nooi, noun

/nɔɪ/, /nuɪ/
noë, nôiShow more Also noë, nôi, noi, noie, noy.
South African Dutch, Malay, PortugueseShow more South African Dutch, perhaps from Malay njonja, njonjah, nonja, nona (see nonna); or, as claimed by Mansvelt (Idioticon, 1884), from Portuguese noiva bride.
a. missus sense 1 a.
Sometimes substituted for the second person pronoun ‘you’, reflecting the respectful mode of address in Afrikaans.
1850 R.G.G. Cumming Hunter’s Life I. 54The kind-hearted noë, or lady of the farm, commiserating my condition,..informed me that she had an excellent recipe for sunburn.
1910 D. Fairbridge That Which Hath Been (1913) 43Abdol..was diligently cutting up berry-wax preparatory to..producing such a floor-polish as would satisfy even this new and particular nooi.
1910 D. Fairbridge That Which Hath Been (1913) 47I am pardoned by the nooi?’ she said half-timidly.
1945 N. Devitt People & Places 141The counterpart [of baas], nooi, or nonnie, is said to come from the Portuguese, and is derived either from the word ‘nona,’ a nun, or from the Portuguese term for a bride.
1960 J. Cope Tame Ox 199‘Hai! hai!’ he said intensely, ‘a white nooi, and a child’...‘Where is the nooi going?’ the smaller man asked.
1963 J. Packer Home from Sea 149Marriage, birth, death. These fundamental events had been shared in the families of the nooi and her domestics.
1968 K. McMagh Dinner of Herbs 56The servant came hurrying back to say that the man had gone, but the nooi must just come and seen the bed!
b. missus sense 2 a.
1917 S.T. Plaatje Native Life 86‘Well, Nooi,’ assented the Natives with some relief, ‘if you say it is all right, then it must be so.’
1970 M. Muller Cloud across Moon 48His fingers touched the brim of his hat as he came further in. ‘Good morning, nooi.’
1982 A.P. Brink Chain of Voices 124To me he was subservient. Yes, Nooi, No, Nooi. Right, Nooi. If you say so, Nooi.
c. With qualifying word indicating age:
kleinnooi /ˈkleɪn-/ [Afrikaans, klein small, young], nonnie sense a;
ounooi /ˈəʊ-/ [Afrikaans, ou old], oumissus.
Sometimes substituted for the second person pronoun ‘you’, reflecting the respectful mode of address in Afrikaans.
1913 A.B. Marchand Dirk, S. African 361 (Swart)‘Bridge is a falling klein nooi, so I heard,’ said old Piet.
1914 L.H. Brinkman Breath of Karroo 24Servants speaking to a young lady say ‘Klein nooi,’ little maid.
1968 M. Muller Green Peaches Ripen 40‘Why don’t Klein Nooi plant fuschias in pots? (he always called me “little mistress”.) They grow well here in the shade.’
1977 N. Okes in Quarry ’77 132The kleinnooi, Miss Frances, said it was the penicillin in the water butt, but the Oumissus..had only shaken her head and said that beef tea with a dash of port worked wonders.
1986 City Press 23 Feb. 4‘White women use these schools to supplement their income. They are normally addressed as kleinnooi,’ said the teacher, adding that white teachers were ‘arrogant and conservative’.
1914 L.H. Brinkman Breath of Karroo 24Ou nooi’ is a term used by servants in addressing an old lady, and is equivalent to the English ‘Missus’.
1970 M. Muller Cloud across Moon 33Lizzie..looked at her feet. ‘Please, ou nooi, Merrem Retief phone. She say she want to speak to ou nooi.’
1972 J. Packer Boomerang 63Of course Ma continued to be mistress of the house and Annie, the cook, had her own ways of making it clear that she took her orders from the die ounooi — the old mistress.
1982 A.P. Brink Chain of Voices 59The drowsy Sunday afternoon, the Oubaas and Ounooi gone to visit the neighbours.
1984 Fair Lady 14 Nov. 164The ounooi’s memory had died even before she had, with her two bottles a day.
2. An unmarried (Afrikaans) woman or girl; nooientjie. Occasionally also with qualifying word, boerenooi /ˈbuːrənɔɪ/, /-nuɪ/ [Afrikaans, boere Afrikaans]. Also attributive. Cf. nonnie sense a.
1851 N.J. Merriman Cape Jrnls (1957) 174I could easily tell tales..about divers slaps and opprobrious words which I have witnessed an angry Noie bestow occasionally on these little creatures.
1867 E.L. Price Jrnls (1956) 257She is just a Boer noi to all appearance — square — huge — coarse & uneducated, poor thing, but very kind & willing to help others, I think.
1894 W.C. Baldwin Afr. Hunting 155Many of the Dutch nöes, or young maidens, are very pretty; and they are a very moral set of people.
1896 M.A. Carey-Hobson At Home in Tvl 280No! no! We dont want the young noies (ladies), or any of their things, with us on commando.
1975 E. Prov. Herald 23 May 8Margaret R— as a boerenooi.
1979 D. Child Merchant Family in Natal 112They can say very little for themselves and sit a tremendous time with their hands before them, staring at De Vrouw and the Noy.
1980 Sunday Times 14 Sept. 11She tells the history of Onverwacht again. ‘I was a “nooi” Monare, born at Elim.’
1990 M. Stansfield in Sunday Times 1 July 3Seretse’s son wins a boerenooi bride. An Afrikaner convent girl from Rustenburg is to marry into one of black Africa’s aristocratic families.
3. A girlfriend or sweetheart.
1963 R. Gedye in C.M. Booysen Tales of S. Afr. 160He had asked her once, when he was just fourteen, to be his nooi, always.
1963 J. Packer Home from Sea 108A father can get twenty to thirty head of cattle for a good and beautiful girl. Cyrus, you’d have had to pay thirty beasts for your blond nooi.
missus1 a.
missus2 a.
An unmarried (Afrikaans) woman or girl; nooientjie. Occasionally also with qualifying word, boerenooiˈbuːrənɔɪ-nuɪ, boere Afrikaans. Also attributive.
A girlfriend or sweetheart.
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