Monday, September 12, 2005

Double Double

Peace Corps volunteers have a lot of free time to become fascinated by inane and banal things, like what I call double double words in Swahili. These are single words formed by repeating the same two syllables twice, and I even spent an evening trying to string together a sentence using only double-double words. It didn't quite work, nor did the Swahili haiku. My next hobby: teaching myself shadow hand puppetry to pass the time when the electricity goes out.

polepole - slowly
hivihivi - so-so, fifty-fifty
korogakoroga - to stir repeatedly
pondaponda - to pound repeatedly
barabara - street, road
pikipiki - motorcycle
pilipili - chili pepper
tingatinga - tractor
katakata - to cut
bodaboda - a bicycle taxi with a bright vinyl upholstered cushion for the passenger
wasiwasi - nervous
katikati (ya) - in the middle of, between
takataka - odds and ends, rubbish
rupurupu - incentive
mbalimbali - different
chemshachemsha - to boil repeatedly
pigapiga - to hit repeatedly
patipati - flip flops
buibui - spider
konokono - snail
sawasawa - okay
juzijuzi - the other day
rogaroga - to bewitch
rasharasha - drizzle
chemichemi - a spring (water)


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