African Words In Suriname Language

According to researchers Suriname has the most words of African origin. Most in Surinam are probably unaware of their origin, as was I before I started doing some research.

These are only words in use by the general population. But there are many more in languages of the Maroons, Ndyuka & Saamaka.

The words’ country of origin is also included as well as the dialect

Akan languages – twi & ewe (Ghana):

Anansi:  “spider”

Doti(doh tee): “ground”

kokobé (Cocobay):  “leprosy”

Wiri(wee ree): hair (wi)

Yesi(yih see): ear (esi)

Aisa(eye-sah): God of the earth(Asesa)

Ye ye(yih yih): spirit

Agama(ah gah mah):  chameleon

Gogo(gohgoh): Buttocks

Lo(loh): clan (usually with common ancestry)

Fula language(Ghana, Nigeria, Cote D’ ivoir):

Juku: from “Jukka”, “poke”, “to stick”

Igbo language(Nigeria):

Obeah:  from ọbiạ, “doctoring”, “mysticism”

Okra: from ọkwurụ, a vegetable

Soso(soh soh):  “only”

Unu(oo noo):  from únù, “you (plural)”

Efik language(Nigeria):

Buckra: from mbakára, “white man”

Wolof language(Senegal):

njam, nyam: Eat


Tata(tahtah): father, also used  for, parents or ancestors

Tonton: brains

Neku(nih ku): poison to catch fish

Lau: crazy, mad