Xhosa, Zulu, English, Show more Xhosa and Zulu (plural izimpimpi), from any of several possible origins: adaptation of English pimp provider or procurer of immoral or unlawful services (cf. Australian and New Zealand English pimp informer); or from Zulu umbimbi conspiracy, ill-intentioned collaborative effort; or from Zulu iphimpi a species of cobra.
In urban (especially township) English: a police informer or collaborator; pimpnoun. Also figurative, and transferred sense.See also pimpverb, sell-out.
1969M. BensonAt Still Point 157I guess even the informers were won over...Impimpis! Informers! What has been done to my people!
1970A. FugardNotebks (1983) 184Whole of Serpent Players session devoted to discussing informers (impimpi). Impossible to believe, but the Group suddenly find X. very suspect.
1979E. Prov. Herald 13 Nov. 9Miss Mkona said Miss Mambinja claimed she was a police informer — ‘impimpi’ — who deserved to be burnt in her home.
1982Pace Feb. 26Sergeant Albert G— T—, of the Transkei security police, was kicked, punched, booted and battered to death by a frenzied mob after a tape recorder was found in his possession. ‘Kill, kill the impimpi,’ the mob screamed as the blows rained down.
1982Grahamstown VoiceVol.6No.4, 1They write about what they see..brutality, discrimination, violence, unemployment, izimpimpi.
1986Learn & TeachNo.2, 4Bishop Tutu said the children must stop burning so-called ‘impimpis’. He said, ‘One day we will be ashamed to read our history books.’
1990City Press 11 Feb. 8They would come to their schools and in full view of their schoolmates throw the 30 pieces of silver at them and openly identify them as informers. We all know to our eternal regret and agony the fate of mpimpis in the ghettoes.
1993Weekly Mail & Guardian 5 Nov. 9The Big Five Gang, known in prison as the ‘impimpis’ (stooges) because they help the warders by informing on other groups.
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