zeriba

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From زَرْب (zarb, pen, cattle pen), from [script?] (zarb, sheepfold).

Noun[edit]

zeriba (plural zeribas)

  1. A fence, particularly those once commonly improvised in northeastern Africa from thornbushes.
    • 1849, O'Reilly translating Werne, Exped. Sources White Nile, II 112:
      A shining seriba of reeds, the stalks of which ... perhaps only afford resistance to tame animals.
    • 1895, A. H. Keane translating W. Junker, Trav. in Afr., I v 245:
      The expression ‘'zeriba country’ applied by some geographers to the northern slope of the Nile–Congo divide.
  2. (by extension) An improvised stockade, particularly those similarly located and constructed.
    • 1884 Mar. 11, Times, 5:
      The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) advanced this morning to Baker Pasha's zariba.
  3. (by extension) A camp of troops employing such an enclosure.
    • 1887' Apr. 9, Times, 5:
      ...Forming a zariba, or square, to resist cavalry.
  4. (by extension) Any wild and barbed barrier, evocative of a briar or thorn patch.
    • 1910, P. G. Wodehouse, Deep Waters:
      Once you had passed the initial zareba of fruit stands, souvenir stands, ice-cream stands, and the lair of the enthusiast whose aim in life it was to sell you picture post-cards, and had won through to the long walk where the seats were, you were practically alone with Nature.
    • 1961, P. G. Wodehouse, Ice in Bedroom, vii. 52:
      Owing to his obiter dicta having to be filtered through a zareba of white hair, it was not always easy to catch exactly what Mr. Cornelius said.

Verb[edit]

zeriba (third-person singular simple present zeribas, present participle zeribaing, simple past and past participle zeribaed)

  1. To erect or take refuge within a zereba.
    • 1885 July, 19th Cent., 89:
      The Brigadier ordered the force to zereba on the best position that was near.
    • 1911, "Somaliland" in the Encyclopædia Britannica 11th ed., Vol. 25:
      On the 2nd of June a small force, zeribaed under Captain Malcolm McNeill, was attacked by the mullah's followers but repulsed after desperate fighting.

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