mossie, noun1

Origin:
Afrikaans, DutchShow more Afrikaans, from Dutch mosje diminutive form of mos sparrow.
1.
a. The sparrow Passer melanurus of the Ploceidae; Cape sparrow, see Cape sense 2 a. b. Any of several species of sparrow occurring in southern Africa. Also attributive.
1884 Layard & Sharpe Birds of S. Afr. 479The ‘Mossie,’ like its cousin, the English bird, is essentially a ‘cit.’
1908 Haagner & Ivy Sketches of S. Afr. Bird-Life 87The Cape sparrow (Passer melanurus), or mossie as it is called by the Colonial (Dutch and English alike), is the South African equivalent of the English House Sparrow.
1936 E.L. Gill First Guide to S. Afr. Birds 21The cock mossie, with his black head, white eye-stripe and cinnamon back, is a handsome and unmistakeable bird.
1959 Cape Argus 22 Aug. 5The mossies in her neighbourhood never seem to stray more than a few blocks away.
1963 J. Packer in C.M. Booysen Tales of S. Afr. 183Mr. and Mrs. Mossie are a pair of Cape sparrows (mossies to you and me) and very different they are from their scruffy little London relatives.
1970 D.M. McMaster Informant, Cathcart (E. Cape)Who ever calls a sparrow anything but a mossie, or a Red-chested cuckoo anything but a Piet-myn-vrou?
1971 D.A.C. Maclennan Wake. 30The Bible says, not even a little mossie can fall to the ground without our heavenly father knows it.
1972 Star 27 Oct. 1A mossie nest on the pavement.
1983 K.B. Newman Newman’s Birds 444Popular bird names in general use...Mossie, A sparrow.
1989 T. Botha in Style June 112Mossies kamikaze my windscreen.
1990 D. Hofmeyr Red Kite in Pale Sky 42It was hard to imagine her as a bird. Certainly not a mossie.
1991 G. Zwirn in Settler Vol.65 No.2, 11Mossie or Passer melanurus, is SAE for your common-or-garden (mainly garden) sparrow.
2. rare. In the idiom as dead as a mossie, dead as a mossie [translation of Afrikaans so dood soos 'n mossie], ‘stone dead’. Cf. morsdood.
1965 K. Mackenzie Deserter 58‘That was a good shot, eh?’...He pushed at the deer with his foot. ‘There in the shoulder. Dead as a mossie.’
The sparrow Passer melanurus of the Ploceidae; Cape sparrow, see Cape2 a.
Any of several species of sparrow occurring in southern Africa. Also attributive.
‘stone dead’.

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18841991