throw, verb transitive

EnglishShow more Special uses of general English.
1. [Calqued on Afrikaans gooi (iemand) met (iets), literally ‘throw (someone) with (something)’, resulting in the replacement of the standard English ‘throw + object (thing thrown) + at + person or thing hit’ with the construction ‘throw + object (person or thing hit) + with + thing thrown’.] In the phrase to throw (someone) with (something), to throw (something) at (someone); occasionally to throw (someone), see quotation 1908.
Less common among first-language speakers of English than among those who speak English as a second language.
[1851 T. Shone Diary. 24 JuneThis evening..the young lads and lasses were playing about Henry’s Hut throwing at one or the other with sods or anything else they could lay hold of.]
1872 in A.M.L. Robinson Sel. Articles from Cape Monthly Mag. (1978) 280We often hear such expressions as ‘by the house’,..‘throwing with a stone’ [etc].
1888 Cape Punch 18 Apr. 23Translate into English:..He threw me with a stone.., I never did it.
1891 J.P. Legg in Cape Illust. Mag. I. 95It is superfluous to mention that horror of the teacher of English ‘he threw me with a stone.’
1892 The Jrnl 16 Jan. 3He retreated a little way and picked up stones, saying he would throw her dead with stones.
1894 E. Glanville Fair Colonist 229‘Little boy,’ said Ada, sweetly, ‘I whipped you once. Do you remember why?’ ‘Because I throwed you with plum-pips.’ ‘Well, it is worse to “throw me with” words.’
1908 J.H. Drummond Diary. 27 Oct.While I was bowling a boy threw me against the knee.
1913 C. Pettman Africanderisms 498Throw with, To, This is another form of expression common in the Midland Districts, and also due to the influence of Dutch: e.g. ‘He threw me with a stone,’ ‘He threw me over the hedge with a rock’. The omission of the preposition makes the sentence, to English ears, a very curious one.
1964 Drum Nov. 19The living are throwing me with things. I know, I know..but it is dangerous, they will kill me.
1972 R. Malan Ah Big Yaws 51Thrawwim withers tone [throw him with a stone]...Other people may encourage their compatriots to do damage by throwing things (stones, bottles or insults) at someone else. In South Africa, apparently, it’s the victim who is thrown, together with the missile. Another alarming the cry common among schoolboys..‘Thrawwim onnis het!’ [throw him on his head].
1974 B. Simon Joburg, Sis! 106The other day she was chasing her little brother because he threw her with a stone.
1987 Informant, GrahamstownDid you hear some woman threw PW with a rotten tomato?
1990 Sunday Times 11 Feb. 12The Naboomspruit Recorder’s headline of the ‘Mike Gatting — Demos throw him with a stone’.
2. In the phrase to throw bones, to throw the bones (or occasionally to throw dolosse), to cast a collection of divining bones and other objects down, and, from their pattern and positions, to foretell the future or divine the cause of a difficulty or an illness; bula. See also bone sense 2, dolos sense 1, witchdoctor.
a1878 J. Montgomery Reminisc. (1981) 103Others threw their bones and augured that there was nothing to fear.
1904 D. Kidd Essential Kafir 179At a given signal they both throw the bones down to the ground, and the doctor very carefully examines the way in which the bones lie.
1914 S.P. Hyatt Old Transport Rd 160The throwing the bones, is always able to discover when the ghost of the departed calls for meat.
1930 S.T. Plaatje Mhudi (1975) 120A few months later, Mzilikazi called his magicians together and asked the principal national wizard to throw bones, and communicate any omens he could divine.
1935 H.C. Bosman Mafeking Rd (1969) 72They had heard that this witch-doctor was very good at throwing the bones.
1937 C. Birkby Zulu Journey 103The witch-doctor gave Professor Kirby a horoscope — but asked for the traditional shilling before throwing the ‘bones’.
1949 A. Keppel-Jones When Smuts Goes 255The izangoma threw their bones and examined entrails in the ballroom of their hotel.
1969 Drum Aug. 46If I pray and wait for God’s Word, I cannot charge. So I throw the bones, and the people know they must pay me for it.
1976 B. Head in Quarry ’76 21I’ll throw the bones for you...The bones will help me to see the one who is injuring your life.
1976 B. Head in Quarry ’76 21Throwing the bones is cheaper than the medicine. It costs one rand.
1987 Personality 21 Oct. 12Monica is a traditional Zulu ‘witchdoctor’ who throws the bones (African fortune-telling) and assists in diagnosing people’s ailments.
1990 G. Coetzee in S. Afr. Panorama Jan.Feb. 14They (sc. hawkers) peddle fruit, vegetables and flowers, shine shoes,..wash motor cars,..throw the bones and provide herbs and remedies.
to throw (something) at (someone); occasionally to throw (someone), see quotation 1908.
to cast a collection of divining bones and other objects down, and, from their pattern and positions, to foretell the future or divine the cause of a difficulty or an illness; bula.
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