List of Jamaican Patois words of African origin

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The List of African words in Jamaican Patois notes down as many loan words in Jamaican Patois that can be traced back to specific African languages. Most of these African words have arrived in Jamaica through the African slaves that were transported there in the era of the Atlantic slave trade. The majority of Africans that were in Jamaica were of Akan descent, thus most the loan words were from Akan words[1]

Akan language[edit]

Accompong
from the Asante name: Acheampong
ackee, akee
from ánkyẽ, "a type of food/fruit", "cashew fruits"[2]
adopi
from adópé, a ghost [3]
adrue
from adúru and Ewe adrú, "powder, medicine, drug"[3]
afasia, afasayah
from afaséw and Ewe afaséɛ, "inferior wild yam"[3]
afu
from afúw, "yam" or "plantation"[4]
ahpetti
from o-peyi, a certain amulet[5]
akam
a wild and inferior yam[5]
anansi
"spider", also from Ewe[6]
adru
a medicinal herb[7]
bafan
from Bɔfran to mean a baby or toddler. A child that did not lean to walk between ages 2 and 7[8]
cashaw
from kasɛ́ and English acacia, "thorn"[9]
dookunu
(also known as blue draws or tire leaf in Jamaica) food; A dessert item similar to bread pudding that is made with flour, sugar, and some or all of the following in any combination: cassava, coco, sweet potato, cornmeal. It is cooked by wrapping the mixture in leaves or cloth and boiling.
dopi, dupi
"ghost"[10]
doti
"ground"[11]
cocobay
from kokobé, "leprosy"[6][12]
foo-fool
from ɛfooh means foolish or inferior, in Asante Twi means inferior.
gyinal
from gyinaa(means 'stupid' in Asante) 1) to mean someone that is not taken seriously, a stupid person; 2) a con-man (in Jamaica only)
kongkos
"gossip"[6]
mumu
"dumb", "stupid", also from Ewe and Mende[6][13]
nana
"grandparent"[14]
odum
a kind of tree[15]
obeah
from Ɔbayi to mean "witchcraft"
poto-poto
"mud", "muddy", also from Igbo,[6] Kongo and Yoruba[16]
se
"quote follows", also from Igbo sị and English say.[17]

Efik language[edit]

buckra
from mbakára, "white man"[6][18]

Ewe language[edit]

afasia, afasayah
from afaséɛ and Akan afaséw, "inferior wild yam"[3]
akara
type of food, also from Igbo and Yoruba[6]
anansi
"spider", also from Akan[6]
mumu
"dumb", also from Akan and Mende[6]

Fula language[edit]

juk
from "Jukka", "poke", "spur"[19][20]
fi
from "fii", "to", "because", as a preposition
nyam
from "nyaam", "eat", verb
mumu
from "muumo", "dumb"
me
from "mi", "me", pronoun

Igbo language[edit]

akara
from àkàrà, type of food, also from Ewe and Yoruba[21]
attoo
from átú, "chewing stick"[22]
big-eye
via Gullah "big eye" from Igbo "anya ukwu", "greedy"[23][24][25]
country Ibo
from Ibo, Igbo, Pluchea odorata[26]
de, deh
from dị, [with adverbial] "is" (to be)[27][28]
himba
from mba, "yam root", a type of yam, Rajania cordata[7][29]
obeah
from ọbiạ, "doctoring", "mysticism"[30]
okra
from ọkwurụ, a vegetable[6]
poto-poto
from "opoto-opoto", mkpọtọ-mkpọtọ, "mud", "muddy", also from Akan[6]
red Ibo, Eboe
from Igbo, a person with a light skin colour and African features[31]
se
from sị, "quote follows", also from Akan se and English say[17]
soso
from sọsọ "only"[6][32]
unu
from únù, "you (plural)"[33]

Kongo language[edit]

dingki
funeral ceremony[7]
djumbi
"ghost"[6]
pinda
"peanut"[6]
poto-poto
"mud", "muddy", also from Akan, Igbo[6] and Yoruba[16]

Yoruba language[edit]

mumu
"dumb", also from Ewe and Yoruba means 'slow in the head' [34][13]

Wolof language[edit]

njam, nyam
"eat"[6][35]

Yoruba language[edit]

akara
type of food,fried in oil madefrom battered bean from the Yoruba.
poto-poto
"mud", "muddy", also from the Yoruba> dirty mud sticking to the feet [16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cassidy FG: Multiple etymologies in Jamaican Creole. Am Speech 1966, 41:211-215
  2. ^ Cassidy (2002:3)
  3. ^ a b c d Cassidy (2002:4)
  4. ^ Cassidy (2002:5)
  5. ^ a b Cassidy (2002:6)
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p McWhorter (2000:77)
  7. ^ a b c Graddol, Leith & Swann (1996:210)
  8. ^ Cassidy (2002:20)
  9. ^ Cassidy (2002:93)
  10. ^ Bartens (2003:145)
  11. ^ Institute of Jamaica (2000:42)
  12. ^ Cassidy (2002:112)
  13. ^ a b Mittelsdorf (1978:34)
  14. ^ Cassidy (2002:315)
  15. ^ Cassidy (2002:328)
  16. ^ a b c Bartens (2003:163)
  17. ^ a b Menz (2008:12)
  18. ^ Cassidy (2002:18)
  19. ^ Cassidy (2002:153)
  20. ^ Watson (1991:10)
  21. ^ Cassidy (2002:4)
  22. ^ Cassidy (2002:14)
  23. ^ Cassidy (2002:41)
  24. ^ Holloway (2005:94)
  25. ^ Bartens (2003:150)
  26. ^ Cassidy (2002:124)
  27. ^ McWhorter (2000:128)
  28. ^ Rickford, Romain & Sato (1999:137)
  29. ^ Lewis (1996:24)
  30. ^ Eltis (1997:88)
  31. ^ Cassidy (2002:378)
  32. ^ Huber & Parkvall (1999:47)
  33. ^ Cassidy (2002:457)
  34. ^ Cite error: The named reference Dr_Adewole_2000 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  35. ^ Sheller (2003:219)

Bibliography[edit]