1965J. BennettHawk Alone 42‘Come up and have a go at the bobbejane,’ said Gord.
1966C.A. SmithCommon Names 130Each animal..ranked high in their..tribal taboos, and no Hottentot would eat the meat of any of them. The ‘bobbejaan’, they held, was too much like a man.
[1986M. Le Chat inSunday Times 20 July (Mag. Sect.) 32It’s a song called Bobbejaan, Bobbejaan, a tale of weekends in Worcester when he would be taken up to the hill above the town to see a baboon on a chain.]
b.figurative.derogatory.Usually with initial capital:A nickname for one held to be a fool.See also baviaan sense 1 b.
In certain contexts used with racist overtones.
1937C.R. PranceTante Rebella’s Saga 177On the spot of course Oom Jan was unanimously and uproariously crowned with the nickname ‘Bobbejaan’ which means ‘Baboon,’ and the shame of it so ate into his soul that he sold his farm and trekked away to far south-west Africa.
1942S. CloeteHill of Doves 239And what are you, Adonis? Ja, that’s what you are, an old bobbejaan of a man, an old baboon..a disgrace to your nation.
c1957D. SwansonHighveld, Lowveld & Jungle 64‘The little bliksom,’ Klaussens said, staring down at the crumpled, inert body...‘Go and get that other bobijan.’
1965C. Van HeyningenOrange Days 36One day a small skinny piccanin turned up to look for work; when asked what his name was, he said ‘Maargat’, but he was renamed ‘Bobbejaan’ (monkey) to which he answered cheerfully.
1971Sunday Times 10 Oct. (Mag. Sect.) 5Addressing an African bringing tea into the studio, he said: ‘What is your name? Bobbejaan? Oh, Willem. Willem Bobbejaan.’
1966C.A. SmithCommon Names 132Several unrelated species..are regarded as inferior as a source of food..for human beings, hence bobbejaankos.
1983D. Hughes et al.Complete Bk of S. Afr. Wine 16[The Khoikhoi] had no settled community or agriculture, living meagrely off shellfish and fruit, including the berries of a wild vine, Rhoicissus capensis, later to become popularly known as ‘bobbejaanstou’, or monkey creeper.
1971L.G. GreenTaste of S.-Easter 91You can tell the bobbejaanuintjie by its lovely flowers.
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