poort, noun

Forms:
poorte, portShow more Also poorte, port, porte.
Origin:
South African Dutch, DutchShow more South African Dutch, pass, passage, from Dutch poort gate.
A narrow pass or defile through mountains, particularly one cut by a stream or river; an element in place-names; nek sense 2.
1796 E. Helme tr. of F. Le Vaillant’s Trav. II. 194We issued from the mountains through a sort of passage, or defile, which is called the Poort.
1801 J. Barrow Trav. I. 109The Poort may be considered as the entrance into Camdeboo.
1812 A. Plumptre tr. of H. Lichtenstein’s Trav. in Sn Afr. (1928) I. 90A pass between two little hills which unites two plains with each other, without any difficulties or unevenness of ground in the passage, is called by the colonists a poort (a door).
1822 W.J. Burchell Trav. I. 41We entered an enormous fissure which divides the upper edge of the mountain: this opening is called the Poort, and, on each side, two lofty natural walls of rock..contract it, towards the top, to a width just sufficient for a pathway.
1827 T. Philipps Scenes & Occurrences 97At the bottom of this steep descent, we had to go through what the Dutchmen call a poort; a chain of hills on either side, and room only for the road.
1835 A. Steedman Wanderings I. 82Among these hills are many quiet glens and vast ravines, from which are openings, or poortes, as they are here called, bounded on either side by overhanging cliffs.
1835 C.L. Stretch Journal. 9 Apr.The 2nd Battn was ordered to pass down the Port or ravine from which the Buffalo River takes its rise.
1847 J. Barrow Autobiog. Memoir 178The termination of the Snowy Mountains is somewhere about twelve miles to the north-east of the Compass-berg, where a poort, or passage through the last ridge opens upon a plain, extending to the northward without a swell farther than the eye can command.
1850 R.G.G. Cumming Hunter’s Life I. 45This poort, or mountain pass, the terror of waggon-drivers.
1866 E. Wilson Reminisc. 38When we emerged from this kloof, or poort, we came to a very wide-spreading, open flat, — a peculiarity quite common in South Africa.
1877 R.M. Ballantyne Settler & Savage 142The long line of emigrants had slowly defiled through the poort, or narrow gorge, of the mountains from which Baviaans River issues into the more open valley where it joins the Great Fish River.
1894 B. Mitford Renshaw Fanning’s Quest p.xxiiA poort is a pass or defile as distinct from a kloof.
1905 H. Bolus in Flint & Gilchrist Science in S. Afr. 223The Region is, broadly speaking, a vast shallow basin, which appears to have formed, in earlier ages, the bed of a large lake, which at length broke through the various ‘poorts’ of the southern mountain-range to the sea.
1910 A.B. Lamont Rural Reader 4Through passes or poorts in the mountains run the rivers.
a1928 C. Fuller Louis Trigardt’s Trek (1932) 68Once through the poort, the junction of the spruit with the river is but a few hundred yards off.
1944 C. Rogers in S. Afr. Geog. Jrnl Apr. 22The Magaliesberg..appears only as isolated blocks of quartzite in this region, so the river cuts no poort, but traverses the western end of the Bushveld Igneous Complex.
1949 L.G. Green In Land of Afternoon 21A poort is different from a pass, for it is a passage through the mountains along the bed of a stream.
1967 W.A. De Klerk White Wines 11It was good to pause at the summit of the pass, where the river bursts through a narrow poort having through the ages eaten away the Warm Bokkeveld.
1979 T. Gutsche There Was a Man 154The rest pushed and shoved their way along the escape route and through two narrow poorts..until they reached a safe distance from the English onslaught.
1989 P.E. Raper Dict. of Sn Afr. Place Names 220Howison’s Poort,..Defile 8 km south of Grahamstown, in the Albany district. It was named after Captain Howison who constructed the road through the defile.
1990 Frontline Mar.Apr. 20A fairytale stream meanders through the kloof, and round each corner there’s another stretch of poort...Meiringspoort goes on and on, and you can marvel that Mr Meiring ever worked his way through this mighty gateway of God.
A narrow pass or defile through mountains, particularly one cut by a stream or river; an element in place-names; nek2.
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