tsetse, noun

Forms:
tetse, tse-tseShow more Also tetse, tse-tse, tsetsi, tzetze.
Origin:
seTswanaShow more seTswana tsètsè (see quotation 1846).
In full tsetse-fly:
1. The tropical fly Glossina morsitans of the Tabanidae, which by its bite transmits sleeping-sickness to man, and the often fatal nagana to horses, cattle, and other domesticated animals; fly sense 1. Also applied to other species of Glossina. Also attributive, and combination (instrumental), as tsetse-bitten, tsetse-borne, tsetse-conveyed adjectives.
[1846 J.C. Brown tr. of T. Arbousset’s Narr. of Explor. Tour to N.-E. of Col. 181Bitten by an insect, very numerous there, called fly-flea in Sechuana (ntsintsi-a-tsetse) on account of its bite.]
1849 E.D.H.E. Napier Excursions in Sn Afr. II. 396Horses were killed either by lions or horse sickness, and the fly called ‘tzetze’. All his oxen were killed by this insect.
1850 R.G.G. Cumming Hunter’s Life II. 215They (sc. the black people) also told me that I should lose all my cattle by the fly called ‘Tsetse’.
1851 D. Livingstone Jrnl (1960) 64Several Englishmen have lost all their cattle horses & dogs by being led into a Tsetse district.
1853 D. Livingstone Jrnl (1960) 139There is only one small strip of Tsetse country to hinder one going westward.
1857 D. Livingstone Missionary Trav. 75Tsetse, or Glossina Morsitans,..is much larger than the common house-fly, and..of..brown colour...It is well known that the bite of this poisonous insect is certain death to the ox, horse and dog. The mule, ass and goat enjoy the same immunity from the tsetse as man and the game.
1871 J. Mackenzie Ten Yrs N. of Orange River 203Nothing could save the tsetse-bitten oxen from certain death.
1878 A. Aylward Tvl of Today 228It has been asserted by many writers that the tsetse-fly is not fatal to donkeys and mules. I know contrary to be the fact.
1882 C. Du Val With Show through Sn Afr. I. 266The ‘Tsetse fly’, a little insect..whose bite, but a trifling annoyance to man, is a death-warrant to stock of all kinds.
1887 A.A. Anderson 25 Yrs in Waggon II. 29Extensive districts are infested with the tsetse fly, where a traveller cannot go in with horses or oxen, for one single bite is death.
1893 F.C. Selous Trav. & Adventure 55The tse-tse fly swarmed along the River Kadzi, and was a great pest, keeping one in a perpetual state of irritation all day long.
1906 H. Rider Haggard Benita p.xTetse-bitten cattle.
1906 H. Rider Haggard Benita 101We can take..the horses with us, and sell them in the north of the Transvaal..before we get into the tetse-fly belt.
1917 Nature 18 Oct. 127Tsetse-conveyed sleepingsickness.
1918 S.H. Skaife Animal Life in S. Afr. 140The well-known tsetse-flies, of which several species occur in the tropical regions of Africa, belong to the same family as the house-fly and the blow-fly.
1925 Times (U.K.) 29 Dec. 11It was believed that wild game..formed a permanent reservoir from which tsetses could convey ‘nagana’ to domestic stock.
1936 E. Hemingway Green Hills of Afr. 108It was a hot place to camp...Everywhere were tsetse flies, swarming around you, biting hard on your neck, through your shirt, on arms, and behind the ears.
1945 L.G. Green Where Men Still Dream 102We have our laboratories, the trypanosome has been isolated, drugs have been produced to protect men against the sting of the tsetse. Yet thousands still die.
1952 H. Klein Land of Silver Mist 123Tsetse fly was bad in the lowveld...A good salted pony was worth £60 or more.
1965 New Scientist (U.K.) 26 Aug. 504Wild game don’t suffer from nagana, the tsetse-borne trypanosome disease that disastrously affects domestic cattle.
1966 Cape Argus 19 Sept. 14Mr. S— must have been bitten by an infected tsetse fly while on safari.
1977 Daily Dispatch 18 Aug. (Suppl.) 2Africa would be able to supply the world with meat if only one little insect could be eradicated, the tsetse fly (Glossina morsitans).
1980 S. Afr. Panorama Dec. 44The old wagon trails were strewn with the bones of trek oxen pulled down by the dreaded tsetse fly.
1983 J.A. Brown White Locusts 121We lose animals and transport riders. It’s tsetse country.
1987 Fair Lady 18 Feb. 149Viv has her mandatory brandy-and-soda to ward off any marauding tsetse flies.
2. transferred sense.
a. Pathology nagana. Also combinations (instrumental), as tsetse-haunted, tsetse-poisoned, tsetse-stricken, participial adjectives.
1857 D. Livingstone Missionary Trav. 591We had travelled very slowly, the tsetse-stricken oxen being now unable to go two miles an hour.
a1875 T. Baines Jrnl of Res. (1964) II. 117Here, some of the Kafirs caught the Tsetse, or fly.
1882 J. Nixon Among Boers 257The malaria and tsetse-haunted flats round Delagoa Bay.
1906 H. Rider Haggard Benita p.xHard, tetse-poisoned flesh.
1936 H.C. Bosman Mafeking Rd (1969) 9That’s the trouble with these low-lying districts, like the Marico and the Waterberg: there is too much horse-sickness and tsetse-fly here.
1952 L.G. Green Lords of Last Frontier 22He experienced all the vicissitudes of the pioneer life...Tsetse carried off his oxen.
1977 Argus 3 July 16They were breeding them (sc. zebra-donkey crosses) commercially because of their immunity to tsetse.
b. obs. Country infested by the tsetse-fly; fly sense 2 b.
1877 T. Baines Gold Regions of S.-E. Afr. 41We followed it till the herd escaped into the Tsetse Fly.
The tropical fly Glossina morsitans of the Tabanidae, which by its bite transmits sleeping-sickness to man, and the often fatal nagana to horses, cattle, and other domesticated animals; fly1. Also applied to other species of Glossina. Also attributive, and combination (instrumental), as tsetse-bitten, tsetse-borne, tsetse-conveyedadjectives.
nagana. Also combinations (instrumental), as tsetse-haunted, tsetse-poisoned, tsetse-stricken, participial adjectives.
Country infested by the tsetse-fly; fly2 b.
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18461987