Lekgoa, noun

Forms:
Lekgoa, LekhoaShow more singular Lekgoa, Lekhoa, Machoa, Macooa, Magoa; plural Macooas, Makgoa, Makgowa, Makhoa, Makhowa, Makoa, Makoöas.
Also with small initial.
Plurals:
usually Makgoa.
Origin:
seTswana, Northern Sotho, Ndebele, South African EnglishShow more Triple derivation: seTswana lekgóa (plural makgóa), Northern Sotho lekgówa (plural makgówa), and Ndebele (see quotation 1871). It is not always clear from which of these languages particular instances of the word in South African English are derived. For an explanation of plural forms, see le- and ma- prefix2
Especially among speakers of Sotho and seTswana: a white person. Cf. mlungu.
1824 S. Afr. Jrnl I. Jan.Feb. 78The matchless wisdom and superiority of the ‘Macooas,’ or civilized men.
1827 G. Thompson Trav. 225Mr. Moffat told them that they might depend implicitly upon the correctness of my information;..and that my report was not the report of a Bechuana, but the true statement of a Macooa.
1834 Makanna (anon.) II. 161For some time previously Makanna, forseeing the struggle about to ensue with the false-hearted ally of the ‘Macooas’ (white men), had trained a select number of his followers to the use of fire-arms.
1846 R. Moffat Missionary Labours 92We must not act like Bechuanas, we must act like Makoöas (white people).
1850 R.G.G. Cumming Hunter’s Life (1911) 291All the natives shouted out ‘Machoa’ (signifying white man).
1866 E.L. Price Jrnls (1956) 225This little speech of Roger’s caused thunders of applause and several people meeting him since have greeted him heartily as the Lekhoa who made the stir in the pico.
1871 J. Mackenzie Ten Yrs N. of Orange River 281The Matebele called out, ‘These are “Makhoa”’ (white men), and that some might still labour under this impression.
[1912 W. Westrup Land of To-Morrow 177You must speak to Penite, your herd boy. He came here yesterday and said to Raphofoolo: ‘Lumela, Lekhoa’ instead of ‘Morena’.]
1946 S. Cloete Afr. Portraits 50Suddenly a Kaffir shouted ‘magoa!’ — white man — and all fled deeper into the cave.
1988 A. Amaphixiphixi in Frontline Apr.May 33Meanwhile the Basotho word for whites is also under assault. Basotho people used the word ‘makhowa’, which means bossy people who always find fault with everything you do.
a white person.

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18241988