Definitions starting with M

ID #2515

master, massa, mas'

[cf. Car. maas(a) "formerly 'master', now 'Mr.', but rather more informal and even intimate; and toward older people, respectful" DJE; cf. Miskito masa sir (Vaughan-Warman) and Haitian maitre titre que se donnent réciproquement les cultivateurs (Fame 1937:263); cf. OED master owner of a living creature, as a dog, horse, slave...title (now only dial.) superceded by Mr.; cf. possible convergence with Mandingo masa chief (Dalby 1972:182) or lbo maazi mister IED, although these may have been influenced by English] n. 1. a respectful term of address or title for older men: 1880 God bless you, massa (Ives 49), 1918 Mas' Tom was the boss man of the work (Parsons 84). (Black)
2. owner: 1918 massa of de field (Parsons 16). (Black)

◊This form was current among Bahamians until the 1920's but is now used only by Haitians.

Tags: Haitian, noun, term of address

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Last update: 2010-11-04 01:16
Author: Holm and Shilling, DBE, 1982
Revision: 1.1

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