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bwana

[bwah-nuh]
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noun
  1. (in Africa) master; boss.

Origin of bwana

1875–80; < Swahili < Arabic abūnā our father
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bwana

Historical Examples

  • "N'dio, bwana," assented the latter to a speech of which he understood not one word.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • More and more stretches the distance between the bwana and his headman.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • "I call him bwana m'kubwa (great master)," replied Simba blandly.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • Now we must go back to where Bwana Marefu can come to fix my eyes.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • "We tell no lies, bwana" said one of the messengers earnestly.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White


British Dictionary definitions for bwana

bwana

noun
  1. (in E Africa) a master, often used as a respectful form of address corresponding to sir

Word Origin

Swahili, from Arabic abūna our father
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for bwana

respectful or reverential form of address in East Africa, 1878, from Swahili.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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