laani, laanieShow more Also laani, laanie, lahnee, lani, lanie, lannie, larnie, lorny.
larneys; occasionally ‖amalarney.
Isicamtho, Malay, HindiShow more Adaptation of Isicamtho lani, lanie white man; ultimate origin unknown, perhaps related to Malay rani rich, a queen, or Hindi rani queen (see Green quotation 1982 at sense B).
The replacement of /r/ by /l/ is common in the adaptation of foreign words by speakers of the Sintu (Bantu) languages. The spelling forms laani, lahnee and lanie are more frequently found in the noun form, while the Englished larnie and larney are more common as adjectival forms.
1.a.A white man.b.A boss or employer. (These two senses sometimes overlap.) Also as a term of address, and attributive.
1956A. SampsonDrum 101As I sat down, between Bill and Can, I heard a murmur behind me of ‘Laanis,’ the tsotsi word for white men.
1963L.F. FreedCrime in S. Afr. 127The tsotsis have a variety of words for money...Their word for an old man is ‘toppie’, for a young girl ‘tjerrie’, for a European ‘lani’.
1965Paton & ShahSponono (1983) 22Walter: I thought you wanted to work for the lanie. Sponono: Well, if I wanted to work for the lanie, I don’t want to work for him now.
1977D. MullerWhitey 34The larnie at the kafee is a good man — a Portjie [Portuguese].
1979A.P. BrinkDry White Season 53How’s it? Is this your Boer, Emily? This the lanie?...‘You may be a lanie’ — his red tongue caressed the syllables of the taunting tsotsi word — ‘but you’ve got it right here’.
1980R. GovenderLahnee’s Pleasure 4In another twelve and a half years you might get yourself a gold watch. Sunny: My lahnee will give it to me, man. Stranger: Your? Sunny: My boss, man.
1982V. Khumalo inPace May 158‘Come here Lanie, let me tune you sum’thin’. So the ‘Lanie’..comes around a crowded local fish and chips shop. ‘Hey lanie, gimme a smoke, gee man, lanie man.’
1983Natal Mercury 8 JuneThe ‘situations’ can go to their ‘larnies’ (white superiors) and complain about corruption...If a bra is working in a shop, he can slip a little extra into another bra’s parcel without letting the larnie know.
c1985M. Gardiner inEng. Academy Rev.Vol.3 114How does a literary critic, especially a ‘lanie’, explore poetry which dramatises the complex and developing perceptions of a street-wise..skollie?
1987Learn & TeachNo.5, 18I tell you, he was a real lanie — white, just like Terreblanche.
1989E. Maluleke inPace Mar. 56I am my own boss here — no ‘larney’ (white) to shout at me, and I don’t have to say ‘boss’ to anyone.
1989J. HobbsThoughts in Makeshift Mortuary 171‘Where did you go to school to get this education that has you writing poetry and speaking —’...‘Like a lanie? I’m flattered.’
1989Weekly Mail 15 Dec. 6He learnt his trade by standing around in the boat yard and watching what the larnies (white men) were doing.
1990J. NaidooCoolie Location 104Shushila..was a junior school teacher, real sophisticated, light-skinned, spoke like a laanie, was, actually more European than the Europeans.
1993I. Powell inLeadershipVol.12No.2, 122‘She doesn’t play the larnie like the way some of the other trustees do,’ is the way one long time employee put it.
1977‘Blossom’ inDarling 31 Aug. 131Blue eye shadow, orange blusher,..her best diamante drop ear-rings. Talk about larny! Auntie Vilma would put a rainbow to shame any day.
1978J. HobbsDarling Blossom 64Hang of a Romantic, get it, with larney graze and candles.
1982Sunday Times 6 June (Mag. Sect.)The Bee-ems and other larney cars filled with businessmen and their birds out for a bit of this and that.
1982M. GreenInformant, Durban 1The word lahnee. I have a feeling that this word (used by white youngsters to mean ‘posh’, smart, in a vaguely derogatory sense) is more generally used now than it was in the past. I gather it is of Indian origin and was originally used by the Indian community in Natal to refer to white people, especially upper class people.
1985Weekly Mail 1 Nov. 17Very laanie, and so it should be at the prices of the drinks, is Churchill’s in the Landdrost.
1986L.A. Barnes inEng. Usage in Sn Afr.Vol.17No.2, 3The word lahnee..has been adopted into general SAE slang (larney) with the usual meaning of ‘smart’ or ‘grand’.
1991H. MendesInformant, JohannesburgLarney means ‘upper-class’, ‘moneyed’ or ‘intellectually sophisticated’: It was a really larney dinner party: we ate caviar, everybody but me wore R900 dresses, and most of the conversation went right over my head.
1993D. Biggs inRhodent 24Plonk de plonk:..Known in larney circles as Blanc de blanc, but that’s very pretentious and means more or less the same.
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