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bont, adjective

Also (attributive) bonte.
Dutch, AfrikaansShow more Dutch (and Afrikaans), gaudy, motley, variegated.
a. Variegated or pied.
A dominant colour is sometimes indicated: see quotations 1881, 1886, and 1925.
1846 J.M. Bowker Speeches & Sel. (1864) 222We veered off..by the bont bushes.., firing at them whenever we got behind one.
1982 E. Prov. Herald 11 Nov. 15A small group of grazing bontebok begin to take up their characteristic heat-defeating stance...The buck certainly are ‘bont’, a handy Afrikaans word meaning brightly colourful or multicoloured.
b. An element in the names of birds and mammals:
bonte elsje obsolete [South African Dutch, from Dutch elsje, awl (for the shape of its bill)], the avocet Recurvirostra avosetta of the Recurvirostridae;
bonte vos obsolete [South African Dutch, from Dutch vos fox], see quotation;
bont korhaan, black korhaan (see korhaan sense 1 b);
bont-skilpad /-ˌskəlpat/ [Afrikaans, skilpad tortoise], the angulate tortoise, Chersine angulata of the Testudinidae;
bontspan /-ˌspan/ [Afrikaans, span team], see quotation.
1884 Layard & Sharpe Birds of S. Afr. 673The Bonte Elsje, lit. ‘pied cobbler’s awl,’ occurs periodically in the colony in small flocks.
1967 E. Rosenthal Encycl. of Sn Afr. 69Bontspan. Oxen of varying colours. The word is also applied to a mixture of meats roasted on a spit.
2. colloquial. Especially in the Eastern Cape: gaudy; colourful.
1970 Informant, GrahamstownI liked the dress, but she said it was a little too bont for a formal occasion.
1993 I.S. Dore Informant, GrahamstownGo and have a look at the guy on TV if you want to see a really bont tie.
Variegated or pied.
Especially in the Eastern Cape: gaudy; colourful.

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