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90s Slang You Should Know

puff adder

a large, thick-bodied, African viper, Bitis arietans, that inflates its body and hisses when disturbed.
a similar viper, B. inornata, native to southern Africa.
Origin of puff adder
First recorded in 1780-90 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for puff-adder
Historical Examples
  • The puff-adder is the most common, as well as the most deadly, of African snakes.

  • Of all the Cape snakes the puff-adder is not only the deadliest, but by far the most to be feared.

  • What enthralled her attention yet more was the direction in which the puff-adder headed.

    Tales of South Africa H.A. Bryden
  • Then you are a lucky man, for that beast is a puff-adder, a most deadly snake!

    With Rifle and Bayonet F.S. Brereton
  • It is a specimen—a very rare specimen—of the South African puff-adder.

  • When, however, one meets a puff-adder or a cobra, the fight is not equal.

  • There is an immense variety of them, the deadliest being the puff-adder, a thick and comparatively short snake.

  • Another escape was from a puff-adder, a snake equally as deadly as the cobra.

  • The puff-adder is of a uniform brown colour, checked with bars of darker brown and white.

  • puff-adder Brown, too, who was well versed in native dialects, perfectly comprehended his words.

    Tales of South Africa H.A. Bryden
British Dictionary definitions for puff-adder

puff adder

a large venomous African viper, Bitis arietans, that is yellowish-grey with brown markings and inflates its body when alarmed
another name for hognose snake
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for puff-adder

1789 of a South African snake that is venomous; 1882 of a western U.S. snake that is not; from puff (v.) + adder.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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