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Elan, even though you never heard of the word, you helped get me pointed in the right direction.

The word is more appropriately spelled "bokser," and it is indeed Yiddish.

I found my answer here: http://www.forward.com/articles/a-brief-on-bokser/

The Forward's explanation starts with a question sent in by Forward reader Vera Perlman:

“From childhood on, we celebrated Tu B’Shvat by eating ‘bokser.’ As we matured, we learned that we were eating the pods of the carob tree, known in Hebrew as the haruv. And as we became even more enlightened, we learned that the proper name for this fruit in English was ‘St. John’s bread.’ Now I have been looking high and low to learn how the Hebrew haruv morphed into the Yiddish ‘bokser.’ Can you solve the problem for me?”

Perlman’s problem is that she has been looking in the wrong place. What morphed into “bokser” was not h.aruv (whose Arabic cognate of h.arub does lie behind “carob”), but rather Bocks-horn. This is the medieval German word for the fruit of the carob tree, which was once known as a Bockshornbaum and is called in modern German — as in English — a Johannesbrautbaum.
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