Which Joe gave his name to ‘sloppy joes’? We look at five interesting sandwiches and their lexical origins.
1A slender, iron-tipped, hardwood spear used chiefly by southern African peoples.
- ‘A large cache of weapons, including assegais, pangas, and axes, was confiscated, most of which were concealed in nearby forests.’
- ‘There're a lot of interesting things to buy: tyre sandals, walking sticks, assegais, knobkerries, bead necklaces, Zulu pots and drums.’
- ‘Ordinarily he would be pinned to a banyan tree with an assagai before he'd read sports pages.’
- ‘The irreplaceable steel-bladed assegai were saved for close-in work.’
- ‘They can inherit anything from as little as an assegai to as much as a few beasts.’
- ‘Their assailants were armed with knobkierries, assegais and machetes.’
- ‘Inside the village, park visitors could divide their attention, and their spare change, between a fortune-telling ‘bone thrower’ and a neutered ‘warrior,’ harmlessly gyrating with his assegai and shield.’
- ‘It had an effect just like the longbow at Agincourt - and the Gatling gun, which eventually defeated the Zulus with their assegais.’
- ‘A police presence has been established to stabilise the area after 171 men were arrested and rifles, sidearms, ammunition, assegais and pangas seized.’
- ‘Traditional surgeons such as Ntsasa are invited to workshops to teach them how to sterilise assegais and prevent the spread of HIV-Aids or other diseases.’
- ‘Painted in pink, with black and white drawings of Zulu shields and assegais and cast-iron three-legged pots on the walls, the conference building can hold up to 500 people.’
- ‘Police recovered five rifles, 18 sidearms, 84 bullets, and 700 assegais in follow-up house-to-house searches.’
- ‘He was presented with a traditional shield, assegai and a framed picture of African heritage.’
- ‘They carried no javelins, only the largest assegai.’
- ‘By the 1870s, mounted cavalry with muzzle-loaders, even breech-loaders, rather than foot soldiers with shields and assegais, were the spearhead of a number of surviving African armies.’
2A South African tree of the dogwood family, which yields hard timber.
- ‘Other common trees of the forests read like nature's picnic basket: wild pear, wild peach, African holly, assegai wood, forest olive or ironwood, white stinkwood… the list goes on.’
- ‘They surveyed the forest and studied the trees, identifying yellow wood, stinkwood, assegai wood, pear, alder and half a dozen other varieties.’
Wound or kill with an assegai.‘he was a very brave man but he was eventually assegaied’
- ‘I found there a man in a red coat badly assegaied in the arm, unable to move.’
- ‘Many of the soldiers indeed were assegaied before they could leave their tents, most were slaughtered at once, but a few managed to swim across the river.’
- ‘One determined Zulu even jumped over the barricade and assegaied a disoriented patient to death, though he himself was quickly picked off by a British rifleman.’
- ‘We retired well, but I shall never forget the Kaffirs getting in amongst us and assegaing our poor fellows.’
- ‘I could of course make no answer to this, so he sent men who clubbed or assegaied four of the culprits, but two escaped.’
Early 17th century: from obsolete French azagaie or Portuguese azagaia, from Arabic az-zaġāyah, from az, al ‘the’ + Berber zaġāyah ‘spear’.
We take a look at several popular, though confusing, punctuation marks.
From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, discover surprising and intriguing language facts from around the globe.
The definitions of ‘buddy’ and ‘bro’ in the OED have recently been revised. We explore their history and increase in popularity.