brother, noun

English, AfrikaansShow more Special senses of general English, influenced by the use of the equivalent words in Afrikaans and the Sintu (Bantu) languages.
1. [translation of Afrikaans broeder.] Broederbonder.
1950 H. Gibbs Twilight in S. Afr. 203It (sc. the Broederbond) was a sort of secret Star Chamber..whose aim..was..the promotion of the interests of a smaller section, especially the ‘Brothers’ and their friends.
2. [translation of various words for ‘brother’ in languages of the Sintu (Bantu) group.] Especially among speakers of Sintu (Bantu) languages: a man with the same surname, or a recent common ancestor. Cf. sister.
Used also, as elsewhere, as a term of address or reference to any black man.
1953 D. Jacobson Long Way from London 107Harry Grossman knew enough to know that ‘brother’ in this context could mean anything, from the son of one’s mother, to a friend from a neighbouring kraal.
1960 J. Cope Tame Ox 177The two black men were ‘brothers’, they said. That meant they were cousins or clansmen or maybe no closer than belonging to the same sub-tribe.
1966 L.G. Berger Where’s Madam 66In my innocence I thought they were his ‘brothers’. When the number of ‘brothers’ got to about 20, I dropped to the fact that anyone who came from the same village was considered a ‘brother’.
1978 A. Elliott Sons of Zulu 167In real life all the boys and girls of contemporary age belonging to the same clan regard each other as brothers and sisters and all the joint parents are their parents.
1990 Weekend Mail 13 July 5In the old days, you did not need to know who someone bearing your name was or where he or she came from. Anyone who bore that name was your brother or sister.
a man with the same surname, or a recent common ancestor.

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