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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Calabash \Cal"a*bash\ (k[a^]l"[.a]*b[a^]sh), n. [Sp. calabaza, or Pg. calaba[,c]a, caba[,c]a (cf. F. Calebasse), lit., a dry gourd, fr. Ar. qar', fem., a kind of gourd + aibas dry.]

  1. The common gourd (plant or fruit).

  2. The fruit of the calabash tree.

  3. A water dipper, bottle, bascket, or other utensil, made from the dry shell of a calabash or gourd.

    Calabash tree. (Bot.), a tree of tropical America ( Crescentia cujete), producing a large gourdlike fruit, containing a purgative pulp. Its hard shell, after the removal of the pulp, is used for cups, bottles, etc. The African calabash tree is the baobab.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1590s, "dried, hollowed gourd used as a drinking cup," from Spanish calabaza, possibly from Arabic qar'a yabisa "dry gourd," from Persian kharabuz, used of various large melons; or from a pre-Roman Iberian *calapaccia.


n. 1 A vine grown for its fruit, which can be harvested young and used as a vegetable, or harvested mature, dried(,) and used as a container, like a gourd. In particular, (taxlink Lagenaria siceraria species noshow=1). 2 # (context originally English) The fruit of such a vine. 3 A tree grown for its fruit, which can be harvested mature and dried(,) and used as a container. In particular, (taxlink Crescentia cujete species noshow=1). 4 #The fruit of such a tree. 5 A utensil traditionally made of the dried shell of a calabash and used as a bottle, dipper, utensil or pipe, etc.

  1. n. round gourd of the calabash tree

  2. tropical American evergreen that produces large round gourds [syn: calabash tree, Crescentia cujete]

  3. Old World climbing plant with hard-shelled bottle-shaped gourds as fruits [syn: bottle gourd, Lagenaria siceraria]

  4. bottle made from the dried shell of a bottle gourd [syn: gourd]

  5. a pipe for smoking; has a curved stem and a large bowl made from a calabash gourd [syn: calabash pipe]

Calabash, NC -- U.S. town in North Carolina
Population (2000): 711
Housing Units (2000): 508
Land area (2000): 1.417715 sq. miles (3.671864 sq. km)
Water area (2000): 0.096456 sq. miles (0.249820 sq. km)
Total area (2000): 1.514171 sq. miles (3.921684 sq. km)
FIPS code: 09540
Located within: North Carolina (NC), FIPS 37
Location: 33.892619 N, 78.566547 W
ZIP Codes (1990): 28467
Note: some ZIP codes may be omitted esp. for suburbs.
Calabash, NC

The calabash, bottle gourd, or white-flowered gourd, Lagenaria siceraria (synonym Lagenaria vulgaris Ser.), also known as opo squash (from Tagalog: upo) or long melon, is a vine grown for its fruit, which can either be harvested young and used as a vegetable, or harvested mature, dried, and used as a bottle, utensil, or pipe. The fresh fruit has a light-green smooth skin and a white flesh. Rounder varieties are called calabash gourds. They grow in a variety of shapes: they can be huge and rounded, small and bottle shaped, or slim and serpentine, more than a metre long. Because bottle gourds are also called "calabashes", they are sometimes confused with the hard, hollow fruits of the unrelated calabash tree, Crescentia cujete, whose fruits are also used to make utensils, containers, and musical instruments. The gourd was one of the first cultivated plants in the world, grown not primarily for food, but for use as water containers. The bottle gourd may have been carried from Africa to Asia, Europe, and the Americas in the course of human migration, or by seeds floating across the oceans inside the gourd. It has been proven to be in the New World prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus.

Calabash (disambiguation)

Calabash may refer to:

Calabash (percussion)

In African music, the calabash is a percussion instrument of the family of idiophones consisting of a dried half of a large calabash, which is struck with the palms, fingers, wrist or objects to produce a variety of percussive sounds. This instrument is used in traditional dances.

Usage examples of "calabash".

While Brown went to fetch some wild yams, Minarii kindled a fire, Seated several stones, and dropped them into a calabash of water, which began to boil at once.

Eggs were then dropped in till the calabash was full, and the yams hastily scraped and roasted on the coals.

She had a small calabash in her hand and was bending to take up water when Hutia spoke.

Prudence rose from the pool, donned her kilt and mantle with trembling hands, took up her calabash, and disappeared into the bush.

Smith spread the plantain leaf on the ground and began to remove the contents of the basket, displaying a large baked fish, the half of a cold roast suckling pig, cooked breadfruit, scraped white and wrapped in leaves, and a small calabash filled with the delicious coconut sauce called taioro.

He hailed the native man cheerily, then paused, with the calabash in his hand, to give him a keen glance.

He bent the flexible coil so that it passed into a large calabash sawed in half, and out, through a watertight joint, after a dozen turns.

The lid of the kettle was of heavy cast iron, and fitted tightly, but McCoy now plastered it about with clay before he filled his sawn calabash with water and stood a pewter half-pint on a rock, where it would catch the drip from the coil.

Then, after ladling more cool water into the calabash, he seated himself with his back to a tree.

Tararu took the calabash from its hook, filled it at the water barrel, and replaced it so that a thin trickle fell on the stone.

She retired to a little distance while he ate, and fetched him a calabash of water to rinse his hands when the meal was done.

He rose, stretching his muscles gingerly, limped out through the hack door to the water barrel, and dashed a calabash of water over his head.

Well, sir, the long and the short of it was that I fetched a couple of half-pints and a calabash of water, and between us we finished the whole bottle.

So stubborn was its consistency, that in conveying my heavily-weighted hand to my mouth, the connecting links almost raised the calabash from the mats on which it had been placed.

Overjoyed at this, I seized a calabash of water, and dashed its contents upon his face, then wiping away the blood, anxiously examined the wound.