One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(in East Africa) a white person.‘there was a mzungu just off the Nyeri Road who was a teacher’
- ‘During the cutbacks there was resentment towards the mzungus, or whites.’
- ‘They then pat each other on the back for coming up with such a clever thing to say to a mzungu.’
- ‘Speaking French has contradictory connotations, depending on the context: It is a sign of education in administrative circles but is offensive at the village level, where ‘acting like a mzungu’ is considered a sign of a bad attitude.’
- ‘An oft-heard shout from children and adults alike was ‘mzungu!’’
Swahili, from m- class prefix + -zungu ‘European’.
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