Definition of coffle
: a train of slaves or animals fastened together
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Recent Examples of coffle from the Web
These immigrants followed African slaves brought there in coffles, waves of Chinese workers recruited for cane fields, and Vietnamese refugees who came after the war and became fisher folk on the Gulf.
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coffle Has Arabic Roots
Coffle comes from the Arabic qāfila, which means "caravan" or "travelling company," though in English it has been used more specifically to refer to a group of slaves or animals chained or strung together. One of the earliest known uses of "coffle" in English is found in the explorer Mungo Park's 1799 Travels in the Interior of Africa. This was not the first time, however, that English had borrowed "qāfila." About two hundred years earlier "cafila" started appearing in print as an Anglicization of the Arabic qāfila to indicate a caravan or company of travelers in the Middle East and India.
Origin and Etymology of coffle
Arabic qāfila caravan
First Known Use: 1799See Words from the same year
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