7 phrases that you thought were American but actually come from Africa

Farida Dawkins September 10, 2018
African languages...Face2Face Africa

We often utter words or phrases without really thinking about the origin of those words. It may be something we heard growing up in our homes or neighborhoods, something we’ve heard or seen on social media that is intriguing or vernacular we use to broaden our vocabulary.

It’s a fact that some of the major African languages spoken throughout the world have root words or influences from other major dialects.  An example would be Swahili. It is spoken in the Southern part of Africa. It is also derived mostly from Arabic.

Another example is Yoruba. It is a language that is widely spoken in West Africa; more specifically Nigeria, Benin, Sierra Leone and Liberia. In 2010, it was estimated that 30 million people spoke Yoruba.

The Trans-Atlantic slave trade resulted in millions of Africans – many from the Western part of African to be taken. This constituted many unique cultures and dialects being spread and spoken in the Caribbean and the Americas.

Slaves were not allowed to speak in their native tongue due to the fear it instilled in their masters. Subsequently, slaves formulated signs, hairstyles and phrases to communicate in that didn’t raise any eyebrows.

Here are seven words and phrases that you thought were American but are actually derived from African languages:

Last Edited by:Ismail Akwei Updated: September 10, 2018


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