nyatsi, noun

Plurals:
unchanged, or ‖dinyatsi.
Origin:
Southern Sotho
Especially among Sotho-speakers: a paramour; the lover of a married person. Also attributive.
1948 E. Hellmann Rooiyard 50Some married women form more permanent liaisons with a nyatsi (‘back-door husband’), who gives them cash presents every month. Such a woman, unbeknown to her husband, succeeds in earning part of her alleged beer money by having one or more nyatsi.
1959 L. Longmore Dispossessed 268In tribal areas, a nyatsi (concubine, paramour — man or woman) relationship worked according to certain rules.
1959 L. Longmore Dispossessed 269It was generally agreed that every man in the urban area had a nyatsi, where, however, the practice was more risky than in the tribal areas where there was seldom more that one nyatsi involved.
1980 M. Mzamane in Best of S. Afr. Short Stories (1991) 389I wish I was like the other fellows who have dinyatsi (mistresses) to whom they can escape.
1986 Drum Apr. 32 (letter)I discovered that she had a ‘nyatsi’. I tried to persuade her to stop seeing her ‘nyatsi’ and she pretended to understand.
a paramour; the lover of a married person. Also attributive.
Derivatives:
Hence nyatsarize intransitive verb ?nonce, to enter an extra-marital sexual relationship; nyatsism noun, the practice of having extra-marital relationships.
1959 L. Longmore Dispossessed 278It is not true to say that among Africans nyatsism is an urban practice. It is most decidedly not. Nyatsism is an age-old practice...The original practice was for a man who was married to ‘nyatsarise’ with a married woman.

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19481986

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