Hottentot, noun and adjective

Forms:
Hatten-tote, HotantotShow more Also Hatten-tote, Hotantot, Hotentot, Hotnetot, Hottantot, Hottendod, Hottentod, Hottentoo, Hottentote, Ottentoo.
Origin:
Dutch, GermanShow more Dutch, perhaps from German hotteren-totteren to stutter. ‘The name Hottentots..it is generally assumed..is derived from the term Hüttentüt (“stammerer” or “stutterer”), applied to this people by the early Dutch settlers on account of the peculiar “clicks” which gave their speech its distinctive character.’ (I. Schapera, Khoisan Peoples of S. Afr., 1930, p.44). Some claim that the word is imitative of an incremental dance chant heard by early European visitors at the Cape, see quotation 1696. The relationship between this word and Hodmadod is not clear.
Note:
The word ‘Hottentot’ is seen by some as offensive, and Khoikhoi is sometimes substituted as a name for the people, particularly in scholarly contexts. However, use of ‘Hottentot’ does not seem to be avoided in the names of plants, fish, birds, etc. (see e.g. quotation 1994 at sense A 2).
Note:
In addition to the senses given below, there are senses of ‘Hottentot’ which have developed outside South Africa and which are used internationally; these will be found in general dictionaries of English.
A. noun
1.
a. Khoikhoi sense 1.
Note:
Since early visitors to the Cape seldom distinguished between the Khoikhoi and the San, some of the earlier citations for this sense might belong at sense 3 a.
1677 T. Herbert in R. Raven-Hart Before Van Riebeeck (1967) 119Upon their feet they have a sole or piece of leather tied with a little strap, which while these Hatten-totes were in our company their hands held, their feet having thereby the greater liberty to steal, which with their toes they can do exactly, all the while looking us in the face, the better to deceive.
1688 G. Tachard Voy. to Siam II. 72Other Nations were Slaves to the Earth..the Hotentots were the Masters of it..they ate when they were hungry, and followed no other Rules but what nature taught them.
1696 J. Ovington Voy. to Suratt 284If there’s any medium between a Rational Animal and a Beast, the Hottentot lays the fairest claim to the Species...They retain the vulgar name of Hotantots, because of their constant repetition of that word in their hobling Dances.
1698 W. Dampier New Voy. round World I. 537Hottantots are People of a middle Stature, with small Limbs and thin Bodies, full of activity. Their Faces are of a flat oval Figure.
1731 G. Medley tr. of P. Kolben’s Present State of Cape of G.H. I. 25The name of Hottentot does by no means belong to them any other wise than as a nick-name given them by the Europeans.
1731 G. Medley tr. of P. Kolben’s Present State of Cape of G.H. I. 28The Hottentots are of a dingy olive colour.
1795 C.R. Hopson tr. of C.P. Thunberg’s Trav. I. 130A widow at the Paarl had three Hottentots in her service; they spoke with much delicacy and softness, clacking lightly and rapidly with their tongues both before and while they pronounced their words.
1804 R. Percival Acct of Cape of G.H. 154The Dutch do not allow blacks or Hottentots the use of this bath. There are other springs contiguous which are thought good enough for them.
1810 G. Barrington Acct of Voy. 186Various causes have contributed to the depopulation of the Hottentots: and their impolitic custom of hording together in families, and not marrying out of their own kraals, has no doubt tended to..reduce them to their present degenerated condition.
1823 W.W. Bird State of Cape of G.H. 67The Hottentot is quick in capacity, and the progress of his intellect rapid, but there is an unconquerable fickleness of disposition throughout that horde.
1835 G. Champion Jrnl (1968) 13The Hottentot is known by his sallow complexion, resembling the color of a fallen leaf of autumn. The hair is in knots upon the head. The cheek bones are quite prominent. The forehead broad. The face tapers from the cheek bones downward.
1837 N. Polson Subaltern’s Sick Leave 109Wild Hottentots live in the woods and subsist on roots and the produce of the chace; a very diminutive and savage race.
1846 R. Moffat Missionary Labours 1The Hottentots..are..of a sallow colour, and in some cases so light, that a tinge of red in the cheek is perceptible.
1857 P.B.B. in Cape Monthly Mag. II. Oct. 226The fleet had horses on board, to be left here. [Note] In charge of an Ottentoo, who spoke English.
a1862 J. Ayliff Jrnl of ‘Harry Hastings’ (1963) 20Who could live at the Cape of Good Hope..when the people of that country are Boars, Hotnetots and Kaferees?
1878 T.J. Lucas Camp Life & Sport 91The Hottentots no longer exist as a people, having become completely absorbed amongst the mixed population of the colony, where they are only to be found as dependents,..and are..the most reckless and degraded of mortals.
1898 G. Nicholson 50 Yrs 24Within Colonial limits, a pure-bred Hottentot is very rarely seen.
1904 H.A. Bryden Hist. of S. Afr. 8When the Dutch first landed they came into contact only with a race of aborigines who called themselves Khoi-Khoin (Men of men), but were dubbed by the Europeans Hottentots.
1948 H.E. Hockly Story of Brit. Settlers of 1820 8The Hottentots..inhabited the coastal belt from Table Bay to the Fish River and for some considerable distance inland.
1961 O. Levinson Ageless Land 56Originally the Hottentots were a nomadic people, consisting of many tribes that wandered through Southern Africa before the arrival of the Europeans.
1989 Reader’s Digest Illust. Hist. of S. Afr. 45The plague of 1713 effectively decimated the Khoikhoi population of the south-western Cape. Those who survived lost their old clan names and became known collectively as ‘Hottentots’.
1991 J. Coulter in Weekend Post 4 May (Leisure) 3The name Hottentot is derived from the chant which accompanied a characteristic dance..which Dutch settlers encouraged homeless Khoikhoi to perform in exchange for liquor.
b. Obs. exc. historical. A member of the Hottentot Corps, a military corps of Khoikhoi soldiers. See also Pandour.
1796 J.H. Craig in G.M. Theal Rec. of Cape Col. (1897) I. 455The Hottentots..must on no account whatever be permitted..to be guilty of any sort of Insolence or outrage towards the Inhabitants.
1809 R. Collins in G.M. Theal Rec. of Cape Col. (1900) IV. 20A steady active Hottentot might be placed at the foot of the mountain, and another at the Palmiet River’s drift.
1835 C.L. Stretch Jrnl (1988) 56Two companies of Hottentots were ordered to scour the bush in the vicinity of the Amatola.
1846 J. Hare in Imp. Blue Bks Command Paper 786–1847, 171A force..should proceed from the Tarka side to co-operate with Captain Hogg’s force, and to be joined by the Klip Plat Hottentots from Shiloh.
1852 J.F. Churchill Diary. (Killie Campbell Africana Library MS37) 20 Jan.All the Hottentots in the Camp at P.M. Berg were disarmed on news of this coming down.
1972 N. Orpen in Std Encycl. of Sn Afr. III. 28The Hottentots..became the Cape Corps under the British, and in 1802..became known as the Hottentot Light Infantry.
c. Any of the languages of the Khoikhoi: Khoikhoi sense 2.
1836 A.F. Gardiner Journey to Zoolu Country 102The..terms caross, kraal and assegai..are generally believed to have been a corruption of Dutch and Hottentot.
1862 W.H.I. Bleek Comparative Grammar p.viiiThe importance of..Kafir and Hottentot for..the so-called ‘Science of Language’ cannot well be overvalued.
1881 Encycl. Brit. XII. 312The easiest Hottentot clicks, the dental and the cerebral, have been adopted by the Kaffres.
1885 D. Muller Science of Lang. II. 11Dr Bleek..tries to show that the Hottentot is a branch of the North African clan of languages.
1910 Encycl. Brit. IV. 871Their language..has in common with Hottentot..the peculiar sounds known as ‘clicks’.
1916 G.B. Shaw Androcles & Lion; Overruled; Pygmalion 157I’ve tried her with every possible sort of sound that a human being can make — Continental dialects, African dialects, Hottentot clicks, things it took me years to get hold of.
1921 E. Sapir Language 55Certain languages, like the South African Hottentot and Bushman, have also a number of inspiratory sounds.
1953 J.B. Carroll Study of Lang. 57He..doubts very much the validity of certain early theories that such languages..as Bantu and Hottentot are in any way related to the Semitic-Hamitic group.
1961 H.A. Gleason Intro. to Descriptive Ling. 468In South Africa..the Bushman language and Hottentot occupy a large area of sparsely populated desert and scrub.
1972 G.S. Nienaber in Std Encycl. of Sn Afr. V. 605Afrikaans and South African English have taken over words from Hottentot, such as buchu, dagga, kanna.
1986 M. Picardie in S. Gray Market Plays 93Go back..to the time when..talking Malay or Hottentot or Bushman or even Xhosa didn’t matter.
2. In full Hottentot fish: also with small initial [so called because of their predominantly brown, bronze, or copper colouring; but see quotation 1731] any of three species of seabream of the Sparidae, Pachymetopon spp., especially P. blochii. a. P. aeneum; blue fish sense 3 b; bronze bream sense a; John Brown sense b. b. P. blochii; hangberger sense 2 (formerly also called hamburger); rock-fish sense 2. c. The bronze bream (sense b), P. grande. In these senses also called Hotnot (sense 3), and hotnot(s)vis (see Hotnot sense 4).
Note:
In Smith and Heemstra’s Smiths' Sea Fishes (1986), the name ‘hottentot’ is used for Pachymetopon blochii, and ‘blue hottentot’ for P. aeneum.
1731 G. Medley tr. of P. Kolben’s Present State of Cape of G.H. II. 196The Cape Europeans call ’em Hottentot Fish. That Name was given ’em by the first Dutch settlers there, on Account of the said Settlers buying some of them of the Hottentots.
1798 S.H. Wilcocke tr. of J.S. Stavorinus’s Voy. to E. Indies I. 560The Hottentot-fish, which is like a sea-bream, is daily brought to market in great plenty.
1806 Gleanings in Afr. (anon.) 33Nature has also acted her part, by storing the surrounding bays with variety of excellent fish, such as the steen brash, Hottentot and Roman fish.
a1823 J. Ewart Jrnl (1970) 13Hottentot fish, a small fish of the shape of the perch, covered with scales of a dirty brown colour.
1872 C.A. Payton Diamond Diggings 74Fishing with some bait and tackle..I caught a good many of the so-called Hottentot fish, a fat little fellow, somewhat like a black bream, with very sharp prominent teeth.
1880 C.W. in Cape Monthly Mag. II. Mar. 161I beheld swarms of large plethoric aldermanic Hottentot fish swimming lazily below, not a fellow under five pounds weight.
1891 H.J. Duckitt Hilda’s ‘Where Is It?’ p.ixSome kinds of fish broiled are very good, such as the Cape ‘Harder,’ ‘Hottentot Fish’ or ‘Snoek’.
1902 H.J. Duckitt in M. Kuttel Quadrilles & Konfyt (1954) 16A breakfast of a broiled ‘Hottentot’ fish, just caught — most delicious and juicy.
1905 E. London Dispatch 24 Oct. 2A large number of people in this district..would possibly mistake a largely marked mud fish (tottie or Hottentot) for a trout.
1919 M.M. Steyn Diary 32I bought a line..and some hooks and then got out to Sea Point again to fish for ‘Hottentots’ with the incoming tide.
1921 Annals of S. Afr. Museum XXI. 721The Hottentot is one of the commonest Cape fishes.
1930 C.L. Biden Sea-Angling Fishes 274Teeming millions of small hottentot..concentrate round the bait, and..everything is nibbled off the hook except the varnish.
1949 J.L.B. Smith Sea Fishes of Sn Afr. 276The Hottentot slipped away with the next wave.
1987 E. Prov. Herald 28 Mar. 6Many anglers might be biased in favour of the hottentot as our national fish as it is found only from the Western Cape to just North of Natal and is a much sought-after light-tackle angling fish and makes good eating.
1993 Flying Springbok Apr. 123It may be regarded by aficionados as the poor relation of more superior fish flesh, but a humble hottentot..is best fried and braaied.
1994 SA Commercial Marine Sept.Nov. 32One of the Cape’s many tasty fish, the hottentot, has, because of its nomenclature, become the target of verbal cleansing. Some fisherman have taken to calling them hangbergers or in English, sentinels. Black fish and Cape galjoen to impress unwary northern neighbours has been attempted, but according to the Department of Sea Fisheries, Margaret M Smith’s book South African Sea Fishes remains the definitive work on local names. Fisherman know and identify the fish by this name and there is little likelihood of it being changed...Pachymetopon blochii.
3.
a. Obsolete except in historical contexts Khoisan sense 1.
Note:
See note at sense 1 a.
1795 C.R. Hopson tr. of C.P. Thunberg’s Trav. I. 185Hottentots is the common denomination of all those nations which inhabit the southern angle of Africa, and are extended on either side of the Cape of Good Hope...Though they are divided into a multitude of tribes, which differ from one another in many respects, yet it is clearly to be seen that they all originate from one and the same stock.
1846 J. Tindall Jrnl (1959) 96I employed a Bushman-Hottentot.
1881 T. Hahn Tsuni-‖Goam 2The appellation Hottentot is now en vogue...All we can do is to define it more accurately. We should apply the term Hottentot to the whole race, and call the two families, each by the native name, that is the one, the Khoikhoi, the so-called Hottentot proper; the other the Sān (Sā) or Bushmen.
1901 Natives of S. Afr. (S. Afr. Native Races Committee) 9Population of Cape Colony...(From Census of 1891)...50,388 ‘Hottentot’ includes Hottentots 42,891 Namaquas 70, Bushmen 5,296 and Korannas 2,131.
1933 I. Schapera (tr. of O. Dapper) in Early Cape Hottentots 33The Sonquas..steal from other Hottentots all the cattle they can get.
1973 P.A. Whitney Blue Fire 118‘Hottentot’ itself meant ‘stammerer,’ and was what the Dutch had called the Bushmen because of their odd language.
1977 R. Elphick Kraal & Castle 23For decades after 1652..white observers applied the word Hottentot (or Hottentoo) indiscriminately to all brown-skinned, noncultivating natives of South Africa...Cattleless people were conceived of as a subspecies of Hottentot.
1983 [see Capoid adj.].
b. Any of the languages of the Khoisan peoples: Khoisan sense 2. Also attributive.
1884 W.D. Whitney Language 341They fall into three groups: the Ethiopian..the Libyan..and the Hottentot, embracing the dialects of the degraded tribes of Hottentots and Bushmen.
1983 S. Afr. Panorama Apr. 33There are..tours..to..the forests and lakes of Knysna, the numerous rivers with their valleys and strange Hottentot names, and the dense indigenous bush of the Eastern Cape Province.
4.
a. In historical contexts. coloured noun sense a. See also Bastard noun sense 1, Bastard Hottentot.
Note:
Offensive to some.
1824 W.J. Burchell Trav. II. 6Beyond this kraal we found..a large proportion of inhabitants..of the race of Mixed-Hottentots.
1828 Ordinance 50 in Cape of G.H. Stat. Ordinances & Proclam. 1806–1828 463Certain laws relating to and affecting the Hottentots and other free Persons of colour, lawfully residing in this Colony, require to be consolidated, amended, or repealed.
1850 J.D. Lewins Diary. 25 Mar.Intend to hire the Hottentot or Bastard that was with Whitehead.
1850 J.E. Methley New Col. of Port Natal 38If your waggon driver be a Hottentot, or Mulatto, he will be able to interpret your orders, as they can generally speak the Zoola as well as Dutch, and a little English.
1852 W. Porter in Grocott’s Mail 5 May, 1987 2I would rather meet the Hottentot at the hustings voting for his representative than meet him in the wilds with his gun on his shoulder.
1862 Lady Duff-Gordon Lett. from Cape (1925) 99The Hottentots..of mixed Dutch and Hottentot origin (correctly ‘Bastaards’) — have a sort of blackguard elegance in their gait and figure which is peculiar to them.
1871 J. McKay Reminisc. 87It..still is the chief pride of the Hottentot, or swarthy bastard, to procure wives or husbands of a lighter complexion than themselves in marriage.
1907 J.P. Fitzpatrick Jock of Bushveld 342I had an old cross-bred Hottentot-Bushman boy once — one could not tell which lot he favoured.
1907 W.C. Scully By Veldt & Kopje 39Danster was a Hottentot — or rather what is called by that indefinite term at the Cape. In his much-mixed blood that of the Bushman evidently preponderated.
1909 Rand Daily Mail 1 Oct. 7He (sc. Mr Merriman) had often been horrified in the north-west district to find children of white parents living like Hottentots and worse than Hottentots.
1936 Cambridge Hist. of Brit. Empire VIII. 274The Hottentots were a much mixed people, perhaps predominantly Hottentot in origin, but including also strains of Bushman, Malay, negro and European..the people — with whom the freed slaves ultimately merged — now distinguished by the epithet Cape Coloured.
1948 E. Hellmann Rooiyard 11Apart from eleven Indians, four Cape Coloureds and one ‘Hottentot’ (mixed Hottentot and Coloured), the remainder of the population is of Bantu stock.
1956 F.C. Metrowich Valiant but Once 118His choice fell on Andries Stoffles, a Gonah Hottentot. [Note] The offspring of a Kafir-Hottentot union.
1966 J. Farrant Mashonaland Martyr 6The Hottentots..had forgotten their own language. They spoke Cape Dutch.
1976 D.M.B. Preston Story of Frontier Town 7‘Hottentots’ in the context of the Kat River Settlement means Cape Coloureds, who were no longer of pure Hottentot descent.
1988 A. Sher Middlepost 268Pulling at the ropes were the Hottentot and half-caste children of Middlepost.
b. Derogatory and offensive. An insulting form of address or reference to a coloured person. See also sense B 3.
1964 G. Campbell Old Dusty 6If I cannot get some of his yarns out of him, you can call me a Hottentot.
1970 M. Wilson 1000 Yrs before Van Riebeeck 1The pejorative term Hottentot has been used..to imply a pastoral economy, a language..and a physical type.
1970 M. Wilson 1000 Yrs before Van Riebeeck 4‘Hottentot’ has become a term of abuse comparable to ‘Kaffir.’
1977 A. Roscoe Uhuru’s Fire 227We don’t want any educated hottentots in our town.
1980 E. Joubert Long Journey of Poppie Nongena 153God, my sister, that Hottentot hit me with a plank, he got me flat on the ground.
1990 Daily News 26 Apr. 26The Supreme Court..held..that to call a white person..a Hottentot..is defamatory.
1990 R. Malan in Cosmopolitan Apr. 167He called the white girl a ‘slut’ and demanded to know why she was hanging out with a ‘Hottentot’.
5. rare. [see quotation] A hot drink similar to Irish coffee, made of coffee and whisky.
1987 H. St Blaize-Molony in Style Mar. 54The Plett set’s ‘In’ drink is...Hottentot (hot-in-a-tot), which is Irish coffee without the cream.
6. Special Combinations.
a. Plants and animals:
Hottentot bean, Hottentot bean tree, Hottentot’s bean, Hottentot’s bean tree, the tree Schotia afra of the Fabaceae; also called boerboon;
Hottentot bonnet obsolete, the orchid Disperis capensis of the Orchidaceae; also called moederkappie;
Hottentot bread, Hottentot’s bread [translation of South African Dutch Hottentotsbrood], any of several widely differing plant species, parts of which were formerly used to produce a food resembling bread, especially (a) the bread tree, and (b) the elephant’s foot (see elephant), Dioscorea elephantipes; also, this food;
Hottentot’s cabbage, also Hottentots’ cabbage, any of several plants (Trachyandra spp. of the Liliaceae) with edible asparagus-like inflorescences; also called veldkool, see veld sense 5;
Hottentot’s candle, Bushman’s candle;
Hottentot’s cherry, the shrub Maurocenia frangularia of the Celastraceae;
Hottentot fig, Hottentot’s fig [translation of South African Dutch Hottentotsvijg], the hardy, creeping plant Carpobrotus edulis of the Aizoaceae, with medicinal properties; the edible fruit of this plant; gocum; hotnotsvy, hotnotsvyg, see Hotnot sense 4; also called sour fig; also attributive;
Hottentot god, Hottentots god, also Hottentot God, [translation of South African Dutch Hottentotsgod], any of several species of insect formerly venerated by the Khoisan peoples, especially the praying mantis;
Hottentot head, the cycad Stangeria eriopus of the Stangeriaceae, with a thick turnip-like trunk;
Hottentots rice, (a) Bushman rice; (b) the succulent plant Gasteria nigricans of the Liliaceae;
Hottentot sore obsolete, veld sore (see veld sense 5);
Hottentot’s poison bush, Bushman’s poison;
Hottentot tea, Hottentot’s tea, Bushman’s tea;
Hottentot teal, the small duck Anas hottentota of the Anatidae, with blue bill, spotted breast and back, and head dark above, light below;
Hottentot watermelon obsolete, kambro.
1801 J. Barrow Trav. I. 188The Hottentot’s bean: This plant is the African lignum vitæ, the guajacum Afrum of Linnæus and the Schotia speciosa of the Hortus Kewensis.
1833 S. Kay Trav. & Researches 106The Hottentot’s bean tree...Clusters of scarlet flowers, intermingled with the small and elegant green foliage, give it a remarkable pre-eminence over the tall trees of the ravines.
1921 T.R. Sim Native Timbers of S. Afr. 192Hottentots Bean Tree. Schotia, sps.
1976 A.P. Brink Instant in Wind 93They trekked past the fringe of a dense forest,..reaching..thickets of..Hottentot’s bean..and the ubiquitous euphorbia.
1987 F. Von Breitenbach Nat. List of Indigenous Trees 327Schotia afra,..Hottentot’s Bean...The roasted beans are eaten by some tribes.
1848 C.J.F. Bunbury Jrnl of Res. at Cape of G.H. 188Disperis Capensis..is known by the name of the Hottentot Bonnet, on account of the peculiar shape of its purple and green flowers.
1731 G. Medley tr. of P. Kolben’s Present State of Cape of G.H. II. 223The Root of the Arum, among the Cape Europeans, is ordinarily call’d Hottentot-Bread; the Hottentots frequently eating it in the Place of Bread. They boil out its Acrimony..then dry it in the Sun. Afterwards they roast it in Embers.
1824 W.J. Burchell Trav. II. 147These mountains are the native soil of an extraordinary plant called Hottentots Brood (Hottentot’s Bread). Its bulb stands entirely above ground, and grows to an enormous size, frequently three feet in height and diameter.
1844 J. Backhouse Narr. of Visit 326Hottentots-bread, found on the Karroo about Uitenhage.
1858 R. Hogg Vegetable Kingdom & its Products 718The root-stock of Testudinaria elephantipes, called Elephant’s Foot or Hottentot’s Bread, forms a large, fleshy mass covered with a rough and cracked bark.
1929 D. Reitz Commando 240A strange growth known as ‘Hottentot’s bread’ (Encephalartos Altensteinii), a wild fruit not unlike a large pine-apple.
1987 F. Von Breitenbach Nat. List of Indigenous Trees 1Cycad family...Encephalartos altensteinii Lehm...Eastern Cape Cycad, Hottentot’s Bread.
1991 D.M. Moore Garden Earth 198The massive corky tubers of Hottentot bread (Diascorea elephantipes), a type of yam, are also eaten.
1856 Cape of G.H. Almanac & Annual Register 346The flower heads of this plant which thrives abundantly in the deep sands near the sea-shore, furnish a kind of culinary vegetable, which somewhat resembles asparagus, and is known as Hottentot’s cabbage...When stewed and properly prepared, they make no contemptible dish.
1982 Fox & Norwood Young Food from Veld 253Trachyandra revoluta...Common names: English — Hottentots’ cabbage.
1991 S. Afr. Panorama Jan.Feb. 39The Namaqualanders gladly welcome visitors to their home — a fine opportunity to..feast on..Hottentot’s cabbage and candied sweet potatoes.
1975 Sunday Times 12 Oct. (TV Mag.) 5Did he know the Hottentot’s candle..the waxy-stemmed xerophyte once used by the Nama for lighting these huts?
1818 H.J. Todd Dict. of Eng. Lang. by Samuel JohnsonHottentot Cherry.
1860 L. Pappe Florae Capensis I. 465M.[aurocenia] capensis...Engl. name Hottentot cherry.
1880 S.W. Silver & Co.’s Handbk to S. Afr. 138Hottentot Cherry..is the fruit of Maurocenia Capensis.., a shrub growing in the ravines of Table Mountain.
1982 Fox & Norwood Young Food from Veld 152This fruit, called Hottentot’s cherry, is edible and was once eaten by Hottentots.
1731 G. Medley tr. of P. Kolben’s Present State of Cape of G.H. I. 141Women go into the Fields to gather the Stalks of what they call Hottentot-Figs. With the juice..they wash the Child all over.
1795 C.R. Hopson tr. of C.P. Thunberg’s Trav. I. 163Mesembryanthemum edule grew here in abundance, and especially in the sandy plains, and was called Hottentots figs..the fruit when ripe and peeled, tasting tolerably well.
1821 T. Philipps Philipps, 1820 Settler (1960) 85The Hottentot Fig..is a runner, the leaf is very thick and juicy, and is used by the Hottentots as a sovereign remedy for any bruise or sore, and they take it for many complaints.
1822 W.J. Burchell Trav. I. 54The Hottentot fig..produces plentifully..a fruit of the size of a small fig, of a very pleasant acid taste...The fruit when unripe has a disagreeably saline and austere taste.
a1827 D. Carmichael in W.J. Hooker Botanical Misc. (1831) II. 264The mucilaginous capsules of the..Hottentot Fig, are the chief material of an agreeable preserve.
1858 P.B.B. in Cape Monthly Mag. IV. July 11By an immoderate use of the Hottentot fig, some..people were attacked with a dangerous flux.
1862 Lady Duff-Gordon Lett. from Cape (1925) 83Hottentot figs are rather nice — a green fig-shaped thing, containing..a salt-sweet insipid glue, which you suck out...The plant has a thick, succulent, triangular leaf.
1862 A Lady Life at Cape (1963) 78It puzzled everybody how to fix them (sc. sand-dunes), until the late Colonial Secretary hit upon the device of planting them with Hottentot fig — a wild succulent plant, like a lot of fingers moulded in green jelly, and which will grow anywhere.
1891 H.J. Duckitt Hilda’s ‘Where Is It?’ 176Preserve (‘Hottentot Fig,’ or ‘Sour Fig’)...(The Hottentot Fig is the fruit of a kind of mesembryanthemum which grows wild at the Cape.)
1910 R. Juta Cape Peninsula 112We..kept close up to the sand-dunes, the white sand protected from the tearing gales of the ‘South-easters’ by a network of creeping ‘Hottentot fig’.
1927 C.G. Botha Social Life in Cape Col. 103Where the Hottentots fig..was found, few other plants were so common in domestic use...The juice from the succulent leaves was taken internally to check dysentery and acted as a mild diuretic. It was used as..a lotion in burns and scalds.
1947 L.G. Green Tavern of Seas 66Home recipes included a Hottentot fig gargle for sore throats.
1965 S. Eliovson S. Afr. Wild Flowers for Garden 287Several species [of ‘vygie’] have sour, fig-like fruits that are edible...The edible types were called Hottentot figs.
1972 L.G. Green When Journey’s Over 44My coloured wagon crews gathered herbs and other veld medicines:..grilled Hottentot fig for ear-ache.
1988 M. Branch Explore Cape Flora 19The huge purple flowers of the..Hottentot’s fig grow well in sand near the seaside. Their soft, edible fruits have hundreds of little black seeds in a sticky sour syrup.
[1731Hottentot God: G. Medley tr. of P. Kolben’s Present State of Cape of G.H. I. 98The Hottentots..adore..a certain Insect...To this little winged Deity, when ever they set Sight upon it, they render the highest Tokens of Veneration.]
1786 G. Forster tr. of A. Sparrman’s Voy. to Cape of G.H. I. 211There is a genus of insects (the mantis) called by the colonists the Hottentot’s god; but so far are they from worshipping these insects, that they have more than once catched some of them, and given them to me to stick needles through them by way of preserving them.
1796 C.R. Hopson tr. of C.P. Thunberg’s Trav. II. 65A small grey species of grasshopper (Mantis fausta) was found..which has obtained the name of the Hottentots God, and is supposed to be worshipped by them.
1853 F.P. Fleming Kaffraria 79If touched, it immediately stops, and, rising on the hinder part of the body, it puts the two fore-legs, slightly bent, in an attitude of prayer, which has gained for it the cognomen of the praying Mantis, or Hottentot god.
1865 A Lady Life at Natal (1972) 51The most extraordinary insects were the..‘Hottentot Gods’, which grow here to an immense size. Some were eight inches long, and exactly like bits of dry twig.
1887 A.A. Anderson 25 Yrs in Waggon I. 116The mantis family, commonly called in Africa, Hottentot gods, as they always appear to be praying, having their two arms held as if in that act.
1890 A. Martin Home Life 264In spite of being the Hottentot God, and of possessing such a pious-sounding scientific name as Mantis religiosa, he is a most pugnacious little beast.
1907 J.P. Fitzpatrick Jock of Bushveld 340Hottentot-gods..reared up and ‘prayed’ before him; quaint things, with tiny heads and thin necks and enormous eyes.
1918 S.H. Skaife Animal Life in S. Afr. 61Some of our most remarkable insects..receive their popular name of ‘Hottentot gods,’ or praying insects from the manner in which they carry their front legs.
1939 Outspan 26 May 13The common Hottentot God, the praying mantis (Mantis religiosa), so well-known..in South Africa, is also found in..the south of Europe.
1955 A. Delius Young Trav. in S. Afr. 33There were..praying mantises with two front legs lifted in front of sinister triangular heads (as if in prayer) and known..as ‘Hottentot Gods’.
1961 L. Van der Post Heart of Hunter 161When they noticed the reverence in which the Mantis was held by some of the aborigines of the Cape, they inaccurately called him the Hottentot’s God.
1976 A. Delius Border 52He’s like one of those sinister insects..like a pink, sweaty Hottentot God with green glasses.
1980 A.J. Blignaut Dead End Rd 57The Hottentot’s god..was praying for you. But..you’re past praying for.
1884 W. Miller Dict. of Eng. Names of PlantsHottentot’s-head, Stangeria paradoxa.
1973 Beeton & Dorner in Eng. Usage in Sn Afr. Vol.4 No.2, 21Hottentot head,..Cycads with thick trunks;..single cones develop on the stems with a silvery pubescence at first, but turn brown with age.
1775 F. Masson in Phil. Trans. of Royal Soc. LXVI. 315The eggs of a large species of ant, which they dig out of the ground in great quantities, washing them in water, and afterwards boiling them..are commonly called Hottentots rice.
1970 Beeton & Dorner in Eng. Usage in Sn Afr. Vol.1 No.2, 27Hottentot’s rice,..(Gasteria nigricans) succulent plant..with pendulous coral-pink flowers with green-tipped segments; the Hott[entots]..boiled the young buds as rice.
1822 W.J. Burchell Trav. I. 371The most dangerous malady is a kind of cancerous sore or ulcer, called in the colony the Hottentots Zeer (Hottentot Sore).
1885 A. Smith Contrib. to S. Afr. Materia Medica 12Strychnos, Hottentot’s poison bush...This plant is used by the natives for the cure of snake-bite, but it has many uses.
1973 F.J. Veldman in Std Encycl. of Sn Afr. VIII. 610The so-called Bushman’s or Hottentot’s poison-bush or gifboom (Acokanthera oblongifolia and A. oppositifolia) grows especially in the warm Bushveld along rivers, and the sap of the fruit was used by Bushmen for rendering their arrows poisonous.
1850 L. Pappe Florae Capensis 17Helichrysum serpyllifolium..goes by the name of Hottentot’s tea,..and is much liked by the coloured people, who infuse it as tea.
1972 M.R. Levyns in Std Encycl. of Sn Afr. V. 611Hottentot Tea, (Helichrysum orbiculare = H. serpyllifolium.)...The shrub occurs in bushy places in the coastal regions from Cape Town to Natal. Another species, which is also called Hottentot tea, is H. nudifolium.
1937 M. Alston Wanderings 165My eyes alighted on a pair of rare birds...They were Hottentot teal, the smallest of ducks, and beautiful little brown and black creatures.
1993 G.L. Maclean Roberts’ Birds 88Hottentot Teal...Anas hottentota.
1796 C.R. Hopson tr. of C.P. Thunberg’s Trav. II. 135I heard..of a Hottentot Watermelon..a large and succulent root, called Kou by the Hottentots, who grind it down to meal, and bake it like bread.
b. Products of the Khoikhoi:
Hottentot beer obs., honey-beer.
1821 G. Barker Journal. 2 JuneOne of the people had been drinking..hottentot beer, made from honey.
[1976 A.P. Brink Instant in Wind 105Men..drinking tea or the Hottentot beer of honey and gli-roots.]
c. Physiological features associated with the Khoikhoi:
Hottentot apron, Hottentot’s apron, an excessive elongation of the labia minora in Khoikhoi women; apron sense 2.
1797 [see sense B 1].
1909 Cent. Dict. Suppl.Hottentot’s apron.
1933 I. Schapera tr. of O. Dapper’s Kaffraria 45The labia minora are sometimes considerably elongated, and may project..60mm beyond the rima pudendi. This hypertrophy, the so-called Hottentot apron, has been regarded..as artificially produced by manipulation.
1956 C. Winick Dict. of Anthropology 33There is some controversy as to whether the Hottentot apron is a genetic trait or an intentional deformation.
1964 R. Raven-Hart in Quarterly Bulletin of S. Afr. Library Vol.18, 99The Hottentot ‘Apron’ has been one of the most disputed of subjects, some writers even denying its existence altogether...Many say that it was natural..others that it was entirely artificial.
1974 Rand Daily Mail 28 Jan. 5An unfortunate aspect of the publication is the exclusion of four sketches illustrating the ‘Hottentot’s apron’ — a sex peculiarity in women.
1975 J. & I. Rudner tr. of A. Sparrman’s Voy. to Cape of G.H. 183The so-called Hottentot’s Apron..appears to be a physiological feature and not artificially produced by manipulation...It is not peculiar to Hottentots, for it is common among Bushwomen as well as among various East African peoples.
1992 P. Cullinan Robert Jacob Gordon 25 (caption)François le Vaillant’s drawing of the much disputed ‘Hottentot apron’.
B. Attributive and as adjective
1. Of or pertaining to the Khoikhoi or Khoisan peoples.
1718 Entertainer No.28, 187The Spiritual is reduc’d to a Hottentot Way of Government.
1731 G. Medley tr. of P. Kolben’s Present State of Cape of G.H. (1738) I. 33The Generality of words or sounds in the Hottentot Tongue, yielding to no form of Writing or Pronunciation known in Europe, ’tis next to impossible to deliver any Thing of it for the Press that can merit the Name of a Specimen.
1731 G. Medley tr. of P. Kolben’s Present State of Cape of G.H. (1738) I. 62Of the several Hottentot Nations, at the Cape, the first is the Gunjeman Nation, who sold their territories to the Dutch.
1731 G. Medley tr. of P. Kolben’s Present State of Cape of G.H. (1738) I. 63Adjoining to the Sussaqua’s, are the Odiqua’s or Udiqua’s.
1731 G. Medley tr. of P. Kolben’s Present State of Cape of G.H. (1738) I. 76The Sonquas..take up, for the most part, the Military Profession, and are Mercenaries to the other Hottentot Nations in their wars.
1731 G. Medley tr. of P. Kolben’s Present State of Cape of G.H. (1738) I. 81The Hottentot stammering or clashing of the tongue in speaking.
1797 Encycl. Brit. VIII. 684The Hottentot language is..said to be a composition of the most strange and disagreeable sounds.
1797 Encycl. Brit. VIII. 685A general opinion has prevailed that the Hottentot women have a kind of natural vail which covers the female parts.
1797 Encycl. Brit. VIII. 687In a craal, or Hottentot village, the huts are most commonly disposed in a circle.
1836 Penny Cyclopaedia VI. 257The latter (sc. the Koranna) are one of the few Hottentot tribes that have retained their independence.
1866 Watermeyer in Trans. of Philol. Soc. 17The Hottentot national name is ‘Khoikhoip’, plural ‘Khoikhoin’, and is still in use among the Namaquas.
1897 J. Bryce Impressions of S. Afr. 77From unions between Hottentot women and the Dutch sprang the mixed race whom the Dutch call Bastards and the English Griquas.
1924 Internat. Jrnl of Psycho-Analysis V. 41It might perhaps be not without significance that three of the five patients informed me of their own accord that they possessed ‘Hottentot nymphae’.
1933 I. Schapera Early Cape Hottentots p.xiiIn Hottentot mythology ‖Gaunab figured as a malevolent chief.
1933 W. Plomer in Best of S. Afr. Short Stories (1991) 179Mrs Stevens used to say she had no doubt that Plaatje had Chinese blood, but Stevens smiled and said it was Hottentot.
1968 M. Muller Green Peaches Ripen 40Christiaan’s Hottentot ancestry was apparent in his flat-nosed, yellow-brown face, toothless and wrinkled like an old apple.
1977 R. Elphick Kraal & Castle 14Hottentot culture is still recognizably Bushman in all its basic patterns, and its deviations are about the minimum to be expected in a hunting people adapting to a more stable pastoral economy.
2. Often pejorative. Indigenous; inviting contempt, inferior.
1828 J. Philip Researches I. p.xviiiThe missionaries..were called..‘Hottentot predicants’ (ministers), by way of contempt.
1963 R. Lewcock Early 19th C. Archit. 283In the Cape Town church rows of mediaeval battlements were linked to the tower by baroque scrolls; a Roman Tuscan portico framed a pointed Gothic fanlight over the side door, and a baroque arched entablature framed the Gothic fanlight of the main doors. It was a style well worthy of the term ‘Hottentot Gothic’ which the Settlers invented to express their feelings about it!
1971 B. Biermann Red Wine 146In the hands of strangers the buildings fell on evil days...They (sc. the Cape Dutch homesteads) were dubbed ‘Hottentot style’ buildings; one by one the great gables fell.
1988 C. Marais in Personality 19 Dec. 34In the old days a Cape Dutch house was considered second grade, and dubbed ‘The Hottentot Style’. Nowadays..the sweep and flow of Hottentot Style is being used in many urban centres around the country.
3. Derogatory and offensive. Of or pertaining to one of mixed ethnic origin (see sense A 4 b).
1986 M. Picardie in S. Gray Market Plays 87You Hottentot rubbish..You Bushman piece of dirt...You are not fit to judge..this Afrikaner.
Khoikhoi1.
A member of the Hottentot Corps, a military corps of Khoikhoi soldiers.
Any of the languages of the Khoikhoi: Khoikhoi2.
any of three species of seabream of the Sparidae, Pachymetopon spp., especially P. blochii.
P. aeneum; blue fish3 b; bronze breama; John Brownb.
P. blochii; hangberger2 (formerly also called hamburger); rock-fish2.
The bronze bream (sense b), P. grande. In these senses also called Hotnot (sense 3), and hotnot(s)vis (see Hotnot4).
Khoisan1.
Any of the languages of the Khoisan peoples: Khoisan2. Also attributive.
colourednouna.
An insulting form of address or reference to a coloured person.
A hot drink similar to Irish coffee, made of coffee and whisky.
Of or pertaining to the Khoikhoi or Khoisan peoples.
Indigenous; inviting contempt, inferior.
Of or pertaining to one of mixed ethnic origin (see A 4 b).