sjambok, noun

chamboc, chambockShow more Also chamboc, chambock, chanbok, jamboc, jambok, samboc, sambock, sambok, sam-bok, sambuc, sambuck, schambok, shambock, shambok, sjamboc, sjambohk.
South African Dutch, Malay, UrduShow more South African Dutch tjambok, sambok, sjambok from Malay tjambok, samboq, adaptation of Urdu chabuk horsewhip.
a. A heavy whip, formerly cut from rhinoceros or hippopotamus hide but now often made of plastic or rubber, used for driving animals or administering punishment. Also attributive. See also after sjambok, agteros sjambok, agter sjambok.
1790 tr. of F. Le Vaillant’s Trav. I. 368Next morning my people were employed in cutting to pieces the hide of the hippopotamus, to make what in the country are called chanboc. These are whips for flogging the oxen.
1801 W. Somerville Narr. of E. Cape Frontier (1979) 78The Hide which is about two inches thick is used for whips, it is cut into proper lengths as broad as thick and when dried it is planed into the tapering shape of a jockey whip — and called a shamboc, too often an instrument of inhumanity in the hands of those who wield it.
1802 in G.M. Theal Rec. of Cape Col. (1899) IV. 325He had received upwards of 36 strokes with a solid Sjambok.
1804 J. Barrow Trav. II. 96One of those infernal whips..known by the name of sambocs.
1812 A. Plumptre tr. of H. Lichtenstein’s Trav. in Sn Afr. I. 98The skin [of the rhinoceros] is the only thing valuable to the colonists to cut into strips for making the driving whips known here by the Malay name of Schamboks.
1816 G. Barker Journal. 29 Jan.Another..had been shamefully beaten, having large marks on her back from the Sambok.
1822 W.J. Burchell Trav. I. 86The shambok, here mentioned, is a strip, three feet or more in length, of the hide either of a hippopotamus or of a rhinoceros, rounded to the thickness of a man’s finger, and tapering to the top.
a1827 D. Carmichael in W.J. Hooker Botanical Misc. (1831) II. 34Of the hide of the Rhinoceros and Hippopotamus, the boors manufacture a sort of horsewhip, known by the name of Shambok.
1834 T. Pringle Afr. Sketches 379These sort of whips, which they call sjambocs, are most horrid instruments, being tough, pliant, and heavy almost as lead.
1840 Echo 20 July 7He..ordered me to lie down that he might chastise me, and I would not (because it was not, my countrymen, a common sambok in his hand, but a large new one).
1846 Natal Witness 7 Aug.Market Intelligence...Shambocks, 15s. per dozen.
1849 N.J. Merriman Cape Jrnls (1957) 40The Sambuc is the common whip here, being a strip of the hide of a sea cow...I shall keep it and take care of it (which means something very significant with a Sambuc, to wit much doctoring with cow dung and oil).
1853 F.P. Fleming Kaffraria 47In front of the cardell is the waggon-box, on which the driver sits,..having at his side a ‘jambok’..a kind of long cutting whip, about three feet in length, composed of a strip of the skin of the hippopotamus, about two inches thick at the handle, and tapering to a point at its extremity.
1872 C.A. Payton Diamond Diggings 90The driver, by dint of much yelling and whipping, and his sable assistants by running beside the bullocks and belabouring them with the terrible ‘sjambok,’ managed to overcome the constitutional slowness of these animals.
1908 D. Blackburn Leaven (1991) 24Mr Betts took up the sjambok..— a tapering rod of rhinoceros hide, tough and flexible as the gutta percha it resembled.
1910 D. Fairbridge That Which Hath Been (1913) 156The baas beat him with the sjambok, mevrouw, until he thought he was dead, and they rode away and left him lying on the ground.
1916 Farmer’s Weekly 20 Dec. 1458 (advt)Sjamboks — Achter Sjamboks 8s. 6d., Walking Sjamboks (curved handle) 8s. 6d., Riding Whips 3s. and 5s.
1956 A. Sampson Drum 40At dawn on the Monday we were herded into the fields by black and white men, riding horses and carrying sjambohks.
1963 L.F. Freed Crime in S. Afr. 265She gave me such a hiding with a sjambok that I could not go to work for some days.
1971 Cape Times 25 Mar. 2A Coloured boy’s hands were tied together after which he was hit with a plastic sjambok.
1974 Sunday Times 27 Oct. (Mag. Sect.) 2The legkotla tries offenders and dispenses the rough justice of public floggings with a sjambok on Sunday mornings in Naledi township.
1977 J. Hobbs in Quarry ’77 7One night he beat the most recently pregnant of his daughters with the orange plastic sjambok he kept for the compound dogs.
1980 Cape Times 16 July 1The police are using ‘quirts’ — short-handled riding-whips — and not sjamboks, to quell unrest in the Eastern Cape.
1985 K. Owen in Sunday Times 15 Sept. 22Every time a policeman looses a round of birdshot, or swings a quirt (or whatever we call sjamboks these days), he recruits another child to the cause.
1986 E. Prov. Herald 7 Apr. 2Police Casspirs and SADF Buffels surrounded the Centenary Great Hall...Rifles were cocked and some police carried orange sjamboks.
1986 New African May 10A swollen eye, a lacerated lip and sjambok weals on his back.
1986 C. Mann in Frontline June 17Bored, nervous, Pieter the soldier climbs forth,..and..with a sjambok of rubber,..turns to confront with a swish and a grunt the chants of the children gathering in the shadows.
1992 J. Pearce in South 27 Feb. 4The police hit a person with a sjambok or the buckle of a belt and they swear at you.
b. Figurative and transferred sense, usually attributive, alluding to violent, aggressive, or threatening behaviour.
1898 G. Nicholson 50 Yrs 169Gibeonites, and black ones at that, generally had to put up with a good allowance of ‘Sambok’ treatment in those days.
1989 S. Bilac in Personality 10 Apr. 30The government’s uninspiring ‘sjambok-and-carrot’ approach to reform.
1991 F.G. Butler Local Habitation 233The disastrous combination of corrupt intellectuals and the sjambok complex of the lower white.
1992 C.M. Knox tr. of E. Van Heerden’s Mad Dog 5From some farmers a man simply wouldn’t take a job if he could possibly help it. These were the sjambok farmers, who gave you nothing but bokkems, mealie meal and trouble.
c. comb. (objective)
sjambok-carrying, sjambok-wielding participial adjectives.
1952 Drum Mar. 7At dawn..we were herded into the fields by horse-riding, sjambok-carrying black and white men.
1989 A. Donaldson in Style Aug. 96A youth being whipped by sjambok-wielding men while others stood around laughing.
A heavy whip, formerly cut from rhinoceros or hippopotamus hide but now often made of plastic or rubber, used for driving animals or administering punishment. Also attributive.
usually attributive, alluding to violent, aggressive, or threatening behaviour.
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