Kaffir

(Arabic, Kâfir. an infidel). A name given to the Hottentots, who reject the Moslem faith. Kafiristan, in Central Asia, means “the country of the infidels.”

“The affinity of the Kafir tribes ... including the Kafirs proper and the people of Congo, is based upon the various idioms spoken by them, the direct representatives of a common, but now extinct, mother tongue. This aggregate of languages is now conveniently known as ... the Bantu linguistic system.” —K. Johnston: Africa, p. 447.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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