mawo, interjection

mah wo, mar-whowShow more Also mah wo, mar-whow, mar-wow, mawoh, maw-wah, mow-wah.
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.
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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