In Swahili (the lingua franca of East Africa): someone who wanders without purpose / someone constantly on the move.
It came to be applied to all white people in East Africa, as most were encountered as traders, visiting colonial officials or tourists.
Today, white tourists are often greeted (especially by children) with the cry: “Bye bye mzungu!”
For some reason, they rarely say “Hello mzungu!” when they see one coming…
Child: “Bye bye mzungu!”
Indignant white person: “Listen, it’s ‘hello mzungu!’ – and anyway, I’ve lived here for 25 years, you cheeky devil.”
Child: (pause) “Bye bye mzungu!”
Ugandan Stall-holder: “A bowl of passion fruit? Um… that’ll be 3,000 shillings please.”
Indignant white person: “Come again? I’m not paying mzungu prices, I’ve lived here 25 years!” etc. etc.
A Swahili word meaning a white person.
I taught at a school where there were 4 African teachers, 2 Asian teachers, and 1 Mzungu.
The Swahili word, âmzunguâ or âmuzunguâ (sounds like âmuh-zun-goooâ) is generally taken to mean âwhite manâ, although it does apply to women as well.
It can also mean some sort of âbossâ, whether you are male or female, black, brown or white!
Originally stems from the phrase, âthose who wonder aimlesslyâ, and linked to African experiences of early explorers, traders and missionaries.
In itself mzungu is not a derogatory or negative term. Although it can appear aggressive or negative if accompanied with requests for money.
Mzungu! Mzungu! I help you?
The mzungu is coming soon, he can pay.
Bye bye mzungu!
Muzungu is a word from the languages of Kinyarwanda and Kirundi meaning “white person” (pl. ‘bazungu’). It is closely related to the Kiswahili word ‘mzungu’, with which it is often confused by Westerners. A derivative is the derogatory ‘kazungu’ meaning ‘little white person’.
hey you mzungu – hey you white man
an African swahili word that means a white person, also used to describe white, caucasian women.
Mzungu is seen as something favourable.
That Mzungu woman tanning herself on the African beach is so attractive with her white skin, blonde hair and blue eyes.
Mzungu— swahili word for white person, but not restricted to men only. Also used for European, caucasian women.
The word is commonly used by locals and not in a negative way (ie: it is viewed as complimentary to be Mzungu).
That Mzungu girl is so nice with her fair skin, blonde hair and blue eyes.
Any disgusting whitish substance that gradually accretes at an office as a consequence of an unhygienic person working there for way too long.
Fuck – my coworker borrowed my phone and now it’s slathered in mzungu.