Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Boers (pron. Burs), the Dutch, as opposed to the English-speaking settlers in South Africa, who are mostly peasant farmers; hence the name, which is the same as the German Bauer, and the English boor in its undegraded original meaning of a free peasant, from a Teutonic root bu, as in Anglo-Saxon buan - to till, cultivate. The first permanent Dutch settlement (at the Cape of Good Hope) dates from the year 1652, after which they were joined by many German and French (Huguenot) immigrants, who all ultimately adopted the Dutch language, and thus became merged in the general Boer population. The Boers are at present chiefly centred in the western districts of Cape Colony proper (about 200,000), and in the two Dutch republics of the Orange Free State (50,000) and Transvaal (62,000). But the English language is almost everywhere steadily encroaching on the Dutch, which is not cultivated, and is consequently gradually sinking to the position of a provincial patois. Recently the term Boer has been somewhat superseded by Afrikander, which has a broader meaning, comprising both the English and Dutch elements, merged together in a common South African nationality irrespective of race or language.