veldt n : elevated open grassland in southern Africa [syn: veld]
EtymologyAn Afrikaans word (veld) from the Dutch (veldt)
- Rhymes with: -ɛlt
grassland for grazing
- Dutch: veld, grasland
- Spanish: veld
- For information on the town of Veldt, see Veldt Township, Minnesota
The term Veld, or Veldt, refers primarily (but not exclusively) to the wide open rural spaces of South Africa or southern Africa and in particular to certain flatter areas or districts covered in grass or low scrub. The word comes from the Afrikaans (ultimately from Dutch), literally meaning 'field'. However, this simple translation does not convey the subtleties of the many idiomatic nuances of the term. Veld can be compared to the Australian terms "outback" or "bush," to "the prairie" of North America, or to the "pampas" of South America but the comparisons are not exact. A Yorkshireman might equate "wandering across the moors" to "walking through the veld."
By extension, the veld can be compared to 'the boondocks' or those places 'beyond the black stump' in Australia. There is a sense in which it refers in essence to unimproved land (and is therefore not the equivalent of the English "paddock") but in other senses the veld can include areas used both for pastoral activities and the planting of crops. The word is less appropriate for land that is heavily forested, mountainous, or urban. (On the other hand, a carefully-husbanded sports field on which the game of Rugby is played in the middle of cities such as Cape Town or Johannesburg is referred to as a "rugbyveld"). Whereas mountainous peaks and forests are not really welcome on the veld, bushes are acceptable. The area then becomes "bosveld." There are minor examples of bosveld here and there but the term is used mainly to describe Die Bosveld ("The Bushveld"), which is both a loose botanical classification and a specific geographical part of what used to be know as The Transvaal (see, for example, Jock of the Bushveld).
The word "veld" also carries military connotations. The word "field" in English has a strong association with "war," as evidenced by the expression "the first foe in the field" and the lines of the ballad 'Lord Marlborough' (see John Churchill): "You generals all and champions bold, that takes delight in field, that knocks down churches and castle walls but now to death must yield". The same relationship is paralleled in Afrikaans. Just as the English Army has its Field Marshalls, the Boer armies had their Veldkornets and Veldkommandos.
Some surrounding, lower areas are known as Lowveld and are generally hotter and less intensely cultivated. Before the middle of the 20th century, much of the Lowveld was home to the tsetse fly, which transmits sleeping sickness. These areas used to be known as "fever country" and were avoided by mounted travellers, owing to the susceptibility of horses to a form of the disease. Malaria was in the past also a major problem in the hotter parts of the Lowveld.
- 'The Veldt' is a short story by Ray Bradbury.
- 'The Veldt' was the name of a North Carolina alternative rock/ shoegaze band active during the 1990'shttp://www.answers.com/topic/the-veldt.
- 'Veldt' is the name of a band from Englandhttp://www.veldt.co.uk/.
- 'Veldt' is the name of a song from Simple Minds' 1979 Album Real to Real Cacophony.
- Veld is the name of the leader of the Turks in Final Fantasy VII: Before Crisis.
- 'The Veldt' was the name of a large African-style plains area in the North American localization of Final Fantasy VI (Final Fantasy III, SNES, US).
veldt in Danish: Veld
veldt in German: Veld
veldt in Italian: Veld
veldt in Norwegian: Veld
veldt in Polish: Weld (wyżyna)