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Nyama choma added to English dictionary

By Amina Wako August 2nd, 2021 1 min read

Nyama choma, a popular Kenya term used to refer to grilled meat, has been added to the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary (OALD).

According to the dictionary, nyama choma, which is described as meat that is cooked over a fire, can now be used in formal English settings.

A report by Nation on Sunday, August 1, says the word is among 53 terms from local dialects included by the Oxford University Press (OUP) in its 10th edition of OALD.

Others include Isikuti, kayamba, Maasai, majimbo and zeze.

The word isikuti, for example, is a local word used to refer to a dancing style common with the Luhya community.

It’s characterized by a quick movement of parts of the body, especially shoulders, and is often accompanied by singing and the sound of drums.

Kayamba has been characterized as a “flat musical instrument that you shake to make noise,” while Maasai is now an official English term for “a member of an ethnic group living in Tanzania and Kenya.”

Majimbo is now defined as “a system of administration in a country with multiple minor states, each of which has some power,” while Zeze, a Swahili word, is now defined as “a musical instrument with one or two strings.”

The words are among the additional 2,000 words from across the globe, which are not originally words from the United Kingdom but will now be accepted internationally in formal interactions including the school setting.

“Both products have been redesigned to ensure that learners easily get the information they need. The products will not only be tools for finding the meaning of words, but also additional linguistic aids such as comparisons, sentences and other linguistic techniques,” Oxford University Press, East Africa Regional Director John Mwazembam explained.