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n. pl. Hottentot or Hot·ten·tots Offensive
1. A Khoikhoi person.
2. Any of the Khoisan languages of the Khoikhoi.



npl -tot or -tots
1. (Peoples) a former name for Khoikhoi1
2. (Languages) any of the languages of this people, belonging to the Khoisan family
[C17: from Afrikaans, of uncertain origin]
Usage: When referring to the people the accepted word nowadays is Khoikhoi. Hottentot is still used in some animal and plant names



n., pl. -khois, (esp. collectively) -khoi.
1. a member of any of a group of pastoral peoples, physically and linguistically akin to the San, who inhabited present-day Cape Province, South Africa, in the 17th century.
2. the Khoisan language or languages of the Khoikhoi, now principally represented by the speech of the Nama.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Hottentot - any of the Khoisan languages spoken by the pastoral people of Namibia and South AfricaHottentot - any of the Khoisan languages spoken by the pastoral people of Namibia and South Africa
Khoisan, Khoisan language - a family of languages spoken in southern Africa


A. ADJhotentote
B. N
1. (= person) → hotentote mf
2. (Ling) → hotentote m


Hottentotte m, → Hottentottin f
(Ling) → Hottentottisch nt
References in classic literature ?
The Hottentots eagerly devour the marrow of the koodoo and other antelopes raw, as a matter of course.
The reader will here find no regions cursed with irremediable barrenness, or blessed with spontaneous fecundity, no perpetual gloom or unceasing sunshine; nor are the nations here described either devoid of all sense of humanity, or consummate in all private and social virtues; here are no Hottentots without religion, polity, or articulate language, no Chinese perfectly polite, and completely skilled in all sciences: he will discover, what will always be discovered by a diligent and impartial inquirer, that wherever human nature is to be found there is a mixture of vice and virtue, a contest of passion and reason, and that the Creator doth not appear partial in his distributions, but has balanced in most countries their particular inconveniences by particular favours.
The Frenchman felt himself as much alone among them as if he had dropped down in the midst of Hottentots.
The Hottentots and Kickapoos are very well in their way.
I observe in Burchell's travels in South Africa, that he remarks, "Having killed a male ostrich, and the feathers being dirty, it was said by the Hottentots to be a nest bird.
With their damned prate and civilities, and doing the honour of their nation to strangers (as they are pleased to call it), but indeed setting forth their own vanity; they are so troublesome, that I had infinitely rather pass my life with the Hottentots than set my foot in Paris again.
Now it was gradually growing light, and as we sat staring blankly at each other, I observed the Hottentot Ventvogel rise and begin to walk about with his eyes on the ground.
whispered the Hottentot, throwing himself on his face, an example which we all followed.
Not very long before dawn I heard the Hottentot Ventvogel, whose teeth had been chattering all night like castanets, give a deep sigh.
Gleefully, Mays leads the dowager's travel-battered, increasingly beleaguered entourage in "Lady Hyacinth Abroad'' ("the hottentots and pygmys may appall us/but even they are part of God's design
The native races of South Africa: a history of the intrusion of the Hottentots and the Bantu into the hunting grounds of the Bushmen, the aborigines of the country.
Here, he argues, the figure of the Hottentot presented a scandal to European settlers precisely in that Hottentot idleness presented no grounds for an anthropological discourse of difference: the Hottentots were, in effect, not different enough ([1988]2007: 23).