chincherinchee, noun

Forms:
α. tinterintie, tintirintie;
β. chinkerichee, chinkerincheeShow more chinkerichee, chinkerinchee, chinkering ching, tjienkerientjee;
γ. chincherinchee, chincher-and-ching.
Origin:
South African Dutch, DutchShow more Englished form of South African Dutch tintirintie, tjienkerintjie, perhaps a blend of Dutch tjienken to produce a short ringing sound and uintjie bulb; see quotation 1924.
Any of several bulbous plants of the genus Ornithogalum of the Liliaceae, especially O. thyrsoides, with showy, long-lasting flowers; chink. See also viooltjie.
α.
1793 tr. of C.P. Thunberg’s Trav. I. 153Tintirinties is a name given to a species of Ornithogalum, with a white flower, from the sound produced, when two stalks of it were rubbed against each other.
1809 J. Mackrill Diary. 61Tintirinties, species of Ornithogalum, so called, from the sound produced, by rubbing two stalks together, it has a white flower.
β.
1904 Cape of G.H. Agric. Jrnl July 6 (Pettman)The Chinkerinchee, Chincher-and-ching, ‘Viooltjes’, as that beautiful white flowering bulb, the Ornithogalum thyrsoides, is variously called in South Africa, occurs over a wide area. The flower heads are now known to be a deadly poison when eaten by horses.
1916 S. Black in S. Gray Three Plays (1984) 214I’ll have a bouquet in my hand — how about chinkerinchees? — No, not ginger and cheese — chinkerinchees, a South African flower.
1932 Grocott’s Daily Mail 9 Jan. 3The flowers which form the subjects of these delightful fantasies are..Chinkenchee, Blaauw Bloem and Wild Dagga.
1957 L.G. Green Beyond City Lights 18White sheets of tjienkerientjees.
1973 P.A. Whitney Blue Fire 145A bunch of green chinkerichees for herself. She had loved these South African ‘chinks’ as a child with their green buds that climbed a long stalk and would open later into long-lasting white flowers.
1984 J. Onderstall Tvl Lowveld & Escarpment 46Ornithogalum saundersii, Transvaal Chinkerinchee.
1986 N. Charton Informant, GrahamstownThe white chinkerinchees are budding along the roads, and there are fields of yellow daisies.
γ.
1904 [see above].
1905 D. Hutcheon in Flint & Gilchrist Science in S. Afr. 355‘Chincher-and Ching’ or ‘Chinkerinchee’...This well-known and popular flowering plant grows..in moist lands and vleis.
1910 D. Fairbridge That Which Hath Been (1913) 105Flowers bloomed everywhere in the warm sunshine..from the crimson kalkoentje to the pure white chincherinchees.
1924 D. Fairbridge Gardens of S. Afr. 124The local name — Chincherinchee (originally Chincher uintjie) is not American-Indian or Sesuto...It owes its origin to the noise made by the stems when they are rubbed together.
1939 Outspan 13 Oct. 85Chincherinchees for friends overseas...We are now shipping these beautiful flowers. Delivered in England and Scotland 7/6 and 12/6 per box.
1969 Personality 5 JuneThe most yahoo touch I have ever seen is dyed chincherinchees.
1976 J. Becker in Quarry ’76 72Vacuum, our Coloured gardener, picked the strelitzia and protea and chincherinchees (which he called chinkery-cheese).
1989 Your Gardening Questions Answered (Reader’s Digest Assoc.) 329Ornithogalum thyrsoides, (Chincherinchee) Indigenous, spring flowering bulb...Origin: South-western Cape.
Any of several bulbous plants of the genus Ornithogalum of the Liliaceae, especially O. thyrsoides, with showy, long-lasting flowers; chink.
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17931989