pokkies, plural noun

Forms:
Also pokjes.
Origin:
AfrikaansShow more Afrikaans, ‘pox’.
1. Pathology. The pokkies: Smallpox.
1859 Queenstown Free Press 19 Oct. (Pettman)The Boers are..withheld from coming from a fear of the Pokkies; the virulency of which is greatly exaggerated.
1871 J. Mackenzie Ten Yrs N. of Orange River 251Small-pox again visited the colony...We had difficulty in contradicting the story which was consequently spread by some Dutchmen who..affirmed that the English missionaries had certainly the ‘pokjes’ in their party, for one waggon had been drawn aside from the rest!
1896 J. Cole Reminisc. 26They cried out, ‘But we are doctors come to vaccinate you and prevent you from getting the pokkies.’
1911 Blackburn & Caddell Secret Service 103The money left on a stone in payment remained there until a witch doctor had been called in to remove the ‘pokkies’ from the coins.
2. combination
pokkiesblom /-blɔm/ [Afrikaans, blom flower; see quotation 1966], the shrub Hermannia hyssopifolia; agtdaegeneesbos.
1950 M.M. Kidd Wild Flowers Pl.48Hermannia hyssopifolia L. (sterculiaceae). Erect shrubs, 1–4 ft.: common in moist or sheltered places...Pokkiesblom.
1966 C.A. Smith Common Names 375Pokkiesblom, Hermannia hyssopifolia (SW), see agtdaegeneesbossie; H. althaeifolia (sw): Both species were cultivated in Europe towards the close of the 18th century. The vernacular name is probably derived from the medicinal use of the plants, in the form of an aromatic tea, against syphilis (Afk.: pokkies).
1970 M.R. Levyns in Std Encycl. of Sn Afr. I. 252Agtdae-geneesbos. Pokkiesblom. (Hermannia hyssopifolia.) Undershrub of the family Sterculiaceae, having rather small, wedge-shaped, short-haired leaves which are toothed near the tip. The flowers are borne in small clusters at the ends of short branches...The plant is common in the coastal districts of the South-Western Cape Province. The dried leaves are sometimes used as a substitute for tea.
The pokkies: Smallpox.

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18591970

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