wag-’n-bietjie, noun

Forms:
vach-an-bechie, vacht am beechieShow more Also vach-an-bechie, vacht am beechie, vacht-een-bidgte, vacht een bietjie, vyacht um bige, waacht-een-bietje, waacht-en-beeche, waaght een beetji, waag ’n bikkie, wach een bitjes, wach en beetgen, wacht-a-beetje, wacht e beetje, wacht een beetje, wacht-een-beetye, wacht-een-biche, wacht-een-bietje, wacht-een-bietjie, wacht-en-beetje, wacht-en-bietje, wacht’nbietjie, wacht-n-bitje, wag-’bietjie, wagenbietjie, wag en bitje, wag-’n-bietje, wag-n-bietjie, waght-en-betjee, wagt-een-beetje, wagt een beetji, wagt een beetjie, wagt-een-beitje, wagt-een-bitje, wagteen bitye, wagten beitjes, wakt een beetje, wakt een betje, wakt en beetje, wakt en betje, wart-een-bitche.
Origin:
Afrikaans, South African Dutch, DutchShow more Afrikaans, earlier South African Dutch wacht-een-beetje, from Dutch wacht wait + een a + beetje little bit, little while; see quotation 1785.
Any of numerous species of shrub having strong (usually curved) thorns, especially species of asparagus and acacia; a thorn from one these shrubs; wait-a-bit; wait-a-while. Also attributive. See also buffalo thorn (buffalo sense 2), cat-thorn, haakdoring sense 1, haak-en-steek.
1785 G. Forster tr. of A. Sparrman’s Voy. to Cape of G.H. I. 236A new species of callophyllum; which from its catching..fast hold of the traveller with its hooked prickles..is commonly called here wakt een betje, or wait a bit.
1795 C.R. Hopson tr. of C.P. Thunberg’s Trav. I. 244The Asparagus Capensis, with its recurved thorns, tore their clothes and retarded their passage, for which reason it has received from the inhabitants the name of Wakt en beetje, Stop a bit.
1812 A. Plumptre tr. of H. Lichtenstein’s Trav. in Sn Afr. (1928) I. 188Many sorts of asparagus were also among the plants which we had to break through; these are called by the colonists wagt een beetje (wait a little).
1827 G. Thompson Trav. 137A thorny shrub (acacia detinens) well known in the Colony by the name of wagt een bitje (wait a bit), the prickles of which being shaped like hooks, there is no getting loose from them when they catch hold of one’s clothes.
1866 E. Wilson Reminisc. 38We came across a thick, thorny bush, well known by the name of ‘Wacht-een-beetje,’ which, being interpreted, means ‘Wait-a-while’.
1878 T.J. Lucas Camp Life & Sport 44The ‘vacht een bietjie’, or ‘wait a bit’, is..furnished with sharp curved thorns pointing different ways alternately. Well does it deserve its title;..the thorns are like so many fish hooks, and you come out from the encounter with your clothing torn to shreds.
1896 M.A. Carey-Hobson At Home in Tvl 91The Acacia detinens noted for its curious hooked thorns,..won from the first unfortunate Dutch hunters the appropriate name of waaght een beetji, or ‘Wait-a-while’ thorns.
1910 D. Fairbridge That Which Hath Been (1913) 153Dacha ran through the wacht-een-beetje bushes and mimosas, tearing himself against the thorns.
1944 H.C. Bosman in L. Abrahams Cask of Jerepigo (1972) 157Then there was the bush...Swarthaak and blinkbaar and wag-’n-bietjie.
1956 F.C. Metrowich Valiant but Once 100The troops..had..to struggle through a dense wag-’n-bietjie thicket which considerably hampered their progress.
1967 O. Walker Hippo Poacher 36It was a thorny place with the long, bodkin-like, white wag-’n-bietjie (wait-a-bit) stabbing at their clothes.
1971 The 1820 Vol.43 No.11, 26Many of you will know the thorn with the very colourful Afrikaans name — the ‘Wag-’n’ Bietjie’ thorn, the thorn that catches in your clothes and says ‘wait a bit’.
1980 A.J. Blignaut Dead End Rd 97As far as the eye could see..there was sand, with a wag-’n-bietjie here and there doing its best to look like a tree.
Any of numerous species of shrub having strong (usually curved) thorns, especially species of asparagus and acacia; a thorn from one these shrubs; wait-a-bit; wait-a-while. Also attributive.

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17851980