captain, noun

Origin:
English, South African DutchShow more Special sense of general English captain a leader or chief; influenced by (or translation of) South African Dutch kaptein, see kaptein.
historical
kaptein sense 1.
Note:
During the 1970s, this obsolescent title was briefly revived by the government as a substitute for ‘chief’.
1688 G. Tachard Voy. to Siam II. 68Every one of these Nations have their Head or Captain whom they obey, that Office is Hereditary, and goes from Father to Son.
1994 M. Roberts tr. of J.A. Wahlberg’s Trav. Jrnls 1838–56 34Zambus, Dingaan’s greatest Captain, arrives at Peter Maritzburg.
kaptein1.
Derivatives:
Hence captaincy noun, a political system in which a ‘captain’ presides over a district or people.
1976 R. Ross Adam Kok’s GriquasIf there had been a division between black and white inherent from the beginning of South Africa, then the anomaly of a free, independent, ‘coloured’ polity, such as the Griqua Captaincies, would not have come into existence.

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