DSAE test file

oubaas, noun

Forms:
Also oü baas, oud baas, and with initial capital(s).
Plurals:
(rare) oubase.
Origin:
Afrikaans, South African Dutch, DutchShow more Afrikaans (earlier South African Dutch), from Dutch oud old + baas master (see baas). Cf. ou adjective sense 1 a.
The elderly male owner of a home, farm, or business, the employer of the servants and labourers who work there; an elderly manager or supervisor; an elderly white man. Cf. oumissus.
1. Usually with initial capital, not preceded by an article: a title, with a proper name, or used as a deferential alternative to a proper name; old baas sense 2; old-boss sense 2.
1824 W.J. Burchell Trav. II. 95She told me that Oud Baas had tied her up to one of the wheels of the waggon and flogged her for a long time.
1982 Sunday Times 30 May (Mag. Sect.) 1Is this the right number for Oubaas Wilkinson, the veteran who fought in the Boer War?
2. A form of address; oubasie sense 2. Cf. o.b. noun2.
Note:
Sometimes substituted for the second person pronoun ‘you’, reflecting the respectful third-person form of address used in Afrikaans (see quotations 1953 and 1991).
1914 L.H. Brinkman Breath of Karroo 24The master of the house is addressed as ‘Ou baas’.
1991 B. MacKenzie (tr. of F.P. Van den Heever) in Best of S. Afr. Short Stories 58How come the Oubaas travels tonight on Shank’s old pony just like a Jew trader? What’s happened to the transport?
3. A common noun; old baas sense 1; old-boss sense 1; oubasie sense 1.
1931 F.C. Slater Secret Veld 44He..indicated that I would find the ‘Ou Baas’ at the house...The ‘Ou Baas’..— as the phrase signifies — was a gentleman of venerable appearance.
1993 N. West in Sunday Times 16 May 6If the old ideologue and apartheid patriarch, Dr Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd had heard his grandson..proclaiming the virtues of the ANC and denouncing the NP, the oubaas would surely have turned in his grave.
4. In historical contexts. An affectionate nickname given to Jan Christian Smuts, second Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa; Oom Jannie, see oom sense 1 b. See also Ouma Smuts (ouma sense 3 b).
1943 Weekend News & Sunday Mag. 20 Mar. 4It was ergreed dat we soud send de Ou Baas er letter orf welkom an hold er Jan Smuts Ball.
1990 Fair Lady 7 Nov. 8Ouma Smuts..was darning a pair of Oubaas’s socks when some American tourists arrived.
5. Obsolete. Prison slang. With initial capital. The former Roeland Street prison, Cape Town.
1956 A. La Guma in New Age 27 Sept. 6In Roeland Street, Cape Town..stands the mass of brick and stone which is the city jail...Hardened old-timers refer to it with macabre humour as ‘Oubaas,’ and behind its walls exists a world ruled by stony-eyed guards who have become as cold as the iron bars over the windows.
6. figurative. Always with initial capital: God.
1972 Star 8 Dec. 9One hundred years old..Mrs Annie Hayman..explains her century by saying: ‘The Oubaas likes me, and that’s why he looks after me.’
1991 D. Guy in City Press 27 Oct. 31The promises of the UDF, DTA and Swapo do not help. Only the Oubaas up there will help.
The elderly male owner of a home, farm, or business, the employer of the servants and labourers who work there; an elderly manager or supervisor; an elderly white man.
a title, with a proper name, or used as a deferential alternative to a proper name; old baas2; old-boss2.
A form of address; oubasie2.
A common noun; old baas1; old-boss1; oubasie1.
An affectionate nickname given to Jan Christian Smuts, second Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa; Oom Jannie, see oom1 b.
The former Roeland Street prison, Cape Town.
Always with initial capital: God.

Visualise Quotations

Quotation summary

Senses