heit, heita, interjection

Forms:
eh ta, eitaShow more Also eh ta, eita, heitha, heito, het, heyitha, heyta, huit.
Origin:
DutchShow more Unknown; perhaps adaptation of Dutch het the (see Mfenyana quotation 1980); but see quotation 1964.
colloquial
a. In urban (especially township) English: a greeting, ‘hello’.
Note:
Latterly associated with particular political groupings: see quotations 1989 and 1990.
1963 B. Modisane Blame Me on Hist. (1986) 57‘Heit, bricade,’ he said, ‘this is my cheerie’.
1964 L.G. Green Old Men Say 61Het ou Pellie!’ I suppose that is the most typical of the popular greetings that belong essentially to Cape Town; but the origin would be hard to trace. One expert thinks it falls into the Malay-Portuguese group.
1977 J. Sikakane Window on Soweto 26When pouncing on his victim the policeman will say ‘Hy’ta, pass jong’ — meaning ‘Hey, pass, man’.
1978 C. Van Wyk in Staffrider Vol.1 No.2, 36Ebrahim: Ag that’s ou Colin. But sommer call him Kop. Kiet: Heit, Kop. Bob: How’s it Kop.
1980 B. Mfenyana in Voice 20 Aug. 14About that classic greeting ‘Heit!’, he traces its parent-term to the Dutch article Het, as in ‘het man — die man’. It must, he avers, have been but a short step from ‘heit man’, in view of African culture still [being] predominantly oral.
1982 M. Mzamane Children of Soweto 94Duke was the first to arrive. He was carrying a newspaper under his armpits. ‘Heit! majita. Hi! Bella,’ he greeted. ‘Heita’, we responded.
1986 T. Thoka in Eng. Usage in Sn Afr. Vol.17 No.2, 20‘Heita’ is a popular greeting used by the Mapantsula. It simply means ‘hello’. Of course, one can go further by saying ‘Heita hoezet majita?’ (Hello, how are you, friends?).
1989 T. Mkhwanazi in Weekly Mail 1 Sept. 5Cheers of ‘Heita Mandela, heita Sisulu’ (hail Mandela, Sisulu).
1990 M. Kentridge Unofficial War 24At one point Heytha! was a standard way of hailing friends and acquaintances in the townships, but has now become so loaded with political implications that it is used with circumspection.
1990 M. Kentridge Unofficial War 92Heytha!’, the UDF greeting.
1990 L. Kaunda in M. Kentridge Unofficial War 24The amaqabane speak tsotsi taal (English, Afrikaans, some Zulu, some slang words from God knows where) and they greet each other with Heytha!
1993 C. Rickard in Sunday Times 11 July 2His wife was greeted..‘Heyta, comrade mama Marika de Klerk, Heyta!’
b. In the phr. Heita daa, Heita daar, also Heita daarso /- dɑː(sɔ)/ [Afrikaans daar, daarso there], ‘hello there’.
1980 Voice 20 Aug. 14We end up with heit, heito, heitadaa and various variations.
1986 M. Manaka in S. Gray Market Plays 58Jimi: Heitha daarso! Danny: Heitha Jimi.
1987 Learn & Teach No.1, 39Heyta daar. See you next time.
1994 Weekly Mail & Guardian 13 May 9‘Eita Da’ he yelled to the crowds; ‘Eita Da-a-a-a-a’ they responded.
a greeting, ‘hello’.
, ‘hello there’.

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19631994