Definition of Khoikhoi in English:


(also Khoi, Khoi-khoin)


  • A member of a group of indigenous peoples of South Africa and Namibia, traditionally nomadic herders and hunter-gatherers, including the Nama people and the ancestors of the Griquas.

    • ‘They interacted with the foraging (food-gathering) and pastoral (nomadic herding) people who were in South Africa first, the Khoi and the San.’
    • ‘At Suurbraak, elderly descendants of the Khoikhoi will today regale for hours on end about men of great strength, ghosts and water spirits living in the river.’
    • ‘Hitherto unknown locally, the disease ravaged the remaining Khoikhoi, killing 90 percent of the population.’
    • ‘Despite his name, his European blood ties were not recognized and he was raised a Khoikhoi by his mother.’
    • ‘They had a fracas with the local people, the Khoi.’
    • ‘The earliest inhabitants were small groups of hunters and gatherers such as the Khoi and the San.’
    • ‘Elbourne and Ross's chapter on early missions among the Khoikhoi is a model of lucidity.’
    • ‘In particular, the Khoi viewed people without stock as inferior and despised those hunters who stole their stock.’
    • ‘This treaty said that the Khoikhoi would recognize the company as sovereign power over the people.’
    • ‘Although the Khoikhoi were never enslaved, they suffered considerable exploitation as a source of cheap labour.’
    • ‘The mummy appears to be related to the Khoi, the indigenous people of the area.’
    • ‘The descendants of the Khoikhoi and San can be found in the deserts of Botswana and Namibia today.’
    • ‘In addition to the Afrikaners, the Cape was also inhabited by its indigenous people, the Khoikhoi, by slaves brought in by the Dutch, and by communities of people of mixed race.’
    • ‘Pygmies occupied the central forest, and San and Khoikhoi roamed the south.’
    • ‘Roughly one-fifth of the total, or 1.1 million people were counted as Europeans and 8.6 per cent as coloured, overwhelmingly in the Cape, descended from the Khoikhoi, slaves, and settlers.’
    • ‘Settlers often sought the extermination of both the South African Khoi and the Australian Aborigines and had difficulty recognizing that they had law.’
    • ‘Dance lovers will be exposed to traditional dance from Shembe, the Khoi and the San.’


  • Relating to the Khoikhoi or their languages.

    • ‘The remains of Saartje Bartmann, the Khoi woman who left Africa for Europe in 1810 and was exhibited there will arrive here this morning on a flight from Paris.’
    • ‘The rituals also reveal something about social relationships and status in Khoikhoi society.’
    • ‘The first modern inhabitants were the San hunter-gatherers and the Khoi peoples, who herded livestock.’
    • ‘It includes Shembe dance, classical ballet, Bharatha Natyam and San and Khoi dance.’
    • ‘How did Malagasy, Malay, East African, and Khoi ideas about gender enter into slave and post-emancipation society?’
    • ‘But among the Nama owners of the park, who form part of the Khoi group, opinions on the transfrontier park vary.’
    • ‘The Cape's European merchants, soldiers, and farmers wiped out, drove off, or enslaved the indigenous Khoi herders and imported slave labor from Madagascar, Indonesia, and India.’
    • ‘There are many Khoikhoi words common in everyday Afrikaans and English speech in South Africa.’
    • ‘New futures are easier to talk about than achieve but, driving back to my home in Swellendam, I remember the words of another Khoi song I read in the museum.’
    • ‘We have Xhosa names, Khoi names, English and Scottish names, German, Dutch and Afrikaans names.’
    • ‘At the base of Khoikhoi social organization was the nuclear family - husband, wife, and unmarried children.’
    • ‘I believe that Qonce was a San or Khoi name for the Buffalo River.’
    • ‘The latter, speakers of the so-called ‘click language,’ included the Khoi people, and the San or Bushmen.’
    • ‘Finds include footprints at Bats Cave, among the oldest anywhere; human remains at Klasies River, the mummy in Baviaanskloof, as well as numerous cave paintings from Khoi and San times.’


Khoikhoi should be used in preference to Hottentot, since the latter is likely to cause offence: see Hottentot


Nama, literally ‘men of men’.