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]
dokunu
(also known as blue draws or tire leaf in Jamaica) food; from dɔkono, a dessert item similar to bread pudding.[9]
dopi, dupi
from dupon to mean odom tree root which became "ghost" in Jamaica[10]
doti
"ground"[11]
cocobay
from kokobé, "leprosy"[6][12]
kongkos
"gossip"[6]
mumu
"dumb", "stupid", also from Ewe and Mende[6][13]
nana
"grandparent"[14]
odum
a type of tree[15]
paki
from apakyi to mean calabash[16]
poto-poto
"mud", "muddy", also from Igbo[6]
red-eye
from ani bere to mean envy
se
that, also from 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]
anansi
"spider", also from Akan[6]
kaba-kaba
'unreliable, inferior, worthless', also from Yoruba[19]
mumu
"dumb", also from Akan and Mende[6]

Fula language[edit]

juk
from "Jukka", "poke", "spur"[20][21]

Igbo language[edit]

akara
from àkàrà, type of food, also from Ewe and Yoruba[22]
attoo
from átú, "chewing stick"[23]
big-eye
via Gullah "big eye" from Igbo "anya ukwu", "greedy"[24][25][26]
breechee
from mbùríchì, an Nri-Igbo nobleman[27]
door-mouth
claque from ọ́nụ́ ụ́zọ̀ (mouth + door), 'doorway'[28]
chink, chinch
from chị́nchị̀, 'bedbug'[29]
country ibo
from Ị̀gbò, Pluchea odorata or Ptisana purpurascens[30]
de, deh
from dị, [with adverbial] "is" (to be)[31][32]
hard-head
from ísí íké, (head + hard, strength), 'obstinate[33]
himba
from mba, "yam root", a type of yam, Rajania cordata[34][35]
obeah
from ọbiạ, "doctoring", "mysticism"[36]
okra
from ọkwurụ, a vegetable[6][37]
poto-poto
from "opoto-opoto", mkpọtọ-mkpọtọ, "mud", "muddy", also from Akan[6]
red Ibo, Eboe
from Ị̀gbò, a person with a light skin colour or a mulatto of mixed parentage[38]
se
from sị, "quote follows", also from Akan se and English say[17]
soso
from sọsọ "only"[6][39]
unu
from únù, "you (plural)"[40]

Kongo language[edit]

dingki
funeral ceremony[34]
dundus
"albino", "white person", "European" from ndundu[41]
djumbi
"ghost"[6]
pinda
"peanut"[6]
poto-poto
"mud", "muddy", also from Akan, Igbo[6] and Yoruba[42]

Yoruba language[edit]

mumu
"dumb", also from Ewe[13]
kaba-kaba
'unreliable, inferior, worthless', also from Ewe[19]

Wolof language[edit]

yam
from njam, nyam, "eat"[6][43]

References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]