mannetjie, noun

Also manekie, mannikee.
Afrikaans, DutchShow more Afrikaans, from Dutch mannetje.
1. A male animal.
1837 N. Polson Subaltern’s Sick Leave 136She was savage as her ‘mannikkee’ had just been shot. Lions are met in pairs and in troeps.
1886 G.A. Farini Through Kalahari Desert 325We picked up the spoor of a clump of six [ostriches], of which Kert said he could tell from their footprints that four were manekies (males).
1919 F.W. Fitzsimons Natural Hist. of S. Afr. I. 35 (Swart)It is presumed some old ‘mannetjie’, more clumsy that the rest, must have slammed to the upper half, or perhaps it was the wind.
1963 M. Kavanagh We Merry Peasants 172The seller was as ignorant as we were about their sex and to make sure I called on a coloured farmer...He kindly drove with me to inspect and pronounced: ‘hens’. He..regretted that he could not supply a ‘mannetjie’ for them.
1964 J. Bennett Mr Fisherman (1967) 99While the whales were around his fear had made him forget his tiredness...‘The prop,’ said Pillay. ‘That old killer, that old mannetjie, he snapped a blade right off.’
1977 F.G. Butler Karoo Morning 46The lands were suddenly full of ostriches — the black ones were men, the grey ones ladies. They were different colours? ‘They say it’s for protection...The mannetjie sits on the eggs at night; and because he is black, his enemies can’t see him at all.’
2. A little man; a disparaging term of address.
1974 in Eng. Usage in Sn Afr. Vol.5 No.1, 5Frequent use in Central [Prison] English or Afrikaans diminutive (eg. My Cherrytjie...well my mannetjies.)
1977 Family Radio & TV 4 Apr. 46My four brothers and four sisters were fine, nothing wrong with them; then I came along...But I’m telling you mannetjie what you can do I can do better.
1977 S. Roberts in E. Pereira Contemp. S. Afr. Plays 240And who do you think you’re talking to, mannetjie.
1988 Informant, CradockThey took this Mars mannetjie to their leader in the space ship.
1990 Sunday Times 6 May 1He said he would one day meet this ‘Emiel-mannetjie’ (Emiel character).
A male animal.
A little man; a disparaging term of address.

Visualise Quotations

Quotation summary