Also written (and pronounced) koppie, a kopje is a small hill, technically known as an inselberg. It is a Dutch word adapted into Afrikaans to describe the terrain of the veld. It is a diminutive of the word kop, which means simply "hill".

Typically, it can only be used to describe rocky landforms found around deserts. It is made up of aged granite which has eroded into rough surfaces.

A kopje often has vegetation and wildlife that one would not find in the surrounding desert or plains, as it provides protection from the sun, and from flooding.

Rudyard Kipling wrote a poem called Two Kopjes.

Kop"je (?), n. [South African D., dim. of kop. See Kop.]

A hillock; a small kop. [South Africa]

&fist; The colloqual Dutch pronunciation as here given is the usual one in South Africa.


© Webster 1913.

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