- : in these senses, regarded as contemptuous
- a member of any of several Bantu-speaking peoples of S Africa
- [k-] alt. sp. of kafir
- [usuallyk-]South Afr. a black African: a contemptuous term
Origin of KaffirArabic k?fir, infidel from present participle of kafara, to be irreligious
nounpl. Kaffir, or Kaf·firs Offensive
- A Xhosa.
- Used especially in southern Africa as a disparaging term for a black person.
Origin of KaffirArabic kāfir infidel ( applied to the non-Muslim peoples of southern Africa originally by Muslim merchants and slave-traders operating in the region before the arrival of Europeans ); see giaour.
Usage Note: Because Kaffir is an offensive, disparaging term, many fruits and vegetables whose name traditionally included the word kaffir have been renamed, such as makrut lime for kaffir lime and durra for kaffir corn .
- (South Africa, pejorative, offensive, ethnic slur) A black person.
From Arabic كفار (kaffār, “infidel”) or كافر (kāfir, “unbeliever”), both from كفر (káfara, “to cover, to hide”).