mealie, noun

Forms:
mielie, mealeaShow more Also mielie, and (formerly) mealea, meali, mealy, meele, meeli, meilie, meli, melie, miele, milie, milli, mily.
Origin:
South African Dutch, Dutch, Old French, Latin, early Afrikaans, PortugueseShow more Adaptation of South African Dutch milie, mily; according to J.F. Bense, A Dict. of the Low-Dutch Element in the Eng. Vocab. (1939), the word milie is found in Dutch from 1554, adaptation of Old French mil, adaptation of Latin milium. However, it probably became obsolete in standard Dutch by the late 17th century (especially since the word maïs was well established in standard Dutch and other European languages by that time). In addition, the forms milie, milies and milies are all listed in early Afrikaans dictionaries as being South African rather than Dutch. Other dictionaries claim that it is adapted from Portuguese milho, but that etymology could not be verified.
Note:
The Afrikaans form mielie is often used.
1. Usually in the plural, treated as a noncount noun: a. Maize or Indian corn, the graminaceous plant Zea mays. b. A maize ear or cob. Also attributive. c. Usually in the plural : Maize kernels, either green (see green mealie at sense e), or hardened and used crushed (see samp) or as seed.
Note:
The plant was introduced into South Africa in the mid-17th century.
1801 C.F. Damberger Trav. 71 (Pettman)Melis (Indian corn) were..distributed for food.
1812 J.T. Van der Kemp Acct of Caffraria 15There is another kind of corn which they call bona, and known in the Colony by the name of meelis.
1835 C.L. Stretch Journal. 6 Apr.The country was covered with good corn and melies.
1837 N. Polson Subaltern’s Sick Leave 104This meal is similar to the dinner with the addition of stewed fruit and mealies or Indian corn stewed in milk.
1844 J. Backhouse Narr. of Visit 98Indian Corn, called in this country Meeles, and Dwarf Kidney-beans are the chief produce of the gardens.
1846 Natal Witness 3 Apr.The Caffers grow mealies and potatoes in abundance.
1860 A.W. Drayson Sporting Scenes 203Bucks so plentiful that they often destroyed the mealeas (as the Indian corn is here called), if it were not regularly watched.
1865 T. Shone Diary. 6 Oct.Henry is in Town, the men are hoeing of Mieles.
1877 R.M. Ballantyne Settler & Savage 99The active brothers had already planted a large quantity of Indian corn, or ‘mealies,’ entire, without knocking it off the cobs.
1877 Lady Barker Yr’s Hsekeeping 70I hear that ‘mealies’ — the crushed maize — are also much more expensive than they used to be.
[1889 F. Galton Trav. in S. Afr. 111The Ovampo..eat corn (milice) steeped in hot water.]
1896 R. Wallace Farming Indust. of Cape Col. 462The mealie, maize, or Indian corn crop supplies the staple food of the black population of South Africa.
1896 R. Wallace Farming Indust. of Cape Col. 464Mealies are largely consumed during the growing season in a green state. When fully ripe, they are often ground into meal, made into thick porridge or ‘pap,’ and eaten either alone or with milk.
1898 J.F. Ingram Story of Afr. City 17Forage or Hay Presses, Mealie Shellers, Single, Double, and Three-Furrow Ploughs, Harrows.
1900 W.S. Churchill London to Ladysmith 184We cherished the hope that with..a great deal of luck, we might march the distance in a fortnight, buying mealies at the native kraals and lying hidden by day.
1916 L.D. Flemming Fool on Veld (1933) 95You planted a bag of mealies and got anything from 100 to 200 in return.
1925 D. Kidd Essential Kafir 47Some of the children are busy roasting mealies in the ashes of the fire.
1933 W.H.S. Bell Bygone Days 40Our Breakfast consisted of crushed mealies and milk with some moist black sugar.
1941 C.W. De Kiewiet Hist. of S. Afr. 257The Mealie Control Act of 1931, the Meat Trade Control Act of 1932.
1955 A. Delius Young Trav. in S. Afr. 50Alice was eating a white-coloured porridge. ‘This is made from maize, or mealies as we call it.’
1968 Farmer’s Weekly 3 Jan. 92Lovely 1,000-acre..farm, 350 acres deep red soil lands planted to mealies, groundnuts and Eragrostis.
1973 Weekend Post 27 Oct. (Parade) 14Though it is not indigenous to South Africa, the mealie could almost qualify as our national vegetable.
1979 Grocott’s Mail 21 Aug. 2A type of mielie samp was produced in a home made mortar,..a hollowed out stump of a tree.
1980 C. Hope A Separate Development (1983) 104Huge cheerleaders, their blonde heads cropped close as mealie cobs.
1990 N. Mandela in Weekly Mail 27 Apr. 3Some of the mielie fields that could be seen now had been villages then.
1994 M. Roberts tr. of J.A. Wahlberg’s Trav. Jrnls 1838–56 21Fires visible in various directions; they are lighted by the Caffres to get rid of the grass so that they may begin their cultivation of pumpkins and millis.
d. combinations
mealie-bag, a bag, formerly usually of hessian, of a size to carry the regulation weight of maize grains, 70 kg or 180 lbs ;
mealie beetle obsolete, see quotation ;
mealie-boer [Dutch boer farmer], a farmer who grows maize as his main crop ;
mealie bread, coarse bread made with maize kernels ;
mealie-cob, the head or ear of the maize plant, bearing the kernels ;
mealie-cob worm obsolete, the caterpillar of the moth Heliothis armigera of the Noctuidae ;
mealie land [see land], a farm field planted with maize ;
mealie pip colloquial, one of the white or yellow seeds on the cob of the maize plant ;
mealie-pit, an underground storage pit for maize in a traditional African village ;
mealie planter, an implement for planting maize seed at the correct depth and spacing ;
mealie-sack, see mealie bag ;
mealie-stalk borer, the caterpillar of the moth Busseola fusca of the Noctuidae ;
mealie-stamper [Afrikaans stamper pounder, crusher], a large wooden pestle and mortar used in traditional rural African households for pounding maize into a coarse meal. Also attributive .
1883 O.E.A. Schreiner Story of Afr. Farm 47The room, once a storeroom, had been divided by a row of ‘mealie’ bags into two parts.
1949 O. Walker Proud Zulu (1951) 183Those still standing swung around the back of the storehouse hospital and made a rush at the mealie-bag wall.
1967 E.M. Slatter My Leaves Are Green 104At the outpost men were hurriedly building a connecting wall of mealie-bags between the hospital and the storehouse.
1971 Seek June 11The M.U. members in the Taung area of the Kimberley diocese make clothing — even cottas — from mealie bags and scraps of material.
1889 E.A. Ormerod Notes & Descr. of Injurious Farm & Fruit Insects 111Psammodes obliquatus, Sol. Mealie Beetle.
1937 C. Birkby Zulu Journey 227The Northern Free-State, the home of the mielie boer, is cultivated but sparsely compared with the mealie belts of Basutoland.
1975 Daily Dispatch 19 Apr. 2You won’t believe it, but the mielieboere met us with a bodyguard of 2000 tractors.
1986 Personality 15 Sept. 14Like any other fit young schoolboy of Western Transvaal mealie-boer-stock, Jan Wilkens played rugby.
1941 Juana in Bantu World 25 Jan. (Suppl.) 3The gravy was brought in cups, and slices of steamed green mealie bread.
1971 S. Afr. Panorama May 36Some people like eating slices of mealie bread with butter, others prefer it with gravy, and the children love honey or syrup with it.
1971 L.G. Green Taste of S.-Easter 90Mealie bread is a Natal contribution to the South African cuisine.
1977 Fair Lady 8 June (Suppl.) 25Mealie Bread...6 green or yellow mealies...Choose young fresh mealies.
1989 Woman’s Focus (Spar) 17 July 1Mealie Bread. To make this quick bread even quicker, bake in a microwave oven.
1994 E. Badenhorst in Flying Springbok June 9The couscous, pap, rice and mealie-bread staples are there, as are those spicy stews.
1859 R.J. Mann Col. of Natal 137The young mealie cob..is generally preferred to bread.
1861 T. Shone Diary. 27 MayFood as usual, plenty of Milicopes, Green heads of indian Corn.
1912 Ayliff & Whiteside Hist. of Abambo 5A white man, who had long hair, like the tress of a mealie cob.
1913 D. Fairbridge Piet of Italy 130Shook her till her gleaming white teeth — polished every morning on a mealie-cob — chattered in her head.
1977 Sunday Times 27 Feb. 15Fuel was mealie cobs — appropriate for that maize and wheat growing area.
1989 M. Ball in Weekend Post 14 Jan. (Funfare) 3As he smoked his mealie cob pipe, Jim told him stories about the clever hare who outwitted all the forest animals.
1911 J.D.F. Gilchrist S. Afr. Zoology 150The Mealie-Cob-Worm, attacks buds and pods and does extensive damage to mealies, peas, tomatoes and lucerne.
1900 F.R.M. Cleaver in M.M. Cleaver Young S. Afr. (1913) 123Menton remarks the mealie lands are looking well all along the road, but I prefer the kafir koorn.
1916 L.D. Flemming Fool on Veld (1933) 97Although I have from year to year fenced off lands..from cattle,..most of the mealie lands are as yet open.
1970 M. Hobson Informant, TzaneenI sent Andries to skoffel the mealie land.
1973 E. Prov. Herald 18 Apr. 34Natal smothered under sugarcane, the highveld..endless mielielands, the Boland one huge wheatfield.
1985 S. Afr. Panorama May 9Nearby was a large mealieland (maize field) with two women farm workers whose sole job it was to chase away hill-dwelling baboons.
1971 Farmer’s Weekly 12 May 85The yellowfish..tricked themselves with a single mealie pip..which was like a snare at the barb of the hook.
1976 S. Cloete Canary Pie 114When they are sick they are as alike as mielie pips from the same cob.
1987 L. Beake Strollers 12Maybe a tokolosh would appear and turn them all into mealie pips or something.
1925 D. Kidd Essential Kafir 128He..begged to be placed in the mealie-pit, which is excavated in the ground of the cattle kraal.
1933 W.H.S. Bell Bygone Days 78For the first few days lived on mielies that we found in the native mealie pits...The natives used to dig pits in the cattle kraals, fill them with mealies to protect them from weevils, place a large stone over the mouth of the pit, and this in turn was covered with the usual kraal litter.
1986 Daily Dispatch 1 Nov. 17 (advt)1 John Deere 26 Mielie Planter with Cotton Seed Plates.
1989 Grocott’s Mail 4 Aug. 4 (advt)Cream cans, mealie planters, disc plough, and other articles.
1918 C. Garstin Sunshine Settlers 48High on the load, his legs straddled firmly round the topmost mealie-sack, rocked the brown puppy.
1951 H.C. Bosman in L. Abrahams Unto Dust (1963) 86And instead of a jacket, he was now wearing a mealie sack with holes cut in it for his head and arms.
1965 J. Bennett Hawk Alone 91They brought him back up to Unda Maria in a mealie sack and the next day he was buried in the public cemetery at Nelspruit.
1913 C. Pettman Africanderisms 314Mealie-stalk borer, The larva of a moth, Sesamia fusca, which eats out the core of the growing mealie, and sometimes destroys large quantities.
1890 A. Martin Home Life 228The centre of an old waggon-wheel did duty very effectually as our mealie-stamper.
1925 P. Smith Little Karoo (1930) 237Aantje was stamping mealies for the evening meal...By the side of the mealie-stamper he paused.
a1959 P. Smith in Lennox-Short & Lighton Stories S. African (1969) 110The worn mealie-stamper, cut out of a tree-trunk and shaped like an hour-glass, in which the mealies were pounded into meal.
1985 Cape Times 20 Sept.Grabbing a ‘mielie stamper’ club, the former Iron Man contestant rushed outside to surprise three burglars.
e. With defining word:
green mealie, the young head or cob of the maize plant, picked for eating before the kernels have dried and hardened (cf. U.S. English ‘corn on the cob’); also attributive;
yellow mealie, any of several varieties of maize which produce yellow seeds (as distinguished from the white varieties), used especially for animal feeds.
1881 G.F. Austen Diary (1981) 43The Boers in the trenches nearest the Fort have observed the loose leaves or shucks of green mealies thrown away out of the Fort.
1889 A Housewife of the Colony Col. Hsehold Guide 50Green Mealies, to boil...Boil till tender in salted water. Serve hot with butter. Green Mealies, to roast. Strip the cob of its husks, and put it in the hot ashes of the fire until it is nicely done without being burnt.
1891 H.J. Duckitt Hilda’s ‘Where Is It?’ 165Take cabbage cut in small pieces; green ‘mealies’ (heads of Indian corn) in rings; tiny carrots, [etc.].
1900 G.W. Lines Ladysmith Siege 46Green mealies, each 3s. 8d.; small plate grapes, £1 5s.
1906 H. Rider Haggard Benita 157Fresh meat was also brought to them daily, and hauled up in baskets..and green mealies to serve as vegetables.
1913 C. Pettman Africanderisms 314The young cob is boiled or roasted whole, and is much esteemed being known as ‘Green mealies’.
1925 D. Kidd Essential Kafir 326The famous dish known as ‘green mealies’.
c1936 S. & E. Afr. Yr Bk & Guide 297Green Mealies, (Sweet corn)...There is every prospect that a large demand will arise for this delicious vegetable.
1949 L.G. Green In Land of Afternoon 139The meal he enjoyed most was the green mealie bread made for him by a trader’s wife in Pondoland.
1973 Farmer’s Weekly 13 June 69White maize, at the semi sweet stage, known as the good old ‘green mealie’ has been sold as a substitute for sweet corn in this country for many years.
1994 Weekend Post 19 Feb. (Leisure) 6There are..many way of using green mealies, apart from the popular boiled mealies with butter, pepper and salt.
1926 P. Smith Beadle (1929) 11Klaartje’s fair, glossy hair, the colour of ripe yellow mealies.
1968 Farmer’s Weekly 3 Jan. 75With what other ingredients could I mix a good feed for poultry using yellow mealies?
1970 E. Prov. Herald 4 Sept.9.2. million bags of white mealies and 5.1 million bags of yellow mealies.
1977 E. Prov. Herald 13 July 11Good things like yellow mielies, wheat bran, sunflower seeds, groundnuts.
2. In various figurative or transferred uses.
a. derogatory, rare. An offensive term for an Afrikaner. Also (combination) mealie-muncher.
1970 V.R. Vink Informant, FloridaThe litter at the picnic spot was caused by a bunch of mealies (a derogatory term describing an ignorant, common type of Afrikaner).
1970 Informant, PietersburgMealiemuncher. Afrikaner.
b. In idiomatic expressions: to eat (someone) like a mealie, to eat (something) like a mealie, to dispose of (something or someone) with ease; to work (one’s) mealie off (probably euphemistic), to work extremely hard.
1988 J. Gilbert Informant, Westminster (OFS)He ate him like a mealie, man, he didn’t stand a chance.
1993 Informant, GrahamstownDon’t laugh, I’m exhausted! I’ve worked my bladdy mealie off here.
Maize or Indian corn, the graminaceous plant Zea mays.
A maize ear or cob. Also attributive.
Usually in the plural: Maize kernels, either green (see green mealie at e), or hardened and used crushed (see samp) or as seed.
, a bag, formerly usually of hessian, of a size to carry the regulation weight of maize grains, 70 kg or 180 lbs
, see quotation
, a farmer who grows maize as his main crop
, coarse bread made with maize kernels
, the head or ear of the maize plant, bearing the kernels
, the caterpillar of the moth Heliothis armigera of the Noctuidae
, a farm field planted with maize
, one of the white or yellow seeds on the cob of the maize plant
, an underground storage pit for maize in a traditional African village
, an implement for planting maize seed at the correct depth and spacing
, see mealie bag
, the caterpillar of the moth Busseola fusca of the Noctuidae
, a large wooden pestle and mortar used in traditional rural African households for pounding maize into a coarse meal. Also attributive
An offensive term for an Afrikaner. Also (combination) mealie-muncher.
to eat (someone) like a mealie, to eat (something) like a mealie, to dispose of (something or someone) with ease; to work (one’s) mealie off (probably euphemistic), to work extremely hard.