1963A.M. Louw20 Days 232He had called: ‘Sisi, I am a man without a home. May I come into your house to shelter from the rain?’
1963Wilson & MafejeLanga 88Sisi (from the Afrikaans — ‘sussie’) without any possessive pronoun, is in general use as a polite form of address by a woman to a senior contemporary. It is used by a bride, for all her sisters-in-law over puberty, replacing ‘mother-of-so-and-so’ in address..and in the country it is used by all unmarried girls in addressing young married women.
1973Drum 22 Sept. 63Why does this sisi sit like this when she sits for a photograph?
1976R.E. PeteniHill of Fools 14‘Why did those girls attack you, sisi?’ ‘I really don’t know.’
1979M. MatshobaCall Me Not a Man 111I approached the tiny woman...I immediately felt like offering her some kind of protection. ‘Er, sorry, sisi,’ I said to her.
1980M. Mzamane inM. MutloatseForced Landing 25‘I know you weren’t chasing me away, Sisi,’ I say, ‘but I was already on my way out.’
1982Drum July 114Soweto singer, Sophia Mgcina is said to be on the verge of cracking the international market. Sis Sophie..is now under the wings of Letta Mbulu and Miriam Makeba.
b.Offensive to many.Usually in the Englished forms sissie and sissy/ˈsɪsi/. Especially in the Eastern Cape: i.A term of address or reference to a black woman (often a domestic worker) whose name is unknown.ii.A common noun: a domestic worker.
Habitually used by students and schoolchildren in the Eastern Cape for domestic workers in universities and schools (the male equivalent being boetie, see boetie sense 4).
1971Poster, Rhodes Univ.We need you to teach Sissies and waiters to write.
1976Rhodeo (Rhodes Univ.) 29 Apr.Of the..black staff a Grahamstown psychologist says the sissies have the roughest deal...Two daily free meals provided for sissies.
1977Oppidan (Rhodes Univ.) JuneHe does not like the way students treat the waitresses. ‘There are continual screams of “sissie”, “sissie” at meals. They don’t even bother to find out the names.’
1979Daily Dispatch 23 Mar. (Indaba) 1The customer said she hated the way they were addressed by the woman, who refers to them as ‘sissie’.
1980J. CockMaids & Madams 94In Victorian England, servants were deliberately depersonalised and often called by standardised names...In the Eastern Cape black women are generally called ‘Sissy’, which indicates something of the same depersonalisation mechanism at work.
1981Rhodeo (Rhodes Univ.) MayOther matters are now being investigated: the diet of the ‘sissies’, the salaries of black workers.
1966C.A. SmithCommon Names 417Sissie, Several species of plants with umbellate or closely grouped flowers go by this vernacular name, which is perhaps a corruption of ‘sussie’ (little sister) in allusion to the groups of similar flowers. The various species are distinguished by some character or habitat prefix, e.g.: Adenandra fragrans, see klipkissie, a name sometimes also applied to Lachenalia tricolor..; Erica ampullacea, see flask heath; Rochea jasminea.
1984A. WannenburghNatural Wonder of Sn Afr. 76Sissies, a member of the Penaeceae family endemic to the south-western Cape, has an even more restricted distribution range as it occurs only in the Cape Peninsula.
A courteous form of address to a woman (see quotation 1963).
A title, used with a name.
A term of address or reference to a black woman (often a domestic worker) whose name is unknown.
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