The Xhosa people are speakers of Bantu languages living in south-east South Africa, and in the last two centuries throughout the southern and central-southern parts of the country. Xhosa-speaking peoples are divided into several tribes with related but distinct heritages. The main tribes are the Mpondo, Mpondomise, Bomvana, Xesibe, and Thembu. In addition, the Bhaca and Mfengu have adopted the Xhosa language. The name "Xhosa" comes from that of a legendary leader called uXhosa. There is also a theory that the word xhosa derives from a word in some Khoi-khoi or San language meaning "fierce" or "angry", the amaXhosa being the fierce people. The Xhosa refer to themselves as the amaXhosa and to their language as isiXhosa. Presently approximately 8 million Xhosa people are distributed across the country, and Xhosa is South Africa's second most common home language, after Zulu, to which Xhosa is closely related.
Contributions by Greenman, Joewright, and David0184.