Bechuana, noun

α. Boetshoenas, BootchuannasShow more (plural only) Boetshoenas, Bootchuannas, Bōōtshooānăs, Bootshuanas, Bucuanas, Buchuanas, Mōōtshooānăs;
β. Boschuanas, BoshuanahShow more (plural only) Boschuanas, Boshuanah, Boshuanas, Botchuana’s, Botschuanas;
γ. Beetchuanah, BeetshuanasShow more (plural only) Beetchuanah, Beetshuanas, Betcuana, Betshoenas, Beuchuanas, Bichuana, Bichuanas, Bituanas;
δ. Bechuan, BetjouanaShow more singular Bechuan, Betjouana, Betjuana, Mochuana, Motchuana; singular and plural Bechuana; plural Bachuana, Bechannas, Bechouanas, Bechuanas, Bechwana, Becwana.
usually unchanged, or Bechuanas.
seTswana, Show more Englished form of seTswana baTswana, see Motswana; or perhaps representing obsolete seTswana pronunciation of an earlier form of baTswana; for an explanation of singular and plural forms, see mo- and ba-.
obsolescent except in historical contexts
1. a. A member of any of several Sotho-Tswana peoples inhabiting the interior of southern Africa; Chuana sense 1 a. b. Tswana sense 2 a. Also attributive, passing into adjective.
During the 19th century ‘Bechuana’ and ‘Kaffir’ often meant Sotho and Nguni respectively. ‘Bechuana’ has been replaced in South African English by ‘Tswana’ (usually meaning a seTswana-speaking South African) and ‘Batswana’ (often meaning the citizens of Botswana, but see Motswana).
1801 W. Somerville Narr. of E. Cape Frontier (1979) 123Briqua is a name unknown to them, but applied to them by the Kora Hottentots — they call themselves Bōōtshooānăs or Mōōtshooānăs — for they hardly make any distinction in the articulation of these two letters.
1821 Missionary Notices 119They differ much from the Caffers and Bootchuannas on the east, as also from their nearest neighbours, the Damaras on the west.
1834 J.C. Chase in A. Steedman Wanderings (1835) II. 171The Beuchuanas, a peculiarly mild race,..amiable, courteous, and much-civilized.
1875 J.J. Bisset Sport & War 170About the year 1830 some of the dispersed native tribes from the interior of Africa migrated into the Cape Colony...The tribes were called Munatees and Bucuanas.
1818 Lord C. Somerset in G.M. Theal Rec. of Cape Col. (1902) XII. 112Those tribes the Boshuanas, Ghonas, and Briquas..have been very peaceable towards the Colonists.
1822 Missionary Notices 214One of these visitors having frequently travelled amongst the Manketsens, Boschuanas, and Marootzes, to the north and north-east of Griqua Town, gave us much more information respecting that country.
1824 W.J. Burchell Trav. II. 26In her ear are two small copper ornaments of Bichuana manufacture.
a1838 A. Smith Jrnl (1975) 187Locusts form with the Bituanas not an uncommon article of food, and..are by no means disrelished by these natives.
1884 Cape Law Jrnl I. 223These are the..interior Basuto tribes and those in the Transvaal Territory and Colonial Basutos, including the Barolongs of the Orange Free State and the Beetshuanas or Batlapins of Griqualand West and also the Griquas.
1827 G. Thompson Trav. 91The fourth speaker, Insha, a Barolong, began by recommending that the Bechuanas should wait until the Mantatees appeared, and then attack them.
1827 G. Thompson Trav. 158The marauding horde..were now plundering and destroying the Bechuana tribes to the northward.
1832 Graham’s Town Jrnl 24 Feb. 34In 1824 and 1825, the Bechuanas were in a most wretched condition. They had been attacked by the Mantatees, who..are reputed cannibals. The Griquas also..made inroads upon them.
1835 D. Lindley in D.J. Kotze Lett. of American Missionaries (1950) 87We shall make use of a Mochuana, who speaks Dutch very well, as our interpreter.
1835 G. Champion Jrnl (1968) 10The range of mts separating the Caffre from the Betjouana country.
1835 G. Champion Jrnl (1968) 35Striking difference between the Kaffers & Betjouanas.
1837 R. Giddy in B. Shaw Memorials (1841) 227I have now to take leave of this people, having received orders from the Committee to remove to the Bechuana Mission.
1845 S. Dennison in D.R. Edgecombe, Letters of Hannah Dennison. (1968) 202Mrs Cambell wishes Elizabeth to stay with her untill she is confined so we will not see her in the betcuana Country untill July.
[1857 D. Livingstone Missionary Trav. 200The name Bechuana seems derived from the word Chuana — alike or equal — with the personal pronoun Ba (they) prefixed; and therefore means fellows or equals. Some have supposed the name to have arisen from a mistake of some traveller, who, on asking individuals of this nation concerning the tribes living beyond them, received the answer, Bachuana, ‘they (are) alike;’ meaning, They are the same as we are’.]
1860 W. Shaw Story of my Mission 399The ‘Kwahlamba’..forms the impracticable and almost impassable boundary which has for ages separated the Bechuana nations of the more inland districts, from the Kaffirs of the coast country.
1867 E.L. Price Jrnls (1956) 266She uttered a sort of low howl when I said that Robert was dead & then she went away without begging a single thing — which is of course a remarkable event for an untaught Mochuana.
1871 J. Mackenzie Ten Yrs N. of Orange River 106He could be an orthodox Mochuana and a good Christian at the same time.
1871 J. Mackenzie Ten Yrs N. of Orange River 501There are cabins in the United Kingdom..which are certainly less comfortable in every point of view than a well-built Bechuana hut.
1895 A.H. Keane Africa II. 241Tribal groups belonging either to the Bechuana, or to the Zulu-Kafir division of the Southern Bantus.
1905 W.H. Tooke in Flint & Gilchrist Science in S. Afr. 92The be-Chuana are..remarkable for their honesty, a virtue which has been noticed from Livingstone’s time.
1905 Native Tribes of Tvl 131The Basuto and Bechuana..are both moderately developed people, generally well-built, wiry and active, but slight in figure.
1916 Act 1 in Stat. of Union 2Section five of Act No. 28 of hereby amended by..the addition after the word ‘Koranna’ of the following words:– ‘Griqua, Zulu, Bechuana, Swazi, or any member of any aboriginal tribe or race of Africa.’
1930 S.T. Plaatje Mhudi (1975) 21Two centuries ago the Bechuana tribes inhabited the extensive areas between Central Transvaal and the Kalahari Desert.
a1951 H.C. Bosman Willemsdorp (1977) 55The flat-boy..was one Pieta, a Bechuana whose brown-boot-polish complexion was several degrees lighter than Mhlopi’s own.
1965 J.D. Jones in Setswana Dict. (1982) p.viThe sound represented by c and its aspirated relative ch is rarely if ever heard among the northern Becwana.
1967 E.M. Slatter My Leaves Are Green 33Dogs were barking, and the native labourers, Fingos, Xosa, Bechuanas..and others, were singing round their own fires.
1973 J. Cowden For Love 26Reverend James Archbell..came from Yorkshire in 1818 to be a missionary amongst the Baralong tribe in Bechuana Country (the Transvaal of today)...He and his wife..were the first to publish a book — a reader for the Tswana people.
1986 P. Maylam Hist. of Afr. People 44The label ‘Bechuana’ was developed by whites in the nineteenth century and was often applied very loosely to cover all the African peoples of the interior.
1989 J. Crwys-Williams S. Afr. Despatches 14On an up-country visit..Thompson observed a general assembly of the tribes making up the Bechuana nation, which was called together at Kuruman to meet the threat of the advancing Mantatees.
2. Only in singular δ forms with Be-: Setswana. Also attributive.
1826 R. Moffatt (title)A Bechuana Catechism.
1833 W. Shaw in B. Shaw Memorials (1841) 235The English, Dutch, Kaffir, and occasionally the Bechuana languages are used, as the means of conveying instruction to this people.
1835 G. Champion Jrnl (1968) 19They speak a little in the language. The language is the Betjouana.
1841 B. Shaw Memorials 38The language (sc. Xhosa), which is radically the same as the Bechuana, save when interrupted by clicks, is soft and agreeable.
1864 J.M. Bowker Speeches & Sel. 3The Hottentots and Bushmen..are the remnants of two distinct nations, whose languages bear no affinity to either Kafir or Bechuana.
1957 A. Gordon-Brown S. Afr. Yrbk & Guide 208The Bechuana are of Bantu stock and speak Bechuana.
1979 A. Gordon-Brown Settlers’ Press 57William Binnington Boyce and James the face of formidable difficulties, produced respectively grammars of the Kafir and Bechuana languages.
A member of any of several Sotho-Tswana peoples inhabiting the interior of southern Africa; Chuana1 a.
Tswana2 a. Also attributive, passing into adjective.
Setswana. Also attributive.
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