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An Annual Celebration of Black History in New Jersey
Heath Center Educational Interests Page

Information and Topics In The Interest of Education

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Heath Center African-American History Committee's
Question of the Month.

Who Was The FIRST President of The United States?

CLICK HERE to Send Your Answer to the Question of The Month.

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ADVENTURES
IN
LANGUAGE

AFRICAN WORDS AND PHRASES

(Used by Former Slaves in Georgia and South Carolina in the 1890s)

Table I: African Words

alligator: ngundo

hoe: sengo

baby: mauna

hog: gooloo

back: nema

horse: valo

banana: biteba

house: dro; nzo; bindu

beads: nzeembo

knife: mbala

bear: nzow

land nte; nsetu

beard: njavo

lie: gange

belly: vomo

love: zola

skin seat: cando conda

young man: tucka; mayuc'kala

boy: muana tucka

colored man: feta

white man: feata

boat: coombay

bird: noona

meat: zimbezy

bread: dimpa

money: nzeembo

butterbeans: mongongo monkey cawah
_ _
butterfly lumpungo moon gonda

cat: boomba; mboomba

partridges: goomba; kimbimbe

chickens: susu

peach: ncepho

cities: mbamba

peanuts: gooba; drangay

cloth: nlilly

peas: madaza; zangy

clouds: ma tute

pipe: torida

coon: bungee

pot: canzo

corn: massa; massango

rabbit: loomba

coconut: lombo

rain: mvoola

cow: gomby

rock: matade

dance: zacccomma

sense: gangu

dead: fuedy

sheep: mamamy

deer: paccasa; mibunga

shoulder: vambo

devil: doky

sky: zulu

dirt: ntoto

snakes: neoka

doctor: ganga

spider: sembe

dog: boa

squirrel: gemo; conka

ear: kootoo

stars: birtity

eyes: maso

steel: weer

fire: bazo; tuvia

sun: tango; muany

fish: golla

sweet potatoes: zeembala

fly: pesse

teeth: mano

foot: tamby

tobacco: soonga

fox: coomba

water: lango; maza

give me: kala

watermelon: malengy

gun: cully

whiskey: malavo

hair: suky; truky

women: canto

hand: corko

old women: bauba

young women: ndoomba

head: ntu

FUN
WITH
NUMBERS

Table 2: African Numerals

1: corse

2: corla

3: kootatoo

4: kooya

5: kootano

6: koosambano

7: tambwody

8: nana

9: evwa

10: koome

11: koome emorse

12: koome enzole

13: koome entate

14: koome eya'

15: koome entano

16: koome ensambano

17: koome ensambody

18: koome enana

19: koome evwa

20: makamorly

21: makamorly enwano

22: makamorly ezoly

23: makamorly etatoo

24: makamorly eya'

25: makamorly etano

26: makamorly esambano

27: makamorly ensambody

28: makamorly enana

29: makamorly evwa

30: makomatatoo

40: makomaya

50: makomatano

60: makomasambano

70: lusambody

80: luovwa

90: lunana

100: kama

WORD
ASSOCIATIONS

Table 3: Sentences Employing African Words

Ukola?: How do you do?

Quer quenda?: Where are you going?

Pahnam bezy.: Give me some meat.

Wenda twas mona kona keamvo.: Carry me across the river.

Vo vonda ngondo.: Kill that alligator.

Sheka.: Shoot him.

Borkala.: Call him.

Weeza.: Come here.

Zola ana aku?: Do you love your children?

Inga (or yinga).: Yes.

Gogomby.: No (or, Go away).

Yala kayala.: He is very sick.

Wenda baka ganga.: Go bring the doctor.

Fuedy.: He is dead.

A canto ana yaku?: How many wives have you?

Kutatu.: Three.

Ungaya muana ngo?: Have you seen any lions?

Noka kunoka.: It is going to rain.

Wenda banga tevia.: Go build a fire.

Muany yama.: The sun is hot.

Unga gwaku wona yaku ungayi?: Are you living with your mother?

Yala: What pains you?

Ntu bwanga.: My head aches.

Nzala.: I am hungry.

Mano ganze.: My tooth aches.

Ruaka mbala.: I cut him with a knife.

A kway tukiddy?: How far away does he live?

Wuto Coonawany.: I was born in Coonawany.

Mazo Mazema.: He is blind.

More Follows.