Friday, November 13, 2009

Poppie Nongena (2) Miscellanea

The following words appear in the Oxford English Dictionary, but they are not valid Scrabble words (yet).
Magou = a non-alcoholic home-brewed drink made of thin, slightly fermented maize-meal porridge, often with wheat flour added
Kwedini = young African (esp. Xhosa) boy (who hasn’t gone through the coming-of-age rite)
Makoti = a bride; a newly-wed woman

From Carmen: The following words do not appear in the OED either, but I couldn’t help writing about them (this is my chance to relate my interest in rituals with my husband’s interest in words).

Abakwetha = a coming-of-age rite of passage (an initiation ceremony for boys, which includes circumcision)

Incibi = the man who performs the circumcision
Umguyo = the all-night party before the initiation ceremony
Thwasa = a medium/ shaman; a person who can talk to the ancestors’ spirits (called izinyanya)

Ukuthwasa = the initiation ritual of a thwasa
Inkenqe = supernatural powers
Igqwira = a bad witchdoctor
Igqira = a good witchdoctor


  1. The most effective way to get words into the Scrabble dictionary is to get them into common usage so they get into the dictionaries. I've often dreamed of inventing a mean for VE and using it everywhere... that'll make those stupid Vs easier to use!

    However, back to your words, I have some ideas.

    (a) become an igqira and get yourself appointed adviser to Barack Obama. Tell the New York Times and Washington Post that you're an igqira and here's how you spell it...

    (b) transplant 10000 Xhosa people to the U.S. and train them in journalism. Their words will make it into the media.

    (c) become an igqwira and threaten to turn the world into a slug. Make sure you can come good on the threat, or they'll ignore you. A few tentacles in London should do the trick.

    BTW, when you do these things, please tell Barack that a VE is a stymied political initiative. I reckon we can all have what we want.

  2. Dear Friendless, we ashamedly admit to being completely ignorant when it comes to politics, but we love your suggestions. I (Carmen) would consider becoming a thwasa myself, especially since last Saturday I even learned how to pronounce the word. The bad part is that I've already forgotten it... click languages are definitely not my thing.

  3. Is there by chance another possibility like (d) Play the word at WSC and if the opponent accepts it, maybe the world should accept it too?