inkosikazi, noun

Forms:
incosa-cãse, inkoosikaasShow more Also incosa-cãse, inkoosikaas, inkose kosi, inkosigas, inkosigaze, inkosikaas, inkosikasi, inkosikaze, inkosikosi, inkosikozi, inkoskaas, inkozikas, inkozikazi, inquosegose, khoskhaz, nikosikazi, nkosikaas, nkosikasi, nkosikazi, nkozkazi, and with initial capital.
Plurals:
unchanged, or inkosikazis.
Origin:
Xhosa, ZuluShow more Xhosa and Zulu inkosi chief + feminine suffix -kazi.
1. A married woman of status (in a polygamous family): a. The highest-ranking wife of an African chief or king, and mother of his heir; great wife sense (a), see great. b. Any of the wives of an African chief or king. c. The highest-ranking wife of a commoner; great wife sense (b), see great. Also used as a title, and occasionally attributively or figuratively. See also right hand.
1835 A. Steedman Wanderings I. 256The Chief having many wives..the sovereignty devolves on the offspring of the Inkose kosi, female chieftain, or queen.
1836 N. Isaacs Trav. (1937) II. 63In the afternoon the Messrs. Fynn repaired to Umpenduin to celebrate the nuptials of a chief and Ningwas: all the inquosegoses were present. [Note] All the queens.
1855 G. Brown Personal Adventure 115At a small kraal a very eligible place presented itself, the hut of the Inkosikozi chiefess, the mother of Macomo.
1887 J.W. Matthews Incwadi Yami 37The Inkosikazi is the wife of the greatest rank, her hut is placed in the centre opposite the gateway of the kraal, and her eldest son is heir.
1895 H. Rider Haggard Nada 130Fastened to his arm by a thong of leather was the great axe Groan-Maker, and each man as he came up saluted the axe, calling it ‘Inkosikaas,’ or Chieftainess.
1956 F.C. Metrowich Valiant but Once 197A man came to tell Brown that Unoxima, one of the inkosikosi (wives of the chief), wanted to see him.
1978 A. Elliott Sons of Zulu 175A chief’s main wife, or nkosikazi, is chosen in consultation with his clan who provide the lobolo cattle for her and this marriage invariably takes place after the chief already has several wives. She is therefore likely to be younger than any of his first wives and she provides the heir for the chief...The first wife of a commoner as opposed to that of the chief, is his main wife or nkosikazi.
2. transferred sense. A respectful form of address or reference to any married woman (often an employer) who is perceived to be of superior status; also used as a title, with a name, and as a common noun. See also inkosazana.
1836 A.F. Gardiner Journey to Zoolu Country 146The appellation Incosa-cāse (literally female chief) is applied to all women of high rank...These are..generally placed as pensioners, one or two together, in the different military towns where they preside, and are particularly charged with the distribution of provisions.
1866 H. Robertson Mission Life among Zulu-Kafirs 103Look, Inkosikazi, here is Mary putting this in my best trousers.
1878 H.A. Roche On Trek in Tvl 246He (sc. the ‘washing Kaffir’) acquits himself at his task better than the Inkosigas (white mistress) who bungles hers so sadly.
1897 J.P. Fitzpatrick Outspan 86One boy replied: ‘Inkosikaas.’..‘I asked who sent them with the food.’ ‘Well who did?’ ‘He says “The missis”!’
1908 D. Blackburn Leaven (1991) 26It is not wise to let the white baas or the inkozikas (mistress) know that you can do clever things, for then they will make you work the harder.
1923 G.H. Nicholls Bayete! 238She went to the door and beckoned Mukwasi ‘Have you any coffee ready?’ ‘Yes, Nkosikasi,’ he replied.
1948 A. Paton Cry, Beloved Country 175My heart holds a deep sorrow for you, and for the inkosikazi, and for the young inkosikazi, and for the children.
1961 D. Bee Children of Yesterday 13‘Call the Inkosikasi,..’ he commanded. Then the girl disappeared and returned with the lady of the house.
1963 A.M. Louw 20 Days 98Mrs. Shuba..Nkozkazi Shuba, the wife of the chief Bantu detective — a woman of importance.
1969 I. Vaughan Last of Sunlit Yrs 25‘Nkosikaas,’ Moses had asked, ‘what sort of a table is this?’
1978 A.P. Brink Rumours of Rain 277On the stoep the voice went on calling softly but insistently: ‘Nkosikazi! Nkosikazi! Nkosikazi! — Madam!’ At last Ma’s voice, sleepy and surprised, answered.
1986 F. Karodia Daughters of Twilight 9Noting Ma’s heat-induced irritation, Gladys gave a sheepish grin, her dark cheeks glittering with perspiration...‘Hienie, Khoskhaz, almost finished now.’
The highest-ranking wife of an African chief or king, and mother of his heir; great wife sense (a), see great.
Any of the wives of an African chief or king.
The highest-ranking wife of a commoner; great wife sense (b), see great. Also used as a title, and occasionally attributively or figuratively.
A respectful form of address or reference to any married woman (often an employer) who is perceived to be of superior status; also used as a title, with a name, and as a common noun.
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18351986