twa-grass, twa-gras, noun

Forms:
Also dwa-grass, twaa-grass.
Origin:
Afrikaans, San, English, Show more Afrikaans twa(gras), adaptation of San doa, dhoa grass + English grass or Afrikaans gras.
Any of several species of grass of the genera Aristida and Stipagrostis (especially S. brevifolia) of the sub-family Arundinoideae (family Poaceae); toa-grass; also called Bushman grass.
1857 A. Wyley Rep. Min. Struct. Namaqualand 44Twa-grass..grows from two to three feet in height, from a small bushy base. When it is green, oxen, horses, and sheep all thrive upon it.
1896 R. Wallace Farming Indust. of Cape Col. 100A species of Aristida, ‘twa-gras’, is the most abundant grass..in the Kalahari region and in the upper region of the Karoo.
1897 Edmonds & Marloth Elementary Botany 185Dwa-grass or Toa-grass.
1906 F. Blersch Handbk of Agric. 256Aristida vestita, the twa gras.
1913 W.C. Scully Further Reminisc. 217Bushmanland was like an illimitable field of waving corn, the yellow shooks of ‘twa’ grass covering it continuously for thousands of square miles.
1913 C. Pettman Africanderisms 99Bushman grass or ‘Dwa grass’.
1915 W. Eveleigh S.W. Afr. 68The Twa-gras, or Bushman grass of the Karroo, Aristida brevifolia...Even when dry this grass retains its nourishing properties.
1945 L.G. Green Where Men Still Dream 120North-West roads, lined with bushman grass, the ‘twaa grass’ that crackles in the wind.
[1974 J.M. Coetzee Dusklands 123When Bushmen first saw the grass which we call Aristida brevifolia and spoke among themselves and found that it was unknown and called it Twaa, was there not an unspoken botanical order among them in which Twaa now found a place?]
1983 P.S. Rabie tr. of Nienaber & Raper’s Hottentot Place Names 97Dwa grass’ (a species of Aristida, e.g. A. ciliata, popularly called ‘bushman grass’).
Any of several species of grass of the genera Aristida and Stipagrostis (especially S. brevifolia) of the sub-family Arundinoideae (family Poaceae); toa-grass; also called Bushman grass.
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18571983