from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A whip intended to be used in driving a coach.
- n. Nautical, the long pennant hoisted at the royalmast-head of a man-of-war.
- n. 3. In herpetology, a harmless colubrine serpent of the genus Masticophis (which see): so called from its long slender form.
- n. The ocotilla, Fouquieria splendens, so called from the long, leafless, lash-like branches. See Fouquieria and ocotilla.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
To one of them, not bigger than a tomtit, we have given the name of coach-whip, from its note exactly resembling the smack of a whip.
There are, besides these, a variety of other snakes found here, such as the green, the chicken, the copperbelly, the wampum, the coach-whip and corn snakes; all of which are esteemed harmless creatures.
Its long, slim tail is like the lash of a coach-whip and at its base is a row of little spears with many barbs, which are capable of inflicting exceedingly painful wounds.
From the trees the bell-bird, the coach-whip, the tewinga, the laughing-jackass, the rifle-bird and regent, filled the air with sound, if not with music.
The "coach-whip," a very dark-brown, almost black serpent, so called because it looks as if it were a platted coach-whip, I have seen flash across the road so quickly that if the track it left in the dust or sand was not there as a witness one might doubt the testimony of the eye.
The blacksnake and the chicken-snake, constrictors of near kin to the racer and the coach-whip, but not nearly so swift, are tree-climbers.
Cutting the body open, I made the (to me) surprising discovery that it was viviparous -- I had thought all snakes were oviparous like the chicken-snake, and racer, and coach-whip.
This fact would seem to account for the superstition, especially among the negroes, that a coach-whip would attack a man.
He would not, in February, have heard the song-lark, that unshamed rival of an English cousin famed in poetry, and the sharp crescendo of the coach-whip bird would scarcely be classed as “sweet.”
My eyes cloud up for a rainy spell, and in my throat there comes a lump so big I feel like a coach-whip snake that has inadvertently swallowed a china darning-egg.
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