tree-snake, noun

Origin:
South African Dutch
boomslang.
[1731 G. Medley tr. of P. Kolben’s Present State of Cape of G.H. II. 163The Tree-serpent, This serpent is so call’d on Account of her being seen mostly in Trees.]
1812 A. Plumptre tr. of H. Lichtenstein’s Trav. in Sn Afr. (1928) I. 160The colonists called it the tree-snake (Boa canina), a species which is very adroit at climbing.
1841 B. Shaw Memorials 310Of several kinds of snakes..one only is considered as innoxious. This is the boomslang or tree-snake, so called from its being found coiled round the branches of trees.
1936 L.G. Green in Best of S. Afr. Short Stories (1991) 168He walked into the forester’s office one day with a tree snake, six feet long, over his shoulder.
1962 V.F.M. Fitzsimons Snakes of Sn Afr. 196Alternative names: green, brown, black, Cape or back-fanged tree-snake.
1987 R. Patterson Reptiles of Sn Afr. 83Boomslang or Tree Snake..Measuring 1 — 1,5 m in length, the Boomslang appears in a number of different colour variations.
1991 Best of S. Afr. Short Stories (Reader’s Digest Assoc.) 168The ‘man who played with snakes’ must have been quick to have caught a boomslang or tree snake (Dispholidus typus) which can move like a flash through the trees.
boomslang.

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17311991