Cape boy, noun phrase

Origin:
Cape + boy.
obs. except in historical contexts, offensive
1. A man of mixed ethnic ancestry (usually partly white), especially from the western Cape. See also coloured.
1882 C. Du Val With Show through Sn Afr. I. 271Travelling ‘up country’ with a two-wheeled Cape Cart, accompanied only by his driver, a ‘Cape boy’.
1896 R. Wallace Farming Indust. of Cape Col. 9Fifteen ‘Cape boys’ — the name applied to the ‘off colour’ labourer irrespective of age — are all the men employed regularly.
1900 B.M. Hicks Cape as I Found It 144In this class we may put the ‘Cape boys’, who..are the result of the mixture which always takes place where black and white blood meets.
1911 H.H. Johnston Opening Up of Africa 182There is at the present day, as the descendants of these slaves, a considerable population of ‘Cape boys’ (a mixture of Hottentots, Kafir, Fanti, Makua, Malagasy and whites), and Malays who are Muhammadans.
1929 J.G. Van Alphen Jan Venter 30Because the coloured or Cape boy has a strain of European blood, he gets almost all the privileges of the white man, including a parliamentary vote.
1931 G. Beet Grand Old Days 75The Cape boy, Damon, Fleetwood Rawstorne’s cook, was a perfectly reliable servant when sober, but a perfect nuisance when ‘under the influence’.
1942 J.A. Brown One Man’s War (1980) 89I heard a Cape boy singing in a soft melodious voice, picking out his accompaniment on a guitar.
1958 S. Cloete Mask 86He hired two more Cape boys — a driver named Philip and a boy, Hendrik, to act as voorlooper — to lead the oxen.
1968 L.G. Green Full Many Glorious Morning 191The sounds of the old Hunter’s Road; the clatter of ox horns, the voices of the Cape boys.
2. An immigrant to the Cape from St. Helena; his or her descendants.
1882 C. Du Val With Show through Sn Afr. I. 43The island of St. Helena has added a bastard black element whose descendants are known as Cape boys.
1911 L. Cohen Reminisc. of Kimberley 13Hindoos, Hottentots, Negroes from Mozambique, Cape boys from St Helena, Half Breeds from Anywhere.
3. Any black or ‘coloured’ soldier from South Africa who participated in the campaign against the Matabele in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).
1896 F.C. Selous Sunshine & Storm 59This force was..augmented by about 150 Cape Boys, chiefly Amaxosa Kafirs and Zulus.
1896 Spectator (U.K.) 2 May 629A Cape ‘boy’ fighting at Bulawayo is..a coloured native enlisted and drilled within the Colony.
1897 R.S.S. Baden-Powell Matabele Campaign 147First came an advance Force comprising the two corps of Cape Boys. Robertson and Colenbrander’s Cape Boys are natives and half-castes from the Cape Colony, mostly English-speaking, and dressed and armed like Europeans.
1933 S.G. Millin Rhodes (1936) 197There were also the troops under Goold Adams, the Bechuanas, the Cape Boys, and the friendly natives.
1946 S. Cloete Afr. Portraits 155He neglected to add the troops under Major Gould Adams or the Bechuanas or the Cape Boys or the Dutch Freebooters.
1961 T.V. Bulpin White Whirlwind 306On his own he had already unofficially organised what was half-jocularly known as Colenbrander’s Cape Boys. This was simply a small scouting and defensive force of 150 men, Coloureds, Xhosas and Zulus.
4. A member of the Cape Boy Contingent, a body of ‘coloured’ men who served with the British in the defence of Mafeking.
1900 E. Ross Diary of Siege of Mafeking (1980) 135Last night, Currie and his Cape Boys occupied a trench about 200 yards in advance of their extreme outpost, and..so got the better of the enemy’s snipers.
1917 S.T. Plaatje Native Life 245The ‘Cape Boys’ fought with distinction and maintained their reputation right up to the end of the siege.
[1920 S.M. Molema Bantu Past & Present 287The Cape Boy Contingent was another body of coloured men who helped in the defence of Mafeking. These served with the Police Force.]
1935 R.S. Godley Khaki & Blue 46A Cape boy..came forward, suggesting that if he were given a horse he would attempt to ride through the rebels.
1957 D. Grinnell-Milne Baden-Powell at Mafeking 152The lurid terms used by the hard-fighting Cape Boys in the Brickfields when the Boers over the way sang out and called them ‘bastards’.
A man of mixed ethnic ancestry (usually partly white), especially from the western Cape.
An immigrant to the Cape from St. Helena; his or her descendants.
Any black or ‘coloured’ soldier from South Africa who participated in the campaign against the Matabele in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).
A member of the Cape Boy Contingent, a body of ‘coloured’ men who served with the British in the defence of Mafeking.

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