skepsel, noun

Forms:
Formerly also schepsel.
Origin:
Afrikaans, South African Dutch, DutchShow more Afrikaans (earlier South African Dutch, from Dutch schepsel creature).
An offensive term for a black or ‘coloured’ person; also used as a form of address.
1844 J. Backhouse Narr. Visit to Mauritius & S. Afr. 620The coloured..are generally styled Heathen, Schepsels, Creatures.
1896 M.A. Carey-Hobson At Home in Tvl 405I believe God in his goodness put the black schepsels upon this earth that they might be hewers of wood and drawers of water to the white Christian menschen.
1898 W.C. Scully Vendetta 29She called to the Hottentot, who..had remained close at hand. ‘Here, schepsel, — bring in a bottle of that honey from the front chest.’
1920 R.Y. Stormberg Mrs Pieter de Bruyn 96Swartz was called a Hottentot, a Shangaan, a skepsel and a few other elegant compliments, and being a full-blooded and very proud Basuto his eyes rolled at the insult.
1931 W.A. Cotton Racial Segregation 143He was but echoing the complacent language of the backveld, where the African people are just schepsels (creatures).
1934 N. Devitt Mem. of Magistrate 30In regard to the native, he considered him as a ‘schepsel’ sent here for his special convenience.
1939 R.F.A. Hoernlé S. Afr. Native Policy 72The Native to many Afrikaners was a schepsel (‘creature’) not wholly human; standing intermediate, as it were, between the game and the livestock, on the one side, and White humanity, on the other.
1943 J. Burger Black Man’s Burden 67The Boer farmer treats his workers in a kindly and tolerant fashion; he does not refer to them as ‘bloody niggers’, but as skepsels.
1967 L. Marquard in M. Marquard Lett. from Boer Parsonage 21The location was about a mile from the end of Victoria Street...The inhabitants were called kaffirs, or volk, or schepsels (creatures), none of these terms being regarded as terms of abuse or being intended in an unkindly or inhuman spirit.
1968 A. Fulton Dark Side of Mercy 108The policeman..shouted at the Basutos. ‘O.K., skepsels, get back inside.’
1987 M. Melamu Children of Twilight 41It was all so different with his ‘volk’. You had to feed them properly. And what can’t you get the skepsels to do with the stomachs propvol.
1992 J. Khumalo in Pace Sept. 34God-forsaken black skepsels who spend their entire existence on the edge of life, wondering as to where their next meagre meal will come from.
An offensive term for a black or ‘coloured’ person; also used as a form of address.
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18441992