Khoikhoi, noun

Forms:
Khoe-Khoe, KhoekhoenShow more Also Khoe-Khoe, Khoekhoen, Khoé-Khoep, Khoikhoin, Khoi-Khooi, Khoikoi, Koi-Koi, Xhoi-Xhoi, and (formerly) Quaiquae.
Plurals:
unchanged.
Origin:
KhoikhoiShow more Khoikhoi khoe-khoen, the Khoikhoi people, khoe person + khoen people.
Note:
In modern general Nama this word is written ‘khoe-khoen’, which is also the form preferred by some scholars writing in English.
1. 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; Hottentot noun sense 1 a; Khoi sense 1. Also attributive. Also called free person of colour (see colour sense 1). See also Khoisan sense 1, Nama noun sense 1, Saldanha sense 1 a.
Note:
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.
Note:
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.
1791 tr. of F. Le Vaillant’s Trav. II. 154A Hottentot man..Khoé-Khoep...A Hottentot woman..Toraré-Khoes.
1991 Bulletin (Centre for Science Dev.) Mar. 3The missionaries failed to transform the nomadic Khoikhoi into sedentary agricultural and trading communities.
2. Any of the group of languages or dialects spoken by this people; Hottentot noun sense 1 c; Khoi sense 2. Also attributive. See also Khoisan sense 2, Nama noun sense 2, and the note at San sense 2.
1881 T. Hahn Tsuni-‖Goam 5The Khoikhoi language is entirely void of prefixes.
1990 Weekend 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.

Visualise Quotations

Quotation summary

Senses

17911991