bergie, noun

Also with initial capital.
English, AfrikaansShow more berg + English suffix -ie, denoting an inhabitant of a place; or formed in Afrikaans, berg mountain + -ie.
1. (obsolete) berg canary, see berg sense 1 b ii.
1923 Haagner & Ivy Sketches of S. Afr. Bird-Life 146Another good little songster is the Yellow-rumped Seed-eater (or ‘Black-throated’, as it is usually called — S. Angolensis)..exceedingly common in the Brandfort and Kroonstad Districts, Orange Free State, and Pretoria District, Transvaal, in which latter locality it is known as the ‘Bergie’.
2. In the Western Cape: a vagrant living on the mountain slopes above Cape Town; any vagrant. Cf. outie.
1952 Drum Feb. 8The ‘Bergies’ who live on the slopes of Devil’s Peak..are in a class by themselves.
1959 J. Packer High Roof 59Sometimes he had camped out in a mountain cave with the bergies, who stood high in nobody’s esteem and were always being chivvied by the foresters because they were vagrants and likely to set the bush on fire.
1964 M. Murray Under Lion’s Head 3Some of these people (sc. Hottentots) probably, had hide-outs along the bush land of the Green and Sea Point coast, or, like our bergies of today, behind the boulders of the Lion’s Head.
1972 Argus 10 Aug. 10Sea Point is a Riviera for most of the won’t-works. Even the Bergies come down to do their shopping...Bergie women smelling of drink frequently come to the door begging.
1973 E. Prov. Herald 9 May 1The police immediately suspected that someone other than a Coloured mountain-dweller (a ‘Bergie’) had committed the crime.
1982 Cape Times 15 Apr. 11Cape Town’s vagrants or bergies are not confined to the mountainside areas but are living in large number in the elite suburbs of Rondebosch and Claremont.
1990 Weekend Post 3 Feb. (Leisure) 4Bergies of all colours..zigzag across the road.
berg canary, see berg1 b ii.
a vagrant living on the mountain slopes above Cape Town; any vagrant.

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