List of English words of African origin
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Words of African origin
- banana – West African, possibly Wolof banana
- bogus – Hausa boko-boko meaning fake or fraudulent
- bongo – West African boungu
- bozo – stupid, West African
- boogie – Wolof or Sierra Leone, to dance
- buckra – from Efik and Ibibio mbakara "white man or person"
- chigger – possibly from Wolof and Yoruba jiga "insect")
- chimpanzee – The name is derived from a Tshiluba language term "kivili-chimpenze", which is the local name for the animal and translates loosely as "mockman" or possibly just "ape".
- cola – from West African languages (Temne kola, Mandinka kolo)
- dig, in sense of understand or appreciate – from Wolof dega
- djembe – from West African languages
- hip – from Wolof hipi and hepicat, one with eyes open[dubious ]
- jazz – from West African languages (Mandinka jasi, Temne yas)
- jive – possibly from Wolof jev
- juke, jukebox – possibly from Wolof and Bambara dzug through Gullah
- kwashiorkor – from Ga language, Coastal Ghana meaning "swollen stomach"
- mambo – possibly West African through Haitian Creole
- Marímbula, plucked musical instrument (lamellophone) of the Caribbean islands
- merengue (dance) possibly from Fulani mererek i meaning to shake or quiver
- mumbo jumbo- from mandigo name Maamajombo, a masked dancer
- mojo – from Fula moco'o "medicine man" through Louisiana Creole French or Gullah
- obeah – from West African (Efik ubio, Twi ebayifo)
- okay – disputed origins, likely influenced by Wolof waw-kay 
- okra – from Igbo ókùrù
- samba from an African language through Brazilian Portuguese
- sambo – Fula sambo meaning "uncle"
- tango – probably from Ibibio tamgu
- tote – West African via Gullah
- voodoo – from West African languages (Ewe and Fon vodu "spirit")
- yam – West African (Fula nyami, Twi anyinam)
Words of Bantu origin
- banjo – probably Bantu mbanza
- basenji – breed of dog from the Congo
- boma – probably from Swahili
- bwana – from Swahili, meaning an important person or safari leader
- chimpanzee – Bantu chimpenze, from nchima ("blue monkey") and mzee "respectable gentleman" [clarification needed]
- dengue – possibly from Swahili dinga
- fundi – from Ndebele, Xhosa, or Zulu umfundi "disciple, learner, craftsman"
- funk – from kikongo lu-fuki "bad body odor"
- gnu – from Bushman !nu through Khoikhoi i-ngu and Dutch gnoe
- goober – possibly from Bantu (Kikongo and Kimbundu nguba)
- gumbo – from Bantu (Kimbundu ngombo meaning "okra")
- impala – from Zulu im-pala
- impi – from Zulu language meaning war, battle or a regiment
- indaba – from Xhosa or Zulu languages – 'stories' or 'news' typically conflated with 'meeting' (often used in South African English)
- jumbo – from Swahili (jambo or jumbe or from Kongo nzamba "elephant")
- Kwanzaa – from the Swahili phrase matunda ya kwanza, meaning "first fruits".
- lapa – from Sotho languages – enclosure or barbecue area (often used in South African English)
- macaque – from Bantu makaku through Portuguese and French
- mamba – from Zulu or Swahili mamba
- marimba – from Bantu (Kimbundu and Swahili marimba, malimba)
- okapi – from a language in the Congo
- safari – from Swahili travel, ultimately from Arabic
- sangoma – from Zulu – traditional healer (often used in South African English)
- Tilapia – Possibly a latinization "thiape", the Tswana word for fish.
- tsetse – from a Bantu language (Tswana tsetse, Luhya tsiisi)
- ubuntu – African ideology, from the saying "umuntu ngumuntu ngaBantu" – "a human is a human through humans" – Bantu languages
- vuvuzela – musical instrument, name of Zulu or Nguni origin
- zebra – possibly from a language in the Congo
- zombie – Central African (Kikongo zumbi, Kimbundu nzambi)
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (July 2012)|
- The Etymology of 'Buckaroo', Julian Mason, American Speech, Vol. 35, No. 1 (Feb., 1960), pp. 51–55,
- "chimp definition | Dictionary.com". Dictionary.reference.com. Retrieved 2009-06-06.
- carnaval website
- Tilapia etymology