One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large, highly venomous southern African tree snake, the male of which is bright green and the female dull olive brown.
Dispholidus typus, family Colubridae
- ‘Unusually late summer rains had allowed them to outlast the boomslang, and on their ninth try, one chick lived long enough to fledge.’
- ‘He added that while the majority of snakes in our area are non-venomous, the ones people should worry about are the boomslangs, puffadders and night adders.’
- ‘Some boomslangs and Cape cobras appear to live for months on nothing but weaver eggs and chicks, and will even curl up in a nest and make it their home.’
- ‘On the night drive that evening, we saw a leopard, the animal I had most wanted to see, and had a well-camouflaged boomslang snake in a tree pointed out.’
- ‘And to honey badgers, cobras and large-eyed tree snakes called boomslangs, the nest is a dependable larder.’
- ‘I wondered if this was perhaps a boomslang, or even a green mamba, although I think we are too far south for the mamba species.’
Late 18th century: from Afrikaans, from Dutch boom ‘tree’ + slang ‘snake’.
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