lighty, noun

Forms:
laaitie, laaityShow more Also laaitie, laaity, laitie, lightee, lightie, litie.
Origin:
English, AfrikaansShow more ‘App. ex English adj. light (of heart, mind, head)’ (E. Partridge, Dict. of Underworld, 1950) + English (informal) noun-forming suffix -y. The -aai- and -ai- forms show the influence of Afrikaans.
colloquial
1. A (male) child, adolescent, or young adult.
1946 Cape Times in E. Partridge Dict. of Underworld (1950) 409No ‘lighty’..should presume to call her a ‘jintoe’..the lighty would be guilty of using ‘opposite’ (obscene) language.
1970 M. Bennett Informant, KrugersdorpLitie. Small boy.
1974 A.P. Brink Looking on Darkness 119She was struck dumb when I told her about University. ‘You? Jiss, but you’re a deep lightie, hey?’
1980 R. Govender Lahnee’s Pleasure 14When we was lighties we couldn’t catch a joll like today’s lighties. We used to get it — one day my father hit me with a sjambok.
1986 Vula July 33They are always looking for the easy way out. You get a laaitie coming to you and saying, ‘Bra Vic, what is the formula for producing a hit?’
1990 J. Naidoo Coolie Location 25It was the Location way for us lightees to associate ourselves with someone three to five years older than ourselves. These older boys were our mentors and protectors.
1990 J. Rosenthal Wake Up Singing 61A Standard Six lightie..came in for an innocent leak, and said in staring amazement, ‘Jislaaik! What’s happening?’
1991 K. Macdonald in Style Nov. 67A platteland lightie, Leon L— was born into a strict Afrikaner Calvinist clan, a fact not evident from his impeccable English accent.
2. Prison and underworld slang A young convict, especially the catamite of an older convict; a junior gang member. Cf. goosie sense 1.
1974 Eng. Usage in Sn Afr. Vol.5 No.1, 10The general term laitie now gets specific application.
1975 E. Prov. Herald 8 Aug. 1Witnesses further alleged that prisoners at St Albans had rank systems within gangs, and the lowest ranks, called ‘lighties’, were used by senior convicts for acts of sodomy.
1987 L. Beake Strollers 38It was them what started it — the Spider men. Wanted us to be lighties, you know, join the gang.
3. A term of address, not necessarily to someone younger than the speaker; sometimes expressing a sense of superiority. Often in the phrases my lighty, or (less commonly) my lightitjie [see -ie].
1978 A.P. Brink Rumours of Rain 325Don’t underestimate our boys, lightie. We had a very good look before we made up out minds.
1981 Voice 8 Apr. 2Ya, ‘Terror’, my laaitie, there you are. What do you have to say to all these accusations and criticisms?
1982 M. Mzamane Children of Soweto 17‘See me after school, my laititjie,’ Phakoe said.
A (male) child, adolescent, or young adult.
A young convict, especially the catamite of an older convict; a junior gang member.
A term of address, not necessarily to someone younger than the speaker; sometimes expressing a sense of superiority. Often in the phrasesmy lighty, or (less commonly) my lightitjiesee -ie.
Derivatives:
Hence lighty adjective nonce, young.
1980 R. Govender Lahnee’s Pleasure 38Char ous were working there for years — longer than some of the wit ous, but they weren’t earning more than even the lightie wit ous.
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19461991

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