One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1mass noun A material for making fences, walls, etc., consisting of rods or stakes interlaced with twigs or branches.
- ‘Sotho huts, which have pointed, detachable roofs on walls of mud and wattle, are found throughout the country; these huts have window frames and full doorways.’
- ‘As we drew close to the source, we found ourselves surrounded by the caves and wattle huts of innumerable holy men; they seemed to rear out of the mist, dotting the landscape wherever we looked.’
- ‘The timbers were the uprights of wattle fences, the complex containing up to 100,000 square feet or 30,500 square metres of fencing, some of which still survives.’
- ‘Here is the second cluster of huts, wattle fences enclosing neat crofts of fowl houses and kitchen-gardens blown with harvest.’
- ‘Woven wattle fences hedge the crofts, enclosing each family's stock of goats and fowl.’
- ‘Around these were wattle fences, and men to guard them.’
- ‘Between 18 and 24 guests live close to nature on a twin-shared basis in wattle huts under scented tropical trees.’
- ‘Although badly damaged in recent years, evidence of wattle houses and a livestock pen were discovered.’
- ‘Our house used to be of stone but the hut I left my wife in was of wattle and hide; I am hoping that she will join me but at the moment we have an infant that is too sick to travel.’
- ‘Yet from wattle to neoprene, the history of architecture is also the history of material invention.’
- ‘Dublin's property boundaries were set from the earliest dense occupation, and wattle fences were replicated numerous times in the same positions.’
- ‘Jeff showed the twins how to weave the twig wattle fence that borders the deck.’
- ‘The walls of the pit would be lined with wooden planks or wattle, and the floor could also be planked.’
- ‘The excavations at Waterstone's uncovered wattle fencing and rubbish pits superbly preserved because of the water-logged conditions under the building.’
- ‘Door posts, a threshold beam and a section of wattle wall are clearly visible.’
- ‘Yes, they are indeed proper hand-made wattle hurdles, thank you for asking.’
- ‘They were found on what was once the Thames foreshore, and would have been stored underwater in a wattle enclosure to stop the wood drying out and splitting.’
- ‘The plants were being protected from the gales by old wattle fencing being put alongside the flower beds.’
- ‘The experts reckon the house originally has a thatched or cut wood roof supported by a wattle wall and timber posts.’
- ‘Potter described house structures in the eroding sand - round houses of wattle, beneath rectangular buildings with stone wall footings.’
- 1.1British dialect count noun A wicker hurdle.
2Australian An acacia.
Genus Acacia, family Leguminosae: many species, including the golden wattle
- ‘The two Greens Senators wore a sprig of wattle over a postcard picture of the two Australian citizens interned in Guantanamo Bay.’
- ‘For botany lessons, we crossed the road into the botanical gardens, there to examine the leaves of ash, oak, elm, plane, pine but no wattles, gums or banksias.’
- ‘Like all wattles it's fast-growing and flowers from August to October, but a distinguishing feature is its foliage which smells of cinnamon when crushed in warm weather.’
- ‘Until now the only trees he has seen are wattles and eucalypts, which don't merit a compliment.’
- ‘Our house also seemed a little swallowed by wattle at times.’
Make, enclose, or fill up with wattle.
- ‘He sat in a stilted hut in a native village, wattled and roofed with the long, triangular woven leaves of trees.’
Old English watul, of unknown origin.
A coloured fleshy lobe hanging from the head or neck of the turkey and some other birds.
- ‘Chickens may die without showing any symptoms, but typically, birds suddenly show swelling about the eyes, wattles and ear lobes.’
- ‘Some species have a prominent head casque, wattles or bare heads and necks with brightly colored skin.’
- ‘Male asities enlarge their wattles when they display to females and their outer primary feathers produce a buzzing sound when they fly.’
- ‘Its cousin, the stunning kokako, is slate gray with sky-blue wattles decorating a black-masked face.’
- ‘Common sites of injection in birds include the wing web, wattle, dewlap, and interdigitary skin.’
- ‘In the spring, the male attracts females by gobbling, puffing his feathers, spreading his tail, swelling his face wattles, and drooping his wings.’
- ‘They also had larger and more colorful fleshy facial shields and wattles.’
- ‘Expression of combs and wattles is directly connected to androgen production, whereas feather ornament size seldom depends on current levels of testosterone secretion.’
- ‘The members of Eurylaiminae are variable in their plumage; the wattled broadbills have an eye ring of large blue wattles.’
- ‘The frontal shield and wattles are fleshy protuberances.’
- ‘It seems that the males have taken advantage of the females' searching for these by having bright blue and red wattles hanging from their throats.’
- ‘Some cracids have brightly colored skin on the face or neck, or ornaments such as wattles, casques or combs.’
Early 16th century: of unknown origin.
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