klein, adjective

Forms:
clyne, kleenShow more Also clyne, kleen, kleina.
Origin:
Dutch, AfrikaansShow more Dutch (and later Afrikaans).
a. Small, young; ‘lesser’. See also kleintjie.
Note:
Common in place-names, and in the names of plants.
1798 Lady A. Barnard S. Afr. Century Ago (1925) 209I spied a poor clyne Hottentot in a chair which had lost the matting.
[1862 Lady Duff-Gordon in F. Galton Vacation Tourists (1864) III. 151The boots here is a mantatee, very black, and called Kleen-boy, because he is so little.]
[1871 W.G. Atherstone in A.M.L. Robinson Sel. Articles from Cape Monthly Mag. (1978) 95Only 24000 acres, adjoining the gold farm on the west, quite ‘een kleine plaats’, said he; and so in sooth it was, comparing it with others.]
1882 C. Du Val With Show through Sn Afr. I. 271The ‘Vrouw’, with a ‘kleina Kind’ (little child) in her arms, debouched on the front ‘stoep’.
1914 L.H. Brinkman Breath of Karroo 227‘Where is the Klein Nooi going?’ enquired the woman..as her husband led the horse away.
1920 R. Juta Tavern 12Dear Georgie, perhaps the klein doctorje is a little ‘fey’.
1920 R. Juta Tavern 47I like Klein Adonis best; Adonis is the newest, littlest slave; as small as me, so we play together.
1924 S.G. Millin God’s Step-Children 205If only she were not eaten up with this jealousy. If only the servants did not call her, May, as the head of the household, ‘Missis,’ and herself, the elder sister, ‘Klein Missis’ — ‘Little Missis.’ If only Darrell were not so grotesquely satisfied with May.
1968 M. Muller Green Peaches Ripen 40Why don’t Klein Nooi plant fuschias in pots? (he always called me ‘little mistress’).
1972 Sunday Times 22 Oct. 16Dawie de V. drops a klein clanger.
1987 Learn & Teach No.5, 17They say Hillbrow is mos a klein America. Darkies and Lanies live together.
b. combinations colloquial
kleinboet /-bʊt/ [Afrikaans, boet brother (see boet)], young(er) brother, ‘young fellow’;
kleingoed /-xʊt/ [Afrikaans, goed things], youngsters, ‘small fry’. See also kleinbaas, kleinhuisie, klein missus (missus sense 3), kleinnooi (nooi sense 1 c).
1953 U. Krige Dream & Desert 9It was wonderful news. He was going to have a brother, a new brother! Kleinboet...Yes, that was what he was going to call him, Kleinboet, little brother.
1987 M. Poland Train to Doringbult 9I wish my wife would make me coffee in the morning. She’ll be burrowed in that bed till ten if you don’t throw her out. Farm girls are worth their weight in gold — not so, kleinboet?
1973 N. Desmond on Radio South Africa 16 Oct. (Woman’s World)Pieter, the man, did not want to have anything to do with the kleingoed.
Small, young; ‘lesser’.
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17981987

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