majita, noun

Forms:
majika, mjietaShow more singular majika, mjieta, mjita; singular and plural amajita, jita, majieta, matjieta, matjita, mayita.
Plurals:
also majitas.
Origin:
IsicamthoShow more Isicamtho, probably coined c1951 in the form majika, adaptation of magic, from The Magic Garden, the title of a film released in that year which depicts, among other things, the life of a black South African petty thief. For notes on the variety of (especially plural) forms, see ama-, ma- prefix2, and ma- prefix3.
slang
In urban (especially township) parlance: ‘chap’, ‘guy’, used in the following ways:
a. As a common noun: a black youth or a black adult male. Also lamajita /ˌlamaˈdʒita/ plural noun [Isicamtho and Zulu enclitic la- this, these], ‘these chaps’, ‘these guys’.
[1956 Mr Drum in Drum Apr. 6Take this spice-and-pepper language known as the Lingo or ‘Die witty van die reely-reely majietas’ (The language of the real McCoy bright-boys).]
1963 L.F. Freed Crime in S. Afr. 126If he becomes a criminal tsotsi, he is known as a ‘majita’ or a ‘majika’.
1978 M.P. Gwala in Staffrider Vol.1 No.2, 6Playboy Joe was already at Umgababa, pulling dagga zol with other matjietas.
1984 C. Mathiane in Staffrider Vol.6 No.1, 30The following day was Friday which meant, like most majitas, he had to end the week well by downing a bottle or two with the guys at the joint.
1987 Learn & Teach No.5, 17They say Hillbrow is mos a klein America. Darkies and Lanies live together. It is a 24 hour place — good for a young mjita like me.
1989 Weekly Mail 20 Oct. 28I felt the power of the ex-prisoners in my bones in the ensuing theatre. The glory of that day was summed up by one of three youths at the back of my car when he remarked: ‘Lamajita (these guys) are great. By the way, we did not even exist when they were jailed.’
1994 TV1, 30 July (The Line)The situation was a mess until we, the majitas, moved in.
b. As a term of address to a black man or youth.
1979 M. Matshoba Call Me Not a Man 50I looked at my comrades and said, ‘There we go, majita. Let the hammers pound while the sickles swish.’
1981 B. Mfenyana in M. Mutloatse Reconstruction 298Are you one of those characters that flip, freak or fret everytime they hear another new word like botsotso, devushka, shishkebab or halaal? Well mjita, you’ve got a friend right here.
1987 M. Melamu Children of Twilight 291‘Ja, majita,’ Oupa concluded, ‘the mpimpi is hinty, They say the Duke got him at last.’
1987 M. Melamu Children of Twilight 305My father and his friend came to a dead stop. The tsotsis looked them over, and the one who appeared to be the leader of the group turned to his companions and said, in the racy jargon of the breed of animal: ‘Majita, it seems we are in for an easy pay-day, of hoe sê ek?’
a black youth or a black adult male.
As a term of address to a black man or youth.
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19561994