mawo, interjection

Forms:
mah wo, mar-whowShow more Also mah wo, mar-whow, mar-wow, mawoh, maw-wah, mow-wah.
Origin:
Xhosa
obs.
Especially among Xhosa-speakers: an exclamation of astonishment or wonder. Cf. hau.
1835 T.H. Bowker Journal. 6 Sept.It was Botma who stood on the road on Wellington Hill, the Galeka from beyond the Kei were here too, Gasela from beyond the Kabousie & Umhala from the sea side, Eno was here too!!! Mawo!
1875 J.J. Bisset Sport & War 89These Kafirs were equally astonished, for I heard the exclamations of Oh, Marwow meaning a wonder, an apparition.
1883 O.E.A. Schreiner Story of Afr. Farm 51The Hottentot maid sighed, the Kaffir girl who looked in at the door put her hand over her mouth and said ‘Mow-wah!’
1894 E. Glanville Fair Colonist 112‘Mawoh,’ exclaimed the Kaffir as he saw the long wound.
1907 W.C. Scully By Veldt & Kopje 256We had no guns, but..we used to drive the game into stalked pits. Mawo, but these were great days.
an exclamation of astonishment or wonder.
Derivatives:
Hence mawo noun, an utterance of this exclamation.
1931 G. Beet Grand Old Days 61A tremendous shout of surprise at once arose from the Kaffirs, and their many ‘Maw-wahs’ sounded and resounded throughout the mine.

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18351931

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