thorn-tree, noun

Origin:
English, South African DutchShow more Special sense of general English, or translation of South African Dutch doornboom (see doringboom).
doringboom. Also attributive.
1786 G. Forster tr. of A. Sparrman’s Voy. to Cape of G.H. II. 139This tract of country was thinly covered with thorn-trees (mimosa nilotica,) which shaded the ground and kept it cool.
1798 Lady A. Barnard in Lord Lindsay Lives of Lindsays (1849) III. 440I plucked from the great thorn-trees some of their prickles, of which I send you a few; they exactly resemble the horns of the cattle. I hear the plant has found its way to Kew Gardens, and is there called the cuckold-tree.
1806 J. Barrow Trav. I. 40The banks were skirted by a thicket of the doorn boom, or thorn tree, a species of mimosa.
1850 R.G.G. Cumming Hunter’s Life I. 60A clump of tangled thorn-trees.
1877 R.M. Ballantyne Settler & Savage 250The usually phlegmatic Conrad defended another weak point, while his at other times amiable spouse stood near him making fearful and frequent raids upon the foe with the branch of a thorn-tree.
1887 A.A. Anderson 25 Yrs in Waggon II. 157Several thorn-trees grow within the enclosure, under which the waggon stood.
1897 J.P. Fitzpatrick Outspan 35In the direction indicated, partly hidden by the scant foliage of a thorn-tree, a man was sitting on a yellow portmanteau reading a book.
1944 H.C. Bosman in L. Abrahams Cask of Jerepigo (1972) 112The sunbaked vlakte and the thorn-tree and South Africa.
1956 D. Jacobson Dance in Sun 8The sun seemed to have seized the land, sucking all strength from the thorn trees, and the earth, and our own bodies.
1975 S. Roberts Outside Life’s Feast 53The sand of the uneven path leading from the house to the yard was also yellow, and the stench from the chicken hoks was awful. Ann stared across the fields and the open veld patterned purple with thorn trees.
1982 Fox & Norwood Young Food from Veld 198Acacia erioloba..Common names: English..thorn tree...Acacia karroo..Common names: English..thorn tree.
1985 Style Oct. 92So begins our odyssey..days spent traversing a kaleidoscopic landscape of semi-arid vegetation dotted with acacia, mopane, boabab [sic] and thorn trees.
1991 Dict. of Horticulture (Dept. of Nat. Educ.) 378Thorn trees, (Acacia spp.): doringbome.
doringboom. Also attributive.
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17861991