rinderpest, noun

Origin:
English, German, LatinShow more English from German, Rind, Rinder cattle + Pest from Latin pestis plague.
Pathology
A virulent, highly infectious disease affecting ruminant animals, especially cattle; used with reference to the outbreak of the disease in South Africa in 1896: a. As a landmark of time, referred to especially by illiterate people. b. figurative. In expressions such as before the rinderpest and since the rinderpest: ‘a long time ago’; ‘for a long time’.
1903 E.F. Knight S. Afr. after War 315Following the rinderpest and the Matabele rebellion came the recent three years’ Boer War.
1961 O’Brien in Pick of Punch 60His wife said that she was born in the year of the ‘lindipesi,’ meaning the great rinderpest epidemic among cattle in 1897.
1961 D. Bee Children of Yesterday 57‘Do you remember the Rinderpest?’ ‘Yes, Inkosi.’ The old man thought. ‘I was perhaps twenty-six.’ The Sharp Knife wrote again — twenty-six in 1897.
1977 Daily Dispatch 29 Nov. 11I have never yet voted NAT. Do they need my vote? No, they have been in power since the time of the rinderpest.
1979 Voice 1 Apr. 5Frank was not sure when he was born but knows it was in Wakkerstroom, Natal. During the rinderpest epidemic he was already in his teens.
1980 A.G.T.K. Malikongwa in Staffrider Vol.3 No.1, 33He was with me during that terrible year, the year of rinderpest.
1982 Cape Times 9 Oct. 11Mrs Moses’s mind is still clear and she can remember incidents in Venterstad — where she was born — before the Great Rinderpest disaster.
1984 B. Johnson-Barker in Wynboer June 72In the first place, there was no school; the building had been used as a source of firewood ever since the rinderpest and only the foundations remained.
1985 E. Euvrard in Sunday Times 24 Nov. 15If my memory serves me right, and the last time I had it was during the rinderpest, cuddles are nice but there is nothing like sex.
1987 Frontline Mar. 22Far from the rioting crowds of Soweto.., the life of Jonas on the farm goes on much as it did when his grandfather worked for the Oubaas at the time of the Rinderpest.
1987 J. Openshaw in Star 21 May 3Some of us still remember the time before the rindepest [sic] when we didn’t believe there had been a diamond rush.., and, by the time we discovered the rumours were true, had missed our chance of becoming rich because the diamonds had run out.
1990 [see Golden City].
As a landmark of time, referred to especially by illiterate people.
‘a long time ago’; ‘for a long time’.

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19031987