great, adjective

Forms:
Also with initial capital.
Origin:
Translation of adjectival stem -khulu big, large, great, important, found in the Nguni languages; in this context applied especially to the possessions or relatives of an African chief or king, or to the (principal) wife of a common man, and her offspring or homestead.
Note:
Some of the combinations listed below are South African English formations which have no standard equivalents in the Nguni languages.
Special collocations
great councillor, a councillor advising an African chief or king; great man (see below); grootman sense 1;
great house [translation of Zulu indlunkulu, see indlunkulu], (a) the family of an hereditary chief or king; the royal family; (b) great hut;
great hut, (a) the largest hut in a royal homestead; (b) the main hut shared by a man and his (principal) wife in a traditional African homestead; in both senses also indlunkulu;
great kraal, great place (see below);
great man, great councillor (see above);
great place, the official residence of an African chief or king; the capital town of an African people; hoofstad noun1; cf. royal kraal (see kraal noun sense 2 c);
great son, the eldest son of an African chief or king and his (principal) wife; the heir-apparent to the chieftainship;
great wife, (a) inkosikazi sense 1 a; (b) inkosikazi sense 1 c; see also right hand.
1981 J.B. Peires House of Phalo 30The military preponderance of the king was due to the fact that..he alone commanded the allegiance of the Great Councillors.
1989 Reader’s Digest Illust. Hist. of S. Afr. 64The Great Wife, who often married the chief late in his life, produced the heir, whose oldest half-brother, by the first-married wife of the right-hand house, sometimes resented this line of succession.