One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1South African offensive An insulting term for a black African.
2offensive An insulting term used by some Muslims for non-Muslims.
3historical A member of a people of the Hindu Kush mountains of NE Afghanistan, who did not convert to Islam until the 19th century.
Late 16th century (in Kaffir (sense 2)): from Arabic kāfir ‘infidel’, from kafara ‘not believe’.
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