Word of the Day : April 5, 2018


noun VELT


: a grassland especially of southern Africa usually with scattered shrubs or trees

Did You Know?

Veld (also spelled veldt) comes from Afrikaans, the language of the Afrikaners, the descendants of the Dutch and Huguenot people who settled in southern Africa in the 17th century. Literally, veld means "field," and is akin to feld, the Old English predecessor of field. English speakers adopted the Africa-specific sense of veld in the 18th century. Veld refers to open country in southern Africa. Different regions of the veld are distinguished by their elevations. There is the Highveld, the Lowveld, and the Middle Veld, each with different geographical characteristics. Another term associated with veld is kopje (or koppie). This word came to English from Afrikaans (and ultimately from a Dutch word meaning "small head" or "cup") and refers to a small hill, particularly one on the African veld.


"In the South African cakes you'll find marula—a fruit that grows in the veld, typically used to make a popular liqueur—and naartjie, a type of sweet mandarin orange." — Kristen Hartke, The Washington Post, 23 Aug. 2017

"I duck as swarming bees zoom overhead, trailing their queen. They are gone again in a second, coiling off in a shadowy murmuration across the veldt." — Aidan Hartley, The Spectator, 13 Jan. 2018

Test Your Vocabulary

What 4-letter English word is a borrowing from Afrikaans and can refer to making a difficult journey or to the journey itself?



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