a.(A thin strip of) worked leather, used especially for thonging the backs and seats of chairs, settles, and other furniture, for shoe-laces, and as string; riem sense 1 b. Also attributive (passing into adjective), and occasionally figurative (see quotation 1852).
1850N.J. MerrimanCape Jrnls (1957) 110I..cut out a rimpie (small thong of leather), and mended my veldtschoons.
1895H. Rider HaggardNada 44Slowly undoing the rimpis with which it was tied.
1896R. WallaceFarming Indust. of Cape Col. 439Thongs, called ‘rimpies’, made from the fine soft skins of bucks, are extensively employed by people living on the veld for pointing whip lashes, mending harness, and for the common purpose for which twine is generally employed in more densely populated places.
1913J.J. DokeSecret City 36Several farm-made chairs to match, thongs of leather — riempjes — crossing each other forming their seat, and fixed together with wooden nails.
1916Rand Daily Mail 1 Nov.Oak Bookcase,..7 Solid Oak Chairs with Reimpje Seats; 2 Morris Chairs.
1919M.C. BruceGolden Vessel 71Riempje furniture is so typical of South Africa and so suitable.
1943Outspan 20 Aug. 41Oil-free Furniture Riempies in strips 6 feet long by ¼ inch wide, 1/3 per strip.
1969D. ChildYesterday’s Children 40Beds and chairs were home-made and were no more than rough wooden frames with riempies (strips of hide) stretched across.
1970Cape Times 11 JuneBoy Scouts tuck a piece of riempie under their chins,..wound round the crown of their ‘wide-awakes’.
1970ForumVol.6No.2, 46Heavy chairs of dark polished wood and with riempies strung across the seat and backrest.
1976Fair Lady 21 July 119I can never walk past a second-hand shop,..spindle-turned chairs with riempies as limp as overcooked spaghetti.
1982C. HopePrivate Parts 12He put his feet upon the ‘riempie’ table and dozed.
1982Sunday Times 10 Oct. (Mag. Sect.) 20An ox-wagon bed — a stout wooden frame with a riempie base made of ox-hide thongs.
1987J. KenchCottage Furn. 158Riempies, a local speciality, are thongs cut from cowhide and woven to form simple but effective and hard-wearing seating for chairs, stools and benches.
1936P.M. ClarkAutobiog. of Old Drifter 134By the second evening we had a quantity of nice hides pegged out to dry. They were to be cut into reimpjes — hide strips that were a substitute for ropes and useful for many purposes.
1979E. Prov. Herald 9 Sept. 17The Cape-Dutch home...The grandeur of Victorian crystal from England, the old Malay brasswork, the earthiness of the ‘riempiesbank’.
1985P. Diamond inStyle Dec. 26Objets African/Victorian, a riempiebank with Laura Ashley cushions.
1990Personality 1 Jan. 42Mynhardt took his Oom Schalk riempies-bank, his stone jug of mampoer, his Oom Schalk beard and moustache and soft felt hat and went on the road.
1920R. JutaTavern 133No carpets spoiled the red tiled floors. Riempje benches, carved and seated with thongs of hide, stood against the white walls.
1974A.P. BrinkLooking on Darkness 240When the hour struck, everybody would be present, some on riempie benches or rickety bentwood chairs.
1982S. Afr. Panorama Mar. 32Stinkwood display cabinets with copper metalwork, and a riempie (thonged) bench.
1983M. Du PlessisState of Fear 75The tall window opposite my bed, with the low riempie bench underneath it.
1990Grocott’s Mail 20 Mar. (Suppl.) 6Oom Schalk Lourens in his veldskoene, with his riempie bench and peach brandy.
1915D. FairbridgeTorch Bearer 27A few comfortable chintz-seated or reimpje chairs.
1926P. SmithBeadle (1929) 66In this room the Englishman now had his bed, his bath, his guns, two rimpje chairs, a yellow-wood table.
1950H.C. Bosman inL. AbrahamsJurie Steyn’s Post Office (1971) 95This circumstance of our not feeling quite at ease manifested itself in the way that most of us sat on our riempies-chairs — just a little more stiffly than usual.
1977J. PackerDark Curtain 55The divan and two low riempie chairs had been ordered for her by the king. Straw-stuffed cushions with hand-woven covers hid the neat hide thongs of the wooden chairs.
1988D. Samuelson inFair Lady 16 Mar. 133She pushed her riempie chair against the wall and felt the warmth of the afternoon sun.
1991D. Galloway inWeekend Argus 26 Jan. 18Most of the old Cape furniture, from beds and dressers to kists and riempie chairs, was collected from second-hand shops and homes and restored.
a1878J. MontgomeryReminisc. (1981) 87Our furniture consisted of a wooden katel (bedstead), with a riempie mat, a mattress, a featherbed, pillows.
1973E. Prov. Herald 24 Jan. 23Pictures, Riempiesmat-chair, small cupboards.
1991M. Pretorius inWeekend Post 9 Feb. (Leisure) 1He wears dark trousers and a dark waistcoat with a watch chain, one end of which disappears into a pocket. His hands rest on the back of a riempiesmat chair.
1927Outspan 18 Mar. 49The four parents of the couple sat on riempie-seat chairs in a semi-circle.
1975D.H. StruttClothing Fashions 223Shoes made without nails, the uppers sewn to the soles, were known as riempieskoene.
1989Reader’s Digest Illust. Hist. of S. Afr. 114The trekkers, dressed in traditional dopper coats (short coats buttoned from top to bottom), kappies (bonnets) and hand-made riempieskoene (leather thong shoes), set out in wagons.
(A thin strip of) worked leather, used especially for thonging the backs and seats of chairs, settles, and other furniture, for shoe-laces, and as string; riem1 b. Also attributive (passing into adjective), and occasionally figurative (see quotation 1852).
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