Lekgoa, LekhoaShow more singularLekgoa, Lekhoa, Machoa, Macooa, Magoa; pluralMacooas, Makgoa, Makgowa, Makhoa, Makhowa, Makoa, Makoöas. Also with small initial.
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.
1824S. Afr. JrnlI. Jan.–Feb. 78The matchless wisdom and superiority of the ‘Macooas,’ or civilized men.
1827G. ThompsonTrav. 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.
1834Makanna (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.
1846R. MoffatMissionary Labours 92We must not act like Bechuanas, we must act like Makoöas (white people).
1850R.G.G. CummingHunter’s Life (1911) 291All the natives shouted out ‘Machoa’ (signifying white man).
1866E.L. PriceJrnls (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.
1871J. MackenzieTen Yrs N. of Orange River 281The Matebele called out, ‘These are “Makhoa”’ (white men), and that some might still labour under this impression.
[1912W. WestrupLand of To-Morrow 177You must speak to Penite, your herd boy. He came here yesterday and said to Raphofoolo: ‘Lumela, Lekhoa’ instead of ‘Morena’.]
1946S. CloeteAfr. Portraits 50Suddenly a Kaffir shouted ‘magoa!’ — white man — and all fled deeper into the cave.
1988‘A. Amaphixiphixi’ inFrontline 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.
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