pisang, noun

Forms:
Also piesang.
Origin:
Malay, South African English, South African Dutch, AfrikaansShow more Malay, ‘banana’, absorbed into South African English through South African Dutch (later Afrikaans piesang). In the past also used elsewhere.
obs.
1.
a. The cultivated banana plant; its fruit.
1786 G. Forster tr. of A. Sparrman’s Voy. to Cape of G.H. I. 78The pisang was to be met within his garden of a luxuriant growth, but was said not to produce fruit of so high a flavour as it does in its native country.
1790 tr. of F. Le Vaillant’s Trav. I. 34The small banana, or pisang, has a bad taste.
1795 C.R. Hopson tr. of C.P. Thunberg’s Trav. II. 283The Pisang (Musa Paradisiaca or Bananas) would seldom blossom in the few gardens where it was cultivated, and never yielded any fruit that was perfectly ripe and high flavoured.
1809 J. Mackrill Diary. 67Pisang, Musa Paradisaica or Bananas.
1897 S.J. Du Toit Rhodesia: Past & Present 184Two Days without Food on the Pungwe — Subsisting on Pisangs (Bananas).
1906 D. de V. Hugo In Kerkhof 4‘Yam Pilsie’..owned the best cherries and pisangs (bananas) in our hunting ground.
1910 D. Fairbridge That Which Hath Been (1913) 141He put in 1,162 orange, lemon and pummelo trees, ten pisangs, two olives, [etc.].
1913 C. Pettman Africanderisms 375Pisang,..Musa paradisaica and M. sapientum. This word is not so common in South Africa as it seems to have been at one time, though it is still in use among the Dutch.
b. comb.
rarepisang fig, a banana.
1731 G. Medley tr. of P. Kolben’s Present State of Cape of G.H. II. 87The Figs in this Garden are..all admirably sweet and good. The choicest are those they call Pisang Figs; and they are the largest. They grow upon a Plant, which as soon as it has brought ’em to Maturity, withers quite away.
2.
a. strelitzia sense a.
1821 C.I. Latrobe Jrnl of Visit 48Fences of the large aloe, and of cactus or Indian fig, are common. Of pisang we saw several large beds.
1821 C.I. Latrobe Jrnl of Visit (Glossary)Pisang, The sort growing wild in the Zuureveld, is Strelitzia reginae; that which grows in Plettenberg-bay, is Strelitzia augusta.
b. With distinguishing epithet:
geele pisang /ˈxɪəl-/ [Afrikaans, geele attributive form of geel yellow], Strelitzia reginae;
wild piesang [see wild], S. alba.
1913 C. Pettman Africanderisms 183Geele pisang,..Strelitzia regina.
1812 A. Plumptre tr. of H. Lichtenstein’s Trav. in Sn Afr. I. 204We crossed a stream called the Pisang-river: It has this name from the profusion of wild Pisang, as it is here called, strelitzia alba, that grows upon its banks.
1824 W.J. Burchell Trav. II. 258The very close resemblance which exists between the Strelitzia augusta or Wild Pisang (Wild Plantain) of the Cape Colony, and the Urania speciosa of that island (sc. Madagascar).
1939 J.F. Bense Dict. of Low-Dutch Element in Eng. Vocab. 285Wild pisang, the name given to a S. African allied plant, Strelitzia augusta.
The cultivated banana plant; its fruit.
strelitziaa.
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