volk, noun

Forms:
Also with initial capital.
Plurals:
unchanged, or volke /ˈfɔlkə/.
Origin:
Dutch, AfrikaansShow more Dutch and Afrikaans.
1.
a. As plural : People; members of a particular group, or citizens of a country.
1827 T. Philipps Scenes & Occurrences 20They style themselves Africaners, and distinguish all those who come from even any part of Europe as Vaderland Volk, or Fatherland people.
1880 Hudson in Lady Bellairs Tvl at War (1885) 424Mr Paul Kruger appeared nervous, and very anxious that I should keep out of sight of the ‘volk’ (people) as much as possible.
1987 Frontline Feb. 5The English-speaking Volk should tell the Government what it can do with its attempts to foster ‘white unity’.
b. Plural volke A people, a nation.
[1731 G. Medley tr. of P. Kolben’s Present State of Cape of G.H. I. 26The people far up the country, on the appearance of strangers are us’d to say in Dutch, wat volk i.e. What People.]
1939 R.F.A. Hoernlé S. Afr. Native Policy 72The Afrikaners (or Cape Dutch, or Boers), a new people, or volk, which has grown out of the fusion of Dutch, French, German, English and Scotch elements.
1958 S. Cloete Mask 213‘If there are such [men],’ he spat in the dust, ‘we are no longer a people, a volk, a race designated by God to bring civilisation to this savage land’.
1971 Sunday Times 1 Apr. 15There we were — the United Party was out to destroy the ‘identity’ of every volk in South Africa.
1977 E. Prov. Herald 6 Feb. 10[Louis] Botha saw that even if peace were made the Afrikaner would continue to exist as a volk and that future planning would be possible.
1986 E. Terre’Blanche in Style July 49You cannot have a right to land unless you belong to a volk. The English-speakers are not a volk.
1988 R. Thornton in Boonzaier & Sharp S. Afr. Keywords 18The assertion of cultural differences distinctive of different ‘peoples’ or volke.
1990 Daily Dispatch 19 July 15Within partitionist groups there was agreement that no volk could maintain its own values without a geographic power base.
1992 Financial Mail 13 Mar. 25Remember when the Nats had a policy to give each volk its own territory?
1993 Sunday Times 23 May 23They celebrate..the Voortrekker leaders as their heroes. But this..builds only a parochial volk, not a nation.
2. As plural : Among Afrikaans-speakers: ‘coloured’ or black farm-workers; rural coloured people; folks, see folk sense a. Cf. volkies.
1871 J. Mackenzie Ten Yrs N. of Orange River 65‘Volk’ is used by them (sc. Dutch colonists) of all coloured people, and never of white persons...The Griquas sought a place where they might again become ‘menschen’ and cease to be ‘volk’ and ‘schepsels’ (creatures).
1878 A. Aylward Tvl of Today 201It is rare indeed for a family of farmers to visit the townships without buying some little present or another to gladden the hearts of their ‘volk’.
1900 B. Mitford Aletta 79Come this way. My volk will see to your horse.
1900 in M. Marquard Lett. from Boer Parsonage (1967) 74Eva found a Bethulie native among their ‘volk’ whom she brought here.
1913 A.B. Marchand Dirk, S. African 9 (Swart)Adoons, one of the coloured volk, almost fell over him and thereby spilt a goodly quantity from two steaming buckets of milk fresh from the cattle kraal.
1939 J.S. Marais Cape Coloured People 5In the western Cape a farmer calls his labourers his ‘volk’ — the same word that Adam Tas used for his slaves.
1941 C. Birkby Springbok Victory 47The South Africans, with their benevolent outlook on all natives as being just the same homely ‘volk’ as their black people in the Union, were kindly towards the Turkana.
1963 A.M. Louw 20 Days 77‘You know you’re not allowed to have “volk” in your bedroom.’...She had spoken of ‘volk’ — the collective name for Coloured farm labourers as though a Coloured man could never be anything else.
1968 M. Muller Green Peaches Ripen 13The volk, (coloured labourers and their families) dressed in their best, standing at the foot of the wide steps.
1974 A. Small in S. Gray On Edge of World 182He had to be up every morning at just a little past five, for that was when Baas Giel though his volk (labourers) should start moving.
1980 Rand Daily Mail 7 Oct. 5On weekends we give our volk (farmhands) a cup of mampoer. Then we drink it ourselves, of course, at braais and the like.
1987 M. Melamu Children of Twilight 41It was all so different with his ‘volk’. You had to feed them properly...Mealie pap and sour milk, with the occasional offal which he knew the blacks liked so much.
3. Denoting the Afrikaner people.
a. Obsolete except in historical contexts Het Volk /het ˈfɔlk/ [South African Dutch het the], ‘The People’.
i. The name of a political party, founded by Generals L. Botha and J.C. Smuts in 1905, which merged with other groups to form the Suid Afrikaansche Nasionale Party (see SAP noun1 sense 1 a) after Union in 1910. Also attributive.
1905 Star 2 Oct. 6In marked contrast to the active propaganda of the Head Committee of ‘Het Volk’ we have the almost studied silence of the largest section of the community on the subject of education.
1908 Indian Opinion 18 Apr. 171The recent Het Volk Congress in Pretoria.
1909 F. Cana S. Afr. from Great Trek to Union 229The Boer leaders..in January, 1905, formally adopted as the name of their organization Het Volk (‘the people’). This society..was in effect a racial organization which sought to regain through the ballot boxes the power lost at Vereeniging.
1916 E.H. Spender General Botha 171Early in 1905, two great Reform organisations were founded with the sole object of securing responsible government — ‘Het Volk’, in the Transvaal; and ‘Oranje Unie’ in the Orange Colony.
1934 G.G. Munnik Mem. of Senator 236A congress was called which led to the establishment of one united political party which afterwards became ‘Het Volk’ and then merged into what is today the great and powerful Nationalist Party.
1946 M.S. Geen Making of Union of S. Afr. 153General Louis Botha had formed Het Volk in the Transvaal pledged to a policy of conciliation and self-government.
1960 L.M. Thompson Unification of S. Afr. 1902–10 21Within a very short time branches of Het Volk were established in every village in the Transvaal.
1979 T. Pakenham Boer War (1982) 575Milner lost the support of the mass of the British Uitlanders; their political representatives formed an alliance with the emergent pan-Afrikaner party (Het Volk) of Botha and Smuts.
1989 Reader’s Digest Illust. Hist. of S. Afr. 270By the time Botha and Smuts had established Het Volk as a political association in January 1905, they had begun to formulate a policy of reconciliation with Britain.
ii. As pl. : The citizens of a Boer republic. Cf. sense 3 b.
1926 M. Nathan S. Afr. from Within 22If any measure of importance was to be taken, a meeting of Het volk (the people) was summoned to sanction it.
1929 H.A. Chilvers Out of Crucible 81Kruger was..the more determined..to grant the ‘Uitlander’ neither the vote nor any other privilege lest the grip of ‘het Volk’ (the people) be relaxed from the land.
1941 C.W. De Kiewiet Hist. of S. Afr. 131The term Het Volk, or The People, had changed its loose connotation to mean more precisely the people to whom the Transvaal was a fatherland.
1968 E.A. Walker Hist. of Sn Afr. 204At Thaba Nchu, ‘Het Volk’ (the People) elected Maritz, a man of some education and legal experience as Landdrost.
b. Usually the volk or die volk /di -/ [Afrikaans, die the]. The (members of the) Afrikaner group or ‘nation’; folk sense b. Cf. Afrikanerdom sense 1, Boerenasie sense 1, Boerevolk sense 1. Also attributive. See also mens noun sense 1 a.
1948 Press Digest No.1, 8Die Volksblad thought it essential that a knowledge of Bantu history, tradition, customs and language be acquired by school children and eventually, in consequence, by the volk as a whole.
1949 Blueprint for Blackout (Educ. League) (pamphlet) 5Nothing may become law if the people object to it. We are the people! We are die Volk! All of us, not only 12 per cent., 40 per cent., or even 60 per cent. We are all die Volk, that mysterious entity upon which the demagogues are constantly calling.
1958 G. Carter Politics of Inequality 253These [Broederbond] members are organized in small units of about 20 persons all over the Union, each group a cross-section of the volk in its vicinity.
1960 C. Hooper Brief Authority 54To look at you one would say that you were unimpeachably white, a member of the master race, though not the volk.
1971 Informant, GrahamstownDie volk. Afrikaners. I beg your pardon, Afrikaner Nationalists.
1981 Sunday Times 13 Dec. 45We all know who ‘Die Volk’ are — they are those whites living in South Africa who refer to themselves as Afrikaners.
1982 Drum July 78The PWs, Fanies and Piks, the blue-blooded scions of the Botha tree, have distinguished themselves among die Volk.
1984 J. Scott in Cape Times 31 Mar. 11Is this the way in which the volk fathers should behave, by drinking in the morning?
1986 Weekend Argus 9 Aug. 13Institutions like the Federasie van Afrikaanse Kultuurvereeninge [sic], the church and the various ‘volk’ get-togethers are all subjects of political wrangling.
1987 G. Silber in Frontline Mar. 9Once the Boerestaat is re-established..it will be populated by the volk (three million to begin with) and depopulated of all extraneous volke.
1988 A. Nothnagel in Inside S. Afr. June 12Psychologically we have relinquished the following strongly-held myths: That the Afrikaner was a nation ‘chosen by God’; That the Afrikaner nation, the ‘volk’, was more important that the South African nation [etc.].
1989 W. Ebersohn in Cosmopolitan Apr. 198At one time Afrikanerdom was a by-word for unity. But lately there has been dissension in the ranks of the volk.
1992 Scope 13 Nov. 67This is just the kind of violent inter-volk action that would unite the rightists.
1993 Natal Witness 13 Apr. 3Rudolph said the weapons he had stolen in 1990 had been distributed to ‘the volk (nation) which had been unarmed and still stood defenceless against the onslaught of those who wanted to take our land’.
c. Phrases die volk daar buite, the volk daar buite [Afrikaans die volk daar buite, die the + volk people + daar buite ‘out there’], the Afrikaner electorate; for Volk and Vaderland, Volk and Vaderland, (for) people and country; see also Vaderland noun.
1970 Argus 30 Jan. 11While the nation watches Parliament with more than usual interest during the short pre-election session, its members will be watching ‘die volk daar buite’ with even closer interest.
1973 Weekend Argus 21 Apr. 5Certainly the Sap-Nat battle has been a long and wearing one, but..differences..are..great among the volk daarbuite among whom MPs are currently taking the pulse.
1975 Sunday Times 21 Sept. 20Political leaders have had a tough time telling it like it’s not to the volk daarbuite at the Free State congress.
1980 Rand Daily Mail 23 Aug. 7It is no use being verligte, a reformist, if you do not have a power base, and the power base, in the final reckoning, must be die volk daar buite.
1985 Evening Post 1 Feb. 5Gazing beyond ‘die volk daar buite’.
1991 M. Kantey All Tickets 22Pimply Lenins, Fanons, and Guevaras, plotting the sudden overthrow of Volk and Vaderland.
1991 J. Pauw In Heart of Whore 13The former policeman..had killed and maimed supporters of the ANC ‘for Volk and Vaderland, for my wife and my children and my mother and my father’.
1991 J. Pauw In Heart of Whore 100The ‘90-day Act’..created a sub-culture in the police force that encouraged policemen to act mercilessly in their struggle against communism and in the protection of Volk and Vaderland.
4. combinations (Always in the Afrikaans combining form volks-.)
volksbeweging /-bəˌvɪəxəŋ/ [Afrikaans, beweging movement], a people’s movement;
volkseie /-eɪə/ [Afrikaans, eie own], national or ‘folk’ ethos;
volksfees /-fɪəs/, plural volksfeeste /-tə/ [Afrikaans, fees feast, festival], people’s or ‘national’ festival;
volksidentiteit /-identiˈteɪt/ [Afrikaans, identiteit identity], cultural identity;
volkskongres /-kɔŋˌxres/ [Afrikaans, kongres congress], a national congress of Afrikaans-speaking people;
volksleër /-lɪər/ [Afrikaans, leër army], a ‘people’s army’; a name often given to right-wing private armies or paramilitary groups;
volksleier /-leɪə(r)/ [Afrikaans, leier leader], a popular leader of the Afrikaans people;
volksvreemd /-frɪəmt/ adjective, also (attributive) volksvreemde /-də/, [Afrikaans, vreemd strange, alien (attributive form vreemde)], alien to the people and their interests;
volkswil /-vəl/ [Afrikaans, wil will], the will of the people, the ‘national will’.
1980 Sunday Times 16 Mar. 15If, in the first flush of enthusiasm and conviction, the Nationalists (seen as a volksbeweging rather than as a political party) could not make separatism work, they certainly cannot do so now.
1982 S. Afr. Digest 26 Mar. 17The verkrampte hoopla that accompanied its (sc. the new party’s) creation may give an impression..that organised bigotry is a viable volksbeweging.
1987 Pretoria News 18 June 5The government was being challenged by a ‘volksbeweging’ (a nationalist movement) similar to the one that led to the creation of the Republic in 1961.
1960 E.H. Brookes in H. Spottiswoode S. Afr.: Rd Ahead 38A valuable half-truth is included in the doctrine of the volkseie, the national ethos — that each ‘national’ group has something of its own to contribute to humanity.
1989 Personality 6 Feb. 20There are other Afrikaners who favour the pragmatic approach. To try and preserve the volkseie (national identity) they are busy negotiating right and centre.
1978 Sunday Times 5 Mar. 13Young city Afrikaners prefer pop music to volkspele, says a survey...Volksfeeste don’t appeal to them.
1986 P. Le Roux in Burman & Reynolds Growing Up 191The volksfeeste (folk festivals) — Republic Day, Kruger Day, and Day of the Covenant — interspersed with National Party stryddae (fêtes), attracted fewer participants every year.
1990 C. Leonard in Weekly Mail 12 Oct. 1A different sort of boerefees was held: non-racial, with no speeches, no praise for Kruger...It was the Afrikaanse Demokratie’s version of volksfees.
1975 T. Sundermeier Church & Nationalism 146They do not see themselves as a ‘volk’ and have no desire to be propelled into becoming a separate nation based on volksidentiteit.
1976 Drum Sept. 27Afrikaner nationalism operated on a model of volksnasionalisme which assumes and demands that all other people in South Africa, and especially the different black groups, should have a racial-ethnic volksidentiteit which should be developed separately.
1984 Frontline Mar. 43The KP, indeed, has stolen the clothes of the original Nats. It appeals to the same instincts as Dr Malan did in the 40s, volksidentiteit.
1943 J. Burger Black Man’s Burden 240In September 1939 a so-called Volkskongres was held to discuss economic questions as they touched the Afrikaner.
1968 Post 17 Nov. 7‘Die Transvaler’, stepped up its campaign for a ‘volkskongres’ to debate the Bantustan situation.
1974 Sunday Times 15 Sept. 6The two-day verkrampte Volkskongres..will discuss the ‘Dangers of liberalism’ and..will be held in Pretoria at the end of the month.
1982 M. Feinstein in E. Prov. Herald 22 Mar. 2The Afrikaans education ‘volkskongres’ has dealt what could be the death blow to hopes for a single Ministry of Education for all races in South Africa.
1991 G. Evans in Weekly Mail 20 Dec. (Suppl.) 11A campaign of mass action culminating in the Volkskongres in May met with only limited success.
1990 Sunday Times 27 May 3Leading the horse cavalcade was the supreme commander of the Boer Volksleer.
1990 Sunday Times 10 June 8Mr Maritz claims to lead the Brandwag Volksleër — not to be confused with the AWB’s Boerekommandos, the Boereleër or the SA Volksleër.
1991 G. McIntosh in Sunday Times 13 Jan. 16A volunteer and professional SADF could easily become sectional, whereas a conscripted citizen force, or people’s army, or volksleër, could not become that.
1970 Daily News 16 Oct. 11 (letter)The great Dr. Verwoerd is considered by the faithful to be the most wonderful volksleier and generally the ablest politician that this country has ever produced.
1972 Het Suid-Western 17 Feb. 2Perhaps the inner significance of the ‘bohaai’ is that there is a rising sense of panic abroad in South Africa today among ‘volksleiers’ who have clearly and irremediably lost their grip on the minds and hearts of young people.
1991 A. Van Wyk Birth of New Afrikaner 48This theme was always embroidered in secular speeches by a few select volksleiers, respected individuals free to roam the wide expanse of our history, with special reference to what the Afrikaner had endured at the hands of black and Briton.
1949 A. Keppel-Jones When Smuts Goes 4The Nationalists..soon made it clear that foreign — uitheemse, volksvreemde — elements would not be welcome.
1971 Rand Daily Mail 16 Mar. 5Charges that Round Table was ‘Engels’ and ‘Volksvreemd’.
1972 Sunday Times 5 Nov. 18A startling story of the Broederbond fight against ‘volksvreemde’ organisations.
1986 E. Prov. Herald 11 Nov. 8Any Afrikaner who does not support the NP or one of its derivatives, the CP or HNP, becomes ‘volks vreemd’ and suffers in many cases from social ostracism from his own ‘volk’.
1987 K. De Boer in Frontline Mar. 36Looking at the Special Day calendar of volksvreemde events forced down our throats, the most unwanted must surely be Valentine’s Day.
1988 Star 28 May 11To the Afrikaner establishment they were as alien and ‘volksvreemd’ (foreign) as the Beatles.
1948 Cape Argus 2 Dec. 1The numerical question apparently no longer applies, and it is now just a question of ‘volkswil’ and the support of the people.
1955 R. Foley in M. Rogers Black Sash (1956) 116A Party which has claimed, until now, that its leaders are the heaven-sent interpreters of the volkswil — the people’s will!
1956 Cape Times in M. Rogers Black Sash (1956) 265If in a nation the united voice of the enrolled voters is an expression of the volkswil, then the volkswil is not behind the Government, but is deeply divided.
1960 C. Hooper Brief Authority 224A country where God’s Will and Volkswil are scarcely distinguishable in public utterances.
1975 W.R.G. Branford in E. Prov. Herald 14 Aug.If Afrikaans is a model of successful language planning, this is only because as far as the Afrikaner population was concerned, language planning and the volkswil have, on the whole, mutually reinforced one another.
1977 T.R.H. Davenport S. Afr.: Mod. Hist. 66So concerned were the Rustenburg law-makers to preserve the authority of the Volkswil that they insisted on..a minimum period of three months between the first tabling of a measure and its enactment, so as to ensure that the public had plenty of time to react.
1978 Sunday Times 24 Sept. 16History will never forgive those 170-odd men if they do not take account of national opinion, the volkswil, in making their selection.
People; members of a particular group, or citizens of a country.
A people, a nation.
‘coloured’ or black farm-workers; rural coloured people; folks, see folka.
Denoting the Afrikaner people.
‘The People’.
The name of a political party, founded by Generals L. Botha and J.C. Smuts in 1905, which merged with other groups to form the Suid Afrikaansche Nasionale PartySAPnoun1 a after Union in 1910. Also attributive.
The citizens of a Boer republic.
The (members of the) Afrikaner group or ‘nation’; folkb.
the Afrikaner electorate; for Volk and Vaderland, Volk and Vaderland, (for) people and country;