plaas, noun

Formerly also plaats.
plaases, plase /ˈplɑːsə/, and (formerly) plaatzen.
Afrikaans, DutchShow more Afrikaans, from Dutch plaats farm, place, square.
a. place sense 1. Also attributive.
In modern usage, when consciously used instead of ‘farm’, ‘plaas’ may have derogatory or mocking overtones (see quotations 1959 and 1988).
1834 T. Pringle Afr. Sketches 296He possessed eleven plaatzen, or farm properties.
1990 J. Naidoo Coolie Location 99I didn’t want to run the risk of having beauty accompanied by naiveté. I didn’t want a plaas girl for a life-long companion.
b. nonce. meanwhile, back at the plaas [by analogy with meanwhile, back at the ranch in general English, orig. used in Western cowboy stories and films]: used to introduce a subsidiary plot, or a change of topic.
1990 Style June 53Meanwhile, back at the plaas Marieke had a face-lift and so did her political party. Overnight we were confronted with a new South Africa and a new set of rules.
c. combinations
plaasboer /-buːr/ [Afrikaans, literally ‘farm-farmer’], Boer sense 1 a;
plaas koffie /- kɔfi/ [Afrikaans], farm-style coffee; see also moer koffie;
plaasmeel /-mɪəl/ [Afrikaans, meel meal, flour], Boer meal;
plaasmeisie /-meɪsi/ [Afrikaans, meisie girl], boeremeisie sense 1;
plaasmense /-mensə/, /-meɪ̃sə/ [Afrikaans, mense people], farm-people;
plaas-seuntjie /-siœŋki/ [Afrikaans, seun boy + diminutive suffix -ie], boereseun;
plaasskool /-skʊəl/ [Afrikaans, skool school], farm school; also attributive.
1968 E.A. Walker Hist. of Sn Afr. 86The interests of these plaas-boers lay in their farms, each of which was a state in miniature, producing little more than was needed for the maintenance of its inhabitants.
1986 B. Nasson in Burman & Reynolds Growing Up 109As one rural primary teacher has remarked: Look, if you’re a plaasskool pupil, life can be very difficult. There is a genuine stigma attached to coming from a farm school, believe me.
2. obsolete. An enclosed courtyard; a square.
1862 Lady Duff-Gordon Lett. from Cape (1925) 95As I sat waiting for early prayers under the big oak trees in the Plaats (square), he came up.
1878 H.A. Roche On Trek in Tvl 138Arrived in the Plaas, or square, in which their church is its most prominent, but by no means most beautiful object.
place1. Also attributive.
used to introduce a subsidiary plot, or a change of topic.
An enclosed courtyard; a square.
Hence (sense 1) plaas adjective, rural.
1985 A. Goldstuck in Frontline Feb. 19‘Pasop!’ Two arms, linked and jutting dangerously, swing inches from his nose. ‘Kyk waar jy dans!’ he shouts at the unconcerned young couple vanishing into the distance. The plaas-Travolta takes no notice.

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