Swahili Slang (1958, 1962); Swahili Glossary (1896)
Bapopik at AOL.COM
Bapopik at AOL.COM
Tue Jan 14 06:25:52 UTC 2003
A pre-LION KING "Hakuna Matata" isn't here, but it's still interesting.
Some (mostly food) excerpts from two articles:
December 1958, TANGANYIKA NOTES AND RECORDS, pp. 250-254.
SWAHILI SLANG by R. H. Glover.
Pg. 251: Amongst the names given to various types of food, there is a
noticeable liking for reduplication which serves to give the impression of
succulent deliciousness. "Mapochopocho" is used for food in general. It is
often used in pleasureable anticipation when someone goes off to look for
food at the end of a tiring day. "Shatashata" is used for any particularly
sweet food. Shata is the lees of coconut oil in which such food would
normally be cooked. A similar reduplication can be seen in "mchuzi wa
rojorojo" which means particularly thick gravy. A descriptive phrase for
this sort of gravy is "mchuzi wa kukata na shoka" which indicates that the
gravy is so thick that you would require an axe to cut through it. This
inevitably reminds one of the Army cup of strong tea in which you could stand
up a teaspoon.
Pg. 253: It is perhaps not surprising that the richest variety of slang is
used in relation to women. Much of it hardly bears recording here. A
desirable woman is known variously as a "koo," "mchipukizi," "gashi," "mtoto
shoo" or "toto shuuweya." The word "koo" is generally used when referring to
prostitutes. Mchipukizi is derived from the verb "kuchipua"--to sprout; it
is used particularly to describe a young girl, but carries with it an
implication of plumpness. "Gashi" is a corruption from the Japanese
"Gaisha." It is thought to have originated in coastal ports amongst the
guides taking round tourists. "Shoo" is also used to describe the bonnet of
a car--the manufacturer's show piece. Its use in the present context is
readily understandable. (...)
"Mchakalamu" is used to describe a forward girl--one who is quick at
repartee. The derivation is from the noun "kalamu"--a pencil, i.e. she is as
sharp as a pencil. The phrase "maziwa dodo" is used to describe a young
woman's breasts. "Dodo" is also used for the largest of the two types of
mango. The smaller variety is known as sindano--literally a needle. There
is an odd contradiction in this as "dodo" is also an adjectival root that
appears in many Bantu languages and means small.
(Mango?..Compare with the Cuban slang for papaya--ed.)
Mach-September 1962, TANGANYIKA NOTES AND RECORDS, pp. 205-206.
A NOTE ON SCHOOL SLANG by P. H. C. Clarke
Pg. 205: "Discus" and "Javelin" are round and long _maandazi_ (small fried
cakes of wheat flour and sugar) sold by local women at the school.
THE GREAT RIFT VALLEY:
BEING THE NARRATIVE OF A JOURNEY TO MOUNT KENYA AND LAKE BARINGO
by J. W. Gregory
London: Frank Cass & Co.
First edition 1896
New impression 1968
Pg. 409: GLOSSARY OF NATIVE WORDS AND TECHNICAL TERMS
(I'll list just the Swahili--ed.)
_Askari_ (Suah.), a sergeant in a caravan of Zanzibari.
_Barra_ (Suah.), open-grass-covered country, in contradistinction to
cultivated areas and forests.
_Boma_ (Suah.), a stockade or zeriba, generally made of thorn bush.
_Bwana_ (Suah.), master.
_Domo_ (Suah.), a door, used also by Zanzibari for a mountain pass.
_Hongo_ (Suah.), taz levied by a tribe for right of passage through the
_Kanzu_ (Suah.), the long rober worn by Arabs and better-class Suahili.
_Kiringozi_ (Suah.), the guide of a caravan.
_Kiriboto_ (Suah.), the name of the Arab and Beluchi soldiers of the Sultan
_Mau_ (Suah.), a canoe.
_Mhogo_ (Suah.), cassava, the root of native arrowroot.
_Munipara_ (Suah.), a native headman.
_Mvita_ (Suah.), one of the native names of Mombasa. The term means
_Posho_ (Suah.), a day's food allowance.
_Potiss_ (Suah.), a native food made of boiled flour.
_Safari_ (Suah.), a journey or a caravan.
_Shadda_ (Suah.), ten strings of beads, a Suahili measure of value.
_Shamba_ (Suah.), a plantation or cultivated field.
_Shauri_ (Suah.), a conference.
_Taenda_ (Suah.), the order to "start."
_Waschenzi_ (Suah.), a term applied by Zanzibari to up-country natives. It
means "savages." It is sometimes used in a more limited sense for a tribe
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