koppie, noun

copjie, coppieShow more Also copjie, coppie, coppy, kopij, kopje, kopjie, koppje, koppjie, kopy.
Afrikaans, DutchShow more Afrikaans, from Dutch kopje.
A small hill, a hillock. See also kop, kranskoppie, randjie.
The Dutch spelling ‘kopje’ is still used, and is the standard form of this word in Zimbabwe.
a. An element in place names.
1822 W.J. Burchell Trav. I. 285[We] halted for the night in the plain at Kopjes Fontein, so called on account of several low hills in the surrounding distance.
1882 J. Nixon Among Boers 255The only hill of importance I passed was ‘Kopjie Aleen’, or the ‘Lone Hill’, a solitary sugar-loaf hill which rises out of the vast plain.
1897 H. Raymond B.I. Barnato 13The alluvial workings were much neglected in favour of mining the yellow surface earths in the neighbourhood of the Colesberg Kopje.
1939 J.F. Bense Dict. of Low-Dutch Element in Eng. Vocab. 170When the hills are low or small the dim. kopje is always used. Cf. the name Kopjes Fontein.
b. A common noun; klipkoppie. Also attributive.
1849 R. Gray Jrnls of Two Visitations I. 76Large dreary plains interrupted by rocky koppies abounding with the springbok and the gnu.
1850 N.J. Merriman Cape Jrnls (1957) 135Retiring behind a koppie to pitch our tent.
1857 Cape Monthly Mag. II. July 47The greenstone caps, locally known as kopjes, which form so marked a feature in the Karroo.
a1867 C.J. Andersson Notes of Trav. (1875) 200Ascended a small granite ‘Kopy’, or rocky eminence, in the neighbourhood.
1878 T.J. Lucas Camp Life & Sport 153The Kaffirs are now seen collecting on the hills...On one tall ‘copjie’ a group of mounted Kaffirs watch the course of the column.
1881 P. Gillmore Land of Boer 244The stronghold of the Kaminyani is on a coppy, or hill, about eight hundred feet high, and probably a mile and a half in circumference at the base.
1883 O.E.A. Schreiner Story of Afr. Farm (1960) 18The little cicada-like insects cried aloud among the stones of the kopje.
1895 A.B. Balfour 1200 Miles in Waggon 85One day we had a pretty view of low hills, and twice we have been near low kopjes (little hills).
1900 F.D. Baillie Mafeking Diary 142Incendiary Boer shells provided the kopje contingent with fireworks gratis.
1900 R. Kipling in J. Crwys-Williams S. Afr. Despatches (1989) 164Spiked koppies, heartbreaking to climb under a hot sun at four thousand feet above sea level.
1903 E.F. Knight S. Afr. after War 54Rolling open spaces of veldt studded with high rugged kopjes.
1908 M.C. Bruce New Tvl 3The karoo..under a new moon has its ugliness and barrenness changed as if by magic into soft browns and fawns, merging into the pink and purple of distant kopjes, which again are topped by sunset streaks of yellow.
1916 Farmer’s Weekly 20 Dec. 1469Partly kopjes Veld, partly flat.
a1920 O. Schreiner From Man to Man (1926) 290You will creep on hands and knees over rough koppies.
1920 R. Juta Tavern 127When a giant was killed, he was buried just where he fell, a big mound was erected over him, and you see, that is why all over the veld there are little and big kopjes.
1935 P. Smith Platkops Children 74Always kopjes an’ stones an’ little brown bushes, an’ always when you got the top of one kopje there was another one in front of you jes’ ensackly like it.
1937 W. De Kok tr. of E.N. Marais’s Soul of White Ant (1973) 68If the termitary is an old one and placed on tip of a dry kopje or hill, this passage descends to an incredible depth.
1947 E.R. Seary S. Afr. Short StoriesGlossary, Kopjes, in the Karroo, are hillocks of stones, that rise up singly or in clusters, here and there; presenting sometimes the fantastic appearance of old ruined castles or giant graves.
1966 F.G. Butler S. of Zambesi 20Ironstone kopjies like dead volcanic islands rising purple and black from oceans of grass.
1987 G. Viney Col. Houses 199Hard, rough, koppie quartzite, which he instructed eight local masons to quarry and dress to display its varied tints.
1988 M. Urson in Personality 6 June 60Their sturdy little dorp, nestling amid granite koppies and ridges.
1990 W. Smith Golden Fox 226A flamboyant Karoo sunset lit the gaunt kopjes with a ruddy glow and set the clouds on fire.
1993 J. Thomas in House & Leisure Nov. 50Paul bought a house in the Greymont koppies and lives in close communion with his two cats.
A small hill, a hillock.
An element in place names.
A common noun; klipkoppie. Also attributive.
Entry Navigation

Visualise Quotations

Quotation summary