1. (S.Afr.) in combs. meaning of or pertaining to black people. Like nigger, Jewish, Chinese, Mexican etc, the term is used in a wide variety of combs., all of which are de facto insulting.
|Grahams Town Jrnl 19 June 2/5: Southey called to him in the Caffer language to stop .|
|Sheffield Indep. 31 Dec. 2/6: The pleadings of the Caffre chief for missionaries were very pathetic.|
|General Bounce (1891) 168: And sit on the grass with a Kaffir lass.|
|Gaslight and Daylight 151: A frank-spoken military man who had lost a leg in the Caffre war.|
|Manawatu Times (N.Z.) 24 July 4/2: The Caffre crops had been everywhere destroyed by the troops.|
|Rooiyard 39: Beer is kaffir-tea.|
|Kaffirs are Lively 27: The black people are ‘Natives’, the old label ‘Kaffir’ having been discarded. [...] It is, in fact an adjective of contempt in ordinary speech of the South African when he speaks of a ‘Kaffir’ trick or ‘Kaffir’ work.|
|20 Days that Autumn 86: The ‘Kaffer-man’ over there – he pointed to a short Native.|
|Maids and Madams 226: By this time [1930s] it was largely defined as ‘Kaffir work’.|
|Separate Development 152: It’s kaffir work that even the kaffirs don’t like doing.|
|Acid Alex 105: I sniffed it – yes sir, kaffir soap.|
2. (S.Afr.) bad, unreliable.
|Ridge of White Waters ii. vii. 266: ‘Another kaffir bargain!’ said Sir Alfred wearily [OED].|
|Tante Rebella and her Friends (1951) 40: He and the doctor drove a grim ‘Kaffir bargain’.|
(S.Afr.) a drink made from fermented prickly pears and honey.
|A Nobody in Mashonaland 9: When he is not sleeping he is drinking kaffir beer.|
|Secret Service in S. Afr. 147: A taste for something more potent than the harmless Kaffir beer.|
|Tante Rebella and her Friends (1951) 28: Even the [...] English seem to prefer a girl as scraggy as a kaffir hen. [Ibid.] 108: The Police found ‘Mr. Mason’ under a bush, sleeping off a pound’s worth of Kaffir beer.|
|Bushveld, Bananas and Bounty 76: We gave them the ingredients for a big brew of kaffir beer.|
|Marabi Dance 105: The driver demanded a measure of kaffir-beer.|
|Forced Landing 83: In the backyards ‘ugologo’, the drinking of kaffir-beer . . . From the front door the excuse-me-people play music called jazz.‘King Taylor’ in Mutloatse|
(S.Afr.) a form of sorghum.
|Tommy Cornstalk 192: In a barn was a great heap of unthreshed Kaffir corn.|
|Randall Co. News (Canyon City, TX) 12 Feb. 5/5: He recently bought a carload of Kaffir corn.|
(S.Afr.) an insulting form of address or reference to a black woman.
|Blame Me on Hist. (1986) 36: Because my mother was black she was despised and humiliated, called ‘kafir meid’. [Ibid.] 58: This kaffir meid. my baas, was trying to trick me into sleeping in her room, but I know it is against the law.|
|DSAE].in Pereira Contemp. S. Afr. Plays 266: The other day in town a white thing — a woman as pale and dirty as dishwater — called me ‘Kaffir Meid’. I said, ‘No, I’m not a Kaffir Meid’ [|
|Winnie Mandela 95: Not knowing who she was they asked her why a kaffirmeid (African girl) was taking food to a koelie (Indian).|
|IOL News (Western Cape) 27 Oct. [Internet] The list of prohibited words has been narrowed down to ‘kaffir’, ‘kaffirmeid’, ‘coolie’, ‘hotnot’ and their variations.|
|Salt and Honey 39: They’d been drinking brandy and coke, and talking the usual nonsense, ‘Hey, you-ous. Heard what the kaffirmeid said to the bishop?’.|
(S.Afr.) any of a number of multi-stringed wooden percussion instruments.
|Delagoo Bay 253: This song had a rapidly played accompaniment on the ‘Kafir piano’.|
|1200 Miles in Waggon 64: Kaffir pianos [...] consist of two logs of wood wrapped in rags, laid parallel to each other on the ground in front of-the player. Side by side across these are placed a number of slats of wood about fifteen inches long, which are actively hammered upon with a couple of drumsticks.|
|Cassells Mag. 200/2: ' I was taken to see a Kaffir piano. [...] The keys were made of iron, and struck with an enormous hand hammer.|
|Africanderisms 242: Kaffir piano [...] Made of flat bars of hard wood fastened across a frame, beneath which a number of calabash shells are fixed. The bars of wood when struck emit sounds that are not at all unmusical.|
|Musical News & Herald 62-3 472: Often in South Africa I have heard the grave-faced Kaffir [...] stolidly thump out a variant of ‘Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay’ on what is known locally as the Kaffir ‘piano’.|
|Halcyon Days in Africa 298: The timbala or xylophone, also known as a Kaffir piano, composed of ten keys made of hard wood, attached to a strong wooden frame by strips of leather.|
|In Search of S. Afr. 311: A native band was thrumming on ‘Kaffir pianos’, instruments like large xylophones.|
|Mthly Music Record 84-5 96: Galpin himself [played] a solo on the marimba or Kaffir piano (a super-xylophone with wooden bars and gourd resonators).|
|Encyc. of Southern Afr. 278: Made of strips of wood varying in length, but strung along a series of calabashes which serve as a sounding board [...] Kaffir pianos are used for native dances.|
|Drummer Man 138: The marimba is so common to Africa that it is often called the African piano or Kaffir piano.|
(S.Afr.) a coarsely woven, thick cotton fabric used for clothes or cheap curtains.
|Agric. Jrnl Cape of Good Hope 29 395: Many again line the boxes inside with wet kaffir sheeting. This too is bad and should not be continued. Put the sheeting outside the .|
|US Investor 33:2 1813/1: Market for Kaffir sheeting and blankets is fairly well supplied, both lines sell freely owing to winter demand.|
|Economist 115 19: The piece goods concerned are cotton goods (not blanketing or Kaffir sheeting) .|
|Brit. Commonwealth Objectives 228: Thus far the textile industry has produced mainly Kaffir sheeting and blankets.|
|Candle in the Wind 161: She had to wrap them both in an old piece of kaffir-sheeting.|
1. a large (American model) but run-down car.
|Separate Development 13: The Yannovitchs drove an old green, hump-back Dodge to Sunday mass. Parked in among the Vauxhalls and Morrises it looked like a kaffir taxi.|
|Sat. Night at the Palace (1985) 17: We had this old ’48 Dodge. Real kaffir-taxi. Took the old toppie a whole bladdy day to crack Durbs in that thing.|
2. brandy plus Coca-Cola or some other sweet fizzy drink [? it ‘picks you up’].
|Frontline 5:9-10 83: Edward [...] took a suck from the dumpie bottle filled with what we now openly referred to as kaffir taxi, and went to sleep.|
|Dict. S. Afr. Eng. (3rd edn).|
(S.Afr. drugs) marijuana [play on colonial era kaffir tobacco, second-rate and thus only good for blacks].
|Sun. Times (Jo’burg) 13 Feb. (Mag. Sect.) n.p.: When I was a lad dagga was known as ‘kaffir’ tobacco and had a vast sale at 1s. a lb [DSAE].|