Category Archives: Tumbuka

Chitumbuka Etymology


Etymologies are not
definitions; and on this page they are
explanations that some or most of Tumbuka
(Chitumbuka) 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.

Ayiśe – I Say
Benda, Bendela- Bend
Boma – (stands for) British Overseas Military Attaché (B.O.M.A)
Bowa (Wanibowa)- Bore
Bulangete – Blanket
Chepa – Cheap
Chezga (Cheza)- Cheers
Chibekete – Bucket
Chidole (Chi-Dol-i)- Doll
Chila – Cheer
Chithini – Tin
Chomene – Show Many
Dolora – Drill
Dula – Durable
Foloko – Folk
Foseki – Forsake
Galimoto (Gali-Moto) – Car – Motor (Motor-Car)
Gasa (Wagasa)- Gas (has taken gas → nothing)
Gona – Gone
Gowoka – Go (It’s ok Go)
Gwada – Go-Down
Gwafa – Guava
Hala (Hara) – Heir, Inherit
Hanyezi – Onions
Hule – Whore
Jele – Jail
Jiti – Jetty
Jumi (Ju-Mi) – Dew
Jumpha – Jump
Kabati – Cupboard
Kaboni – Carbon Paper (used as witness)
Kata (Mvula ya kata) – Cut (stopped)
Khola – Kraal
Khuki – Cook
Khwawa (kukwawa) – Cower
Kuta – Call Out
Kwesana – Question (each other)
Kwiya – Queer (differing from the normal or usual in a way regarded as old or strange)
Lota – Lottery
Lulutira – Ululate
Luta – Route
Makina – Machine
Malayina – Gmelina

for more words click here

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