trekker, noun

Formerly also trecker.
Afrikaans, South African EnglishShow more Afrikaans, or formed in South African English: trek verb + noun-forming suffix -er.
A further sense of ‘trekker’, not used in South African English. but found in U.S. and British English, is ‘a hiker; one participating in a recreational walk or pony-ride’.
1. a. In historical contexts. Also with initial capital. Voortrekker noun sense 1. Also attributive. b. transferred sense. One who is part of a migration of a people or large group; see also Dorsland trekker (Dorsland).
1846 Natal Witness 26 June 2What is the which these ‘trekkers’ have chosen to place themselves?
1851 R. Gray Jrnls of Two Visitations II. 27Only a few of the latest trekkers have a friendly feeling towards the English Government.
1892 The Jrnl 10 Sept. 2It is said that even a son of President Kruger will join the trekkers.
1900 H.C. Hillegas Oom Paul’s People 219In their dealings with the Boers the British have invariably assumed the role of aristocrats, and have looked upon and treated the ‘trekkers’ as sans-culottes.
1919 J.Y. Gibson in S. Afr. Jrnl of Science July 3The ‘smous,’ or itinerant trader, was a common visitant, carrying his wares in the Kap-tent wagon to the remote habitations of trekkers and settlers.
1933 W.H.S. Bell Bygone Days 111The party..took with them about 30,000 sheep and several hundred horses and oxen, which the trekkers had obtained by barter.
1941 C.W. De Kiewiet Hist. of S. Afr. 23The Dutch were not the first trekkers in South Africa...The Bantu whom the advancing huntsmen first met at an early moment in the eighteenth century were the country’s original trekkers.
1945 J. Burger Black Man’s Burden 19The trekkers complained of the suppression of their language and institutions; of the lack of protection on the frontier; of the unfair way in which the liberation of the slaves had been carried out; of the unjustifiable odium which missionaries and other prejudiced persons had cast upon them.
1951 R. Griffiths Grey about Flame 98Sometimes the warriors surprised a column of trekkers before they could form their laager.
1972 S. Afr. Panorama Mar. 27Many hundreds of spectators were clad in typical Trekker costumes of the early nineteenth century period.
1973 Sunday Times 9 Dec. (Mag. Sect.) 5Many Coloureds..trekked to..the Cape Flats, but unlike other trekkers before them there was no promised land.
1975 A. Paton in T. Sundermeier Church & Nationalism 46The seeds of future conflict between British authority and a nascent trekker nationalism were already to be discerned.
1988 Sunday Star 5 June 2In the old days, the days of the Trekkers, mampoer was made from wild fruits.
1990 Frontline Mar.Apr. 20Farms like the Trekkers thought farms should be, where you can’t see the smoke of the neighbour’s chimney.
1990 Sunday Times 21 Oct. 11Olifantshoek is seen by the trekkers as their Pretoria.
1991 P. Hawthorne in Time 20 May 8Says Boshoff, the new trekkers ‘will make the desert bloom’.
2. trek fisherman, see trek noun sense 12 c.
1985 A. Tredgold Bay between Mountains 204At night..the trekkers cannot see what fish are about and how many small ones they are netting.
1988 Weekend Argus 19 Mar. 14 (letter)Selfish trekkers...No sooner do the weather and surf conditions become right for the fish to move inshore, than along come the trek nets which indiscriminately take everything out before you can take the rod from your attic.
Voortrekkernoun1. Also attributive.
One who is part of a migration of a people or large group;
trek fisherman, see treknoun12 c.
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