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Common Yoruba Words Borrowed From Arabic by TheArbiter: 4:30am On May 17, 2012
The Arabic roots of many contemporary Yoruba words has been investigated. Titled “On Arabic Loans in Yoruba,” it was written by Professor Sergio Baldi, a well-regarded Italian linguist, who presented it at the Annual Conference on African Linguistics in California, USA, in March 1995.

Below are excerpts from the article as presented by Farooq A. Kperogi. To download a copy or read the complete article CLICK HERE.

1. Abere. This Yoruba word for “needle” traces its etymology to the Arabic “ai-bra,” which also means needle.

2. Adura. This is the Yoruba word for prayers. In fact, there is a popular syncretic Christian sect in Yorubaland that goes by the name “aladura,” meaning “people who pray” or “praying people.” Many other northern and central Nigerian languages have some version of this word to denote prayers. It is derived from the Arabic “du’a,” which also means prayers.

3. Alubosa. This Yoruba word for “onion” was borrowed from the Hausa “albasa,” which in turn borrowed it from the Arabic “al-basal.”

4. Alufa/Alfa. This is a widely used word for a Muslim scholar (and occasionally any Muslim) not just in Yorubaland but in Nupeland, Borgu, Igalaland, Ebiraland, etc. It is now increasingly used by Yoruba Muslim women as a term of respect for their husbands.

Surprisingly, the word is absent in the Hausa language. It came as no surprise therefore when Professor Baldi suggested that the word came to the Yoruba language—and many other central Nigerian languages—through the Songhai. It is derived from the Arabic “khalifah,” which means a “successor” or a “representative” (of the prophet of Islam). It was first corrupted to “Alfa” by the Songhai who later exported their version of the word to western and central Nigeria—and to other parts of West Africa. Many Songhai were itinerant Islamic preachers who traveled all over West Africa.

5. Atele/itele. It means “following” in Yoruba, and it is derived from “at-talin,” which also means “following” in Arabic.

6. Amodi. It means “disease” in Yoruba and is derived from “al-marad,” the Arabic word for disease.

7. “Amo.” It is a conjunction in Yoruba, which performs the same function that the word “but” performs in English; it introduces contrast. It is rendered as “amma” in Hausa, which is the way it is rendered in its original Arabic form.

8. Anfani. This Yoruba word for “utility” or “importance” also occurs in Hausa, Batonu, and many northern and central Nigerian languages. It is derived from the Arabic “naf,” which means “advantage, profit.”

9. Ara/ apaara. The word means "thunder" in Yoruba, and is derived from the Arabic “ar-ra’d.”

10. Asiri. It means “secret” in Yoruba, Hausa, and in many other Nigerian languages. It is derived from the Arabic “as-sirr” where it also means “secret.”

11. Barika. This is the Yoruba word for “congratulations.” It is rendered as “barka” in Hausa. The word’s original Arabic form is “al-baraka,” which means “greetings.”

12. Borokinni. It means a “gentleman, respected man in a secure financial position.” The word is also found in many Borgu languages, such as Batonu and Bokobaru, where “boro” means a “friend.” It is derived from the Arabic “rukn,” which means “support, corner, basic element.”

13. Faari. It means “showing off” or “boastfulness” or “ostentatious display” in Yoruba. It has the same meaning in many Borgu languages. It is derived from the Arabic “fakhr,” which means “glory, pride, honor.” (Note that “kh” is a guttural sound in Arabic, which is close to a hard “h” in English. That sound was dropped by Nigerian languages).

14. Fitila. It means any kind of lamp. Its roots are located in the Arabic word for lamp, which is “fatil.”

15. Ijamba. Professor Baldi defines this word as “bodily harm,” but the meaning of the word I’m familiar with is one that associates it with cunning, cheating, deceit. It is derived from the Arabic “danb,” or “danba,” which means “sin, crime.” (Note that Arabic frequently dispenses with end vowels (that is, a, e, i, o, and u) in words, whereas many Nigerian languages almost always end words with a vowel—and add them to words they borrow from other languages if such words lack an end vowel).

16. Imale. This is the Yoruba word for “Muslim.” I read previous interpretations of this word from Yoruba scholars who say it is Yoruba for “that which is difficult” to underscore the difficulty of Islamic practices like praying five times a day, fasting for 30 days during Ramadan, etc. Other Yoruba scholars said the word initially denoted “people from Mali” since the Songhai people who Islamized Yoruba land in the 15th century were from Mali.

But Baldi argues that “imale” is the corruption of the Arabic “Mu’alim,” which means a teacher. In the Hausa language, the word is rendered as Maalam. It’s interesting that “Mallam” has become the synonym for Hausa (or northern) Muslim in southern Nigeria.

17. Iwaju. It’s the Yoruba word for “front part.” I didn’t imagine that this word had an Arabic origin until I read Baldi’s article. It is derived from the Arabic “al-wajh,” which means “front” or “face.”

18. Iwaasu. It is the Yoruba term for “preaching” or “sermon.” It is used by both Christians and Muslims in Yorubaland, and is derived from the Arabic “waz,” which means “admonition” or “sermon.” (The Yoruba language has no “z” sound, so it substitutes “z” with “s” when it borrows words from other languages with “z” sounds).

19. Suuru. It means “patience” not only in Yoruba but in many languages in central and northern Nigeria. It is derived from the Arabic “sabr,” which also means “patience.”

20. Talaka. It means the poor. It came to Yoruba by way of Hausa, which borrowed it from the Tuareg (where it is rendered as "taleqque" and where it means “a poor woman”). It’s also used in Mandingo, Songhai languages, Kanuri, Teda, and many West African languages. Baldi says this word has no Arabic origins. On the surface, this may be true. After all, the Arabic word for a poor person is “fakir” (plural: “fuqura”).

However, “talaq,” as most Muslims know, is the Arabic word for divorce. (The chapter of the Qur'an that deals with the subject of divorce is called Suratul Talaq). Talaq is derived from the verb “talaqa,” which means to “disown,” to “repudiate.” In times past (and it’s still the case today in many Muslim societies) if a woman was divorced, she was invariably thrown into poverty. Thus, Tuaregs used the term “taleqque” to denote a “poor woman.” But Hausa, Kanuri, Yoruba, Mandingo, and other West African languages expanded the original Tuareg meaning of the word to include every poor person. This is my theory.

21. Tobi. This Yoruba word for “women’s knickers” is derived from the Arabic “taub,” which means “garment,” “dress,” “cloth.” Another tonal variation of this word leads to a different Yoruba word, which means “big.”

22. Wahala. Well, this isn’t just a Yoruba word by way of Hausa; it’s made its way into most Nigerian languages—and into West African Pidgin English. It means “trouble,” and it’s derived from the Arabic “wahla,” which means “fright,” “terror.”

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Re: Common Yoruba Words Borrowed From Arabic by OAM4J: 2:31pm On May 17, 2012
nice.

--------> culture
Re: Common Yoruba Words Borrowed From Arabic by Fulaman198(m): 5:19pm On May 17, 2012
Good post, a lot of these words do make sense too, it's kind of scary how many West African languages have Arab loan words. It is also a bit sad at the same time.
Re: Common Yoruba Words Borrowed From Arabic by Fulaman198(m): 5:57pm On May 17, 2012
I wanted to also add that "kh" has not been dropped in all Nigerian languages, there are many Nigerian names with "kh" in them.
Re: Common Yoruba Words Borrowed From Arabic by tpia5: 7:38pm On May 17, 2012
most arabic words in yoruba language are probably of hausa origin.

3 Likes

Re: Common Yoruba Words Borrowed From Arabic by Fulaman198(m): 8:03pm On May 17, 2012
tpia@:
most arabic words in yoruba language are probably of hausa origin.

I agree with that statement

1 Like

Re: Common Yoruba Words Borrowed From Arabic by PAGAN9JA(m): 8:20pm On May 17, 2012
i thought wahala is derived from wallahi, = i swear by God in Arabic. .

2 Likes

Re: Common Yoruba Words Borrowed From Arabic by NegroNtns(m): 1:10am On May 20, 2012
The Arbiter: The Arabic roots of many contemporary Yoruba words has been investigated. Titled “On Arabic Loans in Yoruba,” it was written by Professor Sergio Baldi, a well-regarded Italian linguist, who presented it at the Annual Conference on African Linguistics in California, USA, in March 1995.

Below are excerpts from the article as presented by Farooq A. Kperogi. To download a copy or read the complete article CLICK HERE.

1. Abere. This Yoruba word for “needle” traces its etymology to the Arabic “ai-bra,” which also means needle.

2. Adura. This is the Yoruba word for prayers. In fact, there is a popular syncretic Christian sect in Yorubaland that goes by the name “aladura,” meaning “people who pray” or “praying people.” Many other northern and central Nigerian languages have some version of this word to denote prayers. It is derived from the Arabic “du’a,” which also means prayers.

3. Alubosa. This Yoruba word for “onion” was borrowed from the Hausa “albasa,” which in turn borrowed it from the Arabic “al-basal.”

4. Alufa/Alfa. This is a widely used word for a Muslim scholar (and occasionally any Muslim) not just in Yorubaland but in Nupeland, Borgu, Igalaland, Ebiraland, etc. It is now increasingly used by Yoruba Muslim women as a term of respect for their husbands.

Surprisingly, the word is absent in the Hausa language. It came as no surprise therefore when Professor Baldi suggested that the word came to the Yoruba language—and many other central Nigerian languages—through the Songhai. It is derived from the Arabic “khalifah,” which means a “successor” or a “representative” (of the prophet of Islam). It was first corrupted to “Alfa” by the Songhai who later exported their version of the word to western and central Nigeria—and to other parts of West Africa. Many Songhai were itinerant Islamic preachers who traveled all over West Africa.

5. Atele/itele. It means “following” in Yoruba, and it is derived from “at-talin,” which also means “following” in Arabic.

6. Amodi. It means “disease” in Yoruba and is derived from “al-marad,” the Arabic word for disease.

7. “Amo.” It is a conjunction in Yoruba, which performs the same function that the word “but” performs in English; it introduces contrast. It is rendered as “amma” in Hausa, which is the way it is rendered in its original Arabic form.

8. Anfani. This Yoruba word for “utility” or “importance” also occurs in Hausa, Batonu, and many northern and central Nigerian languages. It is derived from the Arabic “naf,” which means “advantage, profit.”

9. Ara/ apaara. The word means "thunder" in Yoruba, and is derived from the Arabic “ar-ra’d.”

10. Asiri. It means “secret” in Yoruba, Hausa, and in many other Nigerian languages. It is derived from the Arabic “as-sirr” where it also means “secret.”

11. Barika. This is the Yoruba word for “congratulations.” It is rendered as “barka” in Hausa. The word’s original Arabic form is “al-baraka,” which means “greetings.”

12. Borokinni. It means a “gentleman, respected man in a secure financial position.” The word is also found in many Borgu languages, such as Batonu and Bokobaru, where “boro” means a “friend.” It is derived from the Arabic “rukn,” which means “support, corner, basic element.”

13. Faari. It means “showing off” or “boastfulness” or “ostentatious display” in Yoruba. It has the same meaning in many Borgu languages. It is derived from the Arabic “fakhr,” which means “glory, pride, honor.” (Note that “kh” is a guttural sound in Arabic, which is close to a hard “h” in English. That sound was dropped by Nigerian languages).

14. Fitila. It means any kind of lamp. Its roots are located in the Arabic word for lamp, which is “fatil.”

15. Ijamba. Professor Baldi defines this word as “bodily harm,” but the meaning of the word I’m familiar with is one that associates it with cunning, cheating, deceit. It is derived from the Arabic “danb,” or “danba,” which means “sin, crime.” (Note that Arabic frequently dispenses with end vowels (that is, a, e, i, o, and u) in words, whereas many Nigerian languages almost always end words with a vowel—and add them to words they borrow from other languages if such words lack an end vowel).

16. Imale. This is the Yoruba word for “Muslim.” I read previous interpretations of this word from Yoruba scholars who say it is Yoruba for “that which is difficult” to underscore the difficulty of Islamic practices like praying five times a day, fasting for 30 days during Ramadan, etc. Other Yoruba scholars said the word initially denoted “people from Mali” since the Songhai people who Islamized Yoruba land in the 15th century were from Mali.

But Baldi argues that “imale” is the corruption of the Arabic “Mu’alim,” which means a teacher. In the Hausa language, the word is rendered as Maalam. It’s interesting that “Mallam” has become the synonym for Hausa (or northern) Muslim in southern Nigeria.

17. Iwaju. It’s the Yoruba word for “front part.” I didn’t imagine that this word had an Arabic origin until I read Baldi’s article. It is derived from the Arabic “al-wajh,” which means “front” or “face.”

18. Iwaasu. It is the Yoruba term for “preaching” or “sermon.” It is used by both Christians and Muslims in Yorubaland, and is derived from the Arabic “waz,” which means “admonition” or “sermon.” (The Yoruba language has no “z” sound, so it substitutes “z” with “s” when it borrows words from other languages with “z” sounds).

19. Suuru. It means “patience” not only in Yoruba but in many languages in central and northern Nigeria. It is derived from the Arabic “sabr,” which also means “patience.”

20. Talaka. It means the poor. It came to Yoruba by way of Hausa, which borrowed it from the Tuareg (where it is rendered as "taleqque" and where it means “a poor woman”). It’s also used in Mandingo, Songhai languages, Kanuri, Teda, and many West African languages. Baldi says this word has no Arabic origins. On the surface, this may be true. After all, the Arabic word for a poor person is “fakir” (plural: “fuqura”).

However, “talaq,” as most Muslims know, is the Arabic word for divorce. (The chapter of the Qur'an that deals with the subject of divorce is called Suratul Talaq). Talaq is derived from the verb “talaqa,” which means to “disown,” to “repudiate.” In times past (and it’s still the case today in many Muslim societies) if a woman was divorced, she was invariably thrown into poverty. Thus, Tuaregs used the term “taleqque” to denote a “poor woman.” But Hausa, Kanuri, Yoruba, Mandingo, and other West African languages expanded the original Tuareg meaning of the word to include every poor person. This is my theory.

21. Tobi. This Yoruba word for “women’s knickers” is derived from the Arabic “taub,” which means “garment,” “dress,” “cloth.” Another tonal variation of this word leads to a different Yoruba word, which means “big.”

22. Wahala. Well, this isn’t just a Yoruba word by way of Hausa; it’s made its way into most Nigerian languages—and into West African Pidgin English. It means “trouble,” and it’s derived from the Arabic “wahla,” which means “fright,” “terror.”

The truth of the matter is that both Yoruba and Arabic have roots in old Hebrew, and not the popular misconception that Yoruba borrowed from Arabic.

There are many words in Yoruba which coincide with Arabic but does not exist in Songhai or Hausa language and one have to wonder how the leapt could have been possible without a middle link. This is so because no one is studying or researching Yoruba language as a proto semitic tongue, the researchers are always looking for a middle link to explain the conjunction between Yoruba and Arabic.

For example. . .Ale (night in Yoruba) is equivalent to Al'Layl (night in Arabic) but does not occur in either of Songhai or Hausa. Also, Alantakun (spider in Yoruba) is Al'Ankabut (spider in Arabic) and does not have same form in Songhai or Hausa.. Most words in Yoruba that begin with Al or L will have this conjunction with Arabic and is strictly because they both evolved out of the same tongue source. Arabic has remained in its semitic landscape and region whereas Yoruba has vacated and moved far away and ended in dilution by different influences in the host landscape.

Some point of corrections. . . Kahlifa exist in Yoruba as a separate word from Alfa, so it is not a mixup. Also, Imale exist seaparate from Mola (Mu'allim), there is no confusion in its use or meaning.

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Re: Common Yoruba Words Borrowed From Arabic by Fulaman198(m): 3:12am On May 20, 2012
Negro_Ntns:

The truth of the matter is that both Yoruba and Arabic have roots in old Hebrew, and not the popular misconception that Yoruba borrowed from Arabic.

There are many words in Yoruba which coincide with Arabic but does not exist in Songhai or Hausa language and one have to wonder how the leapt could have been possible without a middle link. This is so because no one is studying or researching Yoruba language as a proto semitic tongue, the researchers are always looking for a middle link to explain the conjunction between Yoruba and Arabic.

For example. . .Ale (night in Yoruba) is equivalent to Al'Layl (night in Arabic) but does not occur in either of Songhai or Hausa. Also, Alantakun (spider in Yoruba) is Al'Ankabut (spider in Arabic) and does not have same form in Songhai or Hausa.. Most words in Yoruba that begin with Al or L will have this conjunction with Arabic and is strictly because they both evolved out of the same tongue source. Arabic has remained in its semitic landscape and region whereas Yoruba has vacated and moved far away and ended in dilution by different influences in the host landscape.

Some point of corrections. . . Kahlifa exist in Yoruba as a separate word from Alfa, so it is not a mixup. Also, Imale exist seaparate from Mola (Mu'allim), there is no confusion in its use or meaning.


Songhai though is a nilo-saharan language and closer related to Kanuri.
Re: Common Yoruba Words Borrowed From Arabic by yusufbaba(m): 2:32pm On May 20, 2012
very educative

1 Like

Re: Common Yoruba Words Borrowed From Arabic by NegroNtns(m): 7:22pm On May 20, 2012
Fulaman198:

Songhai though is a nilo-saharan language and closer related to Kanuri.

. . . how does that reduce the points I made about Arabic having a common source with Yoruba?

There are hundreds of words in Yoruba that co-exist in Arabic and Hebrew but have no presence or meaning in any of these supposedly interlink States that researchers and authors claim as the donor for Yoruba-Arabic words.

When you go into Yoruba rituals, they are heavily loaded with Old Hebrew words. In fact, I think researchers ought to study Yoruba to find missing words and meanings lost to the Muslim Arabs.
Re: Common Yoruba Words Borrowed From Arabic by OdenigboAroli(m): 7:54pm On May 20, 2012
Negro_Ntns:

The truth of the matter is that both Yoruba and Arabic have roots in old Hebrew, and not the popular misconception that Yoruba borrowed from Arabic.

There are many words in Yoruba which coincide with Arabic but does not exist in Songhai or Hausa language and one have to wonder how the leapt could have been possible without a middle link. This is so because no one is studying or researching Yoruba language as a proto semitic tongue, the researchers are always looking for a middle link to explain the conjunction between Yoruba and Arabic.

For example. . .Ale (night in Yoruba) is equivalent to Al'Layl (night in Arabic) but does not occur in either of Songhai or Hausa. Also, Alantakun (spider in Yoruba) is Al'Ankabut (spider in Arabic) and does not have same form in Songhai or Hausa.. Most words in Yoruba that begin with Al or L will have this conjunction with Arabic and is strictly because they both evolved out of the same tongue source. Arabic has remained in its semitic landscape and region whereas Yoruba has vacated and moved far away and ended in dilution by different influences in the host landscape.

Some point of corrections. . . Kahlifa exist in Yoruba as a separate word from Alfa, so it is not a mixup. Also, Imale exist seaparate from Mola (Mu'allim), there is no confusion in its use or meaning.



Dude,you are not sounding logical at all; how can you try to relate a yoruba language which is a congo-benue language with hebrew which is a semitic language!! You are a pathetic loser!! The truth which you are trying so hard to ignore is that the yoruba empires were defeated by the fulanis and the housas and were forcefully colonized and thats how they borrowed most of the words listed above by the OP.

9 Likes

Re: Common Yoruba Words Borrowed From Arabic by OdenigboAroli(m): 7:58pm On May 20, 2012
Am sure you noticed how fulaman ignored you 'cos you sound ridiculous!

1 Like

Re: Common Yoruba Words Borrowed From Arabic by ronkeenuf(f): 7:59pm On May 20, 2012
the genesis of it all was the trans-saharan trade

3 Likes

Re: Common Yoruba Words Borrowed From Arabic by tpia5: 10:13pm On May 20, 2012
Odenigbo Aroli:


Dude,you are not sounding logical at all; how can you try to relate a yoruba language which is a congo-benue language with hebrew which is a semitic language!! You are a pathetic loser!! The truth which you are trying so hard to ignore is that the yoruba empires were defeated by the fulanis and the housas and were forcefully colonized and thats how they borrowed most of the words listed above by the OP.

most yoruba-hausa loan words came through trade relations.

and try to contribute without throwing insults.

there's nothing to get hyper about so far.

21 Likes

Re: Common Yoruba Words Borrowed From Arabic by NegroNtns(m): 2:20pm On May 21, 2012
Arabic - Masallam - place of prayer
Yoruba - Mosalasi - mosque

There are many errors in the article but the above is a very good one. Arabic for house or place of prayer is Masjid and translates to mosque. This is the same disconnect they had with the Khalifa/Alfa interpretation. The Yoruba language is interwoven into rituals and cannot be studied independent of the traditional Yoruba worship and ritual of living.
Re: Common Yoruba Words Borrowed From Arabic by TonySpike: 6:00am On May 23, 2012
Although I am not an expert at linguistics, particularly the ancient variants. There is much sense in Negro_ntns assertion. If the Yoruba religious rites/ceremonial vis-a-vis worship has no contemporary with other Niger-Congo ethnic traditions or Hausa-Arabic traditions, shouldn't we be looking elsewhere? I find the Ancient Hebrew connections to Yoruba language fascinating, yet a lot need to be done to come to a conclusion.
@ Odenigbo Aroli, do you know that many of these so-called arabic words have been in Yoruba language pre-fulani invasion era? Does it then make any sense to say that these words came into existence due to that invasion? How did God-names like Ol'uwa, Ol'orun and Ol'uaye come to exist in Yoruba words. Could they indeed be the corrupted version of ancient hebrew words like El'oah, El'yon and El'oiym as suggested by some scholars? Why can't we find these ancient-Hebrew religious God-names in other Niger-Congo languages?

At this stage, it might be difficult to come to a conclusion as to where these words came from into the Yoruba vocabulary . But there is far a greater semitic link than any other hausa or Niger-Congo link. Infact, there are also evidences that some upper (south) Nilotic People once migrated to Yoruba land in the ancient past. A Kenyan friend of mine believes that the Yoruba and his Luo tribe have similar ancient history. The Luo people are also a Nilotic splinter group that settled in Kenya. He wants to research into the possibility. Funny though, most Luo names start with O- and A- just like Yoruba names. Infact, the first time I saw a Luo name, I thought it was a Yoruba name. Negro_ntns, I'd appreciate it if u could do a background study on the Luo people of Kenya. Thanks.

5 Likes

Re: Common Yoruba Words Borrowed From Arabic by NegroNtns(m): 4:52pm On May 23, 2012
Thanks Tony. I am still researching on Yoruba and making quite a number of new discoveries, particularly in the rites and symbolism with life. I cannot at moment commit to do anything on any other ethnic unless if there is an trail linking it with Yoruba. I can take a look at Luo for possible link but wont do a deep dive.
Re: Common Yoruba Words Borrowed From Arabic by tpia5: 1:44am On Sep 09, 2012
ronkeenuf: the genesis of it all was the trans-saharan trade


it was part of it, true.
Re: Common Yoruba Words Borrowed From Arabic by tpia5: 1:46am On Sep 09, 2012
PAGAN 9JA:
i thought wahala is derived from wallahi, = i swear by God in Arabic. .

wahala means trouble- i think the op is on point.
Re: Common Yoruba Words Borrowed From Arabic by debankss(m): 10:56am On Sep 26, 2012
Get Yoruba language culture and proverbs. Like the Owe Ede Yoruba page on Facebook.com/OweEdeYoruba. Over 20,000 likes and counting.

Cheers.
Re: Common Yoruba Words Borrowed From Arabic by kabiyesiii(m): 10:06am On Mar 02, 2013
Arabic, like most languages, borrowed tons of words from Ancient Egyptian/Nubian language. In addition, through Jihad, the Arabs absorbed many loaned words from the Berbers, Tuaregs, Persians, Turks, Chinese and Indians. We tend to give Arabic too much credits on loaned words. Are we intellectually lazy?

Adura in Yoruba is not an Arabic word, but rather, it is a contraction of Ado Iwa. It is in odu ifa and it means the "divine energy/force of existence". It means the same thing in Ancient Egyptian language, which by the way, is very close to many West African languages. Ara is associated with Jakuta (Ṣango). Are you telling me that Yoruba never had a name for thunder until the encounter with Arabic? I no fit laugh o.

If you're not sure of the origin of a so called "loaned word", go to the ancient link, the KEMET/Nubian language group.

Thus, which language is much older between the Ancient Egyptian and "new kid on the block" Arabic? I rest my case.

14 Likes

Re: Common Yoruba Words Borrowed From Arabic by TonySpike: 12:16pm On Mar 05, 2013
kabiyesiii: Arabic, like most languages, borrowed tons of words from Ancient Egyptian/Nubian language. In addition, through Jihad, the Arabs absorbed many loaned words from the Berbers, Tuaregs, Persians, Turks, Chinese and Indians. We tend to give Arabic too much credits on loaned words. Are we intellectually lazy?

Adura in Yoruba is not an Arabic word, but rather, it is a contraction of Ado Iwa. It is in odu ifa and it means the "divine energy/force of existence". It means the same thing in Ancient Egyptian language, which by the way, is very close to many West African languages. Ara is associated with Jakuta (Ṣango). Are you telling me that Yoruba never had a name for thunder until the encounter with Arabic? I no fit laugh o.

If you're not sure of the origin of a so called "loaned word", go to the ancient link, the KEMET/Nubian language group.

Thus, which language is much older between the Ancient Egyptian and "new kid on the block" Arabic? I rest my case.

The Yoruba language aptly fits the ancient Nilotic/Canaanite languages, which is as old as 2500 yrs old. The likely parent candidate for the Yoruba language is from a widely spoken language from ancient Misri/Mizraim (also called Egypt) groups of language. Like you rightly said, Arabic is a new kid on the block, a much more recent language than our very own ancient Yoruba language.
Re: Common Yoruba Words Borrowed From Arabic by TonySpike: 12:24pm On Mar 05, 2013
kabiyesiii: Arabic, like most languages, borrowed tons of words from Ancient Egyptian/Nubian language. In addition, through Jihad, the Arabs absorbed many loaned words from the Berbers, Tuaregs, Persians, Turks, Chinese and Indians. We tend to give Arabic too much credits on loaned words. Are we intellectually lazy?

Adura in Yoruba is not an Arabic word, but rather, it is a contraction of Ado Iwa. It is in odu ifa and it means the "divine energy/force of existence". It means the same thing in Ancient Egyptian language, which by the way, is very close to many West African languages. Ara is associated with Jakuta (Ṣango). Are you telling me that Yoruba never had a name for thunder until the encounter with Arabic? I no fit laugh o.

If you're not sure of the origin of a so called "loaned word", go to the ancient link, the KEMET/Nubian language group.

Thus, which language is much older between the Ancient Egyptian and "new kid on the block" Arabic? I rest my case.

The Yoruba language aptly fits the ancient Nilotic/Canaanite languages, which is as old as 2500 yrs old. The likely parent candidate for the Yoruba language is from a widely spoken language from ancient Misri/Mizraim (also called Egypt) group of languages. Like you rightly said, Arabic is a new kid on the block, a much more recent language than our very own ancient Yoruba language.
Re: Common Yoruba Words Borrowed From Arabic by PAGAN9JA(m): 3:29pm On Mar 05, 2013
kabiyesiii:
Adura in Yoruba is not an Arabic word, but rather, it is a contraction of Ado Iwa. It is in odu ifa and it means the "divine energy/force of existence".

I agree with this It is very possible. (even though the rest you wrote was mostly trash)
Re: Common Yoruba Words Borrowed From Arabic by DuduNegro: 8:41am On Mar 06, 2013
Ado and Iwa came from a different root and both are attributes of God used functionally for different rituals. Adura is supplication to God and is not an attribute of Him, neither is it made of the attributes of ado and iwa.

Ado is Adonai
Iwa is IHWH which is same as YHWH and from which they got YHVH

Orunmila is the covenant of TWO pairs "the Ideal world" and "the Real world". Precisely, it is the command or decree that issued forth in the primordial awakening, THE WORD!

IWA pele is an attribute of Adam. Omoluabi is an attribute of Noah.

The Yoruba word "bi" is bin which is also binai or binei or beni or b'nei.

I hold the theory that "bini" as in bini city or benin city or Republic of Benin are ancient Yoruba designates for the seat of power occupied by Ife princes. These will be the seat of throne at Popo and the one in Bini. The common interpretation that it derived from "ibinu" (anger or fury) is wrong. My theory of bini being a cognate with bin (meaning child of) is supported by the title of the monarch ......Omo n'Oba (the child of Oba).

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Re: Common Yoruba Words Borrowed From Arabic by TonySpike: 9:53am On Mar 06, 2013
Dudu_Negro: Ado and Iwa came from a different root and both are attributes of God used functionally for different rituals. Adura is supplication to God and is not an attribute of Him, neither is it made of the attributes of ado and iwa.

Ado is Adonai
Iwa is IHWH which is same as YHWH and from which they got YHVH

Orunmila is the covenant of TWO pairs "the Ideal world" and "the Real world". Precisely, it is the command or decree that issued forth in the primordial awakening, THE WORD!

IWA pele is an attribute of Adam. Omoluabi is an attribute of Noah.

The Yoruba word "bi" is bin which is also binai or binei or beni or b'nei.

I hold the theory that "bini" as in bini city or benin city or Republic of Benin are ancient Yoruba designates for the seat of power occupied by Ife princes. These will be the seat of throne at Popo and the one in Bini. The common interpretation that it derived from "ibinu" (anger or fury) is wrong. My theory of bini being a cognate with bin (meaning child of) is supported by the title of the monarch ......Omo n'Oba (the child of Oba).


Alagba, nice analysis. We should be documenting all these things o. I haven't had enough time for Yoruba research these days. I came across something yesterday though while reading Igarra history. This is about the ancient Nilotes, whose language are Nilotic in the past with strong uses of O's and A's in their personal names. Remember, I specifically suggested that Nilotic people like Luos (Kenya) have their most of their names beginning from O- and A-. This strong evidence is also observed in Yoruba (and Igbos) to some extent. Now, their ancient location spans the White Nile and peripherals, with their capital somewhere around Juba (the current capital of South Sudan). Again, Sudan keeps on flashing in the annals of Yoruba history.
Re: Common Yoruba Words Borrowed From Arabic by TonySpike: 10:51am On Mar 06, 2013
Dudu. you are spot on:

Here's what I found:

Ben/Bin - son (Ancient Hebrew name for Son)
Comment: I believe this name was used by the Hebrews (until around 700-1000 BC). By the time of Christ, the word had been replaced by "BAR". Bar is also ARAMAIC and post-400 BC, was derived . For example, something like, Yashua Bar Yose, means Jesus Son of Joseph. The change in name must have been as a result of assimilation of Babylonian and Assyrian cultures and language.

Bul/ablu - Ancient Assyrian
Comment: The word Abel was derived from this

Maru - Ancient Sumerian


bin/ibn - Ancient Arabic/ Egyptian
Re: Common Yoruba Words Borrowed From Arabic by PhysicsQED(m): 11:16am On Mar 06, 2013
Dudu_Negro: Ado and Iwa came from a different root and both are attributes of God used functionally for different rituals. Adura is supplication to God and is not an attribute of Him, neither is it made of the attributes of ado and iwa.

Ado is Adonai
Iwa is IHWH which is same as YHWH and from which they got YHVH

Orunmila is the covenant of TWO pairs "the Ideal world" and "the Real world". Precisely, it is the command or decree that issued forth in the primordial awakening, THE WORD!

IWA pele is an attribute of Adam. Omoluabi is an attribute of Noah.

The Yoruba word "bi" is bin which is also binai or binei or beni or b'nei.

I hold the theory that "bini" as in bini city or benin city or Republic of Benin are ancient Yoruba designates for the seat of power occupied by Ife princes. These will be the seat of throne at Popo and the one in Bini. The common interpretation that it derived from "ibinu" (anger or fury) is wrong. My theory of bini being a cognate with bin (meaning child of) is supported by the title of the monarch ......Omo n'Oba (the child of Oba).


You're misinterpreting the sense conveyed by the use of "Omo" in Omo n'Oba n'Edo. It means something different from what one would take as the literal meaning:

' "Omo" here is an appellation for the king. Although it is the same lexical item as "child," in this context it has the meaning of the special child who is the embodiment or personification of Benin. Ne is an epithetic particle that introduces the attributive or titular qualifiers of a noun or serves to amplify the meaning of a noun; thus the special child (Omo) who embodies both kingship (Oba) and the land or people (Edo). See Rebecca N. Agheyisi (in press). ' - From the first footnote in the article "Kingship Succession Rituals in Benin. 1: Becoming a Crown Prince" (1983) by Joseph Nevadomsky and Daniel E. Inneh


The Ezomo of Benin was/is also called "Omo" by the way.

There are certain Edo words and titles which conveyed an idea clearly to people, but which would be a bit harder for just anybody to understand today. The use of "omo" to indicate one who is a special personification of something is one of these words. We can't always just ascribe literal meanings to words based on their appearance - there could be a more significant connotation or idea indicated by the context and one may end up missing the point.

Also, there was no time that Popo was called Benin, Bini, or any other variant of that name. It is just the case that the country that it is located in today was renamed after Benin a few decades ago.
Re: Common Yoruba Words Borrowed From Arabic by DuduNegro: 12:27pm On Mar 06, 2013
Tony Spike:

Alagba, nice analysis. We should be documenting all these things o. I haven't had enough time for Yoruba research these days. I came across something yesterday though while reading Igarra history. This is about the ancient Nilotes, whose language are Nilotic in the past with strong uses of O's and A's in their personal names. Remember, I specifically suggested that Nilotic people like Luos (Kenya) have their most of their names beginning from O- and A-. This strong evidence is also observed in Yoruba (and Igbos) to some extent. Now, their ancient location spans the White Nile and peripherals, with their capital somewhere around Juba (the current capital of South Sudan). Again, Sudan keeps on flashing in the annals of Yoruba history.

Hi Tony,

I remember your comment about the Luo. They are located in a region which geographically is where the nile takes its root. The connection of their tongue to a proto-semitic root will be in less dispute as say one far away from the nile and tucked in a rain forest. I believe Yoruba can stand on its own and the richness of meaning in the language and rituals provide ample resource for this to happen.

It must be seen that independent of Islam these words and rites exist as ancestral culture of Yoruba. Islam has five pillars or creeds upon which the worship of God is established. The most glorified and celebrated is hajj. In classical Arabic, hajj is written as "aj" and translated simply as journey , as in departing one's home to go on a trip. This definition does not assign any religious value. In Yoruba "ajo" simply mean a journey. How is it that Mali and Fulani (through whom Islam would have come to Yorubaland) do not have this word in their tongue but yet have hajj, the religious version? It is so because the occurrence of aj in their tongue is attributable to conversion to Islam and were it not for Islam a Malian or Fulani would never use aj as a reference for journey. The opposite is the case for Yoruba, with or without Islam aj has context, meaning and function for the speakers.

Similarly in performing the rites of prayer in Islam there are two positions that correlate "functionally" with Yoruba terms for the pose

1. ruku - orunkun (yoruba)
2. sujud - sojude (yoruba)

then there are likewise Ifa rites that are an exact match, one for one with Islamic rites during hajj. I wont detail those here but suffice to say that Islam and semitism mirrors many of ancient Yoruba customs and for the now different and disconnected lands the cross-roads of their cimmonality and similarity was in Kanaan.

consider these names and the ending in "el":

Daniel
Samuel
Gabriel
Israel
Ishmael
Ezekiel
Immanuel
Michael ....and so on!

el in semitic is equivalent to el/ol in yoruba. example: eledumare, eleda.

all words in yoruba that has a prefix "el"; "al" will also have a semitic correspondence. there are hundreds of these. even words that do not start in el/al also posess these characteristics. example: ijoba, ajo, aye, orun, and so on.

I have not discussed this with amor4ce but I think he will welcome the idea of the three of us compiling a list of these words with their meanings and root. Something we can build on with addition of more words.as it grows.

let me know grin

stay blessed!
Re: Common Yoruba Words Borrowed From Arabic by Izrhiell(m): 1:56pm On Mar 06, 2013
Hmmmmm. Interestin
Re: Common Yoruba Words Borrowed From Arabic by Gombs(m): 1:59pm On Mar 06, 2013
i dont get it!..or is it my eyes? undecided

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