One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounPlural toyi-toyisSouth African
A dance step characterized by high-stepping movements, typically performed at protest gatherings or marches.
- ‘A senior staff member present during the toyi-toyi pleaded with police not to arrest the students, saying it would make the situation worse.’
- ‘There was no toyi-toyi for houses, shortage of medicines at clinics, insufficient learning materials for schools and student class boycotts.’
- ‘This, she and others attending the event said, was the first ever recorded toyi-toyi in Xhosa history.’
- ‘The documentary also captures the archetypal South African war dance, the toyi-toyi.’
- ‘‘For us, the toyi-toyi was like a weapon of war,’ says one of the activists in the film.’
verbtoyi-toying, toyi-toyiing, toyi-toyis, toyi-toyied[no object]South African
Perform toyi-toyi dance steps.‘when the accused were brought back to court they were singing and toyi-toying’
- ‘In Port Elizabeth, close to 3000 teachers, nurses, police officers, prison warders and clerks marched on the city hall, carrying banners, toyi-toying and singing about having ‘empty stomachs’.’
- ‘This are the very guys who are toyi-toying for more money whilst the quality of their work leaves a lot to be desired.’
- ‘I understand why these guys are toyi-toying, but this is going to affect me greatly.’
- ‘When the Daily Dispatch arrived at the school yesterday afternoon, pupils were toyi-toying inside the school premises.’
- ‘Does the art world not toyi-toyi, or find a suitable equivalent if it wants something badly enough?’
Ndebele and Shona; probably introduced into South Africa by ANC exiles returning from military training in Zimbabwe.
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