One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any of several trees of the family Sapotaceae with milky sap; especially (a) (more fully "white melkhout") the white milkwood, Sideroxylon inerme; the pale timber of this tree; (b) (more fully "red melkhout") the red milkwood, Mimusops obovata.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in James Ewart (?1791–1823). From South African Dutch, Afrikaans melkhout from melk + hout wood.
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