One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An Aboriginal implement used for lifting crops and digging, consisting of a piece of wood sharpened at both ends.‘little girls are instructed in the use of the yam stick, with which the roots are dug up’
- ‘The yams should be sunk way down in the ground, so that they could only be obtained by hard digging, with a yamstick.’
- ‘She gathered together her possessions including her yamstick and left.’
- ‘Down goes the yam stick, and up comes the potato, which is at once put in to the bag.’
- ‘She dug a large hole in the ground, which at once filled with water, in the bottom of which she could feel the mouth of some animal with her yamstick.’
- ‘He hit old Fred on the head with a yamstick.’
Mid 19th century: from its use in planting yams, a staple Aboriginal foodstuff.
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