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Used as a form of respectful address in parts of Africa.

[Swahili, from Arabic 'abūnā, our father : 'abū, bound form of 'ab, father; see ʔb in Semitic roots + -nā, our.]


(in E Africa) a master, often used as a respectful form of address corresponding to sir
[Swahili, from Arabic abūna our father]


(ˈbwɑ nə)

n., pl. -nas.
(in Africa) master; boss.
[1875–80; < Swahili < Arabic abūnā our father]
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References in classic literature ?
Mugambi, the ebon Hercules, who had shared the dangers and vicissitudes of his beloved Bwana, from Jungle Island, almost to the headwaters of the Ugambi, was the first to note the bold approach of the sinister caravan.
They come for no good purpose in the absence of the Great Bwana.
The black had been looking at Tarzan with wide eyes, evidently not comprehending how this god could appear in so material a form, and with the voice of a white bwana and the uniform of a warrior of this city to which he quite evidently did not belong.
No, bwana," replied Kaviri, "the white child was not with this man's party--it was with the other party.
Kikerewe's indigenous literature Bwana Myombekere na Bibi Bugonko, Ntulanalwa na Bulihwali (1980) by Aniceti Kitereza has become Kiswahili literature via translation (Traore 2005: 101).
Close Encounters: Racial Otherness in Imanol Uribe's Bwana.
Among the songs presented were Nimemtafuta Kote Kote, Iende Mbele Injili, Winner, You Are So Faithful, Ndakenire Riria Manjirire and Nitatangaza Neno Lake Bwana.
One of the network video cameramen traveling in the bus's press corps had liked to say that phrase "in a fake-deep bwana voice" as he hoisted his $40,000 rig.
In a parallel storyline, American ivory hunter, Old Timer, meets the young girl Kali Bwana (Jessy Jerome) looking for her brother who had gone missing in the jungle.
Finally they fastened the remains of their great leader - Bwana Mkumbwa - to a long pole so they could carry it 1500 miles to the coast, from where it would be shipped to Britain for burial.
Hank did not follow the exact steps, wires placed where, plugs strung how, but Maniki detailed the operation in precise language, having performed the task under bwana Mackenzie's supervision numerous times.