auntie, noun

Forms:
anti, auntiShow more Also anti, aunti, aunty, and with initial capital.
Origin:
English, AfrikaansShow more English, influenced by Afrikaans tannie.
Not referring to a blood relation:
1.
a. Indicating respect: an older woman; cf. tannie sense 3 b; also used as a title, with a first name or surname.
[1882 S. Heckford Lady Trader in Tvl 262I heard him whisper to his grandmother, ‘If the aunt’ (Little Boers call all women ‘aunt’) ‘won’t buy it, what shall I do with it?’]
1946 V. Pohl Adventures of Boer Family 112Dudley, much perplexed, asked mother what ‘the auntie’ was cross about.
c1966 J. Hobbs in New S. Afr. Writing No.3, 161Perspiring aunties scurry back and forth with cups of coffee and mounds of glistening braided koeksisters.
1977 J. Sikakane Window on Soweto 36Your mother had..succesfully borrowed a few coins from the ‘auntie’ next door.
1979 Sunday Times 7 Oct. (Mag. Sect.) 1Our English-speaking fellow-countrymen have thought it wise to copy this custom and..my children’s little English-speaking friends are also told to say ‘hullo to the auntie’ and to open the door for ‘the uncle’.
1979 W. Ebersohn Lonely Place 26Scolded by some of the old aunties for siding with the Communists.
1980 M.P. Gwala in M. Mutloatse Forced Landing 101At the door I was met by the house servant, MaZungu, an elderly auntie who did all the household chores.
1987 M. Masipa in Pace May (Suppl.) 3If the aunty who sells fruit at a street corner manages to send her son to a medical school his success is the success of the nation.
1988 E. Maluleke in Drum Jan. 16The yard had been swept, the toilet was clean and sparkling and garbage got rid of. He had done a better job than the aunties and boys I always hired.
1988 Pace Apr. 4The auntie whose daughter was not lucky decided to seek out the auntie whose daughter had captured the jackpot.
b. As a form of address: Tante sense 3.
Note:
In Afrikaans substituted for the second person pronoun ‘you’ as a respectful form of address (see quotation 1903).
1903 J.D. Kestell Through Shot & Flame 105‘Auntie can make bread or vetkoek (dampers) of it, just as you think fit.’
1939 Outspan 6 Oct. 65‘I’m having some golf practice, boys. Everyone plays golf in Pretoria.’ ‘You’ll be playing Bobby Locke before long, Auntie.’
1964 G. Gordon Four People 408‘Put in the money, Auntie,’ the child urged anxiously, and she heard the voice shouting again, ‘Put in your tickey, can’t you?’
1972 Drum 22 Mar. 29I asked who it was. Someone said: ‘Me, aunty. I want some milk.’ I thought it was my neighbour’s children.
1976 M. Tholo in C. Hermer Diary of Maria Tholo (1980) 165‘But who are we burying?’ ‘Auntie, it’s best for you to go and find out for yourself.’
2. shebeen queen, see shebeen sense 2; used as a title, with a first name or surname.
1970 M. Dikobe Marabi Dance. 7George had been engaged to play the piano for the two days by Auntie Ma-Ndlovu. The drinks, Skokiaan and other concoctions, were sold in a room adjoining.
1971 Post 7 Feb. 1Cops raced to a Diepkloof shebeen when they heard James Bond had spent the night there. The ‘Auntie’ confirmed this.
a1977 K.M.C. Motsisi in M. Mutloatse Casey & Co. (1978) 64They have at last decided to license the aunties who have, through all the dry years, been slaking our thirsts by serving us under the counter.
1981 Daily Dispatch 15 Sept. 12Imagine ‘Aunties’ who have not gone far with their schooling, battling with figures for the general sales tax!
1981 J. Johnson in S. Afr. Speaks 30I managed to stay with an auntie who was selling liquor...I helped this auntie with her shebeen, meantime trying to get a job.
[1985 Drum Jan. 34We’ll get enough exercise elbowlifting at Aunt Peggy’s.]
3. rare. Used euphemistically: a nanny.
1984 Sunday Times 8 July (Suppl.) 10R318 Return: Including 7 nights accommodation on S.A.A. from Johannesburg or Durban. Children and Aunties stay free with every couple in separate rooms.
Indicating respect: an older woman; cf. tannie3 b; also used as a title, with a first name or surname.
As a form of address: Tante3.
shebeen queen, see shebeen2; used as a title, with a first name or surname.
Used euphemistically: a nanny.
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18821988