Definition of umfaan in English:

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Pronunciation: /ʊmˈfɑːn/


South African
1(Among Xhosa-speaking people) a young man who has gone through initiation but is not yet married.
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.


From Zulu and Xhosa umfana.

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