Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An Englishman.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In Cape Dutch use: A contemptuous name for an Englishman.
  • n. An Englishman just out from home, a new-comer to the colony.

Etymologies

From Afrikaans rooinek. There are several theories to explain the origin of this epithet, such as it being a reference to the then red collars of British military uniforms, or that it stems from the red markings the British farmers put on their imported Merino breed of sheep, but the most commonly accepted theory is that it relates to the fact they sunburnt easily, because unlike the Afrikaners they were new to Africa and so dressed inappropriately (i.e. wore inadequate hats, e.g. sola topees (pith helmets), or no hat at all). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Troops were fired at from farmhouses which flew the white flag, and the good housewife remained behind to charge the 'rooinek' extortionate prices for milk and fodder while her husband shot at him from the hills.

    The Great Boer War

  • Have just come back from the local Flatshire Arms where the book has been round my rooinek beer buddies, inc 1x serving Sqn Ldr, 1x RRF Major (Retd) and the MD of a national seafood firm.

    Two Million Visits To Police Inspector Blog « POLICE INSPECTOR BLOG

  • I shall know all about Africa, and be panting to get another whack at the verdommt rooinek.

    Greenmantle

  • "Do I look and talk like a rooinek, Paul?" he asked in the

    The Sound of Thunder

  • Africa, and be panting to get another whack at the _verdommt rooinek_.

    Greenmantle

  • He told us a story about a rooinek that bought a sheep, and the man gave him a dog in a sack, and he paid for it and went away, and we all laughed at it.

    Vrouw Grobelaar and Her Leading Cases Seventeen Short Stories

  • No more imaginative promises with reference to the taking of the small, defiant hamlet before breakfast, wiping out the garrison to a rooinek, and starting on the homeward march refreshed with coffee and biltong, and driving the towns-people before them as prisoners of War.

    The Dop Doctor

  • "Throw up your hands, then, you cursed rooinek!" he cried, "or I'll blow out your brains!"

    A Dash from Diamond City

  • "Give your word, you miserable rooinek!" growled the Boer, whose teeth shone in the light, giving him the aspect of some fierce beast at bay.

    The Kopje Garrison A Story of the Boer War

  • OK rooinek, I've tried being polite, even matey, but now I you tell me all about the Batelleur 90 pack I'm bidding for on bidorbuy.

    Army Rumour Service

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