tear, noun

Origin:
ZuluShow more Translation of Zulu izinyembezi sikakhwini tears of the Queen (perhaps an allusion to British losses during the wars with the Zulus).
In the phrase tears of the Queen, also Queen’s tears.
Strong drink, usually gin or brandy.
1949 O. Walker Proud Zulu (1951) 116He gave them glasses of gin (which the Zulus called ‘the queen’s tears’), for it was a chilly night.
1956 J. Chatterton Return of Drums 133He waddled forward unsteadily, his big belly protruding before him. ‘He is drunk, Nkosana,’ Silas whispered. ‘He has been drinking “The Tears of the Queen”!’
1970 H. Kuper Witch in my Heart 39Better give him Tears of the Queen of England. Have you tasted it yet boy?
1970 H. Kuper Witch in my Heart 40Tears of the Queen of England! The White people call it brandy. It looks like golden water and after half a jack you are sweet all over.
1979 C. Endfield Zulu Dawn 88The bugler boy handed over the rectangular gin bottle — the drink the Zulus called the Queen’s tears.
1986 S. Henderson in Optima Vol.34 No.4, 198A giant Swiss mercenary, an orphan, Corporal Schiess, who, faute de mieux, had taken the ‘Queen’s shilling’, had drunk of the ‘Queen’s tears’.
Strong drink, usually gin or brandy.

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19491986