sieur, noun

Forms:
seer, seurShow more Also seer, seur, sier, and with initial capital.
Origin:
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.
1812 A. Plumptre tr. of H. 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).
a1875 T. Baines Jrnl of Res. (1964) II. 21The other begged for ‘just one charge of powder, if you please, Sieur’.
1883 M.A. Carey-Hobson Farm in Karoo 96‘Ya, sieur,’ came from a corner, the drunken servant unconsciously responding to the voice to which he was in the habit of yielding obedience.
1886 G.A. Farini Through Kalahari Desert 163He is a skellum lion, and the sieur must not go.
1894 E. Glanville Fair Colonist 247‘John!’ shouted Mr Gardner. ‘Yah, sieur.’ ‘Here, this is your new Baas.’
1900 H. Blore Imp. Light Horseman 168Allewereld, sieur’ said Quguza admiringly, employing one of the Dutch expletives, ‘if this be your skill then I need not fear.’
1921 H.J. Mandelbrote tr. of O.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.
1924 L. Cohen Reminisc. 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.
1945 N. Devitt People & Places 145Those were the days when the Cape Coloured man learned politeness, and customarily addressed his White master as ‘seur’, from the French ‘sieur.’
1961 L.E. Van Onselen Trekboer 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.
1969 D. Child Yesterday’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’.
1977 Fair 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.
1983 F.G. Butler Bursting World 247‘Van Niekerk,’ I say, ‘Tell Seedman to bring the truck around as soon as he has finished his breakfast’. ‘Ja, seer.’
1988 P. Kingwill Message of Black Eagle 63We must catch him, but also we must tell your Oom. Vusi must go quickly and tell Seer Pete.
‘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.
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18121988