wau, interjection

Forms:
Also whau, wow.
Origin:
ZuluShow more Adaptation of Zulu wawu or wo.
obs.
An exclamation expressing wonder, dismay, despair, or regret. Cf. hau. So wau intransitive verb, to exclaim ‘wau’.
1887 J.W. Matthews Incwadi Yami 326This sight was enough..to make all the Zulus stop work and ‘wau’ with curiosity.
1895 H. Rider Haggard Nada 35Wow! my father, of those two regiments not one escaped.
1898 B. Mitford Induna’s Wife 6When the greater troubles which beset a man..beset him no longer, does he not at once look around to see what troubles he can create for himself? Whau! I am old. I have seen.
1907 W.C. Scully By Veldt & Kopje 253Wau, but it is hard for an old man who has owned cattle all his life to look every day into an empty kraal.
1925 D. Kidd Essential Kafir 38They have many very expressive exclamations, such as ‘Yo!’ when they wish to show contempt, ‘Hau!’ when they show surprise, ‘Wow!’ and many other similar utterances.
An exclamation expressing wonder, dismay, despair, or regret.

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18871925