leader, noun

Origin:
South African DutchShow more Translation of South African Dutch leier, probably elliptical for touwleier (literally ‘rope-leader’) wagon-leader.
voorloper sense 1. Also attributive.
1786 G. Forster tr. of A. Sparrman’s Voy. to Cape of G.H. I. 175As the road was good and even all the way, and my Hottentot assured me that he could do very well without any leader, we let him go forward.
1804 R. Percival Acct of Cape of G.H. 60Little Hottentot boys..usually run before and guide them...The attachment of the animals to their little leaders is very great.
1816 G. Barker Journal. 26 Aug.Set out for Bethelsdorp, had Jan Boezak for a driver, Plaatje Laberlotte for a leader.
1822 W.J. Burchell Trav. I. 552Old Hans had engaged a Half-Hottentot, named Daniel Kaffer, and his son, to be the driver and leader of my waggon.
1835 G. Champion Jrnl (1968) 32The oxen knew the way home, & the leader was not much wanted. The driver sat with his long whip in front of us.
1839 T. Shone Diary. 19 JuneI thought of plowing, but could not, on account of all the children being ill, I went to Bathurst to try to get a leader but could not.
1852 A.W. Cole Cape & Kafirs 141My ‘leader,’ (as the boy is called who leads the two front oxen of the span), on my first wagon journey, was a Bushman.
1883 O.E.A. Schreiner Story of Afr. Farm 72When they drew near the house he threw the whip to the Kaffir leader, and sprang from the side of the waggon.
1895 A.B. Balfour 1200 Miles in Waggon 72There are no reins, except for a little bit of reim fastened to the front pair of oxen, by which the ‘leader’ or boy, who walks in front in difficult places, pulls them in the required direction.
1907 J.P. Fitzpatrick Jock of Bushveld 417I was left with three leaders and two drivers to manage four waggons.
1936 E. Rosenthal Old-Time Survivals 15The mode of harnessing has not changed since 1652...Nor has the institution of the leader-boy varied — usually a native piccanin known as the voorloper.
1955 V. De Kock Fun They Had 32Several wagons, bringing Dutch visitors, were outspanned hard by; their Hottentot drivers and leaders..had gathered round the bonfire.
1971 Daily Dispatch 16 Dec. 10During the firing, wagon drivers and leaders would help load the guns.
voorloper1. Also attributive.
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17861971