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toyi-toyi, n.

Brit. /ˈtɔɪtɔɪ/
South African /ˈtɔɪtɔɪ/
Forms:  19– toi-toi, 19– toy-toy, 19– toyi-toyi. (Show Less)
Origin: Of uncertain origin. Perhaps a borrowing from a Bantu language.
Etymology: Origin uncertain.
Perhaps < a Bantu language of Zimbabwe, where many of the training camps were held (compare Ndebele toyi-toyi, Shona toyi-toyi).
South African.

  A high-stepping dance-like movement performed either on the spot or while moving slowly forwards, typically by participants in protests and public demonstrations, and often accompanied by chanting or singing. Also occasionally: a chant or song of the type typically accompanying this.Apparently originating among (predominantly black) activists during the anti-apartheid protests of the 1980s, and based on the physical training exercises of guerrilla camps.

1985   Guardian 2 Sept. 1/4   There was the excitement of the Toyitoyi—the training song of the ANC guerrillas.
1986   Evening Post (S. Afr.) 21 Mar. 3   People sang freedom songs honouring Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo, and danced the ‘toyi-toyi’.
2000   G. Marinovich & J. Silva Bang-bang Club (2001) viii. 124   They sang, ‘Mimi, we loved you. Mimi, we loved you,’ as they danced the militant toyi-toyi all the way to the cemetery.
2011   D. Schmahmann Ivory from Paradise xvii. 245   All he sees is pandemonium, wet-shirted men stamping in place, singing, yelling, thrusting their fists rhythmically into the air as they perform the toyi toyi.

1985—2011(Hide quotations)


This is a new entry (OED Third Edition, December 2018).

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