Kaffir [ kaf-er, kah-fer ] SHOW IPA / ˈkæf ər, ˈkɑ fər / PHONETIC RESPELLING noun, plural Kaf·firs, ( especially collectively) Kaf·fir. Extremely Disparaging and Offensive. (in South Africa) a contemptuous term used to refer to a Black person: originally used of the Xhosa people only.
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Origin of Kaffir
First recorded in 1780–90,
Kaffir is from the Arabic word kāfir unbeliever, infidel, skeptic usage note for Kaffir
In reference to a Black person,
Kaffir was a neutral term during the colonial period, but in post-apartheid South Africa it is considered hate speech, to be avoided by using the euphemistic K-word, much like the N-word. OTHER WORDS FROM Kaffir non-Kaffir, noun Words nearby Kaffir Kael
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022
How to use Kaffir in a sentence British Dictionary definitions for Kaffir noun plural -firs or -fir taboo (in southern Africa) any Black African offensive (among Muslims) a non-Muslim or infidel Word Origin for Kaffir
C19: from Arabic
kāfir infidel, from kafara to deny, refuse to believe usage for Kaffir
In South Africa the use of this word is nowadays completely taboo, and is indeed actionable in the courts. It is also advisable not to use the word in any of the compounds to which it gave rise
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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