Groups of Khoikhoi migrated to various parts of southern Africa from what is now northern Botswana approximately 2 000 years ago; at that time they were predominantly nomadic pastoralists. The only branch surviving as a group and still speaking a general Khoikhoi language are the Nama of Namibia.
Recently, the division between the Khoikhoi and the San (Bushmen) has come to be seen by some as a false one, and is understood as describing differences of lifestyle rather than of ethnicity.
1801J. BarrowTrav.I. 151Each horde had its particular name, but that by which the whole nation was distinguished, and which..they bear among themselves in every part of the country, is Quaiquae.
1847J. BarrowAutobiog. Memoir 163In their own language, it (sc. the name ‘Hottentot’) has neither place nor meaning: they call themselves, in every part of the country over which they are scattered, Quaiquae.
1877J. NobleS. Afr. 16The weak and scattered Hottentot tribes — the Khoi-Khoin, as they termed themselves.
1880Encycl. Brit.XII. 310Women were held in high repute: the most sacred oath a Khoi-Khoi could take was to swear by his sister or mother.
1908J.M. OrpenReminisc. (1964) 24The Hottentots called themselves Khoin Khoin, (men of men).
1925D. KiddEssential Kafir 409The word Koi-koi means Men of Men, or Men par excellence, the Bantu or Kafirs being in their estimation creatures of a very low order, whom they call things or dogs.
1930I. SchaperaKhoiSan Peoples 44The Hottentots..all..apparently owned to the common name Khoi-khoin (men of men, i.e. men par excellence, people of pure race), by which they distinguished themselves from other peoples.
1963Wilson & MafejeLanga 1The Coloured people count among their ancestors the aborigines of the Cape, the Khoikhoin people, or so-called Hottentots.
1966W.P. CarstensSocial Structure Cape Coloured Reserve 2I prefer to use the term Khoi Khoin because the word Hottentot has become a derogatory stereotype in South Africa, symbolising the undesirable characteristics attributed to people of Khoi Khoin descent.
1976Cubitt & RichterSouth WestToday’s..Nama..are descendants of the Xhoi-Xhoi, the ‘men of men’, who share the Bushman’s linguistic clicks and mongoloid eyes, peppercorn hair, bridgeless nose and yellow skin.
1976HSRC Newsletter JuneThe Khoekhoen spoke languages characterised by click sounds and the omission or alteration of these sounds may change the meaning of a word..completely.
1977K.F.R. Budack inA. TraillKhoisan Ling. Studies 3 1It is their annual harvesting of the !nara melon and sea-fishing that makes them (sc. the Topnaar) different from any other Khoe-khoe tribe.
1977R. ElphickKraal & Castle 25This Bushman-Hottentot (or Khoikhoi-San) dichotomy has become one of those time-honoured pairing mechanisms by which scholars automatically organize, but also distort, the complexities of historical reality.
1980J. CockMaids & Madams 173The Khoikhoi were caught in the middle between the Xhosa and the colonists.
1983P. WarwickBlack People & S. Afr. War 11As well as participating in the commandos, Khoikhoi and Coloureds entered into professional military service at the Cape.
1983P.S. Rabietr. ofNienaber & Raper’s Hottentot Place Names 12There were the Khoekhoen who had become Oorlam, Baster, Griqua or Coloured and adopted the culture of the Europeans, and..the traditional Khoekhoen.
1985Weekly Mail 16 Aug. 16The fatal confrontation of Dutch and Khoikhoi began the long and often bitter story which has since formed the main theme of South African history.
1988C.A. Hromnik inWeekend Argus 18 June 5Khoikhoi is a name ex academia. It was created by European writers out of their misunderstanding of the historical sources and reality...To include women in history, another hyphenated name, Tarare-khoes, would have to be invented.
1991Bulletin (Centre for Science Dev.) Mar. 3The missionaries failed to transform the nomadic Khoikhoi into sedentary agricultural and trading communities.
1976E. Prov. Herald 6 July 11We were talking about Khoekhoen, the languages spoken by the Hottentot people.
1977R. ElphickKraal & Castle 29As Jan Danckaert noted in 1660, ‘there [was] also one language which all their great ones understand but which the common people do not.’ This lingua franca was doubtless Khoikhoi.
1981A. Paton inOptimaVol.30No.2, 86They called a great part of it (sc. the land) by its Khoikhoi name, the ‘Karoo’.
1983P.S. Rabietr. ofNienaber & Raper’s Hottentot Place Names 21Even experts on Khoekhoen often give explanations based on assumption..in areas where Khoekhoen has become obsolete and no local assistance can be obtained.
1989P.E. RaperDict. of Sn Afr. Place Names 9An obviously English name such as The coombs is not English at all, but Khoekhoen; it means ‘river of wild olive trees’.
1990Weekend Post 21 July (Leisure) 7The stream rising from the springs gave it (sc. Windhoek) both its Khoikhoi name of Ai-gams and the Herero one, Otjomuise.
A member of a southern African people distinguished by short stature, yellow-brown skin, and tightly-curled hair, and speaking a language characterized by click sounds; Hodmadod; Hottentotnoun1 a; Khoi1. Also attributive. Also called free person of colourcolour1.
Any of the group of languages or dialects spoken by this people; Hottentotnoun1 c; Khoi2. Also attributive.