One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A tropical American tree with hard reddish timber that is used to make cutlery handles.
Dalbergia retusa, family Leguminosae
- ‘The hardwoods he mentions - box and cocoa - are probably short for boxwood and cocobolo.’
- ‘A call to a friend brought forth a pair of his checkered grips of cocobolo, which really sets off the rifle to perfection.’
Mid 19th century: via Spanish from Arawak kakabali.
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