One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A type of working-class culture originating in the townships of Pretoria during the 1930s; a drinking and dancing party characteristic of this culture. Also: a style of popular music associated with this culture, influenced both by ragtime and indigenous folk musics and having a keyboard- (and usually also brass-)dominated sound; the dance associated with this music.
1930s; earliest use found in Umteteli. Origin uncertain; perhaps from Marab- (in Marabastad, the name of a former township near Pretoria) + -i, of uncertain origin.
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