pantsula, noun

Forms:
pantsola, pantsulaShow more singular pantsola, pantsula, panzolla; singular (occasionally) and plural mapantsula, pantsulas; plural mapansula, mapantsulas, mpantsula, pantsolas.
Also with initial capital.
Plurals:
usually pantsulas, ma-pantsula.
Origin:
Isicamtho, Southern Sotho, Northern Sotho, ZuluShow more Isicamtho, ultimate origin unknown; perhaps related to Southern Sotho patsola split open, or Northern Sotho phasola, Southern Sotho pasola, Zulu pansula, phansula, ‘slap, strike sharply (with a whip)’, perhaps referring either to pantsulas’ sometime association with violent crime, or to elements of the dance style associated with them.
slang
In urban (especially township) parlance:
1.
a. A young urban black person (usually a man) whose attitudes and behaviour, especially regarding speech and dress, are of the most popular current fashion. See also mshoza. b.  tsotsi sense 1 a. Also attributive.
Note:
Although the term seems not to have been used in general Isicamtho before the late 1970s, it is now sometimes applied retrospectively to the ‘tsotsis’ and ‘bras’ of the 1950s.
Note:
Among themselves, pantsulas normally speak general Isicamtho. Their style of dress was formerly reminiscent of 1950s ‘tsotsi’ fashion, characterized by expensive clothing, particularly trousers with turn-ups (usually worn above the ankles), fine shoes (often two-tone brogues), and a felt hat; more recently a diversity of styles has emerged.
[1976 K.M.C. Motsisi in M. Mutloatse Casey & Co. (1978) 62I tell her I’m off to Kid Pancholla’s place.]
1982 W.O. KwaMthetwa in Staffrider Vol.5 No.2, 9There were..Mapansula, Ma-Amerikane and what have you...These people are discerned from one another by their way of dressing.
1982 Star 11 Nov. (Tonight) 4A pantsola, a custodian of scamtho, explained his delayed arrival to his boss. ‘I come from London 727’ (I come from Orlando East number 727) leaving the employer..trying to figure out how the poor bloke travels...Capture the miasma of township life including the heady dances of pantsolas and their intoxicating patois called ‘scamtho’.
1983 Drum Sept. 39It is ironic that these sexy female ‘pantsulas’ are the first to fill church seats on Sundays.
1984 M. Mthethwa in Frontline July 29Pantsulas and Mshozas take great pride in their expensive clothes. Lizard-skin shoes and purses, cashmere pullovers and cardigans, leather coats, jackets and berets are top with them.
1984 M. Mthethwa in Frontline July 30The cheapest pair of shoes you will come across worn by a Pantsulas will cost about R150.
1985 J. Khumalo in Pace Sept. 18 (caption)Is the Pantsula style, with one-pleat trousers and Florsheim shoes, going out of fashion after 30 years of glory?
1985 L. Sampson in Style Dec. 44He wears..Panzolla trousers.
1986 T. Thoka in Eng. Usage in Sn Afr. Vol.17 No.2, 18The label ‘Mapantsula’ is actually the newest word for the old term ‘tsotsie’, which refers to an urban thug...Tsotsie-taal has become a street dialect, and is not confined to thugs. The Mapantsula are the main users of this dialect.
1986 Drum Aug. 70Women pantsulas live far from a healthy morality.
1987 Cosmopolitan Dec. 88Pantsulas..don’t want to wear their father’s clothes, speak English and do not buy mbaqanga music. They buy ‘Hotstix’, Brenda Fassie, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Chicco and CJB.
1991 in Schmitz & Mogotlane Mapantsula 38Nathan: To what extent were you influenced by the 1950s mapantsulas’ style? Mogotlane: Those mapantsulas had style. They were influenced mainly by the American gangster movies...Dressing in labels was very important, so, John Stevens of London, Dobson and Stetson, was vital...Schmitz:..Why is this guy wearing old fashioned clothes? Mapantsulas today don’t wear those sorts of clothes. Mogotlane: Those who are criticising don’t know the mapantsula...That style of mapantsula still lives today. Even the elderly..still believe in the turn-up trouser,..Florsheims, and a straw hat maybe, or a Stetson. It does influence the youngsters. Godfrey Moloi..has a handkerchief hanging out of his suit pocket all the time...He is still a mapantsula of the 1950s...Nathan: The music, dress and dance in the film all draw strongly on contemporary mapantsula style.
1992 M-Net TV 19 Apr. (Carte Blanche)Didi calls himself a pantsula...They speak a special language called tsotsi-taal.
2. A dance-style in which each person performs a solo turn within a circle of dancers doing a repetitive, shuffling step; the music accompanying this dancing. Usually attributive.
1990 City Press 17 June 16Forget disco and pantsula jive, move into the quiet world of waltzes, foxtrots and quickstep.
1990 J. Michel in Style Nov. 61I asked him where he found his inspiration...‘It could be the Zulu thing. You see them practising for mapantsula competitions all the time..’.
1991 Schmitz & Mogotlane Mapantsula 38We linked the freedom songs with mapantsula music because the two are inter-related.
A young urban black person (usually a man) whose attitudes and behaviour, especially regarding speech and dress, are of the most popular current fashion.
A dance-style in which each person performs a solo turn within a circle of dancers doing a repetitive, shuffling step; the music accompanying this dancing. Usually attributive.
Derivatives:
Hence pantsulahood noun nonce, the state or condition of being a pantsula.
1985 J. Khumalo in Pace Sept. 19She told him in no uncertain terms that he was not a suitable dance partner as he was a thug. That was it. It put paid to our Pantsulahood.

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19761992

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