mevrou, noun

Forms:
mevrouw, mi vrouwShow more Also (especially formerly) mevrouw, mi vrouw, mij vrouw, mynfrau, mynvrou, myvrou, myvrouw.
Plurals:
mevroue, (formerly) mynvrouwen.
Origin:
Afrikaans, DutchShow more Afrikaans, from Dutch mevrouw.
Among speakers of Afrikaans (or, formerly, of Dutch): ‘Mrs’; ‘mistress’; ‘madam’. See also vrou. Cf. meneer.
I. A form of address.
1.
a. A respectful term of address in the third person (avoiding the pronoun ‘you’), a convention used by Dutch- and Afrikaans-speakers when addressing superiors, older people, and strangers.
1797 Lady A. Barnard in Lord Lindsay Lives of Lindsays (1849) III. 409I cannot convince the cooks that so great a lady as ‘my vrouw’ understands anything of the kitchen.
1910 D. Fairbridge That Which Hath Been (1913) 79Does Mevrouw like it too and — and your daughter?
1974 D. Rooke Margaretha de la Porte 219When he scored a bull’s eye, he called out to me: ‘For Mevrou!’ and bowed elegantly.
1990 R. Gool Cape Town Coolie 97‘Couldn’t we have the little old, little one?’ ‘If mevrou wishes.’
b. A polite or formal term of address: ‘Madam’.
1862 Lady Duff-Gordon Lett. from Cape (1925) 89Wished ‘Vrolyke tydings, Mevrouw’, most heartily.
1910 R. Dehan Dop Doctor 297Little Dierck will have something worse than the belly-ache, and you also, if you eat of broth or vegetables cooked in a vessel as unclean as that, mevrouw.
1910 D. Fairbridge That Which Hath Been (1913) 195You cannot believe, mevrouw, the lengths to which some of these ungentle ladies go.
1915 D. Fairbridge Torch Bearer 169Excuse me, mynvrouwen, but I must send a letter to the post.
1926 V.L. Cameron Reverse Shield 18‘It’s all right, mij vrouw,’ she said kindly, in Afrikaans, ‘You are among friends.’
1936 C. Birkby Thirstland Treks 57I listened for a while, and then called: ‘Mevrou, is this Bowesdorp?’
1966 I. Vaughan These Were my Yesterdays 89Says to me, ‘Good morning Mevrouw.’ Say, ‘Good morning Mynheer — may I ask how old you are.’
1986 F. Karodia Daughters of Twilight 27‘Mevrou,’ Hermanus said, speaking directly to her. ‘I will have your window replaced.’
II. A title.
2.
a. As a respectful term of reference, used without the definite article, as if a name: ‘Madam,’ ‘mistress’.
1862 Lady Duff-Gordon Lett. from Cape (1925) 111There is a fine handsome Van Steen, who is very persevering; but Sally does not seem to fancy becoming Mevrouw at all.
1882 J. Nixon Among Boers 203He refers you to ‘mevrouw,’ who, after turning the matter over carefully, comes to the conclusion that she can spare a leg of meat, i.e. mutton.
1926 P. Smith Beadle (1929) 40Preparations for these guests..kept Mevrouw busy in her kitchen with Andrina in constant attendance upon her there.
1955 V.M. Fitzroy Dark Bright Land 121Mevrou appealed to her husband when she found him at her side, to back up her statement.
1965 D. Rooke Diamond Jo 32Van der Spuyt got his shot-gun while Mevrouw wrung her hands and wept.
1976 A. Delius Border 286Camping here for the night, with a large cold-mutton joint given us by Myvrouw to feast upon.
1990 R. Gool Cape Town Coolie 97When she explained that she was a school-teacher, he was impressed and began to call her mevrou...‘Give for mevrou one from that hottentot,’ the fisherman said.
b. With a surname: ‘Mrs’, ‘mistress’.
1910 D. Fairbridge That Which Hath Been (1913) 183Large sash windows each containing innumerable little panes of glass — Mevrouw Huysing’s alternate pride and despair.
1920 R. Juta Tavern 17Mynfrau de Wahl..was one of the few Dutch ladies to brave the morning sun.
1955 V.M. Fitzroy Dark Bright Land 31Good myvrou Luckhoff keeps me comfortable and full fed.
1968 G. Croudace Silver Grass 28The Dixons, father and son, shared the mutton stew that Mevrouw van der Bos had prepared.
1974 M. Ball in E. Prov. Herald 27 Nov. 37Did not return to the Cape for 11 years. Then it was to visit Mevrou van Niekerk, who had once been their nearest neighbour.
1988 D. Hirson in Bunn & Taylor From S. Afr. 100Mevrou Duplessis in an orange polka-dot apron waves Totsiens to them all from the front door.
III. A common noun.
3. An Afrikaans woman, especially an employer. Cf. madam sense 2.
1960 J. Cope Tame Ox 170They would be a little tired rushing to and fro, waiting on the white people. He had seen his mevrou leave earlier in the evening.
1990 Sunday Times 25 Mar. 6‘What would I like after independence,’ she asks. ‘That when I go work for my mevrou, she looks at me like I’m a person’...Someone will still sell swastikas. And plenty of people will still work for the mevrou.
‘Mrs’; ‘mistress’; ‘madam’.
A respectful term of address in the third person (avoiding the pronoun ‘you’), a convention used by Dutch- and Afrikaans-speakers when addressing superiors, older people, and strangers.
‘Madam’.
‘Madam,’ ‘mistress’.
‘Mrs’, ‘mistress’.
An Afrikaans woman, especially an employer.

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