bulala, verb

Forms:
Also bullala.
Origin:
Common to the Nguni languages.
1. Reporting Xhosa or Zulu speech:
a. transitive. To kill (someone).
1882 J. Nixon Among Boers 97While we were seated drinking beer, a cry was raised, ‘Bulala umtagatie’ (kill the sorcerers).
1949 C. Bullock Rina 106‘Wena ikona kuluma!’ thundered Jones, threatening in his vilest kitchen-kaffir to ‘bulala’ Ratisi if he should speak to anyone about our fight.
[1990 Stansfield & Tyala in Sunday Times 19 Aug. 2It was after this incident that the whispers began: ‘Bulalani amaBhunu, Kill the Boers.’]
b. intransitive. imperative ‘Kill’.
1899 A. Werner Captain of Locusts 164Though he knew very little Zulu, he knew what bulala meant, and he heard that shouted right and left, if he heard nothing else.
1937 S. Cloete Turning Wheels 26The sound of firing had increased; he could hear the shouts of the Kaffirs. Their wild cries of Bullala..Bullala. Kill..kill.
1959 G. & W. Gordon tr. of F.A. Venter’s Dark Pilgrim 190‘Bulala!’ roars the mob. The explosion into movement is so violent that the foremost men are overthrown.
1964 H.H.W. De Villiers Rivonia 63The Zulu war cry ‘Bulala’ (kill) can still stir them into a frenzy of uncontrolled aggression and murder.
1982 E. Prov. Herald 26 June 1The terrified man broke through the crowd and fled downhill, followed by hundreds of Zulus, many armed with sticks. The cry ‘bulala’ (kill) rang out again and again.
2. combination
bulala lamp /bʊˈlɑːla -/, a battery-charged head-lamp used in hunting.
1952 H. Klein Land of Silver Mist 161He did his lion shooting at night by the light of a ‘bulala lamp’, an electric killing lamp fixed to an elastic band around his head, which flashed a powerful beam of light into the lions’ eyes, dazzling them momentarily and giving him time to get in his shot.
1961 D. Bee Children of Yesterday 213Nigel..adjusted the light on his hat. It was connected to a battery-case in his left breast-pocket and was of the type commonly known as the bulala-lamp.
To kill (someone).
‘Kill’.

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18821990

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