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List of English words of Niger-Congo origin

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It has been suggested that this article be merged with English words of African origin . ( Discuss ) Proposed since March 2018.
This list needs additional citations for verification . Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources . Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (July 2012) ( Learn how and when to remove this template message )

This is a list of English language words that come from the Niger-Congo languages .
It excludes placenames except where they have become common words.

This list is incomplete ; you can help by expanding it .

Bantu origin[ edit ]

  • banjo – probably Bantu mbanza
  • basenji – breed of dog from the Congo
  • boma – probably from Swahili
  • bwana – from Swahili, meaning an important person or safari leader
  • chimpanzee – loaned in the 18th century from a Bantu language, possibly Kivili ci-mpenzi. [1]
  • dengue – possibly from Swahili dinga
  • goober – possibly from Bantu ( Kikongo and Kimbundu nguba)
  • gumbo – from Bantu (Kimbundu ngombo meaning “okra”)
  • impala – from Zulu im-pala
  • impi – from Zulu language meaning war, battle or a regiment
  • indaba – from Xhosa or Zulu languages – ‘stories’ or ‘news’ typically conflated with ‘meeting’ (often used in South African English)
  • isango – Zulu meaning gateway
  • jumbo – from Swahili (jambo or jumbe or from Kongo nzamba “elephant”)
  • kalimba
  • Kwanzaa – recent coinage ( Maulana Karenga 1965) as the name of a “specifically African-American holiday”, abstracted from a Swahili phrase matunda ya kwanza, meaning ” first fruits [of the harvest]”.
  • lapa – from Sotho languages – enclosure or barbecue area (often used in South African English)
  • macaque – from Bantu makaku through Portuguese and French
  • mamba – from Zulu or Swahili mamba
  • marimba – from Bantu (Kimbundu and Swahili marimba, malimba)
  • okapi – from a language in the Congo
  • safari – from Swahili travel, ultimately from Arabic
  • sangoma – from Zulu – traditional healer (often used in South African English)
  • Tilapia – Possibly a latinization “thiape”, the Tswana word for fish. [2]
  • tsetse – from a Bantu language ( Tswana tsetse, Luhya tsiisi)
  • ubuntu – Nguni term for “mankind; humanity”, in South Africa since the 1980s also used capitalized, Ubuntu , as the name of a philosophy or ideology of “human kindness” or “humanism”.
  • vuvuzela – musical instrument, name of Zulu or Nguni origin
  • zebra – of unknown origin, recorded since c. 1600, possibly from a Congolese language, or alternatively from Amharic.
  • zombie – likely from West African (compare Kikongo zumbi “fetish”, Kimbundu nzambi “god”), but alternatively derived from Spanish sombra “shade, ghost”.

Non-Bantu West African origin[ edit ]

  • azawakh – probably from Fula or Tuareg . A breed of dogs from West and North Africa
  • banana – West African , possibly Wolof banana
  • bongo – West African boungu
  • buckra – “white man or person”, from Efik and Ibibio mbakara [3]
  • chigger – possibly from Wolof and/or Yoruba jiga “insect”
  • cola – from West African languages ( Temne kola, Mandinka kolo)
  • djembe – from West African languages
  • jazz – from West African languages (Mandinka jasi, Temne yas)
  • jive – possibly from Wolof jev
  • juke, jukebox – possibly from Wolof and Bambara dzug through Gullah
  • kwashiorkor – from Ga language, Coastal Ghana meaning “swollen stomach”
  • Marímbula , plucked musical instrument (lamellophone) of the Caribbean islands
  • merengue (dance) possibly from Fulani mererek i meaning to shake or quiver
  • mumbo jumbo – from mandigo name Maamajombo, a masked dancer
  • mojo – from Fula moco’o “medicine man” through Louisiana Creole French or Gullah
  • obeah – from West African (Efik ubio, Twi ebayifo)
  • okra – from Igbo ókùrù
  • sambo – Fula sambo meaning “uncle”
  • tango – probably from Ibibio tamgu
  • tote – West African via Gullah
  • vodou – from West African languages ( Ewe and Fon vodu “spirit”)
  • yam – West African (Fula nyami, Twi anyinam)

References[ edit ]

This article includes a list of references , but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations . Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. (July 2012) ( Learn how and when to remove this template message )

Notes

  1. ^ “chimpanzee” in American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 2011.
  2. ^ Tilapia etymology
  3. ^ The Etymology of ‘Buckaroo’ , Julian Mason, American Speech, Vol. 35, No. 1 (Feb., 1960), pp. 51–55,

Sources

  • Online Etymology Dictionary
  • Common words of African origin-William Megenney, University of California, Riverside
  • The Impact of African Languages on American English
  • African American Vernacular English Vocabulary
  • English words have African roots

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        English words of African origin

        From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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        It has been suggested that this article be merged with List of English words of Niger-Congo origin . ( Discuss ) Proposed since March 2018.
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        This article needs additional citations for verification . Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources . Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (June 2015) ( Learn how and when to remove this template message )
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        • azawakh – probably from Fula or Tuareg . A breed of dog from West and North Africa
        • banana – adopted from Wolof via Spanish or Portuguese
        • banjo – probably Bantu mbanza
        • basenji – breed of dog from Central Africa – Congo , Central African Republic etc.
        • boma – from Swahili
        • bwana – from Swahili , meaning a husband, important person or safari leader
        • chimpanzee – loaned in the 18th century from a Bantu language, possibly Kivili ci-mpenzi. [1]
        • dengue – possibly from Swahili dinga
        • ebony – from Ancient Egyptian hebeni
        • gerenuk – from Somali . A long-necked antelope in Eastern Africa (Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Djibouti)
        • gnu – from Khoisan !nu through Khoikhoi i-ngu and Dutch gnoe
        • goober – possibly from Bantu ( Kikongo and Kimbundu nguba)
        • gumbo – from Bantu (Kimbundu ngombo meaning “okra”)
        • impala – from Zulu im-pala
        • impi – from Zulu language meaning war, battle or a regiment
        • indaba – from Xhosa or Zulu languages – ‘stories’ or ‘news’ typically conflated with ‘meeting’ (often used in South African English)
        • jenga – from the Swahili word for ‘build’
        • jumbo – from Swahili (jambo (hello) or from Kongo nzamba “elephant”)
        • Kwanzaa – recent coinage ( Maulana Karenga 1965) as the name of an African American holiday, abstracted from a Swahili phrase matunda ya kwanza, meaning ” first fruits [of the harvest]”
        • kijiji – from Swahili for ‘village,’ ‘hamlet’ or ‘small town’
        • lapa – from Sotho languages – enclosure or barbecue area (often used in South African English)
        • macaque – from Bantu makaku through Portuguese and French
        • mamba – from Zulu or Swahili mamba
        • marimba – from Bantu (Kimbundu and Swahili marimba, malimba)
        • okapi – from a language in the Congo
        • safari – from Swahili travel, ultimately from Arabic
        • sangoma – from Zulu – traditional healer (often used in South African English)
        • Tilapia – Possibly a latinization “tlhapi”, the Tswana word for fish [2]
        • tsetse – from a Bantu language ( Tswana tsetse, Luhya tsiisi)
        • ubuntu – Nguni term for “mankind; humanity”, in South Africa since the 1980s also used capitalized, Ubuntu , as the name of a philosophy or ideology of “human kindness” or “humanism”
        • zebra – of unknown origin, recorded since c. 1600, possibly from a Congolese language, or alternatively from Amharic.
        • zombie – likely from West African (compare Kikongo zumbi “fetish”, Kimbundu nzumbi “ghost”), but alternatively derived from Spanish sombra “shade, ghost”

        References[ edit ]

        1. ^ “chimpanzee” in American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 2011.
        2. ^ Tilapia etymology

        Retrieved from ” https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=English_words_of_African_origin&oldid=851053130 ”
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              • This page was last edited on 19 July 2018, at 18:57 (UTC).
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