[Ads-l] JIve: The Fulfulde Provenance of "Jive"

Z Rice zrice3714 at GMAIL.COM
Tue Oct 13 16:09:01 UTC 2020

I uploaded a research paper titled The Fulfulde/Pulaar Provenance of Jaav
("Jive"), in which I uncover the African origin of *jaav* or "*jive*"
meaning 'banter, joke, tease'. The article can be downloaded at the
following link:


Dalby and Halloway suggest a Wolof point of origin, while McWhorter claims
England as its point of origin (in a UPenn online post titled "Jive
Etymologies"). However, in my article, I contend that its origin is in the
Fulfulde / Pulaar language of West Africa. (I also include the etymology of
the much-discussed "shuck and jive".)

I also uncover the origin of a great many non-Fulfulde/Pulaar
African-derived loanwords, some of which have permeated beyond Native Black
American language:


*tada* 'behold!' < Kikongo *tadi* 'behold!' (ultimately from Kikongo *tala* 'to

*jont / junt / joint' *market, store, any place in which goods or services
are sold, place of business, business establishment, place for recreational
activity' < Kikongo *zandu* 'the African market, marketplace', 'fun place',
'neutral place'

Others remain particular to Native Black American language or its sphere of


*kichin* 'nape' < Kikongo *kitʃingu* 'nape'

*son' *bully, oppress, torment, get the upper hand in a sports match, work
or carry out tasks for the benefit of someone else' < Wolof *sɔnːal* 'bully,
oppress, torment, get the upper hand in a wrestling match, work hard or
toil for someone' (ultimately from Wolof *sɔnːə' *work hard, suffer')

I also included audio files of native speakers, many of which were recorded
in fieldwork.  https://lingbuzz.net/lingbuzz/005492

Best regards,

Zola Sohna

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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