vasbyt, verb intransitive

Origin:
AfrikaansShow more Afrikaans, literally ‘bite hard’, ‘seize with the jaws’, (vas firm(ly), fast + byt bite).
colloquial, originally army slang
To bite the bullet, be stoical, endure; usually imperative, an encouragement to keep up one’s spirits while on national military service. Now in extended use (usually imperative) as a general exhortation: ‘hang on’, ‘hold out’, ‘keep going’. Cf. hou moed (see hou). See also min dae.
1970 Informant, Grahamstown‘Vas byt’ seems to be the ‘In’ word this year; does it mean ‘hold tight, hang on?’
1973 Informant, GrahamstownI’ve only got another 164 more days to vasbyt through.
1978 S. Afr. Panorama Jan. 10The concept ‘vasbyt’ (keep going) has been incorporated into the new army language.
1979 Sunday Times 3 June 16Vasbyt! The countries which survive the energy shortage of the coming decade will be those that muster the honesty to face reality and the will to deal with it.
1981 Fair Lady 8 Apr.I see them off at the station, and like all of you mothers, I am expected to vasbyt and hold back my tears.
1981 Rand Daily Mail 13 Oct. 1Vasbyt on Fate...Lance-Corporal Hugo Truter..survived — against all the odds.
1984 B. Gunsenhauser in Rand Daily Mail 27 June 7The army has long used the phrase vasbyt, which roughly translated means Be Strong.
1987 M. Mosimane in Pace July 53Because I had told myself that I wanted to be a sangoma I said ‘vasbyt’. I’m thankful that my wife and children stood by me.
To bite the bullet, be stoical, endure; usually imperative, an encouragement to keep up one’s spirits while on national military service. Now in extended use (usually imperative) as a general exhortation: ‘hang on’, ‘hold out’, ‘keep going’.
Derivatives:
Hence vasbyt noun, an exhortation to endure; a spoken or written use of the word ‘vasbyt’; stoical or cheerful endurance; and adjective, dogged, stoical; vasbyter noun [Afrikaans or English agential suffix -er], one who is stoical, one who endures; vasbyting participial adjective, stoical, showing endurance; and verbal noun, endurance.
1972 Sunday Times 12 Mar. (Mag. Sect.) 1Another vasbyting character had gone down in Parabat legend as the man who, after he had won his wings, asked whether he could buy his ‘marble’.
1972 Sunday Times 12 Mar. (Mag. Sect.) 5Agony of the Vasbyters.
1978 F. Johennesse in Staffrider Vol.1 No.3, 20I tire of this army life this tasteless food These uniform days and messages of vasbyt.
1981 Cape Times 13 Nov. 4The documentary ‘A Measure of Pain’ — Vasbyt letters to his folks at home from a South African PoW.
1982 E. Prov. Herald 7 July 3For them this was the taste of national service — the two years of ‘vasbyt’ of which they had heard so much. And the beginning of things new and military.
1985 Cape Times 7 Aug.A man is called up for three months and..is plonked down for 30 days’ vasbyting amid the dust and cold and/or heat.
1987 Personality 30 Sept. 12Louis exhibited none of the tough, vasbyt characteristics which the public (possibly incorrectly) have come to associate with the parabats and Recces.
1989 H.P. Toffoli in Style Dec. 54Half the house was burnt, but the family stayed on in Australia. It’s what South Africans call vasbyt.
1990 Hogarth in Sunday Times 28 Oct. 26Here is a message..from the 350 000-odd recipients of messages over the last quarter of a century: thanks for the vasbyt.
[1994 T. Sexwale on M-Net TV 11 Dec. (Carte Blanche)Keep at it all the time — ‘vasbyt’ as they say in Afrikaans.]
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