We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out moreJump to Main NavigationJump to Content
  • Text size: A
  • A

† cannibal stinkwood, n.

Frequency (in current use): 
Origin: Apparently from a proper name, combined with an English lexical item. Etymons: proper name Camdeboo  , stinkwood n.
Etymology: Apparently < Camdeboo (Afrikaans Kamdeboo), the name of a region and a national park in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, with folk-etymological alteration after cannibal n. + stinkwood n.
South African. Obsolete.

  A timber tree of southern Africa which gives a strong odour when felled, either the white stinkwood, Celtis africana (family Cannabaceae), or (perhaps by confusion) the black stinkwood, Ocotea bullata (family Lauraceae).

1859   R. J. Mann Colony of Natal viii. 156   There is a variety of this wood, known under the name of the ‘Cannibal Stink-wood’.
1877   M. A. Barker Year's Housek. S. Afr. 325   What rhyme or reason, what sense or satire can there be in such a name as ‘Cannibal Stink-wood’?—applied..to a graceful, handsome tree whose bark gives out an aromatic..perfume.
1913   C. Pettman Africanderisms 107   Cannibal stinkwood, Celtis Kraussiana. The first part of this name appears to be a corruption of Camdeboo..; it is applied to a variety of stinkwood, the wood of which is woolly, porous, and useless to the cabinet-maker.

1859—1913(Hide quotations)


This entry has been updated (OED Third Edition, September 2018).