Tambookie, noun and & adjective

Forms:
Tamboekie, TambokieShow more Also Tamboekie, Tambokie, Tambooki, Tambouchi, Tambouki, Tambuckee, Tambucki, Tambuki, Tambukie, Tambukkie, Tambuqui, Tembookie, Tembuki, and occasionally with small initial.
Plurals:
Tambookies, or unchanged.
Origin:
South African DutchShow more Probably Englished form of South African Dutch Temboetje or Temboekie (Temboe Tembu + diminutive suffix -ie).
Especially during the 18th and 19th centuries:
A. noun
1. obsolescent
a. Tembu noun sense 1 a. Occasionally (nonce), the language of the Tambookies (see quotation 1942).
1786 G. Forster tr. of A. Sparrman’s Voy. to Cape of G.H. II. 147On the other side of Zomo dwells another nation, who, by the Snese-Hottentots, are called Tambukis.
1790 tr. of F. Le Vaillant’s Trav. II. 164He intended to visit the Tambouchis, a nation bordering on Caffraria, with whom they carried on a trade for iron and arms.
1795 C.R. Hopson tr. of C.P. Thunberg’s Trav. II. 94These Caffres, a few years before, had murdered Heupnaer and some of his company, who..had travelled into the country of the Caffres and Tambukki.
1812 A. Plumptre tr. of H. Lichtenstein’s Trav. in Sn Afr. (1928) I. 298The first tribe after crossing the river Basseh is the Tambuckis, or Mathimbas; they are somewhat lower in stature than the Koossas, but their language is exactly the same.
1825 G. Barker Journal. 26 JulyThe Revd Mr Wright of Wynberg came in off a journey to the Tamboekies.
1834 J.C. Chase in A. Steedman Wanderings (1835) II. 200The Tambookie, or Amaytymbæ, is mild even to timidity.
1837 J.E. Alexander Narr. of Voy. I. 366The so-called Kaffirs are divided into three great nations: the Amakosas, or the people of a chief Kosa, extending from the Keiskamma to the Bashee; the Amatembies, or Tambookies, between the upper Kye and Umtata; and the Amapondas, or people of the elephants’ tooth.
1846 I.J. Smith Informant, Fort Beaufort 20 Apr.From your communication and what Mr Bonatz writes, the Tambookies I think certainly will ally themselves to the Gaikas.
1852 M.B. Hudson S. Afr. Frontier Life p.vii‘Amatembus’ or Tambookies; another branch of the Kafir race, considered the most royal in blood, and from whom, by intermarriage, the Amakosae head chiefs must, according to kafir law, be descended.
1877 R.M. Ballantyne Settler & Savage 316The Fetcani, or Mantatee hordes...precipitated themselves on the Tambookies, and afterwards on the Galekas, threatening to extirpate these Kafirs altogether, or to drive them into the colony as supplicants and beggars.
1880 Grahamstown Penny Mail 28 Dec. 3A gentleman who has spent many years among the Tambookies and Pondomise.
1936 Cambridge Hist. of Brit. Empire VIII. 303The Tembus, generally known at the time as ‘Tambookies’.
1942 Star 3 Nov. 6Old assertions of Afrikaans being picked up from the Hottentots who spoke tombookie..were..biased ignorance.
1977 F.G. Butler Karoo Morning 89A Xhosa..bore the badge of being Tambukie (Tembu): the third finger of his right hand was short of the final nail section. Tambukies are thus deprived in infancy, for mysterious reasons.
b. comb.
Tambookieland obs., Tembuland (see Tembu noun sense 1 b).
1835 T.H. Bowker Journal. 5 MayThe Missionarys & traders arrive this evening from Tambokie land.
1840 Echo 6 July 7Marching into Tambookie-land on the glorious day of — (I don’t exactly remember, Mr. Editor).
1846 H.F. Fynn in Imp. Blue Bks Command Paper 786–1847, 91Their period of service having expired, they returned to Tambookieland.
1877 J. Noble S. Afr. 312The Transkei, Tambookieland, Idutywa, and Griqualand East districts,..are also ruled by colonial magistrates, and the people regard themselves as British subjects.
1913 G.E. Cory Rise of S. Afr. II. 236Tambookieland, that is, the regions about the sources of the Zwart and White Kei Rivers, including the present districts of Queenstown, Glen Grey, St. Mark’s, Xalanga, Cathcart, with perhaps Wodehouse and the Elliot Slang River.
2. In full Tambookie grass (also with small initial): any of several species of tall, reed-like grasses used for thatching, especially those of the genera Cymbopogon, Hyparrhenia, and Miscanthidium; tambotie sense 2. See also dekgras, dekriet.
1837 J. Kirkman in F. Owen Diary (1926) 158The mother and child had hidden under the long Tambookie grass.
1855 G.H. Mason Life with Zulus 174In the absence of thatch (Tambookie grass) we determined on using flags for that purpose.
1868 J. Chapman Trav. II. 456The Tambuki-grass, a handsome grass, growing to a height of 6 or 8 feet, is always held to be an indication of good soil, and is itself considered to yield the best material for thatching.
1879 R.J. Atcherley Trip to Boërland 74The grass, which just here was of a long and reedy variety, known as tambooki, caught fire, and..speedily grew into a conflagration of enormous proportions.
1907 J.P. Fitzpatrick Jock of Bushveld 279The tambookie grass in these parts has a stem thicker than a lead pencil, more like young bamboo than grass.
1913 L. Lyster Ballads of Veld-Land 138Where the ‘Tambookie’ waved wickedly red, ‘Mehla-ka-Zulu’ his warriors led.
1929 J. Stevenson-Hamilton Low-Veld 56A height of about two feet is usual..though the rank spear or tambookie grass..with its needle sharp and barbed seeds, which penetrate and work through the thickest garments, reaches about five feet.
1933 W. Macdonald Romance of Golden Rand 46A small company of troopers could be seen moving cautiously and watchfully through the tall tambookie grass.
c1936 S. & E. Afr. Yr Bk & Guide 841Tambuki Grass, So many varieties of grass are so designated that the name has ceased to have any accurate significance...In 1916, two concessions to cut ‘tambuki’ in the Pungwe River were granted, which..should produce nearly 40,000 tons of dried grass per annum.
a1951 H.C. Bosman in L. Abrahams Unto Dust (1963) 119Her hair was bleached the yellow of tamboekie grass in winter.
1958 R.E. Lighton Out of Strong 100Drifts of tambooki grass grew tall as marsh reeds.
1966 C.A. Smith Common Names 456Tambotigras, The vernacular name is in error for tambukigras, arising from the confusion with the prefix ‘Tamboti’ in tambotiboom.
1980 A.J. Blignaut Dead End Rd 26At that time you could shoot an arrow into someone who had misused you, then crouch in the tambukie grass and watch the poison at work for you.
1981 J.B. Peires House of Phalo 6Emerging from the woods, he might pass through long stretches of open plain covered with long qungu (‘Tambooki’) grass, so high that it hid a man completely.
c1985 P. Sacks in Eng. Academy Rev. Vol.3 24Through a gate into the sweet tambookie grass, its reed-like spears lining the path.
3. rare. tambotie sense 1.
1858 Simmonds Dict. of TradeTambookie-wood, a hard handsome furniture-wood: when powdered it is used by the Zulus of Africa as an emetic.
4. In full tambookie thorn: the small tree Erythrina acanthocarpa of the Fabaceae, bearing sharp thorns and showy scarlet flowers; occasionally, E. humeana; the very light, soft wood of this tree.
1893 S. Schonland Informant, Grahamstown 11 Mar.I have sent according to your request a nice piece of Tambookie pith to Mr. Lawrence Hamilton.
1907 Afr. Monthly Oct. 542Another species to mention is the..Tambookie thorn. This one is peculiar in the possession of an underground growth thick as a man’s thigh composed of the lightest pith.
1913 C. Pettman Africanderisms 493Tambookie thorn,..Erythrina acanthocarpa is known by this name in the neighbourhood of Queenstown.
1917 R. Marloth Dict. of Common Names of Plants 79Tambookie thorn, Erythrina acanthocarpa. (Eastern C.P.). Spiny, the flowers showy.
1966 C.A. Smith Common Names 456About 1860 Mrs Barber, who first recorded the English name as tambukithorn, writes that the succulent underground ‘root,’ is extremely light when dry, and in this state is sometimes made into light summer hats.
1972 I.C. Verdoorn in Std Encycl. of Sn Afr. VI. 264Unlike its better-known relatives, its scarlet flowers are not clustered but borne in long, rather loose, tapering spikes. Owing to its smaller size, the tree [Erythrina humei] is also known as ‘small Kaffirboom’, or as tambuki-thorn; the latter name is also applied to E. acanthocarpa.
1981 S. Afr. Garden & Home June 116Erythrina acanthocarpa, Tambookie thorn, is a spectacular shrub, bearing its flowers on bare branches.
B. adjective obsolescent Tembu adjective.
1801 W. Somerville Narr. of E. Cape Frontier (1979) 37We saw three of Guykas wives,..the last of Tambooki origin, an overgrown corpulent young woman was said to cost five hundred bullocks.
1809 R. Collins in G.M. Theal Rec. of Cape Col. (1900) VII. 20We could not see Grey’s River..but..it comes from the south-east, and probably has its source in the Tambookie mountains.
1827 G. Thompson Trav. 67The Tambookie tribe of Caffers,..who have for some time lived close upon this frontier along the banks of the river Zwart-Kei, have hitherto conducted themselves in the most quiet and inoffensive manner.
1836 R. Godlonton Introductory Remarks to Narr. of Irruption 210Sandilli, the youngest son of the late chief Gaika, being by a Tambookie woman of high rank, is acknowledged to take precedence.
1840 Echo 6 July 8The memorable Tambookie commando.
1870 H.H. Dugmore Reminisc. of Albany Settler 31In the year 1828, a savage and very formidable horde..entered the Tembuki country from the north-east, having skirted the Kwahlamba mountains.
1908 J.M. Orpen Reminisc. (1964) 54A number of Tambookie children, who had been enslaved, would be released.
1979 A. Gordon-Brown Settlers’ Press 20Robert Bruce was a Grahamstown-born poet who died when very young from fever when on active service during the Tamboekie war in 1877.
1987 K. Sutton in E. Prov. Herald 6 June 5The worst blizzards were thought to have been in September 1853, when many Tambookie people perished.
Tembunoun1 a. Occasionally (nonce), the language of the Tambookies (see quotation 1942).
TembulandTembunoun1 b
any of several species of tall, reed-like grasses used for thatching, especially those of the genera Cymbopogon, Hyparrhenia, and Miscanthidium; tambotie2.
tambotie1.
the small tree Erythrina acanthocarpa of the Fabaceae, bearing sharp thorns and showy scarlet flowers; occasionally, E. humeana; the very light, soft wood of this tree.
Tembuadjective.
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17861987

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