DSAE test file

tagati, noun and adjective

Xhosa, ZuluShow more Adaptation of Xhosa and Zulu umthakathi wizard (plural abathakathi), from thakatha practice witchcraft.
Among the Nguni peoples:
A. noun, plural usually unchanged or abatagati, occasionally tagatis. Forms: singular  m’tagat, mtagati, mtakati, mtakiti, tagata, tagate, takata, takati, thakathi, togate, umtakati, umthakathi, umtigati; singular and plural  amatagati, tagati, umtagati; plural  abatagati, abathakathi, amatikati, mtakatis, mthakathi, takatis, umtagarties, umtugartie.
1. A witch or wizard; a practitioner of evil magic; an evil-doer. See also witchdoctor.
1836 A.F. Gardiner Journey to Zoolu Country 263The alleged Umtakati (bewitcher) is already in confinement.
1980 M. Matshoba in M. Mutloatse Forced Landing 118The African way of entering the company of others is for the newcomer to announce himself by greeting first. It is the ‘umthakathi’ (wizard) who arrives unseen.
2. noncount. In the singular forms (and singular and plural forms) listed above; also ubutagati, ubuthakathi, ukutakata [forms with ubu- are from the Zulu ubuthakatha witchcraft, forms with uku- are from the Zulu verbal noun ukuthakatha the practice of witchcraft]: witchcraft.
1852 H. Fynn in J. Bird Annals of Natal (1888) I. 107‘Tagata’ includes every species of crime committed by the Kafir.
1987 Pace Oct. 4He decided to settle in this ubuthakathi-riddled continent.
3. A spirit (usually evil). Cf. boloyi.
1892 A. Sutherland in Cape Illust. Mag. Vol.3 No.4, 134Respect for the Umtagati, or evil spirit, which he was fully persuaded lurked in my miserable body.
1952 H. Klein Land of Silver Mist 180When I mentioned the baboons Neremondo said nervously, ‘They are tagati! The spirits of the dead come back to earth.’
B. adjective Forms: mtagati, mtakati, tagati, takati, thakhatha, umtagati. [Transf. use of the South African English n.; Xhosa and Zulu do not have an adjective corresponding in form to the noun umthakathi.] Bewitched, under supernatural influence; magical.
1885 H. Rider Haggard King Solomon’s Mines 34They had not allowed for the expansion caused by the fizz in the wine, and..rolled about..calling out that the good liquor was ‘tagati’ (bewitched).
1976 S. Cloete Chetoko 180The horse is tagati, bewitched, and talks like a man.
A witch or wizard; a practitioner of evil magic; an evil-doer.
A spirit (usually evil).
Bewitched, under supernatural influence; magical.

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