Sesotho, noun

α. Sesuto, Se-SutoShow more Sesuto, Se-Suto, Sesutu, Sisuto, Susuto;
β. Sesotho, siSotho.
SothoShow more From Sotho seSotho, noun class prefix se- + Sotho, see Sotho.
1. South(ern) Sotho, see Sotho sense 2 c. 2. Sotho sense 2 b. Also attributive.
For a time ‘Sesotho’ was used to designate all the Sotho languages. It is now officially used only of the southern Sotho languages (but in popular usage might refer to the northern languages as well).
1846 J.C. Brown tr. of T. Arbousset’s Narr. of Explor. Tour to N.-E. of Col. 251I spoke Sesuto, a dialect which the chief of the place..also understood.
1850 J.W. Appleyard Kafir Lang. 35In the Sisuto dialect, several portions of the Old and New Testaments have been translated and published by the Missionaries of the Paris Society, besides a Hymn book.
1871 J. Mackenzie Ten Yrs N. of Orange River 492They (sc. clicks) are found in other African languages, as in Zulu and Kaffir, and a few words in Sesuto.
1894 F.A. Barkly Among Boers & Basutos 109By this time they could both speak Sesuto and ‘Low’ or ‘Kitchen Dutch’ (as it is called in those parts) well.
1908 Rand Daily Mail 11 Sept. 7The gangs quickly gained adherents...English words of command were discarded, and the language of the Amalaita became Sesuto.
1909 G.Y. Lagden Basutos 654The contact with Zulu-speaking tribes has exercised a marked influence over se-Suto, making it softer and less guttural [than se-Pedi], and introducing into it the click sound, which is unknown to all other se-Chuana dialects.
1916 J. Buchan Greenmantle 120I spoke rapidly in Sesutu, for I was afraid the captain might know Dutch.
1923 G.H. Nicholls Bayete! 75All Nelson’s followers seemed to speak English, though most of the conversation was carried on in Susuto, with here and there a slip into Zulu.
1948 A. Paton Cry, Beloved Country 103Spoke to Mrs Lithebe in Sesutu, so that she withdrew.
1957 S.G. Millin in D. Wright S. Afr. Stories (1960) 152Her name was Rosie and she was a Basuto from his parts in the Northern Transvaal...Rosie and her sister..knew English, Afrikaans and Zulu, no less than Sesuto, their own language.
1971 E.C.G. Marais tr. of E.N. Marais’s My Friends the Baboons 81From the struggling mass there arose constant laughter, mingled with Sesutu curses of the grossest kind.
1991 O. Musi in Drum Dec. 18There are those whites who, because they have picked up a smattering of Zulu or say Sesuto, mostly consisting of vulgar expressions, portray themselves as ‘experts on the Native’.
1950 T.J. Kriel New Sesotho-English Dict. (Preface)Dr. Eiselen..asked provide a Northern Sesotho-English Dictionary.
1953 P. Lanham Blanket Boy’s Moon 208I am a Mosotho; I love Lesotho; I love my language Sesotho.
1960 J. Cope Tame Ox 85His Sesotho Bible lay, carefully wrapped, in the bottom of his tin box and he felt its presence there like his father’s voice, reproachful, full of distant music.
a1968 D.C. Themba in E. Patel World of Can Themba (1985) 18He spoke fluent Sesotho and believed he could pass for a Mosotho.
1980 D.B. Coplan Urbanization of African Performing Arts. 214For shebeen dancing, most Sotho migrants preferred neo-traditional styles such as focho (‘disorder’) played on the concertina and a homemade drum...However, organists like Gashe blended Sesotho songs into the structure of marabi.
1984 N.S. Ndebele in Staffrider Vol.6 No.1, 43A lot of fiction in the African languages, Zulu or Sesotho, for example, is set in the rural areas.
South(ern) Sotho, see Sotho2 c.
Sotho2 b. Also attributive.
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