banana, noun

Forms:
Also with initial capital.
Origin:
Alluding to the perception of Natal as the country’s main banana-producing region.
colloquial
1. Attributive, referring jocularly to the province of Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal).
[1915 J.K. O’Connor Afrikander Rebellion 17The old cry of ‘Afrika voor de Afrikanders’ and the weak joke referring to the eating of bananas in Natal were resuscitated..in 1904.]
1970 Drum Feb. 15He left for Durban where he formed a trio...They were an immediate hit in the banana province.
1971 Daily Dispatch 28 Sept. 24Apart from a few bumps and bruises and a natural feeling of tiredness they were all fit when they got off the ‘Banana Special’ on Sunday night.
1985 L. Du Buisson in Avenue May 33You are now entering Banana Republic: Danger Natal Fever: Casino.
1988 G. Silber in Style May 65 (caption)The independent Banana Republic of Natal..where bananas flourish in the tropical haze and all people are equally tanned on the beaches.
1990 Sunday Times 8 July 1Banana slip. Western Province beat Natal 27–21 in the semi-final at Newlands.
1990 H.P. Toffoli in Style Nov. 50Young Durban movers there’s a whole lot of shaking going on in banana country.
2. Special Combinations
banana boy, often with initial capitals, a nickname for a man or boy born or resident in KwaZulu-Natal; in the plural, the residents of KwaZulu-Natal collectively; cf. Natalian noun;
Banana City, a jocular nickname for Durban, KwaZulu-Natal’s largest city; Durbs;
Banana Express, a narrow-gauge steam train running along the southern coast of KwaZulu-Natal; also attributive;
banana girl, a nickname for a girl or woman born or resident in KwaZulu-Natal;
Banana Land, also with small initials, the province of KwaZulu-Natal; hence Bananalander, one born or living in KwaZulu-Natal.
1956 N. Gordimer in D. Wright S. Afr. Stories (1960) 69Young white men brought up in the strong Anglo-Saxon tradition of the province of Natal are often referred to, and refer to themselves, as ‘banana boys’, even though fewer and fewer of them have any connection with the dwindling number of vast banana estates that once made their owners rich.
1974 Argus 2 July 18Natal? Oh yes, that’s where they call the inhabitants Banana Boys because it’s the territory which produces all South Africa’s bananas.
1985 J. Thomas in Fair Lady 1 May 20In April I went to the independent Homeland of Natal to speak to the banana boys.
1991 Weekend Post 7 Sept. 1The big-hearted Aussie, who’s headed for Natal, has been granted ‘local player’ status — a bonus that will have the ‘banana boys’ smiling all the way.
1994 T. Cobbleigh in Sunday Times 2 Jan. 19Nicest place in the country to be just now is...Johannesburg! During the school holidays, the city so scorned by Kaapies and Banana-boys acquires a leisurely atmosphere, almost an elegance of its own.
1972 Drum 8 Nov. 43Collecting beauty crowns comes sort of naturally with this peach from the Banana City. She is Miss Durban, Miss South Africa 1971, Miss Chamber of Commerce, Miss Natal and Miss Ambi Look.
1982 Voice 31 Jan. 1Suspense is about all that scores of soccer fans who live outside the Banana City, will be left with today...The next best alternative to being physically present at Umlazi Stadium, in Durban, today is to..ogle the epic on the magic ‘goggle-box’.
1987 G. Mokae in Pace Oct. 59Start packing and make your move to Durban...If you have never set your feet in the ‘Banana City’ before, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
1982 S. Afr. Panorama Sept. 40Then there was the filming of the Banana Express. On the Sunday..there were plenty of passengers but no sun.
1987 D. March in E. Prov. Herald 29 Apr. 15The Banana Express winds along the coast, passing across the sturdy steel bridge over the lovely Izotsha Lagoon before reaching Shelly Beach.
1987 Fair Lady 28 Oct. 18It’s the Banana Express, one of the country’s last narrow-gauge steam trains...Former Californian railman Rob Allingham plays the Banana Express guard.
1954 Bantu World 8 May (Suppl.) 11In the few crowded hours of her visit to Johannesburg, Durban’s ‘Banana Girl’ was given a pretty good idea of the city’s musical and stage talent.
[1928 R. Campbell in Collected Poems (1949) 243In fair Banana Land we lay our scene — South Africa, renowned both far and wide For politics and little else beside.]
1967 E. Rosenthal Encycl. of Sn Afr. 35Natal is jocularly referred to as ‘Bananaland.’
1971 Daily Dispatch 15 Sept. 9You’re wrong if you think ‘banana land’ is Natal. The banana image cultivated by the lads up the coast is a false one. Call them the sugar boys if you like, but banana boys, no.
1988 C. Mitchell in Personality 6 June 12This..Durban City Councillor..has been the driving force behind preparing the young men from Bananaland for their military duties.
1968 C.J.D. Harvey in D.J. Opperman Spirit of Vine 299One must remember that Campbell was a ‘Bananalander’ by birth and upbringing.
referring jocularly to the province of Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal).

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