Friday, September 28, 2012
I promise never to write another essay without looking up its subject in the OED.
Etymology: In sense 1 clearly < locust n.... (Show More)
1623 R. Jobson Golden Trade 132 They haue likewise great store of Locust trees, which growing in clusters of long cods together in the beginning of May, growes to his ripenes, which the people will feede vpon.
1776 Ann. Reg. 1775 ii. 92 A tree growing in Spain called..carrobe or locust-tree..the fruit exactly resembles kidney-beans.
2. A well-known North American tree, Robinia Pseudacacia, having thorny branches and dense clusters of white heavily-scented flowers; = acacia n. 2b. It is used extensively for ornament and as a timber-tree, the wood being very hard and durable.
1640 J. Parkinson Theatrum Botanicum 1550 Arbor siliquosa Virginensis spinosa, Locus nostratibus dicta. The Virginian Locus tree.
1676 S. Sewall Diary 28 Sept. (1973) I. 23 Brought my Brother John going so far as the little Locust tree.
1688 R. Holme Acad. Armory ii. 80/1 The [leaves of the] Locus tree, are oval leaves set on the stalk by short foot-stalks.
1775 A. Burnaby Trav. Middle Settlements N.-Amer. 69 The pseudo-acacia, or locust-tree.
1822 W. Irving Bracebridge Hall (U.S. ed.) II. 206 The house stood..in the centre of a large field, with an avenue of old locust trees leading up to it.
1892 R. L. Stevenson Across Plains 8 Locust-trees..gave it a foreign grace and interest.
3. The courbaril (courbaril n.) of tropical South America and the West Indies. Also: the West Indian Byrsonima cinerea and B. coriacea (Treasury Bot. 1866).
1629 Plantation St. Christopher in J. Smith's Works (Arb.) 905 Sugar Canes..also Masticke, and Locus Trees.
1693 S. Dale Pharmacologia 506 Gummi Animi..Locus vulgò. The Locust-Tree. In Nova Hispania & Brasilia oritur.
1756 P. Browne Civil & Nat. Hist. Jamaica ii. ii. 221 The Locus Tree... It is a spreading shady tree, and found in many parts of Liguanea.
1796 J. G. Stedman Narr. Exped. Surinam II. xxiii. 165 We saw some very fine locust-trees, being eighty or a hundred feet high, and prodigiously thick... The timber is of a beautiful cinnamon-colour,..its seeds, like beans,..enclosed in a broad light brown pod.
1838 T. Thomson Chem. Org. Bodies 542 This resin [animé] is obtained from the hymenæa courbaril, or locust tree.
1872 D. Oliver Lessons Elem. Bot. ii. 165 The Locust-tree (Hymenæa) of tropical South America..affording a very tough and close-grained wood.
5. African locust-tree n. Parkia africana ( Treasury Bot. Suppl. 1874). bastard locust-tree n. of the West Indies, Clethra tinifolia. honey locust-tree n. a North American ornamental tree, Gleditschia triacanthos. swamp locust-tree n. (alsowater locust-tree) G. monosperma (Treasury Bot. 1866).
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
(ee--stree--lah--TOH) No English-Greek translation of this word so I'll paraphrase the Greek def: to drive someone into a frenzy of excitement. Totally from the oestros from which estrogen derives. Said of demagogues who make their audience nuts with excitement.