opsitkers, noun

Plurals:
opsitkerse /ˈɔpsətkɛ(r)sə/.
Origin:
AfrikaansShow more Afrikaans, opsit (see opsit noun and verb) + kers candle.
obs. except in historical contexts
In the past, especially among rural Afrikaners: a candle which was burned to determine the length of a suitor’s or sweetheart’s visit. See also sit.
1939 Outspan 11 Aug. 34 (advt)Traditional as the opsitkers...This century-old Aristocrat of Brandies.
1948 H.V. Morton In Search of S. Afr. 289Another Boer custom which has vanished, except..maybe far off among the poorer inhabitants of the backveld, is the picturesque and pleasing custom of the opsit-kers.
1949 L.G. Green In Land of Afternoon 173The opsit-kers, the celebrated candle put out by the girl’s mother to indicate how long the man might stay after the parents had gone to bed. She stuck a pin into the wax, knowing very well that an inch would burn for thirty minutes. Salt weakened the flame and was often used to delay the man’s departure.
1958 A. Jackson Trader on Veld 33If acceptable to the parents, he was given, as nightfall approached, a piece of ‘opsitkers’ (sitting up candle).
1961 T. Macdonald Tvl Story 20When she had stocked her medicine chest she would buy a packet of candles for the ‘opsit kerse’, the courting of any of the daughters.
1977 Weekend Post 26 Mar.There was a thing called the opsitkers. It was simply a candle. A candle which told the time — the time which young courting couples were allowed to spend whispering sweet nothings to each other.
[1990 J. Hobbs in New Contrast Winter 70These flesh and blood people banging their heads against their flawed heritage shine out like opsit candles.]
1990 C. Laffeaty Far Forbidden Plains 16‘Don’t you think,’ Mamma was saying, ‘that it’s time the girl had an opsitkers?’
a candle which was burned to determine the length of a suitor’s or sweetheart’s visit.
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