bobbejaantjie, noun

Forms:
babiaantje, babiaantjieShow more Formerly also babiaantje, babiaantjie, babiantje, bavyantje, bobbejantjie, and with initial capital.
Origin:
Afrikaans, South African Dutch, Middle Dutch, DutchShow more Afrikaans, contraction of bobbejaanuintjie, from South African Dutch babiaan uyntje, from Middle Dutch babiaen or Dutch baviaan baboon + uien bulb, tuber + diminutive suffix -ie; see also quotation 1917.
Any of several species of cormous plant of the genus Babiana of the Iridaceae, with blue, white, purple, yellow, or scarlet flowers; Babiana; baviaan sense 3; bobbejaanuintjie, see bobbejaan sense 2.
[1795 C.R. Hopson tr. of C.P. Thunberg’s Trav. I. 285The baboons of Table Mountain..feed also upon the pulpous bulbs of several plants...The Gladiolus plicatus appears to be the most favourite,..for which reason..this plant is known by the name of the Baboon.]
1857 Hortulanus in Cape Monthly Mag. I. June 350South Africa abounds with many fine genera of the Irideæ, varying in form and colour. A few of those are frequent in the Cape gardens, and generally known by the names of Afrikaanders, Bavyantjes, &c.
1917 R. Marloth Dict. of Common Names of Plants 8Babiaantje, Babiana (several species). The baboons (baviaan, mostly pron.: babiaan) unearth the corms (so-called bulbs) for food.
1957 L.G. Green Beyond City LightsThere are gousblom of many colours, scarlet bobbejaantjies, white arums and rooipypies.
1958 F.T. Prince in R.M. Macnab Poets in S. Afr. 80In the hidden dew The unbelievably keen perfume Of the Babiaantjie.
1964 J. Meintjes Manor House 35These children always accompanied us on our walks to collect wild flowers: kalkoentjies, viooltjies, bobbejaantjies, freesias and the exotic aandblom.
1973 J. Rabie in S. Gray Writers’ Territory 169In July and August the first wild flowers already steal the show. First the rosy viooltjies, then yellow bietou and sorrel and blue bobbejaantjies.
1974 Cape Times 28 Sept. (Suppl.) 1The orchards north of the Outeniquas are covered with blossoms. There are..‘bobbejaantjies’ by the million in the veld.
Any of several species of cormous plant of the genus Babiana of the Iridaceae, with blue, white, purple, yellow, or scarlet flowers; Babiana; baviaan3; bobbejaanuintjie, see bobbejaan2.
Entry Navigation

Visualise Quotations

Quotation summary

Senses

17951974