AfrikaansShow more Partial translation of Afrikaans agterveld, see Agterveld.
A.adjectiveOf or pertaining to (isolated) rural communities; hence, unsophisticated, rough. Often in the collocation backveld Boerderogatory, an unsophisticated rural Afrikaans-speaking person.Cf. plattelandadjective.
[1827G. ThompsonTrav. 115That the back-country boors of former times were many of them as savage, indolent, and unprincipled as Mr. Barrow has described, cannot be questioned.]
1900A.C. DoyleGreat Boer War (1902) 111The British had inflated and sent up a balloon, to the amazement of the back-veldt Boers.
1902E. Wallace inJ. Crwys-WilliamsS. Afr. Despatches (1989) 194The malcontents were confident of the success of the Republican forces and, at the worst, of European intervention, and so they played that waiting game which so happily fits the back-veldt indolent.
1905Spectator (U.K.) 7 Jan. 5We do not see why the low European or the back-veld Dutchman should be given a right to a decision on matters which they do not profess to understand.
1915D. FairbridgeTorch Bearer 295‘It is incomprehensible,’ he went on, ‘that there should be any back-veld Boer so credulous as to believe that Germany would leave South Africa a Boer Republic if she became the dominant power.’
1931G. BeetGrand Old Days 84There was naturally a good sprinkling of backveld Boers on the Diamond Fields at this time, and their ways were often artless and childlike.
1957D. Grinnell-MilneBaden-Powell at Mafeking 63Whilst a single agent..might have kept his news secret, a score or more spreading rumours over the Marico had ensured that even the most ignorant back-veld Boer knew about the mines.
1978A.P. BrinkRumours of Rain 313In their previous post in a very small backveld congregation, people had objected to the idea of a dominee taking part in something as worldly as sport, so he’d had to give it up.
1982E. Prov. Herald 19 Apr. 7Backveld Americans are every bit as quick at spotting smut in literature as South Africans, but ‘Romeo and Juliet’ — censored in some Transvaal country schools according to a Herald report — has so far escaped them.
1925L.D. FlemmingCrop of Chaff 58Wish I could collect and keep all the food offered me in one day here and stow it away in my pantry on the backveld.
1928N. StevensonAfr. Harvest 13He was backveld born and backveld bred, and he did not alter his ideas easily.
c1936S. & E. Afr. Yr Bk & Guide 226The joint findings of the Commission suggest measures to lessen the isolation of the back-veld and to afford increased and improved instruction in agriculture among the men and in home-making among the women.
1940F.B. YoungCity of Gold 239Pretoria might still be more English than the English, but the back-veld was Dutch to the marrow.
1946T. MacdonaldOuma Smuts 50She knew the tide of racial feeling in the rural areas, in the backveld where life was slow like the pace of an ox.
1958A. JacksonTrader on Veld 28During my 12 years’ sojourn in the Backveld, I learnt not only to speak but to write the ‘Taal’ fluently.
1960C. HooperBrief Authority 198We found it a trifle confusing; but nobody else did. Complex things can become very simple in the backveld.
1989B. GodboldAutobiography. 84There were no nurses, but only a couple of so-called medical orderlies, men of low-grade intelligence from the backveld.
c1911S. PlayneCape Col. 460Ons Land..also has a considerable amount of information for farmers in each issue, and its advent is eagerly hailed by the out-of-the-way backvelders.
1927Workers’ Herald 17 May 5Even yet there were some back-velders in this country who have never seen a bicycle or a town larger than Volksrust.
1930L. BarnesCaliban in Afr. 46The backvelder has for many years been going through an elaborate system of tuition, the object of which was to impress indelibly upon him that the British are the root of all offence.
1934N. DevittMem. of Magistrate 29I came much in contact with the people whom the Rand papers of late years call ‘Backvelders’. The use of this word is probably not intended offensively, but it to my mind indicates a superiority complex on the part of the users which in my opinion is misplaced.
1944‘Twede in Bevel’Piet Kolonel 50Did we from henceforth learn our manners, poor ignorant backvelders that we were?
1955W. IllsleyWagon on Fire 26When Katrina Deventer, a fair wisp of charm and culture, had announced that she was leaving Cape Town with all its attractions, for marriage with the uncouth backvelder, Frikkie van der Byl, her friends reckoned that she had taken leave of her senses.
1964J. MeintjesManor House 119These backvelders have today largely disappeared, but at that time one still found numbers of them: naive, primitive, uneducated and in some cases even idiots.
1974A.P. BrinkLooking on Darkness 122With the handful of other Coloured and Indian students I occasionally discussed my problems, but they’d all grown up in cities and regarded me, not without some condescension, as a backvelder.
1985E. Prov. Herald 22 July 8I’m a backvelder, a plattelander, a country bumpkin if you like.
1991F.G. ButlerLocal Habitation 105A backvelder born, like myself, often has a stubborn belief that God made the country and man made the town.
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