vlei, noun

Forms:
flae, flaeyShow more Also flae, flaey, flay, flea, fleh, fley, vlea, vley.
Plurals:
vleis /fleɪz/, or occasionally ‖vleie /ˈfleɪə/.
Origin:
South African Dutch, Afrikaans, DutchShow more South African Dutch and Afrikaans, reduced form of Dutch vallei valley.
1. A shallow natural pool of water; low-lying, marshy ground, covered with water during the rainy season; valley sense a. Cf. pan sense b. Also attributive.
1802 Truter & Somerville in G.M. Theal Rec. of Cape Col. (1899) IV. 369We afterwards passed two other vleis or ponds about two hours distant one from another, and the water was in both of the same quality as in the first.
1993 J. Thomas in House & Leisure Nov. 50A tranquil vlei, that had a strange colour and smelled funny, added to the suburb’s rural character.
2. combinations
vleibos, vleibossie /-bɔs(i)/ [Afrikaans, bos bush (+ dimunitive suffix -ie)], any of several plants which grow om marshy ground or above underground water; cf. aarbossie;
vlei grass, any of several marsh grasses, especially Echinochloa holubii;
vlei ground or vlei land, marshland; valley-ground, see valley sense b;
vlei lily, any of several plants of the Amaryllidaceae, including Galtonia princeps, Crinum spp., and Nerine frithii;
vlei loerie /- luːri/, /- lʊəri/ [Afrikaans, loerie see loerie], any of several species of coucal of the Cuculidae, especially Centropus superciliosus; see also rainbird sense 1;
vlei muis obsolete [Afrikaans, muis mouse], the speckled dark brown mouse Otomys irroratus, favouring marshy localities;
vlei tea, also vleitee /-tɪə/ [Afrikaans vleitee], the plant Cyclopia maculata; its leaves, infused as a tea; see also honey tea;
vleiveld /-felt/ [Afrikaans, veld terrain], vlei ground (see above).
1963 S.H. Skaife Naturalist Remembers 108A swampy patch covered with a dense growth of the plants farmers call vleibossies and which are known to science as Berzelia lanuginosa. As they only grow where there is permanent water in the soil these plants are a reliable indication of an underground spring.
1968 Farmer’s Weekly 3 Jan. 9This farm is well known for its high carrying capacity and vleiveldt.
A shallow natural pool of water; low-lying, marshy ground, covered with water during the rainy season; valleya.

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18021994