1 A swampy area thickly covered with trees and underbrush. obs Cf cripple n1
[1655 Donck Beschryvinge 14 seNY, Om dat het Lant uytter naturen seer genegen is om hout te dragen, ende door het ghevogelte ende windt het zaet over al verspreyt werdt, soo werden de vochtighste ende natste Landen oock al mede Bos, die heet men dan Kreupel-bosschen, ende zijn soodanigh met hout doorwassen van alderley slagh ende soorte soo groot als kleyn, maer meest kleyn tusschen het groote in, dat het wonder om ansien is. [=Since the land is naturally very inclined to grow trees, and the seeds are spread everywhere by the birds and the wind, the most humid and wet lands are woodland; these are called “kreupel-bosschen,” and are so grown up with all sorts and kinds of wood, large and small (but mostly small in amongst the large), that it is a wonder to see.]] 1683 in 1850 Doc. Hist. State of NY (octavo ed.) 3.368, The vendors promise to deliver . . the said Lands free and unburthened, as well Flatts, Kills, Creeks, Woods, Vlys, Cripple Bushes, with appendages and dependancies therof to said R. Livinston. 1765 in 1883 Pearson et al. Hist. Schenectady Patent 118 eNY, Also the lake and an island in the lake and the cripplebush and Swamp or lowland lying between the lake and the river. . . . Also a tract called Achter-Wey and cripplebush lying between the lake and the river and the lake’s kil. 1814 Ulster Gaz. (Kingston NY) 12 Apr /3, [Advt:] Part of lots No. 3 and 4, in the Hurley woods, lying at the burnt Cripple bush, 9 acres. 1823 Cabinet (Schenectady NY) 7 May /2, [Advt:] Also, a second tract . . usually called the Puynette Swamp, . . containing thirteen acres of meadow or cripple bush land.
2 A tangled shrub—usu used in pl. [Infl by std bush shrub]
1873 CT State Bd. Ag. Annual Rept. 1872–1873 140 swCT, They bought what was called “Cripple Swamp,” adjoining it . . that was overgrown with what we called “cripple bushes” in these days, about four feet high, and so thick that you could not get through. 1874 Eve. Post (NY NY) 21 July /8, The Cripple-bush farm took its name from the magnificent growth of cripple-bushes with which it was originally covered. 1883 Topeka Daily Capital (KS) 21 Oct 9/1 neNY, My deer was up on the bank, but close to the water’s edge, his body concealed only by what the guides call “cripple bushes.” 1989 Sports Illustr. 24 Apr /1 neNY, We are prowling the edge of the marsh. . . Suddenly a big fish swirls near his feet, and the vee of its wake shoots out toward the cripple bushes that surround a big beaver lodge.