Kaffir 1790, from Arabic qafir "unbeliever, infidel, impious wretch," with a literal sense of "one who does not admit the blessings of God," from kafara "to cover up, conceal, deny." Technically, "non-Muslim," but in Ottoman times it came to be used almost exclusively for "Christian." Early English missionaries used it as an equivalent of "heathen" to refer to Bantus in South Africa (1792), from which use it came generally to mean "South African black" regardless of ethnicity, and to be a term of abuse since at least 1934.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Kaffir — may refer to:Islam* Kafir, an Islamic term usually translated as unbeliever similar to the Christian word pagan or Hebrew word koffer . In arabic it means ingrate and refers to someone ungrateful towards Allah.Afghanistan* Kafiristan, the… …   Wikipedia

  • Kaffir — Kaf fir (k[a^]f f[ e]r), Kafir Ka fir (k[aum] f[ e]r), n. [Ar. k[=a]fir infidel, pagan, fr. kafara to be skeptical in religious matters; a name given to certain infidel races by the Mohammedans. Cf. {Giaour}.] 1. (Ethnol.) (a) One of a race which …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Kaffir — ► NOUN offensive, chiefly S. African ▪ a black African. USAGE The word Kaffir was originally simply a descriptive term for a particular ethnic group. Now it is a racially abusive and offensive term, and in South Africa its use is actionable.… …   English terms dictionary

  • Kaffir — [kaf′ər] n. [Ar kāfir, infidel < prp. of kafara, to be irreligious] 1. a) a member of any of several Bantu speaking peoples of S Africa b) XHOSA: in these senses, regarded as contemptuous 2. [k ] alt. sp. of KAFIR 3 …   English World dictionary

  • kaffir — /ˈkæfə/ (say kafuh) noun 1. Also, kaffir corn. any of certain grain sorghums, varieties of Sorghum bicolor, with stout, short jointed, leafy stalks, cultivated in South Africa. 2. → kafir. {See Kaffir.} …   Australian English dictionary

  • Kaffir — Combava Cumbava …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Kaffir — /kaf euhr, kah feuhr/, n., pl. Kaffirs, (esp. collectively) Kaffir. 1. Disparaging and Offensive. (in South Africa) a black person: originally used of the Xhosa people only. 2. (l.c.) kafir (def. 4). 3. (l.c.) Islam. kafir (def. 2). [17 …   Universalium

  • kaffir — noun A black person. As far as I know, the first incident arose out of the intrusion of a strange kaffir at one of the outspans …   Wiktionary

  • kaffir — n a black person. A racist term used ini tially (and still) in South Africa to refer to indigenous blacks. (Kaffir was one 19th century name for Bantu speaking South African tribespeople, originating in the Arabic kafir: infidel.) The word is… …   Contemporary slang

  • Kaffir — [ kafə] noun offensive, chiefly S. African an insulting and contemptuous term for a black African. Origin from Arab. kāfir infidel , from kafara not believe . Usage The word Kaffir was originally simply a descriptive term for a particular ethnic… …   English new terms dictionary