DSAE test file

toyi-toyi, noun

Forms:
Also toi-toi, ‖itoyi-toyi.
Origin:
Ndebele, ShonaShow more Etymology obscure: probably introduced into South Africa by ANC exiles returning from military training in Zimbabwe, where it is found in both Ndebele (see last quotation 1993) and Shona. The original source language is unknown.
Note:
A similar-sounding invocation, Tayi (one of the traditional titles accorded to the supreme being) was used by the Xhosa during the 19th century: ‘They (sc. the Xhosa) advanced almost to the muzzles of the British guns...Some of them, shouting “Tayi! Tayi!” as they ran — the word they had been taught by Nxele to use as a charm against all manner of evil — actually reached the cannon.’ (B. Maclennan, A Proper Degree of Terror, 1986, p.193, writing of the frontier war of 1818–19).
Note:
The etymology suggested in quotation 1988 is unsubstantiated, although many ANC cadres underwent military training in eastern European countries. See also quotation 1990 (Sunday Times), which is probably an example of folk etymology.
1. A quasi-military dance-step characterized by high-stepping movements, performed either on the spot or while moving slowly forwards, usually by participants in (predominantly black) protest gatherings or marches, and accompanied by chanting, singing, and the shouting of slogans. Also attributive, and occasionally shortened form toyi.
Note:
Adapted from a training exercise performed in military camps by ANC guerillas.
1985 Probe Oct. 20The crowd changed tune from the freedom songs and the ‘toyitoyi’ war cries to ‘mayitshe’ (let it burn) ushering in a new element.
1993 J. Maluleke in Drum Aug. 33The toyi-toyi has moved from its purpose as a physical training exercise in the emaGojini [mountains] to the dynamic freedom dance of the 90s...The toyi-toyi, according to [Mkhululi] Dliwayo, means in Ndebele ‘moving forward while remaining in one place’.
2. Transferred and figurative senses.
1987 M.G. Whisson in Rusa Reporter (Rhodes Univ.) June 10I must confess that the thought of seeing G—..performing a Tyrolean toyi toyi..is appealing.
1989 Sunday Times 13 Aug. 16Perhaps the [reform] situation is best described as a boere toyi-toyi — one can see there is movement, but it is difficult to make out where it is all going.
A quasi-military dance-step characterized by high-stepping movements, performed either on the spot or while moving slowly forwards, usually by participants in (predominantly black) protest gatherings or marches, and accompanied by chanting, singing, and the shouting of slogans. Also attributive, and occasionally shortened form toyi.

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19851993