Definition of umfaan in English:

umfaan

Line breaks: um¦faan
Pronunciation: /ʊmˈfɑːn
 
, ʌm-/

noun

South African
  • 1(Among Xhosa-speaking people) a young man who has gone through initiation but is not yet married.
    More example sentences
    • The train was led by an umfaan, while at the back the ` guard’ sang along to the radio balanced on his head.
    • The umfaans meantime collected wood and water and lit fires by using fire-drills worked between the palms of their hands.
    • ‘Thank you umfaan,’ he said, taking off his old shoes and placing the new ones gently on his feet.
  • 1.1(Among Zulu-speaking people) a boy.
  • 1.2 offensive A black male domestic servant.

Origin

from Zulu and Xhosa umfana.

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