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 survived slavery 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
from ánkyẽ, "a type of food/fruit", "cashew fruits"[2]
adopi
from adópé, a ghost [3]
adrue
from adúru and Ewe adrú, "medicine, cure"[3]
afasia, afasayah
from afaséw and Ewe afaséɛ, "inferior wild yam"[3]
afu
from afúw to mean plantation and became "yam" in Jamaica.[4]
ahpetti
from o-peyi, a certain amulet[5]
akam
a wild and inferior yam[5]
anansi
"spider", also from Ewe[6]
bafan
from Bɔfran to mean a baby or toddler. A child that did not lean to walk between ages 2 and 7[7]
casha
from kasɛ́ "thorn"[8][9]
dokunu
(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
from dupon to mean odom tree root which became "ghost" in Jamaica[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 gyimi(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]
mi
"me" [9]
mumu
"dumb", "stupid", also from Ewe and Mende[6][13]
nana
"grandparent"[14]
odum
a type of tree[15]
obeah
from Ɔbayi to mean "witchcraft"
paki
from apakyi to mean calabash[9]
poto-poto
"mud", "muddy", also from Igbo,[6] Kongo and Yoruba
red-eye
from ani bere to mean envy [9]
se
that,[9] also from English say .[16]
yah
from eha(pronounced: ey-ah) to mean here[9]

Efik language[edit]

buckra
from mbakára, "white man"[6][17]

Ewe language[edit]

afasia, afasayah
from afaséɛ and Akan afaséw, "inferior wild yam"[3]
anansi
"spider", also from Akan[6]
mumu
"dumb", also from Akan and Mende[6]

Fula language[edit]

juk
from "Jukka", "poke", "spur"[18][19]
nyam
from "nyaam", "eat", verb
mumu
from "muumo", "dumb"
me
from "mi", "me", pronoun, also from Akan

Igbo language[edit]

big-eye
via Gullah "big eye" from Igbo "anya ukwu", "greedy"[20][21][22]
obeah
from ọbiạ, "doctoring", "mysticism"(the word "obeah" was said before Igbo's arrived on the island and more means "witchcraft" than "doctoring")[23]
okro
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 or a mulatto of mixed parentage[24]
unu
from únù, "you (plural)"[25]

Kongo language[edit]

dingki
funeral ceremony[26]
dundus
(from Ndundu) "Albino"[27]
djumbi
"ghost"[6]
pinda
"peanut"[6]
poto-poto
"mud", "muddy", also from Akan, Igbo[6] and Yoruba[28]

Yoruba language[edit]

mumu
"dumb", also from Ewe and Yoruba means 'slow in the head' [13][29]
poto-poto
"mud", "muddy", also from the Yoruba dirty mud sticking to the feet

Wolof language[edit]

njam, nyam
"eat"[6][30]

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 McWhorter (2000:77)
  7. ^ Cassidy (2002:20)
  8. ^ Cassidy (2002:93)
  9. ^ a b c d e f https://archive.org/details/englishtshiasant00evaniala
  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. ^ Menz (2008:12)
  17. ^ Cassidy (2002:18)
  18. ^ Cassidy (2002:153)
  19. ^ Watson (1991:10)
  20. ^ Cassidy (2002:41)
  21. ^ Holloway (2005:94)
  22. ^ Bartens (2003:150)
  23. ^ Eltis (1997:88)
  24. ^ Cassidy (2002:378)
  25. ^ Cassidy (2002:457)
  26. ^ Graddol, Leith & Swann (1996:210)
  27. ^ http://www.kupsala.net/risto/kongo/kituba-english.html
  28. ^ Bartens (2003:163)
  29. ^ Cite error: The named reference Dr_Adewole_2000 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  30. ^ Sheller (2003:219)

Bibliography[edit]