South African Dutch, DutchShow more South African Dutch, from Dutch stelle place, position. ‘The meaning..is derived from the plan..of placing traps, or setting spring-guns, for the destruction of beasts of prey; the meaning has been transferred from the place to the trap itself.’ (C. Pettman, Africanderisms, 1913).
1.obsolete.A trap for wild animals; a spring-gun.
1801J. BarrowTrav.I. 360The animal had been shot through the body by a stell-roar or trap-gun, set by a Hottentot.
1957L.G. GreenBeyond City Lights 79Sometimes you may still come across a stel put out in the path of an intended victim of witchcraft. The stel is a circle, drawn on the earth, with a nail or some other object in the centre. If the victim puts his foot within the circle then he is bewitched. Ignorant people who believe in toondery are indeed seriously influenced.
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