The OED’s coverage of World Englishes includes words and phrases from the variety of English spoken in Tanzania, a country in East Africa.
Tanzanian English words recently recorded in the OED
See the full list of Tanzanian English words most recently added to the OED here.
The words shown here are free to view. Click on links above to view these words, or explore further using the advanced search (learn how to search the OED here). If you would like to explore further but do not have personal or institutional access to the OED, get in touch to request a temporary access code.*
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The OED works in partnership with external experts from or in East Africa to ensure that our entries for East African English words draw from local knowledge and expertise and reflect the everyday reality and distinctive identity of the East African English-speaking community.
Tanzania’s contemporary music scene is represented in this batch of new words by Bongo Flava (2003) and singeli (2015). Singeli is a Tanzanian style of fast-paced electronic dance music, combining elements of hip-hop with influences from East African popular music such as taarab (1969), a form of music originating in Zanzibar. Bongo Flava, another style of music from Tanzania, fuses elements of American hip-hop with influences from reggae, R&B, Afrobeat, dancehall, and traditional East African forms of popular music, and features lyrics in Swahili or English. Bongo (1993) is a nickname for the city of Dar es Salaam—bongo being the Swahili word for ‘brain’ or ‘intelligence’, something one needs a lot of in order to thrive in the most populous city in Tanzania.