Definition of mlungu in English:


Pronunciation /(ə)mˈlʊnɡuː/


derogatory, ironic South African
  • Especially in the context of interactions between black and white South Africans: a white person. Also in plural. With the. White people collectively. Also as a form of address (now somewhat offensive).


derogatory, ironic South African
  • Of or designating a white person or white people; (of a person) white.


Early 19th century. From Xhosa mlungu and its cognate Zulu mlungu, vocative of umlungu (plural abelungu), perhaps from lunga to get or be in order, to become or be correct or good, or perhaps related to the noun stem -lungu canoe, ship, found in some other Bantu languages.