veld, noun

/felt/, /fɛlt/
Forms:
α. felt, veldShow more felt, veld, velt.
β. feldt, veldt.
Origin:
DutchShow more Dutch veld (formerly also written veldt) field, battle-field.
1. noncount.  obsolete. The area or (collectively) areas in which military operations are taking place, ‘the field’; rare except in combination, as in the former military and civil titles of persons who, while not necessarily permanent soldiers, were officers-designate, holding positions of authority in the field in times of war, and carrying out certain administrative duties in peacetime: see veld commandant, veld cornet, veld-corporal (see sense 5), veld-kornet, veldwagtmeester.
α.
1785 [see veld-corporal at sense 5].
1902 D. Van Warmelo On Commando 40Cowards and traitors remained behind, and the willing ones went to the veld.
1902 D. Van Warmelo On Commando 171There was not much left to commandeer, unless we deprived the women whose husbands were in the veld of the necessities of life.
2. Open, undeveloped countryside.
a.
i. noncount. Uncultivated and undeveloped land with relatively open natural vegetation, especially open grassland or scrubland, but ranging from semi-desert terrain to savannah in which grass and scrub are closely interspersed with trees; field sense 1. See also bush noun1 sense 3.
α.
1835 A. Steedman Wanderings I. 71We reached Fort Wiltshire late in the evening and..retired to rest with very different feelings from those which we had entertained the previous evening in the Veld.
1856 R.E.E. Wilmot Diary (1984) 12At last after leaving hills, and riding over flats and felt..for some time came to a stand.
1887 S.W. Silver & Co.’s Handbk to S. Afr. 35The Government had to support with measured rations the people who had been dropped on the veld.
1900 A.W. Carter Informant, Ladybrand 8 Mar. 15The Boers..were scattered in small klompies over the veld.
1921 W.C. Scully Harrow 13Having but some hundreds of miles of open, more or less barren ‘veld’ between it and the Orange Rivier, the little town was a tempting bait.
1954 Bantu World 15 May 1They slept around fires in the open veld.
1971 Post 7 Mar. 12A Soweto stockdealer..knifed him, bound him with wire, locked him in the boot of a car, and took him to the veld.
1987 F. Krüger in Weekly Mail 12 June 30The sign which directs you to ‘Embassies’..stands in the veld pointing to nowhere.
1991 C. Smith in Sunday Times 22 Sept. 29The bridge is..in scrubby veld next to the main road.
β.
1802 Truter & Somerville in G.M. Theal Rec. of Cape Col. (1899) IV. 397He was of the opinion that..the veldt between this and Roggeveld and the fountains were too dry..for the number of cattle of the expedition, and before we had copious rains there could not be sufficient water in that veldt.
1850 N.J. Merriman Cape Jrnls (1957) 131Our horse broke away..galloping over the veldt, scattering my kit in different directions.
1862 A Lady Life at Cape (1963) 98In September,..the hedges would be full of roses, and the veldt blazing with bulbs.
1876 T. Stubbs Reminiscences. I. 77On Saturdays we generally went for a Hunt.., I never had happier days than with them out in the Veldt.
1885 H. Rider Haggard King Solomon’s Mines 63To the right was a scattered native settlement.., and beyond it great tracts of waving ‘veldt’ covered with tall grass, over which herds of the smaller game were wandering.
1903 E.F. Knight S. Afr. after War 53Irrigation..would make vast tracts of now barren veldt blossom like the rose.
1903 E.F. Knight S. Afr. after War 79The rolling, treeless, and bushless brown veldt, which glowed like dull gold in the sunset.
1967 J.A. Broster Red Blanket Valley 3When firewood is unprocurable cattle dung is collected and burned — thus further denuding the already impoverished veldt.
1990 R. Gool Cape Town Coolie 165Valleys of rolling caneland.., knolls of dry open veldt with aloes, wattles, and thorntrees bristling above dense nests of subtropical jungle.
ii. rare. plural veldte, veldts //. A piece or stretch of uncultivated land; an enclosed but uncultivated field.
α.
1987 New Nation 23 July 3The Hlongwane brothers were..found dead in a veld.
1990 G. Slovo Ties of Blood 81They’d stood in the midst of an open veld and looked at the land which was once theirs.
β.
1900 H. Butterworth Trav. Tales 15They wished to know about the great valleys, or veldts, that they expected to visit.
1989 D. Day Encycl. of Vanished Species 191The savannahs and veldte of Africa.
b. Attributive, as veld fire (cf. bushfire, see bush noun1 sense 1 b), veld flower, veld grass, veld koppie.
α.
1882 C. Du Val With Show through Sn Afr. I. 62In certain seasons..the ‘Veld’ flowers in countless numbers burst into bloom, and substitute for their lack of perfume the richness of their variegated hues.
1911 J.A. Dreyer in Farmer’s Weekly 11 Oct. 157 (letter)For the whole of that summer these horses lived entirely on the veld grass.
1948 H.C. Bosman in L. Abrahams Unto Dust (1963) 109Girls..carry in the fragrance of romance with a red veld-flower in their hair.
1957 D. Jacobson Price of Diamonds 16The mines and the mine-dumps receded far across the veld, to become indistinguishable from the veld koppies on the horizon.
1966 L.G. Berger Where’s Madam 50The veld grass by August is waist high.
1989 J. Hobbs Thoughts in Makeshift Mortuary 78The rocks began where the veld grass ended.
1992 T. Van Rensburg in S. Afr. Panorama Mar.Apr. 14Fynbos products such as..veld flowers and thatching-reed are harvested.
β.
1976 N. Ashford in J. Crwys-Williams S. Afr. Despatches (1989) 414Violence and rioting spread across the Rand like a veldt fire today.
c. With distinguishing epithet, denoting a characteristic feature of an area (such as a common animal species, altitude, etc.): see Agterveld, backveld, Bokkeveld, highveld, Hooge Veld, lowveld, middleveld.
d. In the phr. veld and vlei verse, see quotation 1986.
α.
1986 D. Adey et al. Companion to S. Afr. Eng. Lit. 204Veld and vlei verse, A derogatory appellation for a considerable quantity of nineteenth (and early twentieth century) SA verse, the subject of which is the veld — usually evoked in sentimental Victorian-romantic rhythms and tones. Roy Campbell bitingly satirized the tendency of so many colonial poetasters to hymn the mystery of the wide outdoors in his poem ‘A Veld Eclogue: The Pioneers’.
1991 M. Chapman in Embambiswaneni No.10, 72A late 19th Century South African tradition of what he (sc. Roy Campbell) scornfully called ‘veld and vlei’ verse (that is, sentimental hymns to the mystery of the veld).
3. noncount.
a. Natural uncultivated vegetation used as pasture; the vegetation (as described at sense 2 a i) on such land. See also veld camp at sense 5.
α.
1850 J.D. Lewins Diary. 1 Mar.No lambs in velt.
1852 M.B. Hudson S. Afr. Frontier Life 13The greensward around us..resembles the pasture of Albion’s down: For this veld the Colonial expression is ‘sweet’.
1867 Blue Bk for Col. 1866 JJ46The crops and veld have recovered from the ravages of the locusts.., so that many who despaired of raising any produce have been able to reap a moderate harvest.
1925 L.D. Flemming Crop of Chaff 47If your veld should happen to be long and your neighbour’s veld is very short his cattle poke their heads..through the wires and eat away all the veld within their reach.
c1936 S. & E. Afr. Yr Bk & Guide 650Grazing land round Aliwal North is fairly good and veld sells from 60s. to 80s. a morgen.
1948 A. Paton Cry, Beloved Country 269Veld,..Means open grass country. Or it may mean the grass itself, as when a farmer looks down at his feet, and says, this veld is poor.
1960 J.J.L. Sisson S. Afr. Judicial Dict. 838By veld is generally understood the uncultivated and unoccupied portion of land as distinct from the portion which is cultivated, occupied and built upon. It is that part of open and uncultivated land over which cattle and sheep and other stock are turned for grazing purposes.
1973 E. Prov. Herald 11 Apr. 4Following good rains..the veld has made a remarkable recovery.
1991 J. Glen-Leary in Farmer’s Weekly 25 Jan. 29The fodder supply by natural veld and/or cultivated pastures must be synchronised to fulfil the needs of the animals during the various stages of production, reproduction and growth.
1993 J. Thomas in House & Leisure Nov. 50The veld was hacked into bristly fairways, with odd little patches of kikuyu greens hosting embedded jam tins.
β.
1876 T. Stubbs Reminiscences. I. 91As the Veldt was completely done, they asked me to help them to remove to another farm.
1900 F.D. Baillie Mafeking Diary 135The veldt all round looked fresh, green and undulating.
1903 E.F. Knight S. Afr. after War 37These great trekking flocks and herds coming through their farms were eating up all their veldt.
b. Attributive, as veld green, veld management, veld rehabilitation, veld-type.
α.
1965 Farmer’s Weekly 8 Dec. 8Child of poor veld management, bitterbush is also the forerunner of approaching desert.
1965 Farmer’s Weekly 33Creeping salt bush..is a hardy and valuable plant for veld rehabilitation on alkaline soils.
1971 Farmer’s Weekly 12 May 431Veld conditions are often poor..; lambs are weaned on poor veld (Karoo).
1973 S. Afr. Panorama Aug. 23The most recent [map], made in 1953, shows 70 different veld types.
1974 Personality 12 July 34Troop-carriers.., all painted dull veld green, were made available.
1990 W.R. Tarboton in Flora & Fauna No.47, 2These mist forests fall within the Adcocks veld-type known as ‘north-eastern mountain sourveld’.
1993 Weekend Post 22 May 4Border farmers face a bleak winter with hardly any veld reserves.
c. An element in the names of terrain types, with distinguishing epithet denoting the dominant soil or plant type, or a characteristic of the vegetation: see bontveld, bosveld, bushveld, gebroken veld, grassveld, hard veld, mixed veld, renosterveld, sandveld, sourveld (sour sense 2), strandveld, sweetveld (sweet sense 2), thornveld, zuurveld.
4. noncount, transferred sense ‘The country’, rural areas or rural society, with characteristic atmosphere and lifestyle. Also combinations veld-bred, and (nonce) veld-tipped adjectives, and figurative. See also backveld noun sense a.
α.
1881 P. Gillmore Land of Boer 34He was..accustomed..to velt-life.
1905 P. Gibbon Vrouw Grobelaar 84She was of good veld-bred fighting stock.
1934 H.C. Bosman Mafeking Rd (1969) 135I have known people who sit..and dream about the veld.., and start believing in what they call the soul of the veld, until..the veld means a different thing to them from what it does to me.
1934 N. Devitt Mem. of Magistrate 21I shook the veld dust from my feet and went to live in Johannesburg.
1955 D.L. Hobman Olive Schreiner 3This stocky little South African from the veld.
1970 Daily News 30 Nov.Dr. Steytler, essentially a man of the veld and an Afrikaner to the core.
1985 Style Oct. 68Take to the African bush..dressed for adventure...Bush hats, long khaki socks and brogues to keep feet firmly on the veld.
1990 Sunday Times 27 May (Mag. Sect.) 20The 22nd novel to pour from his veld-tipped pen.
5. combinations
veld burning verbal noun phrase, the setting of controlled fires in the veld to encourage new plant growth, or to kill off unwanted species; see also burn;
veld camp [see camp noun2 sense b], an area of natural vegetation enclosed as pasture; see also sense 3 a above;
veld-corporal obsolete, in the 18th century, the chief military officer of a Dutch-occupied region;
veld-craft, practically useful knowledge of the veld, applied in such areas as path-finding, the use of plants, the tracking of animals, and the exploitation of terrain to one’s advantage in warfare;
veld fever rare (?nonce), a longing to be in the veld;
veldkool /-kʊəl/, also veldskool [Afrikaans, from Dutch kool cabbage], any of several species of edible wild plant; hotnotskool, see Hotnot sense 4; see also Hottentot’s cabbage (Hottentot noun sense 6 a);
veld management, the controlled use of veld in order to prevent its deterioriation through overgrazing, the encroachment of exotic plant species, or other cause;
veld remedy, a cure which makes use of natural products found in the veld;
veld school, a camp for children held in the veld and including lectures and practical instruction on nature conservation and other topics (alleged by some to have been used by the National Party government for purposes of political indoctrination);
veld sickness Pathology, a potentially fatal disease of livestock resulting from malnutrition, and occurring particularly when animals raised in a sweetveld area are moved to sourveld pastures;
veldman, veldsman /-man/ [Afrikaans], a person knowledgeable in veld-craft (see above) or delighting in life in the veld;
veld sore Pathology, an ulcerous skin eruption apparently caused or aggravated by dietary deficiencies and dry, dusty climatic conditions; cf. Natal sore (see Natal sense a).
1856 R.E.E. Wilmot Diary (1984) 39Near Grahamstown, at a veld burning, I saw full 300 [locust birds] in attendance on the flames.
1911 Farmer’s Weekly 4 Oct. 117 (letter)We have been exhorted..not to indulge in the wasteful practice of veld burning.
1936 W.B. Humphreys in Hansard 10 Mar. 1008There are two methods of eradication, one by veld-burning, which nobody will recommend, and the other is pulling it up by hand.
1949 L.G. Green In Land of Afternoon 176Rhenosterbos..defies eradication. Veld burning only encourages it.
1953 J.J. Morris in S. Afr. Stockbreeder & Farmer 61Of all veld treatment practices, veld burning is surely the one which has caused most controversies for all times...The policy of the Department of Agriculture is not to condemn veld burning altogether as this practice..is sometimes very necessary.
1973 Cape Times 6 June 9The flush of grass following veld burning..is particularly attractive to blesbok.
1982 S. Afr. Panorama Feb. 14Another long-term Ukulinga research project is concerned with veld burning...Burning can be of benefit to humid grasslands, with red grass..doing well under such conditions.
1992 Richardson & Van Wilgen in Afr. Wildlife Vol.46 No.4, 160The 1923 report of the Drought Investigation Commission expressed the opinion that veld-burning was harmful.
1972 Grocott’s Mail 3 Mar. 4There are..nine veld camps, all with permanent spring water.
1972 Daily Dispatch 11 Mar. 17 (advt)Camps and Grazing: Six land camps and four veld camps.
1785 G. Forster tr. of A. Sparrman’s Voy. to Cape of G.H. II. 144The land-drost has appointed one of the farmers, with the title of veld-corporal, to command in these wars.
1893 Harley in Cape Illust. Mag. June 378Jack, who was famous..for his knowledge of what for want of a better term we must call veldt-craft, acted as guide.
1910 J. Buchan Prester John 43By and by I learned something of veld-craft: I learned how to follow spoor, how to allow for the wind, and stalk under cover.
1929 D. Reitz Commando 176My knowledge of veld-craft brought our party safely through to the Vaal River.
1946 T. Macdonald Ouma Smuts 37The Boers, masters of veld-craft, were unerring thorns in the sides of the British Army. They would come suddenly out of the mist, attack, and vanish like shadows.
1964 V. Pohl Dawn & After 149Mosillikaas.., whose unrivalled veldcraft and wonderful constitution enabled him to live happily and comfortably under conditions that no white man could have endured.., had succumbed to Spanish influenza.
1899 D.S.F.A. Phillips S. Afr. Recollections 9Veld Fever’ is a malady, a longing indescribable which comes over many South Africans who have lived much on the veld, and about the month of April many people feel it in full force.
1971 L.G. Green Taste of S.-Easter 82During..May and June they picked the flower buds of the wild cabbage, the veldskool, that makes a fine bredie and a still more wonderful creamed puree.
1987 S. Afr. PanoramaJan. [Back cover], Flower lovers can taste a specially delicious local bredie (stew) made from veldkool (Anthericum spp.).
1937 Handbk for Farmers (Dept of Agric. & Forestry) 634The Department is..establishing research stations for the investigation of..proper veld management, veld burning, pasture establishment, [etc.].
1972 Farmer’s Weekly 21 Apr. 70 (advt)They should have had practical experience of silage and hay making, veld management and all aspects of cattle management.
1992 Richardson & Van Wilgen in Afr. Wildlife Vol.46 No.4, 160The policy of fire suppression was maintained until the late 1960s, when it became evident from results of research on veld management in fynbos that..fire was necessary to prevent the extinction of certain species.
1956 F.C. Metrowich Valiant but Once 222Bisset tried an old veld remedy. He stuffed the wound with cobwebs and in this way succeeded in partially stopping the bleeding.
1973 Cape Times 1 June 5As a medicine it is interesting...Like other veld remedies you have people who swear by them..and others who swear at them.
1981 Rand Daily Mail 6 Mar. 8 (letter)We are a group of girls who attended the veld school camp...We certainly felt that the camp was not a ‘Hitler Youth Programme’...At no time was any idea or doctrine forced on us.
1983 Sunday Express 19 JuneSyllabi, textbooks, teacher training and promotional opportunities, veld schools and open universities have all been manipulated in the interests of Afrikaner Nationalist domination.
1990 A. Goldstuck Rabbit in Thorn Tree 120At the notorious Veld Schools..‘youth preparedness’ was the banner under which children were told that pop music and blue jeans were weapons of the communist onslaught.
1993 Natal Mercury 8 Apr. 9Several ideas were put forward to save the village from demolition...Turning it into an orphanage, a veldschool, low-income housing, [etc.].
1896 R. Wallace Farming Indust. of Cape Col. 82Animals brought from sweet veld suffer from what is termed veld sickness, which results from insufficient nutrition and the hard and irritating nature of the food consumed.
1905 D. Hutcheon in Flint & Gilchrist Science in S. Afr. 343Dr. Edington..proposes to group Horse sickness, Heartwater and Veld-sickness (Coast Gallsickness) under the generic name of ‘South African Fever,’ having Equine, Bovine and Caprine varieties.
1979 T. Gutsche There Was a Man 189Edington..asserted that the fatal epidemic was a combination of Red Water and Veld Sickness.
1895 J.G. Millais Breath from Veldt (1899) 286Tace..liked to parade himself as an old Veldtsman.
1914 E.N. Marais Rd to Waterberg (1972) My companion — an old hunter and clever veldman — pointed out an interesting fact: all day long every sounder of pigs was followed by a regular retinue of other animals.
1949 C. Bullock Rina 80I fancied myself as a veldsman, but as trackers these natives left me standing.
1961 T. Macdonald Tvl Story 22The college ‘veldsmen’ say that the prospects for heavy horse and donkey breeding are not too rosy.
1972 S. & B. Stent in A.P. Cartwright Forthright Man 31Vere met..F.C. Selous, the famous hunter, guide and veldsman.
1897 F.W. Sykes With Plumer in Matabeleland 107Throughout the campaign the constant ‘meat and meal’ diet, without the wholesome addition of vegetables, caused even the healthiest to break out in ‘veldt sores’.
1910 Rand Daily Mail 31 May 5 (advt)Zam-Buk cures..festering sores, veld-sores and all skin diseases.
1915 O.S. Ormsby Pract. Treatise on Diseases of Skin 360As distinguished from the Natal sore, which was chiefly found in the lower part of that country, the veldt sore was most abundant in the high, barren table-lands.
1941 C. Birkby Springbok Victory 173Most of the Springboks had bandages on arms and legs to cover veld sores and festering spots, the inevitable result of the strenuous life they were leading on tinned rations.
1981 Daily Dispatch 12 Aug. 10Dr Wollheim..found himself teaching in schools for underprivileged children: ‘I found I could not teach children with caries..and veld sores.’
The area or (collectively) areas in which military operations are taking place, ‘the field’; rare except in combination, as in the former military and civil titles of persons who, while not necessarily permanent soldiers, were officers-designate, holding positions of authority in the field in times of war, and carrying out certain administrative duties in peacetime: see veld commandant, veld cornet, veld-corporal (see 5), veld-kornet, veldwagtmeester.
Open, undeveloped countryside.
Uncultivated and undeveloped land with relatively open natural vegetation, especially open grassland or scrubland, but ranging from semi-desert terrain to savannah in which grass and scrub are closely interspersed with trees; field1.
A piece or stretch of uncultivated land; an enclosed but uncultivated field.
as veld fire (cf. bushfire, see bushnoun1 b), veld flower, veld grass, veld koppie.
see Agterveld, backveld, Bokkeveld, highveld, Hooge Veld, lowveld, middleveld.
see quotation 1986.
Natural uncultivated vegetation used as pasture; the vegetation (as described at sense 2 a i) on such land.
as veld green, veld management, veld rehabilitation, veld-type.
An element in the names of terrain types, with distinguishing epithet denoting the dominant soil or plant type, or a characteristic of the vegetation: see bontveld, bosveld, bushveld, gebroken veld, grassveld, hard veld, mixed veld, renosterveld, sandveld, sourveldsour2, strandveld, sweetveldsweet2, thornveld, zuurveld.
‘The country’, rural areas or rural society, with characteristic atmosphere and lifestyle. Also combinationsveld-bred, and (nonce) veld-tippedadjectives, and figurative.