seer, seurShow more Also seer, seur, sier, and with initial capital.
Afrikaans, Dutch, FrenchShow more From Afrikaans seur, adaptation of Dutch sinjeur lord, master, related to French seigneur.
‘Master’, ‘sir’: a respectful form of address or reference to a superior; also used as a title, with a name, and occasionally as a common noun.Cf. baas.
1812A. Plumptretr. ofH. Lichtenstein’s Trav. in Sn Afr. (1928) I. 118There is this great distinction between them (sc. the Hottentots) and the slaves, that the former only address their master by the title of Baas (Master), while the slave addresses him as Sieur (Lord).
1894E. GlanvilleFair Colonist 247‘John!’ shouted Mr Gardner. ‘Yah, sieur.’ ‘Here, this is your new Baas.’
1900H. BloreImp. Light Horseman 168‘Allewereld, sieur’ said Quguza admiringly, employing one of the Dutch expletives, ‘if this be your skill then I need not fear.’
1921H.J. Mandelbrotetr. ofO.F. Mentzel’s Descr. of Cape of G.H.I. 156The more capable clerks sometimes drew up accounts for provisions supplied to ships at the request of the ship’s book-keeper, styled seur.
1924L. CohenReminisc. of Jhb. 138Mr Rhodes turned his head upwards and commenced to survey the horizon..which caused the Sieur Barnato, after a few desultory words of farewell, to wish him good-bye and turn his back.
1945N. DevittPeople & Places 145Those were the days when the Cape Coloured man learned politeness, and customarily addressed his White master as ‘seur’, from the French ‘sieur.’
1961L.E. Van OnselenTrekboer 18This ‘Seer’ they use to address Europeans, is as old as South Africa itself. It originated from the days of the Dutch East India Company.
1969D. ChildYesterday’s Children 60As soon as he could speak, the child was taught to address his master as ‘Sieur’, though the free Hottentots used the Dutch word ‘Baas’.
1977Fair Lady 25 May 105The old man appeared at the window, his smile showing three yellow teeth...‘Rain, Seur.’ Robert shot out of the lorry...Seur Robert gives me a rand a week.
1983F.G. ButlerBursting World 247‘Van Niekerk,’ I say, ‘Tell Seedman to bring the truck around as soon as he has finished his breakfast’. ‘Ja, seer.’
1988P. KingwillMessage of Black Eagle 63We must catch him, but also we must tell your Oom. Vusi must go quickly and tell Seer Pete.
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