kitchen, noun and & adjective

Forms:
Also with initial capital.
Origin:
English, South African Dutch, AfrikaansShow more Special senses of general English; probably from literal translation of South African Dutch (and Afrikaans) kombuis-, see kombuis.
derogatory
A. noun
1. In the offensive phrase kitchen kaffir /-ˈkæfə/ [see kaffir], also (occasionally) kitchen Xhosa, kitchen Zulu, etc.: a. An inferior or pidgin variety of an African language. b. A former name for fanakalo. See also kombuis sense 1 a.
1862 G.H. Mason Zululand 38The Bishop has been guided by one of the chief’s clerks in the native department; who was born and reared amongst the Cape Colony’s Caffres, and, consequently, prefers it to learning Zulu proper; which, or course, is held in contempt by all officials, and sneeringly called ‘Kitchen Kaffir’.
1885 H. Rider Haggard King Solomon’s Mines (1972) 109Sir Henry and Umbopa sat conversing in a mixture of broken English and Kitchen Zulu in a low voice.
1885 H. Rider Haggard King Solomon’s Mines (1972) 261‘Art thou coming, Foulata?’ asked Good in his villainous kitchen Kukuana.
1899 J.P. Fitzpatrick Tvl from Within 53The man who interpreted knew a smattering of ‘kitchen’ Kaffir.
1911 P. Gibbon Margaret Harding 2‘Kitchen Kafir,’ the lingua franca of the Cape..a sterile and colourless tongue — the embalmed corpse of the sonorous native speech.
1913 C. Pettman Africanderisms 262Kitchen Dutch or Kaffir, The mixture of English and Dutch or English and Kaffir words frequently employed when speaking to servants by those who understand neither Dutch nor Kaffir perfectly.
1923 G.H. Nicholls Bayete! 344Kitchen Kaffir, a vile hotch-potch of English, Dutch and Zulu, with a vocabulary of from twenty to fifty words.
1924 E.T. Jollie Real Rhodesia (1971) 261Kitchen Kafir, the lingua franca of the natives in South Africa, is used on all mines and acquired by the majority of adult male natives. It consists of Zulu, Dutch and English, the proportion of words of each language used being according to the speaker’s knowledge.
1936 P.M. Clark Autobiog. of Old Drifter 127At this time I knew nothing of the Barotse language, but got along with some of the natives who could talk what was called Kitchen Kaffir.
1943 F.H. Rose Kruger’s Wagon 47He spoke..what is known as ‘Kitchen Kaffir,’ which is a compendium of three languages, English, Dutch and Zulu, and is known and understood all over the country.
1949 C. Bullock Rina 102He called out some light remark to the girl in his vile kitchen-kaffir gibberish.
1949 C. Bullock Rina 120‘For a kitchen-kaffir linguist you’ve learnt a good deal,’ I said, ‘unless, perhaps, your fertile imagination helps you as you go along with your tale.’
c1955 M. Hume Sawdust Heaven 22Kitchen Kaffir, that useful lingua franca of the border country that was a mixture of Zulu, Dutch, English, German, and a word here and there from no known tongue.
1961 D. Bee Children of Yesterday 25They spoke in many different languages, these men...And many understood the common lingua franca of the mines — ‘fanagalo’ or ‘kitchen kaffir’ — derived from the Zulu-Swazi-Xhosa languages mixed with corrupted English and Afrikaans words.
1972 L.G. Green When Journey’s Over 123Fanagalo has many names. Known in its early days as Kitchen Kaffir or Mine Kaffir, it has also been called..Isilololo and Silunguboi.
1989 J. Hobbs Thoughts in Makeshift Mortuary 17She greeted her staff..and spoke to them in well-enunciated English rather than the kitchen Zulu most Durban madams used.
1989 J. Hobbs Thoughts in Makeshift Mortuary 92She did not use the pidgin Zulu once known as kitchen kaffir, but now that the word ‘kaffir’ was acknowledged as insulting, called Fanagalo.
2. Obsolete except in historical contexts In the phrase kitchen Dutch, or (occasionally) kitchen Afrikaans:
a. A derogatory name for the Afrikaans language (see Afrikaans noun).
1882 J. Nixon Among Boers 209The language in vogue among the Boers and the semi-civilised native tribes of South Africa is a patois of Dutch, known as Kitchen Dutch. It contains a considerable proportion of Hottentot and English words, but the groundwork is Dutch, from which the inflections have been largely removed. Kitchen Dutch is a barbarous and uncouth dialect and I observed with pleasure that it was giving place to English.
1894 F.A. Barkly Among Boers & Basutos 109By this time they (sc. our two children) could both speak Sesuto and ‘Low’ or ‘Kitchen Dutch’ (as it is called in those parts) well.
1924 S.G. Millin God’s Step-Children 286He spoke English with a strong kitchen-Dutch accent, and with, now and then, a word of Dutch..for Dutch was his home language.
1943 J. Burger Black Man’s Burden 241It is..to be deprecated that Afrikaans is still spoken of slightingly as an inferior language, as ‘kitchen-Dutch’, as the ‘taal’, by people who ought to know better.
1964 V. Pohl Dawn & After 102What delighted us most was the originality of Gashep’s speech. To us he spoke a kind of kitchen Dutch into which he introduced English and Sesuto words.
1972 N. Henshilwood Cape Childhood 79The coloured people, who spoke their version of it (sc. Afrikaans) which we referred to as ‘Kitchen Dutch’, spoke English to us in our homes.
1981 A. Paton in Optima Vol.30 No.2, 91Dutch was spoken by hundreds of servants and slaves, and..hundreds of Dutch children spent hundreds of hours with servants and slaves. The linguistic changes that came about through the use of this ‘kitchen Dutch’ were resisted by the church, the older generations, the purists.
1987 G. Viney Col. Houses 104The time when only English or Hoer Duits [sic] was spoken in the household and ‘kitchen Dutch’ punished by the offender’s being sent down from table.
1987 G. Viney Col. Houses 104 [see gek].
1992 Y. Maakenschyn Informant, JohannesburgThe use of ‘kitchen’ when referring to poor or little knowledge of a language, such as ‘kitchen Dutch’, ‘kitchen German’ etc.:...When I have been overseas and told locals that I only have ‘kitchen German’ or ‘kitchen French’ they have stared at me blankly.
b. A derogatory name for the form of Afrikaans spoken by Cape ‘coloured’ and black people, and in the past by Khoikhoi people; cf. kombuistaal (see kombuis sense 1 b).
1896 R. Wallace Farming Indust. of Cape Col. 162The people who were not Boers were Hottentots, and this servile race spoke kitchen Dutch.
1915 D. Fairbridge Torch Bearer 66I am proud to think that the language of my ancestors was French. What claim on us has this mixture of kitchen-Dutch and slave-talk which we call the Taal?
1979 W. Ebersohn Lonely Place 79He thought over what Lesoro’s sister had told him in her awkward kitchen-Afrikaans.
B. adjective obsolescent. Of languages: inferior, emanating from the kitchen, or used in the kitchen, i.e. by or to servants:
1910 J. Buchan Prester John 39The Dutch..is a sort of kitchen dialect you can learn in a fortnight.
1958 A. Jackson Trader on Veld 28I learnt not only to speak but to write the ‘Taal’ fluently, but I must admit that it was the purest kombuis or Kitchen variety that I knew.
An inferior or pidgin variety of an African language.
A former name for fanakalo.
A derogatory name for the Afrikaans language (see Afrikaansnoun).
A derogatory name for the form of Afrikaans spoken by Cape ‘coloured’ and black people, and in the past by Khoikhoi people;
inferior, emanating from the kitchen, or used in the kitchen, i.e. by or to servants:
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18621992