gwaai, noun

Forms:
gwai, gwyShow more Also gwai, gwy, ngwai.
Origin:
ZuluShow more Zulu ugwayi tobacco, snuff.
a. Tobacco; snuff. Also attributive.
1879 R.J. Atcherley Trip to Boërland 68While sitting at our noontide meal that day, a troop of Kafirs in warlike array bore down upon us, and commenced a grand lamentation in respect to the scarcity of doka (hemp) and gwai (tobacco).
1899 A. Werner Captain of Locusts 196I found that the saddle was all right; and then he told me to get myself ngwai, and behold, he put this into my hand. [Note] tobacco.
c1929 L.P. Bowler Afr. Nights 148The impi followed the Botletle river, and at Kala Mabela and Makabel, found plenty of tobacco (Gwai) which Khoa had prepared for the death-smoke.
[1957 B. Fraser Sunshine & Lamplight 7I turned to a heathen woman in her red clay topknot and gay but dirty blanket. She wanted ‘ugwayi’. I passed her some tobacco for grinding into snuff and her change.]
[1967 O. Walker Hippo Poacher 77Tom, who signalled the old man to go on with his grinding of the home-grown tobacco and ugwayi leaves on a hot stone and mixing of aloe ashes in the old-fashioned way that went back to Chaka’s time.]
1970 D. Proctor Informant, Clarens (OFS)Gwaai. Tobacco.
1970 Evening Post 14 Nov. (Mag. Sect.) 1His handling of the ‘gwaai’ was as nothing compared with the old man’s technique.
1990 D. Capel in Personality 27 Aug. 13They have their own peculiar brand of bug, called ‘chongololos,’ which eat the tobacco crop, known as ‘gwaai’.
b. slang. A cigarette.
[1986 T. Thoka in Eng. Usage in Sn Afr. Vol.17 No.2, 18‘Hey man, howzabout stenge gwy ’sbema man?’ (Hey man, buy some cigarettes and let’s smoke).]
1991 L. Colbourne Informant, DurbanGive me a gwaai/skyf, my bru...(Please give me a cigarette, brother).
1991 C. Sammy Informant, Adelaide (E. Cape)Gwaais. Cigarettes.
Tobacco; snuff. Also attributive.
A cigarette.

Visualise Quotations

Quotation summary

Senses

18791991