- assagai, assagaie, assagay, assegaai, assegay, azagaia, hassagay, hassaguay, zagaie, zagaye (obsolete)
From French azagaie (now zagaie) or Portuguese azagaia, Spanish azagaya, and later in the forms that have become most common borrowed from Afrikaans assegaai, from colloquial Arabic اَلزَّغَايَة (az-zaḡāya), from Proto-Berber *zaġāya (“spear”).
assegai (plural assegais)
- A slim hardwood spear or javelin with an iron tip, especially those used by Bantu peoples of Southern Africa.
- 1902, Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Tank Form 2007, p.99:
- Native mats covered the clay walls; a collection of spears, assegais, shields, knives was hung up in trophies.
- 1994, Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, Abacus 2010, p. 32:
- Without a word, he took my foreskin, pulled it forward, and then, in a single motion, brought down his assegai.
- The tree species Curtisia dentata, the wood of which is traditionally used to make assegais.
- To spear with an assegai.