handlanger

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See also: Handlanger

English[edit]

Apprentices working in Leipzig, Germany, in 1963

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Afrikaans handlanger (assistant, helper), from Dutch handlanger (accomplice, henchman; assistant, helper), analyzable as hand (hand) + langen (to hand over or pass to) + -er (suffix indicating the subject performing an action) (in the sense of someone who puts things into another person's hands), from German Handlanger (handyman; henchman), from Hand (hand) + langen (to hand over, to give; to reach for something) + -er (suffix forming agent nouns from verbs).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

handlanger (plural handlangers)

  1. (South Africa) An unskilled assistant to an artisan.
    • 1976, Het Suid Western:
      [] building himself brick by brick, with his wife as his only handlanger.
  2. (South Africa, figuratively) An aide, an assistant.
    • 2006, Richard Calland, Anatomy of South Africa: Who Holds the Power?, Cape Town: Zebra Press, →ISBN, page 177:
      [E]very political leader has a handlanger. Like a toddler with a security blanket, the political handlanger is a necessary sop and sponge for all the tension that goes with the job. And there is nothing either disreputable or degrading about the role. Politics can be spiteful and demanding; the handlanger is the trusted confidant, the one person whom the leader can sound out, seek counsel from and trust.
    • 2016 March 17, Judith February, “Which colour pill will the ANC choose?”, in Daily Maverick[1], archived from the original on 11 April 2016:
      The time for talk truly is over now. The ANC will have to do the necessary, find its backbone and rein in [Jacob] Zuma, his cronies and their handlangers to avert an economic crisis happening on its watch.
  3. Alternative letter-case form of Handlanger.

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]


Afrikaans[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Dutch handlanger, from German Handlanger.

Noun[edit]

handlanger (plural handlangers, diminutive handlangertjie)

  1. assistant, helper (one who aids)
  2. henchman, accomplice (one who is an enabler or accessory to a crime)

Descendants[edit]


Dutch[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from German Handlanger. Equivalent to hand +‎ langen +‎ -er.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈɦɑntˌlɑ.ŋər/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: hand‧lan‧ger

Noun[edit]

handlanger m (plural handlangers, diminutive handlangertje n)

  1. accomplice, henchman (one who assists in criminal or unethical activity)
  2. (now chiefly Surinam or Zeeland, otherwise dated) assistant; helper
    • 2015 March 13, Wout Bareman, "Waarom Rubens wel en Dirk de Witte niet", Provinciale Zeeuwse Courant, page 28.
      De Witte ontpopte zich als een handlanger van het Belgische verzet.
      (please add an English translation of this quote)

Descendants[edit]