babiaantje, babiaantjieShow more Formerly also babiaantje, babiaantjie, babiantje, bavyantje, bobbejantjie, and with initial capital.
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.
[1795C.R. Hopsontr. ofC.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’ inCape 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.
1917R. MarlothDict. of Common Names of Plants 8Babiaantje, Babiana (several species). The baboons (baviaan, mostly pron.: babiaan) unearth the corms (so-called bulbs) for food.
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