Origin of Kaffir
Examples from the Web for kaffir
If it were a Westralian or a Kaffir I would n't touch it with a pair of tongs!Joy (First Series Plays)
When a Kaffir strikes a diamond, he gets a commission, and so does his overseer.The Manxman
Just as the top was reached, the Kaffir plucked Harvey's arm.
When the urgency is great, a girl is more reliable than a Kaffir.
A group of startled Kaffir children gaze at him in astonishment.The Petticoat Commando
- taboo (in southern Africa) any Black African
- offensive (among Muslims) a non-Muslim or infidel
Word Origin and History for kaffir
1790, from Arabic kafir "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, blot out." 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.