trek, noun

track, treckShow more Formerly also track, treck, trekk.
treks, occasionally trekke /ˈtrekkə/.
Dutch, English, AfrikaansShow more Dutch, the basic sense being ‘an act of pulling’; in most cases the transfer of sense occurred not in English, but in Dutch or Afrikaans, from which languages the new senses were assimilated into English.
1. obsolete. The team of oxen pulling a wagon.
1833 [see quot. at trek ox (sense 12 a below)].
1838 J.E. Alexander Exped. into Int. II. 215Stick to the trek (or line of pack oxen) and the trek will stick to you.
2. In historical contexts. In the phrase on the trek, on trek, in the process of travelling or migrating by wagon; on the road.
1846 J.M. Bowker Speeches & Sel. (1864) 222Here we are on trek.
1873 F. Boyle To Cape for Diamonds 258We came upon a family of Griquas on the trek, moving towards Klipdrift, with their herds.
1878 A. Aylward Tvl of Today 17They are still on ‘trek;’ and few, indeed, are there who are not ready at a moment’s notice to hurl themselves once more into the desert in search of brighter and happier homes.
1882 C. Du Val With Show through Sn Afr. I. 101We started at sunrise..‘on the trekk’ for Bloemfontein.
1896 M.A. Carey-Hobson At Home in Tvl 83They have been with the old Dutch people a long time; but you had better make sure of them as you return, or they will be off on the trek.
1931 W.A. Cotton Racial Segregation 63Oppressive conditions on the farms..send on trek great numbers of squatters, labour tenants, and farm labourers, with their families.
1949 L.G. Green In Land of Afternoon 127On trek, the women and children..slept inside the wagon.
1951 J. Sachs in B. Sachs Herman Charles Bosman (1971) 142There is all of South Africa in that little book..; its ox-waggons on trek, its witch-doctors, [etc.].
3. A leg of a journey; in historical contexts, the distance travelled by ox-wagon between halts (or ‘outspans’). Cf. skof noun2 sense 1.
1849 E.D.H.E. Napier Excursions in Sn Afr. II. 1First day’s ‘trek’ in Lower Albany. [Note] A Dutch term, generally pronounced ‘track,’ meaning a journey.
1878 H.A. Roche On Trek in Tvl 262The men are not over-pleased at our having to lose one trek today.
1882 S. Heckford Lady Trader in Tvl 55It is better even with tired oxen to make them take their waggon through the river at the end of a trek.
1897 J.P. Fitzpatrick Outspan 87In order to pass the house in mid-trek they made their morning off-saddle below the Berg.
1910 A.B. Lamont Rural Reader 92Each trek thus lasts about four hours.
1945 N. Devitt People & Places 40‘Trek’..may connote a period of time, a day’s trek for instance.
1951 L.G. Green Grow Lovely 205‘So oud soos die Kaapse wapad’ is a saying that indicates the age of this route...Burchell..called this trek a nightmare.
1964 V. Pohl Dawn & After 63We had about two treks before us and..we had nothing whatever to eat.
4. A relocation or exodus: a. In historical contexts. The relocation of a large group of people from one area to another, the move usually being made by ox-wagon, and being prompted by political discontent or economic hardship. See also Dorsland Trek (Dorsland); Great Trek. b. Latterly, any relocation, including a temporary move, as for the purpose of working for some months in a distant town. Also attributive.
1852 M.B. Hudson S. Afr. Frontier Life 3The time for such a trek was approaching us fast.
1871 J. Mackenzie Ten Yrs N. of Orange River 64A party among them advocated a ‘trek’ or removal to a district in Namaqualand.
1893 J.F. Ingram Story of Gold Concession 235He and his family took part in the ‘trek’ or exodus, of Boers.
1955 L. Marquard Story of S. Afr. 189The diamond and gold treks had begun with the ox and had drawn railways in their wake.
1971 M. Bowen in Sunday Times 17 Oct. (Mag. Sect.) 21The trek to Cowes has meant a rapid growth of sailing houses.
1973 J. Meintjes Voortrekkers 57The trek habit..had got into the blood.
1980 M. Matshoba in M. Mutloatse Forced Landing 103The hostel is..the home of some twenty thousand migrant labourers from all parts of Southern Africa, some of whom begin the trek as far away as Malawi and Zambia.
1988 F. Heydenrych in Cape Times 8 Oct. 13Chips are down for a high-tech trek to Cape’s ‘Silicon Valley’.
1990 Sunday Times 2 Dec. 25 (letter)Why can’t the government decide to let parliament sit only in Pretoria and end the trek to Cape Town every six months?
1992 C.M. Knox tr. of E. Van Heerden’s Mad Dog 5Trek groups rested at the side of the road.
5. A journey or trip: a. Usually in historical contexts, a long trip by ox-wagon. b. Any journey, especially a long or arduous one, or one involving travel in the wilds; journeying.
1856 R.E.E. Wilmot Diary (1984) 36Our host being on the eve of a trek we soon took our departure.
1875 J.J. Bisset Sport & War 228It took Currie and myself back to the wonderful trek we had with the Prince in 1860...This trek was through the interior of South Africa.
1895 A.B. Balfour 1200 Miles in Waggon 69We have actually begun our waggon trek at last.
1918 C. Garstin Sunshine Settlers 154You’ve got a long trek home, come to my place for a shake-down, unless you prefer dossing in the scrub.
1920 F.C. Cornell Glamour of Prospecting 49He did not live on the property, but a good two days’ trek away.
1924 E.T. Jollie Real Rhodesia (1971) 126The Dutch holiday custom of a trek on the veld or a camping party.
1939 M. Rorke Melina Rorke 121The trail that we were following would converge in about two days’ trek with the regular route.
1949 L.G. Green In Land of Afternoon 137He always spent his holiday camping, and when he retired he had already planned his gigantic trek. It cost him about £10 a month, and he saw more of the Union’s byways than others see in a lifetime.
1951 J. Wedgewood Last of Radicals 57He and his family arrived after a three-day trek from Middleburg, in six wagons and an old ambulance.
1966 L.G. Berger Where’s Madam 47Once in three months he would gather his witnesses and make the hopeless trek.
1968 K. McMagh Dinner of Herbs 28Kimberley was only a single day’s trek distant.
1985 E. Prov. Herald 18 Mar. 2Freed hostages describe trek through Angola.
1990 Sunday Times 3 June 14The former South African pop group leader is packing his bags for a dream trek across America on his supercharged 1500cc motorbike.
1993 A. Putter in Weekly Mail & Guardian 22 Oct. 46Discussion at last year’s Grahamstown Festival about the South African National Gallery’s small contribution to the visual component of the annual cultural trek.
6. Obsolete except in historical contexts A group of travellers; an expedition party; a wagon train, including the travellers, their goods and livestock, and their wagons and draught animals (usually oxen). Cf. trekkie.
a1867 C.J. Andersson Notes of Trav. (1875) 87We were treacherously attacked by overwhelming numbers, just as the ‘trek’ had got into a narrow part of the road.
1898 G. Nicholson 50 Yrs 100A numerous Boer ‘trek’ passed through the country some fourteen years ago.
1931 H.C. Bosman Mafeking Rd (1969) 150The youngest person in our trek was Koos Steyn’s daughter Jemima...Webber sold his wagon and went with Koos Steyn’s trek.
1973 J. Meintjes Voortrekkers 65This party was now enormous and they had to split into smaller treks on account of all their livestock and the problems of grazing.
1976 A.P. Brink Instant in Wind 25Perhaps we’ll find a farmhouse or a trek on the way.
7. colloquial. Goods and chattels; possessions.
a1867 C.J. Andersson Notes of Trav. (1875) 273The Totties (Hottentots) had just left the mountain with their ‘treck’, with a view of coming here.
1970 Mrs Berrington Informant, JansenvilleWe are fetching the new boys’ trek in the bakkie.
1976 A.P. Brink Instant in Wind 16She is surrounded by the remains of her trek, the relics representing in this wilderness the achievements of her civilization.
1984 Informant, Northern Transvaal (now Limpopo)I was at the new flat waiting for Joy’s trek to arrive.
8. figurative. Hard work, a ‘long haul’; mental or spiritual endeavour.
1882 C. Du Val With Show through Sn Afr. I. 66She is a very big woman; in fact, it is a good ‘trekk’ to go fairly round her, and I fancy she is well able to hold her own against most people.
1895 J.G. Millais Breath from Veldt 123From the sun-parched wilderness of Africa to art criticism is a big trek.
1936 R.J.M. Goold-Adams S. Afr. To-Day & To-Morrow 24South Africa’s newest and best trek of all, the trek to real conciliation of the white races.
1946 T. Macdonald Ouma Smuts 23Sometimes she wondered if her man would become a great poet...He was concerned with the trek of mankind.
1948 O. Walker Kaffirs Are Lively 140Such men..indulged in a few mental or physical treks away from the colour problem.
1972 K. Taylor on Radio South Africa 6 JuneNow let’s go back to our childhood days. For some of you it will only be a little hop — for me it’ll be a long trek backwards.
1978 A. Essop Hajji 20Man’s life on earth is a phantasmagoric trek to nowhere.
1980 Het Suid-Western 23 JulyWe had to start on the long uphill trek to raise funds from the government.
1987 Weekly Mail 22 May 23An unsettling trek through the sense of unbelonging.
9. A migration of animals. Also attributive. See also sense 12 b below.
1902 C.J. Cornish Naturalist on Thames 67The first [birds] to begin the ‘trek’ down the river are the early broods of water-wagtails.
1913 W.C. Scully Further Reminisc. 231It was my fortune in 1892 to witness the last great ‘trek,’ as the annual migration of spring-bucks from east to west across the desert is termed.
c1936 S. & E. Afr. Yr Bk & Guide 1092The great herds..were thought to have become a thing of the past, but during 1898 enormous ‘treks’ occurred in the north-west and north of the Cape Province.
1968 Farmer’s Weekly 1 Mar. 50I recall, as a small boy, hearing first-hand reports of the ‘springbok treks’.
1973 Cape Times 27 Jan. (Weekend Mag.) 10Spectacular but ecologically unsound occurrences as the Great Flamingo Trek in 1971.
1973 Cape Times 30 June 11In 1896, he saw the tail end of one of the great springbok migrations...The treks were usually followed by lion, leopards, hyenas, jackals, and vultures to pick out the eyes of the dying.
1985 Custos Sept. 7The lack of water and food probably served as a trigger mechanism to initiate the trek movement of the game.
1990 Weekend Post 30 June (Leisure) 4Natal-type sardines are found in the Cape East Coast water — until they begin their unusual trek.
10. Of fishing: (a haul of fish caught by) the act of hauling in from the shore a trek net which has been cast in the sea. See also sense 12 c below.
1930 C.L. Biden Sea-Angling Fishes 274The first net brought out 90,000 bamboo-fish! The man responsible for that ‘trek’ deserved to be knighted.
1972 N. Henshilwood Cape Childhood 60Sometimes, if we were lucky, there might be a trek, when the fishermen pulled in their nets and we were allowed to keep them.
1973 Cape Times 13 Jan. (Weekend Mag.) 2 (caption)Last trek of the day.
11. In historical contexts. The Trek: Great Trek sense 1. Also attributive.
1941 C.W. De Kiewiet Hist. of S. Afr. 182Average the five years following the Trek had soared.
c1967 J. Hobbs in New S. Afr. Writing 65Oupa Hannes Scheepers received a grant of land from Louis Trichardt himself as a reward..on the Trek up from the Cape.
1973 J. Meintjes Voortrekkers 42They are two important men in Trek history.
1983 F.E.O’B. Geldenhuys in Optima Vol.31 No.3, 153The official governing bodies of the DRC in Cape Province were very much opposed to the Trek.
1987 S. Friedman in Weekly Mail 10 July 12This suggests that the Trek celebrations will have something in common with other Nat-CP battles.
12. Special Combinations.
a. Combinations related to ox wagons and to the oxen which pull them (see sense 1):
trek cattle, draught cattle;
trek chain, trektou sense b;
trek gear or trekgoed /-xut/ [Afrikaans goed goods, things], the equipment (such as yokes and chains) used in harnessing draught animals for wagon travel;
trekos /-ɔs/ [Afrikaans, os ox], or trek ox, (a) a draught ox; (b) figurative, tough meat; also attributive;
trek wagon, an ox wagon; a large, sturdily-built covered wagon used for long journeys.
a1867 C.J. Andersson Notes of Trav. (1875) I was collect the scattered trek-cattle, &c., which were now inspanned.
1900 Daily News 6 Apr. 3The local supply of trek cattle..from the farms of the Boers.
1928 E.H.L. Schwarz Kalahari & its Native Races 55The sand was trampled by the feet of thousands of trek cattle that had come here to drink.
1859 R.J. Mann Col. of Natal 207The trek-chain, or hide-rope, (trek-tow) runs along between each pair of the oxen.
1878 H.A. Roche On Trek in Tvl 332Our oxen were free, walking off a yard or two with our..trek chain.
1918 C. Garstin Sunshine Settlers 48The sixteen long-horned oxen..strained on the trek-chain.
1937 S. Cloete Turning Wheels 33At night the working oxen were tied to their gear and the trek-chains anchored to each other.
1952 H. Klein Land of Silver Mist 29The team strained at the trek-chain and soon had car and caravan on the hilltop.
1977 F.G. Butler Karoo Morning 11She expressed a keen longing to experience a trek by oxwagon..the huge patient beasts, the straining of trek chain, the rifle-cracking whips, the intimate campfire.
1884 E.V.C. Promised Land 39Back we all climbed to the wagon, and carefully examined the trek gear before inspanning.
1914 L.H. Brinkman Breath of Karroo 48Gijs was to come over with his trek-gear and oxen and fetch du Plessis’s buck-waggon.
1931 O. Letcher Afr. Unveiled 103The oxen began to pick up their weary heads and to strain more heavily on the trek gear.
1942 S. Cloete Hill of DovesGlossary, Trek gear: ox yokes, harness, chains, etc.
1971 Daily Dispatch 23 Oct. 24 (advt)Trek gear and many more items.
1979 Farmer’s Weekly 21 Mar. 107 (advt)Trek Gear, etc.
1912 Queenstown Rep. 27 Jan. 5 (Pettman)These accidents especially as far as trek-goed is concerned always happen when they are least expected.
1922 J.G. Fraser in F.G. Butler When Boys Were Men (1969) 207The disselboom or pole, to which the trekgoed or drawing gear was attached.
1941 A.G. Bee Kalahari Camp Fires (1943) 269Try to disentangle them.., and you will save the ‘trek-goed’ (hauling gear) as well as the oxen.
1968 J.T. McNish Rd to El Dorado 112The unskilled diggers assisted the disentangle the yoked animals and remove the ‘trekgoed’ to the river bank where it was properly aligned again.
1972 Grocott’s Mail 17 Nov. 2 (advt)Dexter Tractor 3 000..; Trekgoed.
1972 L.G. Green When Journey’s Over 134I place meat as the greatest of all foodstuffs. Not all meat of course. Not the trekos or the hoender that has to be roasted in a pot until it falls apart and comes out devoid of flavour.
1833 Graham’s Town Jrnl 7 Mar. 1On the same day will also be offered, Thirty fine Track Oxen.
1850 R.G.G. Cumming Hunter’s Life I. 220I purchased..several..trek-oxen.
1867 S. Turner in D. Child Portrait of Pioneer (1980) 63The next night they pulled down a trek-ox close to the wagon.
1879 R.J. Atcherley Trip to Boërland 48When in fair condition and inoculated for lung-sickness, the trek-ox will cost about £8, and a good waggon may be purchased for £100.
1882 C.L. Norris-Newman With Boers in Tvl 190Forty oxen being killed daily in the camp, there was a profusion of good beef, all good and fat, and not like the trek ox ‘Tommy Atkins’ had to put up with.
1896 H.A. Bryden Tales of S. Afr. 230Lying at their yokes, chewing peacefully the cud, the great trek oxen rested.
1905 P. Gibbon Vrouw Grobelaar 15A great hulking fellow, with the strength of a trek-ox.
1906 H. Rider Haggard Benita 249Benita could swallow no food; she was weary of that sun-dried trek-ox.
1929 J.G. Van Alphen Jan Venter 71He looked as tired as a wheeler trek-ox at an outspan.
1938 F.C. Slater Trek 3I leave..and make my pilgrimage, At trek-ox pace.
1948 V.M. Fitzroy Cabbages & Cream 124One day Shilling gave Christopher a trek-ox horn. It was a huge thing, like a drinking horn out of a Norse saga.
1961 L.E. Van Onselen Trekboer 82One old Trekboer said to me that when the trek oxen drink, they raise their eyes to Heaven in thanksgiving to their Maker.
1967 E.M. Slatter My Leaves Are Green 6Venison would make a change from the eternal ‘trek-ox’ which was ‘Maritzburg’s staple meat supply.’
1970 R.C.G. in Outpost 140The first war was won on bread and jam and tea, and who shall say how much crime was stamped out on tea and trek ox?
1971 H. Zeederberg Veld Express 234Another 2,509 Australians were loaded on to the heavy transport wagons drawn by Africander trek oxen.
1976 A.R. Willcox Sn Land 177One by one, stricken by nagana, the trek-oxen dropped.
1979 T. Pakenham Boer War (1982) 263Now, with the Sunday lunch of ‘T.O.’ (trek-ox) and hard biscuits, the hard truth.
1985 S. Afr. Panorama Oct. 43Villages were cut off from the world whenever drought prevented trek oxen from getting through.
1898 J.F. Ingram Story of Afr. City 179The finishing and painting department is encountered, where..stand the great trek-wagons, waiting but the order to start like ‘ships of the desert’ to the far-off lands of the Matabele and Mashona.
1936 E. Rosenthal Old-Time Survivals 6Perhaps the proudest possession of the National Museum at Pretoria is the original trek-wagon of President Paul Kruger.
1948 H.V. Morton In Search of S. Afr. 83The African trek wagon was really a caravan in which people lived as they travelled.
1969 D. Child Yesterday’s Children 101The trek-wagon was a sturdy vehicle whose body was long in proportion to its breadth. It had four heavy wheels shod with iron, and a canvas canopy stretched over semi-circular hoops.
1988 J. Boekkooi in Weekend Argus 3 Sept. 5They don’t build trek-wagons like they used to.
b. Combinations related to travel or to the nomadic or migratory movements of people or animals:
trek boer /- bʊə/, /- bur/, plural trek boers, and (formerly) trek boeren, [Afrikaans, boer farmer] historical, (a) a nomadic farmer, (b) Voortrekker noun sense 1; also attributive;
trekbok /-bɔk/ [Afrikaans bok antelope] or partial translation of trekbuck, a springbok which is part of a large migrating herd; (usually in plural form trekbokken) a collective term for the herd or the migration; see also springbok sense 1 a; cf. houbok;
trek farmer, trek boer sense (a) (see above);
trek fever or trekgees /-xɪəs/, earlier trekgeest [Afrikaans, gees (Dutch geest) spirit], restlessness, wanderlust, a longing for open spaces and the outdoor life;
trekpad /-pat/ [Afrikaans, pad path, roadway], an established route used by people trekking by wagon;
trek pass [English pass note of authorization], in rural areas, a written document given to an employee on dismissal or departure, entitling him or her to seek other employment;
trek-path, (a) a rural servitude; the right to herd animals across privately-owned land en route from one grazing area to another; also attributive; (b) an established animal track;
trek-weary adjective.
1835 A. Steedman Wanderings II. 53We met a Trek Boor, with his cattle.
1837 J.M. Bowker Speeches & Sel. (1864) 56We met with..springboks and trek-boeren.
1857 F.W. Reitz in Cape Monthly Mag. II. Oct. 198There is a wide difference between our ‘trek-boer’ and the Canadian or United States backwoodsman.
1871 J. Mackenzie Ten Yrs N. of Orange River 14‘Trek-boers,’ wandering farmers, in their waggon and tent, and shift about from place to place with their flocks and herds. Many of these people never possess houses, but pass their whole life in this nomadic manner.
1882 C. Du Val With Show through Sn Afr. I. 106Abolition of slavery was the primary cause of the movement of these ‘trekk Boers’, and dissatisfaction generally with the subsequent native policy of the British Government aided it.
1898 W.C. Scully Between Sun & Sand 2Bushmanland is..intermittently inhabited by a nomadic population of Europeans of Dutch descent, who are known as ‘Trek-Boers’.
1902 D. Van Warmelo On Commando 74It was a journey difficult even for a trek Boer, and more than difficult for a large commando.
1920 F.C. Cornell Glamour of Prospecting 54He had expected to find trek boeren at some old water-pits.
1941 C.W. De Kiewiet Hist. of S. Afr. 17The trekboers..left the current of European life...Though they never became true nomads, the mark of nomadism was upon them.
1958 A. Jackson Trader on Veld 31It was the happy hunting ground of the Trek Boer, moving from place to place with all his livestock, wherever the grazing was good.
1971 Baraitser & Obholzer Cape Country Furn. 97In 1835 Bell sketched the inside of a trek boer tent.
1987 Investing Today (pamphlet)This colourless tangy fruit spirit made in the traditional copper still of the old trekboer days.
1990 Sunday Times 8 July 18The Trekboers, that much-romanticised group which ‘tamed’ the South African interior, were, like their American cowboy counterparts, a pretty untamed lot themselves.
1824 S. Afr. Jrnl I. 72On the approach of the Trek-Bokken or migrating spring-boks, the grazier makes up his mind to look for pasturage for his flocks elsewhere.
1827 G. Thompson Trav. 40The destructive trek-bokken or migratory springboks, pressed by the long droughts, occasionally inundate the northern parts of the Colony.
1839 W.C. Harris Wild Sports 33The trek bokken, as the occasional immigration..of countless swarms of these antelopes is called by the colonists.
1860 A.W. Drayson Sporting Scenes 159They said that in the great ‘trek-boken’, or journey of the springbok, the numbers were inconceivable; that they destroyed all the grass, leaving the plain like a vast cattle-fold.
1875 J.J. Bisset Sport & War 197The trek-boks were as much dreaded by the farmers as the locusts...During the time of drought in the interior..these trek-boks migrate southward, devouring every blade of grass before them.
1889 H.A. Bryden Kloof & Karroo 233During this last great trek bokken, he killed with buck-shot no less than five bok at one shot.
1922 J.G. Fraser in F.G. Butler When Boys Were Men (1969) 212It took about three days before the whole of the trekbokken had passed, and it left our country looking as if a fire had passed over it.
1941 N. Devitt Celebrated S. Afr. Crimes 18Wants and worries were few, unless perhaps the fear of drought,..or that the trek-bokken should come, those herds of nomadic spring-bokken which move in their thousands across the countryside, trampling all before them.
1955 L.G. Green Karoo 44Karoo farmers last century firmly believed in two varieties of springbok — the lean trekbok and the fatter houbok (about fifteen pounds heavier), which remained in one area.
1972 A. Scholefield Wild Dog Running 105Herds of springbuck, the ‘trekbokken’ as they were called, stretching from one horizon to the next.
1981 H. Thesen in Outeniqualander 25 June 9This is a microcosm of the ancient sound of the ‘trek bok’ on the move, millions strong, trampling all before them in a sometimes suicidal search for new grazing for their burgeoning numbers.
1985 S. Afr. Panorama Oct. 43‘The trekbuck are coming; it will be death to stay in this river bed.’...Soon a drumming sound..and a cloud of dust warned that thousands of leaping springbok were being funnelled in his direction.
1912 E. London Dispatch 1 May 5 (Pettman)The desirability of amending the railway tariff for trek-sheep to enable trek farmers to avail themselves of the railway when moving stock to winter pasture.
1966 E. Palmer Plains of Camdeboo 128The mountain bush had housed the first trek-farmers in hard and stormy weather.
1987 I. Claassen in S. Afr. Panorama Aug. 22It is sparsely populated by Coloureds and Namas, of whom many are trek-farmers with large herds of goats.
1897 J.P. Fitzpatrick Outspan 3When..this instinct, feeling, craving..awakens, as it perdiodically does, it becomes a madness, and they call it trek-fever, and then..‘You must trek or burst!’
1913 C. Pettman Africanderisms 513Trek fever, The insatiable longing which possesses the man who has once yielded himself to the spirit of wandering and adventure in the vast areas of the sub-continent is thus designated.
1943 D. Reitz No Outspan 1878 they had built a church, their trek-fever temporarily stilled.
1953 D. Rooke S. Afr. Twins 55Trek fever started..when a man turned his eyes toward the horizon and began to speculate what lay beyond. The next thing was to go and find out.
1904 H.A. Bryden Hist. of S. Afr. 65The ‘trek-geest’ — the spirit of wandering — stirred within them. The more discontented and masterful..determined to sell their farms, quit the Cape Colony,..and seek new homes and wide farms in the dim and unknown regions beyond the Orange River.
1936 Cambridge Hist. of Brit. Empire VIII. 530Kruger’s policy of expansion was entirely consonant with his countrymen’s ever-present trekgeest, the desire to trek with guns and waggons to new lands in the ‘vast spaces washed with sun’ which beckoned them onwards into the Great Continent.
1941 C.W. De Kiewiet Hist. of S. Afr. 47The old trekgeest, the spirit of the open veld, of greener grass beyond the horizon.
1968 G. Croudace Silver Grass 26Driven by trekgees — the restless fever that afflicted the Afrikaner trekkers at the sight of their neighbour’s smoke — he had crossed the Kalahari Desert from the Transvaal.
1973 J. Meintjes Voortrekkers 43Louis even as a boy developed the trekgees and he was to wander far and wide.
1989 Reader’s Digest Illust. Hist. of S. Afr. 57To tempt families to settle permanently, he proposed that..a burgher might convert 50 hectares of his leningplaats to freehold property...On those who had succumbed to the trekgees (wanderlust) this new offer had no effect.
1937 S. Cloete Turning Wheels 11The bends in the old trek pad, that so many followed later, were due to Herman van der Berg. Due to his signalling the voorlopers to the right or left, away from a tree stump or an ant-bear hole.
1952 H. Klein Land of Silver Mist 108A cry that now..takes me that first moment when I knew that I had found that ‘somewhere’ waiting for me on my trek pad.
1963 S. Cloete Rags of Glory 33The great trekpad was dotted with the graves of men and the bones of the stock that had died by the thousand on the way.
1926 W.A. Cotton Race Problem in S. Afr. 77The ‘trek pass’ absolution of our British and Dutch farmers.
1931 H.C. Bosman in V. Rosenberg Almost Forgotten Stories (1979) 33Francina wrote out all the trekpasses and made all the kaffirs clear off the farm.
1939 R.F.A. Hoernlé S. Afr. Native Policy 83Those who were unwilling to renew their contracts on the new terms, were offered only a ‘trek-pass,’ entitling them to seek a position on another farm in the district.
1986 J. Baloyi Learn & Teach No.2, 36Country people live better than town people because they can stay with their families in the same house. Nobody can ask them about ‘trek-passes’.
1889 Divisional Council Act in Stat. of Cape of G.H. 1652–1905 (1906) 2745The words path or track shall not be taken to mean trekpaths lawfully used in certain districts of the Colony.
1929 J.G. Van Alphen Jan Venter 47He says he is no longer going to have his land cut up by roads and trek-paths.
1936 Cape Argus 18 Mar. 13The trek-path controversy has led many men to fence their farms.
1945 G. Wille Principles of S. Afr. Law 204Trek-path, trek pad; the right of driving cattle, including large flocks of sheep, across the land of another.
1961 L.E. Van Onselen Trekboer 45The man who lives along the trekpath should realize his good fortune in owning a fixed property and a solidly built house. He should not look down upon the less fortunate Trekboer.
1968 S. Stander HorseA thousand animals..moved down the ancient trek-path.
1977 S. Stander Flight from Hunter 38They are trek-paths. The animals often go right across the pan, making their own paths.
1939 M. Rorke Melina Rorke 100Thinking it too dangerous to risk a solitary crossing with trek-weary oxen, he had decided to turn back.
c. Combinations related to fishing (see sense 10):
trek boat, a boat used in trek fishing (see below);
trek fisherman, one who fishes using a trek net (see below); trekker sense 2;
trek fishing verbal noun, the act or practice of fishing with a trek net; also attributive; trekking verbal noun sense 3;
trek net, a seine net: a large fishing net, weighted at one end and fitted with floats on the other so that it hangs vertically in the water, usually dropped from a boat and hauled in from the shore; also attributive; hence trek netter, trek fisherman (see above).
1985 S.-Easter Oct.Nov. 23 (advt)Dine in an antique Trek Boat.
1992 Yeld & Gubb in Afr. Wildlife Vol.46 No.2, 200Trek-boats have operated in the bay for well over a century.
1968 Drum Sept. 38Osman ‘Oesie’ Mohammed, a 40-year-old trek-fisherman, is indeed a big man.
1973 Farmer’s Weekly 18 Apr. 102It (sc. the harder) is generally caught from the beaches in the nets of the trek fishermen.
1989 Our Living World Aug. 6Nan..watched trek fishermen catching dolphins in nets in Hout Bay.
1992 Yeld & Gubb in Afr. Wildlife Vol.46 No.2, 200There have been consistent catches of a number of different species by trek-fishermen over the years.
1970 Cape Argus 24 Dec. 2Another crew member..had gone assist them with the trek fishing.
1983 Cape Times 5 Jan. 11Cancellation of some trek-fishing licences has begun in terms of the government’s tough new conservation policies.
1991 B.J. Barker Fairest Cape 47 (caption)On the long, white beach at Fish Hoek, trek-fishing boats are drawn up on the sands.
1913 W.W. Thompson Sea Fisheries of Cape Col. 46The seine, or ‘trek-net’, has from the very earliest period of the European occupation of the country been the type of net generally adopted.
1934 C.P. Swart Supplement to Pettman. 179Trek-net, A seine is so called by S.A. fishermen, whose method is to set the nets near the shore and wait for the fish to come in, when the net and its catch are drawn on to the beach.
1964 L.G. Green Old Men Say 90Poet’s Corner in Woodstock was originally Fisherman’s Corner because so many of the treknet brethren lived there.
1970 Argus 24 Dec. 2They had cast trek nets in the surf about 50 yards from the beach.
1987 Sunday Times 15 Feb. (Mag. Sect.) 61A dolphin-catching outfit had dragged ashore 200 dolphins in a trek net to select a couple for sale to South Africa’s dolphinaria.
1956 J.L.B. Smith Old Fourlegs 9I lived with the coastal trek-netters.
1973 Argus 12 Jan. 20 (caption)This Bluefin Tunny of over 200kg was dragged ashore by trek netters at Fish Hoek.., indicative of how close inshore these giant fish come.
1983 Cape Times 31 Dec. 9The trek-netters at Glencairn took a shoal of about 300 big fish.
1993 Sn Argus 12 Aug. 4I would like to reply to Mr Petty’s letter, which accuses me of being..unfairly biased against the trek netters.
d. Special Combinations related to the underlying sense of ‘trek’ in Du. and Afk. (a tug, a pulling action):
treksaw, a two-handled cross-cut saw, operated by two people alternately pushing and pulling.
1972 Daily Dispatch 4 Mar. 18 (advt)Trek Saws; Jacks; [etc.].
1973 E. Prov. Herald 28 May 13A large hole in the ground under the log and a double-handled treksaw pushed and pulled by two men, one down in the hole and the other above.
The team of oxen pulling a wagon.
In the phrase on the trek, on trek,in the process of travelling or migrating by wagon; on the road.
A leg of a journey; in historical contexts, the distance travelled by ox-wagon between halts (or ‘outspans’).
The relocation of a large group of people from one area to another, the move usually being made by ox-wagon, and being prompted by political discontent or economic hardship.
Latterly, any relocation, including a temporary move, as for the purpose of working for some months in a distant town. Also attributive.
a long trip by ox-wagon.
Any journey, especially a long or arduous one, or one involving travel in the wilds; journeying.
A group of travellers; an expedition party; a wagon train, including the travellers, their goods and livestock, and their wagons and draught animals (usually oxen).
Goods and chattels; possessions.
Hard work, a ‘long haul’; mental or spiritual endeavour.
A migration of animals. Also attributive.
(a haul of fish caught by) the act of hauling in from the shore a trek net which has been cast in the sea.
The Trek: Great Trek sense 1. Also attributive.