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Bamba: Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba, founder of the Muridiyya or Murid, one of the most important Sufi confrery (or Tariqa in Wolof) of Senegal.

Barzakh: The afterlife in Arabic; also used in contemporary Senegal to name the city of Barcelona, in the spirit of “migration or death.”

Dieunatakh: Name of a Zoo in Dakar that means “For the Fish.”

Give back one’s neck: Bugul literally translates the Wolof phrase “May naa la sa baat” that is used by a man to declare official his divorce.

Mold: Contemporary Wolof uses the French word “Moule” to name the features of a face; comes from “Moule à gâteau:” “cake pan.”

Ndakaaru: Wolof pronunciation of the city Dakar.

Own one’s own head: Bugul literally translates the Wolof phrase “Moom sa bopp” that means “to be free,” “to be independent.”

Talaatay: Tuesday in Wolof.

Taking of independence: Bugul literally translates the Urban Wolof phrase “Jël sa indépendance,” meaning to become independent/autonomous (possibly coming from the French phrase “avoir pris son indépendance,” usually used to express the newly-gained freedom of a child from parental authority).

Toubab: Word used across French-speaking Africa to designate white people. Comes in all likelihood from the wolof “Tougal” for European, itself possibly derived from “Portugal.”

Vacation-girl: “vacancière” in the original French. A young women or teenager working during the school holidays, especially during the summer.

Xel: Wolof word, meaning “mind,” “spirit,” “reason,” “intelligence,” “brain.”


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