plants & their Ways 152My hostess brought in a flower — a beautiful, cream-white, six-pointed star, borne at the top of a long tube. ‘That is surely a Kukumakranka,’..‘You have left part of it in the ground — the Kukumakranka — the part we hunt to wear in our hats and enjoy the scent, and press in books.’
1913 C. Pettman Africanderisms 285Kukumakranka, Gethyllis spiralis and other species. The peculiar, strongly scented berry of this field plant is thus designated in the neighbourhood of Cape Town.
1917 R. Marloth Dict. of Common Names of Plants 53Kukumakranka, Gethyllis spiralis, etc. Several species. The life-cycle of the plant is completed in three distinct phases.
1924 L.H. Brinkman Glory of Backveld 53In course of time she received koekemakranka bulbs and uintjies from the coast.
1932 Watt & Breyer-Brandwijk Medicinal & Poisonous Plants 28An alcoholic infusion of the fruit of the Gethyllis spiralis,..Koekoemakranka (Bramakranka), Koekmakranka, was taken by the early Cape colonists for the relief of colic and flatulence.
1947 L.G. Green Tavern of Seas 199The medicine chest of the Cape Flats is not without virtue. The kukumakranka, a strongly scented seed-pod, is still steeped in brandy and given to sufferers from colic.
1950 Cape Times 15 May 14Before I found a palate for mushrooms, it was the kukumakranka we used to go seeking in the veld.
1957 L.G. Green Beyond City Lights 14The koekmakranka is not gathered as a decoration. It is a medicine.
1960 G. Lister Reminisc. 13We went for walks on Green Point Common, where we used to find a strange scented plant called Kookamakranka.
1970 E. Stuart Informant, PinetownAs children we would scour Green Point common for kukumakrankas...Long strong-smelling seed pod.
1971 Cape Argus 29 May (Weekend Mag.) 1Another pastime of ours was to dig for Koekemakrankas, a long tube-like plant that only showed a small pink section above the ground...A jar..half filled with brandy, each koekemakrankra placed in the liquid, and the jar tightly screwed.
1973 Y. Burgess Life to Live 179When the drug did not help she asked the old women to gather ‘kukumakranka’ leaves for her, and she asked Magriet for brandy to steep them in.
1982 Fox & Norwood Young Food from Veld 71Gethyllis afra L. and Gethyllis ciliaris L.f. along with other members of the genus are the well-known kukumakrankas of the Cape and Namaqualand. The fruits...are..pleasantly aromatic and good to eat.
1986 Style Mar. 79Southern Suburbanites stroll on the Common looking for tadpoles and scented kukumakranka.
1990 E. Prov. Herald 3 Mar. 8The joke plant whose name makes people laugh, the kukumakranka.
1991 E. Prov. Herald 5 Jan. 7Following up last week’s reports of the sightings of kukumakrankas, I pondered the behaviour of these strange little plants, which seem to spend most of their lives underground and appear as flowers only after a good shower of rain in December.
Any of several species of the small perennial bulbous plant genus Gethyllis of the Amaryllidaceae, bearing fragrant white flowers and an edible underground fruit; this fruit. Also attributive.
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17931991