Category Archives: Chewa

Chichewa Etymology

Etymologies are not
definitions; and on this page they are
explanations that some or most of Chewa
(Chichewa) words have been derived from English words, and how with time pronounciation has much changed their sound that they are now accepted as our own local language.

Anyezi – Onions
Ayise – I Say
Boma – (stands for) British Overseas Military Attaché (B.O.M.A)
Bowa (Wandibowa)- Bore
Bowola – Bore (Drill, Make a Hole)
Bulangete – Blanket
Bulutu – Brute
Bwato – Boat
Chepa – Cheap
Cheza – Cheers
Chibekete – Bucket
Chi-doli (le) – Doll
Chila – Cheer
Chitini – Tin
Dibwa – Edible
Doko – Dock (Port)
Dula (Chodula)- Durable
Foloko – Folk
Fotseki – Forsake
Galimoto (Gali-Moto) – Car – Motor (Motor-Car)
Gasa (Wagasa)- Gas (has taken gas → nothing)
Gona – Gone
Gontha – Gone-Damn
Gwada – Go-Down
Gwafa – Guava
Hule – Whore
Idya – Eat-your
Imva – Hear That
Jiti – Jetty
Kabati – Cupboard
Kata (mvula ya kata) – Cut (stopped)
Khola – Kraal
Khuki – Cook
Koka – Conquer (as in Tag of War)
Kuwa – Call Out
Kwawa – Cower
Kwiya – Queer (differing from the normal or usual in a way regarded as old or strange)
Lagwani – Long one
Londa (Mlonda)- Rounder
Lota – Lottery
Lulutira – Ululate
Lusa (Wolusa) – Loose (i.e he is loose, he doesn’t hold his temper)
Makina – Machine
Malayina – Gmelina
for more words click here