gattes, noun

Forms:
Also chattes, ghattis.
Origin:
Yiddish, AfrikaansShow more Probably adaptation of Yiddish khates a bad person; but claimed by some to be an adaptation of vulgar Afrikaans gatte (plural form of gat, see gat sense 1).
derogatory
In the Jewish community: a derogatory term for an Afrikaner (noun sense 2 a).
1970 M. Weitzman Informant, JohannesburgGhattis. Afrikaner. The word Ghattis is taken from the word gat, which is used continually by the Afrikaner.
1983 J.H. Kahn Informant, London (U.K.)Chattes..seems to be a peculiarly SA term yet is taken by many Jews to be Yiddish. It is used by SA Jews as a derogatory term for Afrikaners. It even has a Hebrew-style plural — chatteisim.
1983 D. Gold Informant, Haifa (Israel)Chattes..is of Western Yiddish origin (and unknown in Northeastern Yiddish, as well as other varieties of Eastern Yiddish). The word is well known to me and it has been recorded in a general sense of ‘bad person’ (hence its pejorative application to Afrikaners) and in a narrow sense, ‘policeman’ (hence Afrikaans gattes ‘police’). It has been recorded in works published in 1812, 1822, 1840, and 1862, all outside South Africa...In Yiddish it is of Hebrew origin.
1983 L. Reich Informant, GrahamstownGattes is an inelegant Yiddish word for an Afrikaner which I don’t let anyone use in my presence.
In the Jewish community: a derogatory term for an Afrikaner (noun2 a).
Entry Navigation

Visualise Quotations

Quotation summary

Senses

19701983