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[hot-n-tot] /ˈhɒt nˌtɒt/
Origin of Hottentot
1670-80; < Afrikaans; origin uncertain
Related forms
Hottentotic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Hottentot
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A Hottentot would not have been guilty of this sort of barbarism.

    American Notes Rudyard Kipling
  • There'll be no harm done, for she'd as soon accept a Hottentot as a rich Jew.'

    Border Ghost Stories Howard Pease
  • On the south they are confronted with the Hottentot languages.

  • The Hottentot was one employed at Dale's Kloof, and knew him.

    A Simpleton Charles Reade
  • While they were chaffering, in walked a Hottentot, and said, "Will you buy this?"

    A Simpleton Charles Reade
  • He resolved to keep his Hottentot all to himself if possible.

    A Simpleton Charles Reade
  • The Hottentot slept like a stone, and never feared for his own life and precious booty.

    A Simpleton Charles Reade
  • The Hottentot suggested that this was an excellent opportunity.

    A Simpleton Charles Reade
British Dictionary definitions for Hottentot


noun (offensive)
(pl) -tot, -tots a former name for Khoikhoi (sense 1)
any of the languages of this people, belonging to the Khoisan family
Usage note
When referring to the people the accepted word nowadays is Khoikhoi. Hottentot continues to be used for some animal and plant names, as in Hottentot fig
Word Origin
C17: from Afrikaans, of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Hottentot

1670s, from S.African Dutch, said to mean "stammerer," it is from hot en tot "hot and tot," nonsense words imitative of the clicking, jerking Khoisan speech.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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