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July I, 1937 

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Major J. ALDER BURDON, M.A., C.M.G., F.R.G.S. 

:DTitMki"(f//. 138, /. 3) 




Drvden House, 43, Gerrard Street, W. 




A Dictionary of the Hausa Languagfe. Vol. I. 

I lausa- English. Demy Svo. \zs. net. Volumt^ II. English- 
Hausa. Demy Svo. 9J. net. (Published by tlie Cambridge 
University Press.) 

Specimens of Hausa Literature. Consisting of 
[x>ems and historical extracts reproduced in facsimile in Che 
original character, together with translation, (lanstileration, and 
notes. Small 4to. la;. net. (Cambridge University Press.) 

Hausaland ; or, Fifteen Hundred Miles ttirough 
the Sudan. Third Popular Edition. Illustrated. 2s. bd. 
(Sampson Low & Co.) 

Nlsreria : Our Latest Protectorate. With Map 

and numerous Illustrations. 51. (Horace Marshall & Co.) 
Mohammedanism : Has It any Future ? With a 
special reference to the prospects of Mohammedanism in 
Hausaland. 11. td. (Wells Gardner & Co.) 

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The first edition of this Grammar was published in 1897, 
Since then considerable additions have been made to the 
study of the language, both in England and in Germany. 
In the preparation of the present edition, which differs in 
many respects from the former, I have obtained the-co- 
operation of Major Burdon, C.M.G., the present Governor 
of SokotOjWho has lived for many years in close intercourse 
with the natives. Major Burdon very kindly brought over 
to England a well-educated Hausa Mallam, whose presence 
in England for six months, during which the grammar was 
written, was of the greatest service, Everj' sentence given 
in the exercises and in the key attached to them has either 
been suggested or approved by a Hausa native. I desire to 
express my indebtedness also to Dr. W. Miller, a missionary 
of the CM.S. in Nigeria, who has kindly read many of the 
proofs and made several helpful suggestions; the proof 
sheets have also been read by Mr. W. H. Brooks, M.A., 
formerly Hausa scholar of Christ's College, Cambridge. To 
Mr. Brooks I am further indebted for the greater part of 
the Notes on Hausa Phonology, which are inserted by 
permission of the Cambridge University Press, from the 
Hausa Dictionary, where they first appeared. The read- 
ing, entitled " The Country where the Sun rises," 
which appeared in the first edition of the Grammar, 
was supplied to me by Mr. Hermann Harris, who 
studied Hausa for many years in North Africa. The 
war song on pp. 125-136 was obtained by Major Burdon 
from a Hausa Mallam at Sokoto. It affords a rare example 

of the use of rhythm by the Hausas. I am indebted to the 
grammar published by Mischlich, in Berlin in 1902, for 
several of the Hausa proverbs inserted in this Grammar, 
though in most instances I have not been able to adopt the 
meaning which the natives in Togoland apparently attach 
to these proverbs. I am also further indebted to him for 
one suggestion acknowledged on. p. 44 n. I had not the 
opportunity of seeing Capt. Merrick's interesting volume 
entitled " Hausa Proverbs " till the whole of this Grammar 
was in print. 

As this Grammar is chiefly intended for the use of officers 
and civil servants beginning the study of the language, every 
endeavour has been niade to render it as simple as possible, 
and a key has been attached to the exercises, so that the 
student who is without a teacher may be able to correct his 
own mistakes. For the same reason the first half of the 
Grammar has been printed in Roman characters, and the 
second half has been printed in Roman as well as in the 
Hausa characters. It is thus possible to read the whole 
without acquiring a knowledge of the written language, 
though this latter is strongly to be recommended to serious 
students of the language. 

I would take this opportunity of appealing to all students 
of Hausa who may be willing to assist, for suggestions which 
may help to make this Grammar and a new edition of the 
Hausa Dictionary, published by the Cambridge University 
Press, more generally useful. 

The letters A, B, C, &c., used in the Grammar refer to 
the poems denoted by these letters in the " Specimens of 
Hausa Literature," published by the Cambridge University 
Press. The use of brackets and the system of transliteration 
adopted is explained on p. 8. • affixed to a word denotes 
that it is not generally used in the colloquial. 

Charles H. Robinson. 

Lynwood, Limpsfield, 

August, tgos- 

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I. — The personal pronouns, the verbs "to be" and "to 
have " 

II. — Demonstrative, relative, and interrogative pronoun?, 
formation of the genitive, the negative 

III.— Indefinite, reciprocal, and reflexive pronouns, the 
noun, agent, uses of mai and ma .... 

IV. — The possessive pronouns, separable and inseparable 

v.— The verb ; tense formations, the verbal substantive . 
VI. — The future tense, the infinitive, uses of -fan and sai . 
VII. — The passive voice, the imperative mood of the active 
and passive voices, the negative of the subjunctive, 
and the imperative, participles in che and she 
VIII. — The terminal vowels of Hausa verbs, various verbal 
suffixes, reduplication of verbal forms . . 
IX.— Prepositions, various meanings of the word dit . 
X. — Formation of the plural, patronymics, suhstanti\'es 

ending in cki ox ia 

XI. — The numerals 

XII.— Hausa genders, list of simple adjectives, past par- 
ticiples used as adjectives, degrees of comparison 
XIII.— Adverbs, conjunctions, and interjections . 
XIV.— Forms of salutation, hours of the day, days of the 
week, names of ihe months, points of the compass, 
expressions used in buying and selling 
XV.— Uses of the substantive verbs n and nc, idiomatic 
uses of yi, /a, M, abinda na gani, and chiu-o. 
Uses of dama, babu, and sha; some colloquial 
expressions. Proverbs and proverbial expressions 


Key to Exercises 107 

Hausa Alphabet . , . ■ . 119 

The Lord's Prayer in Hausa 123 

A War Song 123 

The Capture of Khartum described by a Hausa Native . , 137 

The Owl, the Hawk, and the Kite 141 

Transliteration and translation of the Hausa poem facing 

title-page 144 

A Letter addressed to the King of Zioder , , ,150 

The Country where the Sun rises 153 

The Ceremonies performed at Mecca 159 

Notes on Hausa Phonology 165 

Hausa-English Vocabulary 184 

English-Hausa Vocabulary 201 

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Hausa is probably the most widely- spoken language on the 
continent of Africa. The country inhabited by the Hausas, 
extending, roughly speaking, from lat. 8 N. to 14 N., and 
from long. 4 E. to 1 1 E., and including about half a million 
square miles, contains a population which is estimated at 
twenty-five milHonf. Of these, about fifteen millions are 
believed to speak the Hausa language, or, in other words, 
the Hausa- speaking people form one per cent, of the whole 
population of the world. Hausa, moreover, acts as a sort of 
lingua franca, and as the language of trade, far outside the 
actual limits of Hausaland. Settlements of Hausa -speaking 
people are to be found in places as far separated from one 
another as Suakim, Alexandria, Tripoli, Tunis, and Lagos ; 
and Hausa caravans are constantly passing to and fro be- 
tween all these places and Hausaland proper. It is by no 
means inconceivable that the day may yet come when four 
languages will dominate the entire continent of Africa. 
These will be English, Arabic, Swahili, andHausa. English 
will be the language of the south, Arabic of the north, 
whilst Swahili and Hausa will divide between them eastern 
and western tropical Africa. 

Apart from the wide spread of the language in the 
present and its prospects for the future, the study of Hausa 
may prove of interest owing to its possible connection in 


early times with the Semitic group of languages. It is at 
present surrounded by some half-dozen other languages, 
no one of which has as yet been thoroughly mastered by 
any European student, and the study of which will no 
doubt throw considerable light upon the problem. In 
so far as it is possible to form any opinion on the 
connection between Hausa and the Semitic languages, 
it would certainly seem that Hausa has some claim to 
be regarded as a Semitic language. Quite a third of the 
words which it contains are obviously connected with 
Semitic roots. 

The simplest forms of the personal pronouns, with two 
or perhaps three exceptions, are Semitic. The connection 
between Hausa and the Semitic languages — or, what here 
comes to the same thing, between Hausa and Arabic — is 
far closer than can be at all satisfactorily explained on the 
supposition that the former has simply been modified by 
the latter, as the result of the spread of Mohammedanism 
in the country, an event which has only occurred within 
the present century. As an additional reason for assuming 
the possibility of a Semitic origin for the language may be 
mentioned the fact that the general belief of the Hausa 
people is that in very early time their ancestors came from 
the far east away beyond Mecca. The difficulties, on the 
other hand, in the way of regarding it as a definitely 
Semitic language are great, if not insuperable. Two- 
thirds of the vocabulary bear no resemblance whatever to 
Arabic, the harsh guttural sounds of the Arabic are wanting, 
and the existence of triliteral roots, the distinctive charac- 
teristic of the Semitic languages, is, to say the least, 
extremely doubtful. 

In attempts which have been made to classify the modern 
languages of Africa it has been the usual custom to place 
those as yet examined under one of three groups, viz. 
Semitic, Hamitic, and Bantu. The first includes Arabic 
and Aethiopic ; the last, a large number of languages south 


of the equator, the distinguishing characteristic of the group 
being the absence of gender inflexion, the use of nominal 
prefixes for the purpose of designating class, and the use of 
pronominal prefixes. 

The second division, the Hamitic, was formerly treated 
as a subdivision of the Semitic, though it is now generally 
regarded as distinct from it. Tt includes Coptic, Berber, 
and probably Hausa. Possibly the Hottentot languages of 
South Africa, which, unlike the Bantu languages by which 
they are surrounded, possess a regular gender inflexion, 
bear some relation to this group. 

M. Kenan, speaking of the limits of this group, says : 
"We must thus assign the Egyptian language and civiliza- 
tion to a distinct family, which we may call, if we will, 
Hamitic. To this same group belong, doubtless, the non- 
Semitic dialects of Abyssinia and Nubia. Future research 
will show whether, as has been conjectured, the indigenous 
languages to the north of Africa, the Berber and the 
Tuarek, for example, which appear to represent the Libyan 
and ancient Numidlan, ought to be assigned to the same 
family. ... It appears at any rate as the result of the 
latest explorations which have been made in Central Afi-ica, 
that the Tuarek is simply Berber apart from Arabic in- 
fluence, and that a distinct family of languages and peoples 
extends in Africa from the Egyptian oasis, and even from 
the Red Sea, to Senegal, and from the Mediterranean to 
the Niger." • 

Unfortunately, no student either of Berber or of Coptic 
has as yet had the opportunity of studying Hausa. 

The various dialects to which the name Berber has been 
given are spoken throughout the greater part of Africa 
north of the Sahara and west of and including Tripoli. 
They include the Tuarek, spoken on the borders of the 
great desert ; the Kabyle, spoken in Algeria ; and Guanche, 

' HUlo'trs des Sanguis shuitiqut!, par Eiiiesl Renan, i. a. 89. 


the language which was in use in the Canary Islands at the 
time of the Spanish conquest. The present Berber dialects 
are the descendants of the ancient Libyan or Numidian, 
which once prevailed throughout the whole of North Africa, 
to which S, Augustine referred when he wrote " in Africa 
barbaras gentes in una lingua plurimas novimus." The 
number of those who speak Berber in Algeria at the present 
time is 860,000. Berber is usually written in the Arabic 
characters, but traces of a distinctive alphabet are to be met 
with amongst certain of the Tuareks who speak a dialect 
called Tam^shek. This original alphabet, which bears no 
resemblance to Arabic, was probably at one time common 
to -all the Berber dialects, and was displaced when the 
introduction of Mohammedanism was followed by the 
introduction of the Koran and of the Arabic characters. 

The following points are of interest as tending to throw 
some light upon the connection between Hausa and Berber 
or other neighbouring languages. 

The genilim in Hausa is usually denoted by n or na ; thus 
" the door of the house " would be kofan gidda, or kofa 
na gidda. This method of forming the genitive is common 
to both Berber and Coptic. 

Unlike most of the other languages by which it is sur- 
rounded, Hausa possesses a regular gender formation, the 
general rule being that all words denoting the female sex, 
and in addition all words ending in a^ are feminine. In one 
or two instances the Berber method of forming the feminine 
by prefixing a / is to be met with, thus nagari, "good," 
fera. tagari. 

The noun-agent in Hausa is formed in a manner closely 
resembling the Arabic, viz. by prefixing ma or mai to a 
verb, substantive, or adjective. 

In the Semitic languages proper the w/:Ja/rfw( undergoes 
a series of changes, by the addition of various prefixes, by 
doubling one of the existing consonants, or by modification 
of the vowel sounds. In this way some fifteen voices or 


changes of meaning of a similar character are obtained. In 
the Berber language there are ten such voices, though the 
changes in the verbal stem do not bear any close resem- 
blance to those of Arabic. There does not appear to be 
anything parallel to this in the Fulah language, which 
exists side by side with Hausa in many parts of Western 
Africa. In Hausa there are apparently traces of four or 
five such changes, but with one exception, viz, the forma- 
tion of the passive voice, the changes in the sound of the 
words do not correspond to any uniform changes of mean- 
ing. The formation of the passive voice in Hausa bears a 
striking resemblance to the Vllth form of the Arabic or the 
Niphal of the Hebrew, both of which are used in a middle 
or reflexive sense. 

All the languages by which Hausa is surrounded, and 
which I have been able to examine at all, form their 
numerals with five as a base. In Berber the base was 
originally five, though for numbers higher than four it now 
employs numerals similar to the Arabic. In Fulah, 
Bornuese, and Nupd, the three most important languages 
bordering on Hausa, the numerals are formed on a base of 
five ; but except in the case of the higher numbers, which 
have been obviously borrowed within recent times from 
Arabic, they bear no resemblance to the Semitic numerals. 

The Hausas possess an original system of numeration 
from one to a thousand, though from twenty upwards 
numbers borrowed from Arabic are those most commonly 
used. The original Hausa numerals were apparently 
formed with five as a base. 

The personal pronouns in Hausa, with three exceptions, 
one of which, shi, "he," has perhaps been borrowed from 
the Bornuese, bear a close resemblance to the Arabic, a 
much closer resemblance, moreover, than they bear to the 
Berber. The rest of the pronouns in Fulah, and those in 
Nup^ and Bornuese, bear no resemblance to those in Hausa 
or in Arabic. 



The only coincidences between the Hausa and Coptic vocabu- 
lary which I have been able to find are the Hausa so, which, 
when connected with a numeral, means " time," or " times," 
cf. use of Coptic sop. The Hausa fudu, " four," seems to be 
the Coptic flu, and the Hausa dubu, "thousand," may 
perhaps be the Coptic thba, meaning " ten thousand." 

Hausa has been reduced to writing for at least a century, 
and possibly very much longer. Native schools, in which 
the children are taught to read and write, exist throughout 
the whole of the country. The literature existing in the 
country consists chiefly of religious and warlike songs. 
Translations from Arabic, histories and legal documents 
are also in circulation. Despite the fact that the Hausa 
language is spoken over such an enormous area, the 
difference between its various dialects is comparatively 
slight. In the town of Sokoto the language has been 
influenced to a large extent by thf Fulah, but even a 
native of Sokoto seldom experiences any real difficulty in 
making himself understood elsewhere. 

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The English letters used in transliterating Hausa in this 

Grammar are pronounced as follows :— 

a as the a in father. 

b as in English. There are a few words, such as debe to 
draw out, kwabe to mix, in which the 6 \i pro- 
nounced with a kind of interrupted breathing ; as 
the difference between the two ^'s is slight, no 
attempt has been made to distinguish them in this 

ch a soft ch as in church or cherry. 

d as in English. 

4 a hard </, in the pronunciation of which the point of the 
tongue touches the edge of the upper teeth, a sort 
of dt, which somewhat resembles the French or 
German t. 

e as the a mfate. 

f represents usually the English / but in certain words, 
e.g. fushi, anger, the / represents a sort of bilabial 
sound, which might almost be written /A. 

g a hard g as in gale, never a soft g as in genius. 

h as in English : always pronounced when inserted. 

i as the J in ravine or as « in feet. 

j as in English. 

k as in English. 

\ a sub-palatal guttural k. The Hausa term for it is 
k mairua, i.e. the watery k : it is so called because 
the person pronouncing this i puts his mouth into 
such a position that he appears to be shooting out 
water from the throat. 

kh a rough form of the Scotch ch in /och. It resembles 
the sound made in trying to raise something in the 

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1 as in English. There is heard also an / (where perfect 
contact is not made of the blade of the tongue with 
the palate) intermediate between r and // thus we 
may write jariri or jarili, an infant. 

m 7 

f as in English. 

O 1? as in moU. 

p as in English. In the Hausa written character p and b 
both appear asi; the sounds are frequently inter- 

r as in English. See also under /. 


■ as in English. 

t as in Enghsh. 
. u « as \aftute, or oo as in tool. 
w a/ as in win. 

y y as in yard. It is never used except as a consonant, 
z as in English, 
ai as i in ict. 
au as ow in how. 

The general rules of the system of transliteration adopted. are: 

(a) all consonants are pronounced as in Enghsh. 

(*) all vowels are pronounced as in Italian. 

(c) vowels are shortened in sound by doubling the 
following consonant. 

Where the consonant is repeated, the actual sound of the 
consonant is intended to be repeated in Hausa, thus arama, 
but, is pronounced am-ma. Where the second consonant 
is bracketed, it is intended to show that the preceding vowel 
is shortened, but that the consonant is not sounded twice ; 
thus taf(f)i, to go, pronounced like the Enghsh " Taffy." 

The actual sound of several of these letters, especially of 
b, d, f, k, and r, can be acquired by intercourse with 
natives only. 



1. There is no article in Hausa. . Thus mutum means 
man, a man, or the man. 

3. The disjutufivt ptnonal pronouns which would be used 

to answer the question Who ? are as follows : — 

I ni we mu 

thou (m.) 




you ku 





they" su 

3. The obliqm 

which would be used to answer 

■ the question Whom ?, are 

as follows : — 



us mu 

thee (m.) 




you ku 


Shi (or sa) 

4. The forms of the personal pronouns which are used 
with the simplest form of the verb to denote the perfect tense 
(cf. p. 27) are as follows: — 





thou (m.) 












1 sa is » rarer form. 

, and should 

not he 

used by 


beginner except 

with Ihe prepoiition ma, to; 


to hiiK ; 

mat«; to her (see 

cxplanalion, chap. is.). 




It will be seen from what has been said that there are 
three distinct seta of personal pronouns. They may be 
compared with the corresponding three sets in French : — 



as subject of verb. 

noi ni 

me ni 

je na 

.oi(m.) kai 

K(m.) ka 

tu(m.) ka 

(f.) ke 

(f.) ki 

(f.) ki 

ui Shi 

le Shi 

il ya 

elle ita la ta elle ta 

6. The forms of the substantive verb "to be" (am, is, art, 
are) which are most commonly used are, masc, ne or ke ', 
fem., ke or che. The pronouns used with them are the 
first or disjunctive forms. Ex. : shi ne sariki, he is a head 
man. tsofua che, or ita tsofua che, she is an old 
woman, ni falke ne,, I am a trader, ku fatake ne, you 
are traders. For the future of the verb " to be " see p. 32. 
The use of the substantive verb a is explained later on. 

6. The verb " to have" may be rendered in Hausa by the 
use of these forms, ne, ke, che, followed by the preposition 
da, with. Ex. ; ni ke da doki, I have a horse, lit., I am 
with a horse- 

7. A noun cannot be used as the direct subject of a verb, 
other than the substantive verb. A pronoun must also 
be used before the verb. Ex.: the man went cannot be 
rendered mutum taf{f)i, but mutum ya taf(f )i. 

Vocabulary I. 







falke, pi. fatake 


mutum, pi. mutane 




yaro, pi. yara 


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yarinia girl 

tsofo, fern, tsofua old 

taf(f)i to go, go away 

zo to come 

ji to hear, understand 

hawa, hawo, or hau to mount 

da with 

Exercise I, 

ka ji ? na ji. mutum ya hawa doki. mutane 
sun tath. mu fatake ne. sanki tsofo ne. falke 
ya zo. ni ne, sariki shi ne da bawa. ni ke da 
bawa. sariki ne da doki. mache ta ke da yarinia. 
kai ne sariki? ni sariki ne. mache ta taf(f)i, 
tsofua che. bawa ya ji. ni tsofo ne. falka bawa 

I am the headman, he is a slave. The boy mounted the 
horse. The girl went away. You are a woman. Did you 
(pi.) understand ? We understood. The men came. The 
traders have a horse. The king has a slave. The head- 
man understood. The traders have boys. I have it. The 
slave came. The girl has a horse. She is a girl. You 
(m.) are old. You (f.) are old. 

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1. T\ie' demonslrative pronouns— 

this (near by), 
pi. these 

) iwonan or 

3 wanan 


ga, -nga 
r wonchan 
, ,. ' < or wan- 

P'""™ I Chan 


that (over there) , ( 

v/od((il)anan or 

wod(d)anga or 


or wad(d)an- 

The forms -nga, -rga, -Iga, are used as suffixes to nouns, 
the latter two forms being suffixed to feminine nouns, 
thus litafinga, this book ; kofarga, or kofalga, this door. 

The forms nan and chan, which are the same in the 
singular and plural, follow the noun to which they are 
attached, whereas the remaining forms precede it. Thus 
wonan litafi or litafin nan, this book ; wochan hainya 
or hainya chan, that way; wod«l)anan mutane or 
mutane nan, these men. In cases where nan or chan 
is used, the preceding word frequently suffixes n. Ex. : 
machen nan, this woman; yaron chan, that boy; abu, 
thing, becomes abin. Ex, ; abin nan, abin chan. 

wonan . . . wonan and nan . . . nan are equivalent 
to this . . . that; thus ka so wonan litafi ko wonan, 
did you wish for this hook or for that ? The expression 


shi ke nan (lit. it is this) is very commonly used to denote 
all right !' that is so. 

2. The ordinary relative pronoun (i.e. who, which, and the 
objective whom) is wanda, fem. wadda, pi. wad(d)ai>da. 
All three forms are frequently contracted to da, which does 
not vary for the feminine or for, the plural. Before the 
abbreviated form of the relative, da, the genitival n (or 
fem. r) is frequently suflSxed to the preceding word. Ex, : 
doki da ya gudu ya fa^i, or dokin da ya gudu ya 
fadi, the horse that ran away fell down ; akwia da ka 
gani, or akvriar da ka gani, the she-goat which you saw. 
When the relative pronoun ts used as a nominative it must 
be followed by the personal pronoun, thus, yaro wanda 
ya gudu (not yaro wanda gudu), the boy who ran away. 
When the relative pronoun denotes the objective or accusa- 
tive case, a personal pronoun in the objective case is 
usually added after the verb, thus, mutum wanda ka 
nemesbi, the man whom you sought (lit. whom you 
sought him). 

abinda (from abUj a thing, -da, which) is used as a 
relative pronoun to signify " that which " or " what." 

3. Interrogative pronouns. The following pronouns are 
used in asking questions : — 

singular. plural, 

masc. fem. 

who? or > wa, wanene wache, suwa, suwane, 

which?) wacheche suvranene 

what? mi, mine, 

The forms mi, mine, minene do not vary for the femi- 
nine or for the plural. Ex. : wanene wanan, who is 
this ? kai wanene, who are you ? suwane ne, which 
are they? wanene chik{k)insu, which of them ? 
wache chik(k)insu, which woman among them ? 
In interrogative sentences the personal pronoun is placed 


before the verb as well as the interrogative pronoun, thus, 
wa ya fad(d)a maka labari, who told you the news ? 
wane, fern, wache, pi. wa4{d)ane, is used as an adjec- 
tival interrogative pronoun, thus, wane doki ke nan 
wanda ya gudu, what horse is it that has run away ? 
wache mache che wonan wad(d)a ta zo, what 
woman is it that has come ? wad(d)ane mutane ke nan, 
what men are these ? The plural is also expressed by 
inverting the sentence and using the plural of the demon- 
strative pronoun, thus, vrad(d)anan yara suv^anene, 
who are these boys ? (lit, these boys, "who are they ?) 

4. The genitive is expressed by placing na or -n between 
the object possessed and the possessor. The -n is the 
abbreviated form of na ; and while the latter is a word in 
itself, the former (which is used the more frequently) is 
suffixed to the word which it follows, i.e. the object pos- 
sessed. Ex.: doki na sariki, the horse of the chief, 
becomes in ordinary conversation dokin sariki, the chiefs 
horse. If the object possessed is feminine, ta should be 
used in place of na, and -r or -1 in place of -n ; but when 
the object possessed is plural, na or -n must always be 
used. Ex.: akv^ia ta bake, the she-goat of the stranger, 
or akwiari bako, the stranger's she-goat, avwakin bako, 
the stranger's goats. 

5. The possessive pronoun Whose ? is expressed by 
placing the name of the object possessed before the inter- 
rogative pronoun and then using the genitival form na or 
• n, fem. ta or -1 or -r. Ex.: dokin wanene ke nan or 
doki nan na wanene, whose horse is this? diar wa- 
cheche ki kc, whose daughter art thou ? (i.e. who is your 
mother ?) 

6. The negative. To express negation ba is placed before 
the pronoun which is the subject of the verb and after 

' The masculine form of the 
Elriclly ipeaking, the feminine Ought to be used. Ex. ; 
matar sanki, the wife of the king. 



either the verb or the whole statement negatived, as the 
case may be. Ex. : ba ya gani ba, he did not see. ba 
ya gani mutum ba, he did not see the man. The im- 
perative or deprecative negative " do not " is represented 
by kad(d)a, which precedes the personal pronoun. Ex. : 
iad(d)a ka gudu, don't run away. 

The first personal pronoun, when preceded by the nega- 
tive, drops its vowel, so that ba na becomes ban. There 
is, however, another form, ba na, which is never contracted 
and which denotes the future, cf. p. 32, 

The conjunction " that " e.g. he said that this is so, is 
not expressed in Hausa. 

In the case of the word mutum, a man, which ends in 
a consonant, an e appears before the genitival suffix -n. 
Ex. : mutumen sariki, the king's man. mutumenga, 
this man. When mutum is followed by nan or chan, it 
is written mutumen nan, mutumen chan. 

Vocabulary II. 




door or gate 




road, path, way 











rua (masc.) 


gid(d)a (inasc.) house 

abu, CT abin thing 

gudu to run, run away 

nema ' to seek 





to tell, explain 


to say 

fa.Ja, fa<li, or 
fa4{d)a, fad(d) 

J to speak, tel! 


to fight 


to fall 

gani,' ga = 

to see 

sani,' san(n)i 

to know 


to follow 


to be sufficient 


the inside 



ma 3 

to (prep.) 

Exercise II. 

mi yaro ya fada maka ? ya che rua ba ya issa 
chik(k)in gid{d)a, mache ta taf(f)i ? wache mache 
cbe wadda ta zo ? yarinia da ka gani ita ke nan. 
dokin v/a ya gudu ? dokin bako ne. v^o^(d)anan 
mutane mi sun che maka ? ban ji ba. wane 
labari shi ya fada maka ? ya che mutum wanda 
ka nema ba ya zo ba. shi ke nan na ganshi. 

wa ke da dokin sariki ? ban sani ba, ban ga 
doki ba. yaron nan ya che bawan sariki ke (or, 
shi ke) da doki. abinda ka gaya mani ba hak(k)a 
ba ne. wache hainya ka bi? na bi hainyar 
fatake. wa ya gaya maka labari 7 mutum wanda 
ka gani chik(k)in gid(d)a. 

This is the man whom you sought. The stranger 
followed the road (of) which you told him. This woman 

' The final i in gani and sani is frequently omitted, especially before 
the personal pronouns ; e.g. na ganshi, I saw him. 

' When (he verb to see is followed by a noun, ga is used in preference 
to gani. 

* Specially used befoie Ibe personal pronouns. Ex. : maka, to thee. 



is the daughter of that man. That man is the son of this 
stranger. Whose son is this boy ? He is the son of the 
king's slave. The girl did not understand the news which 
you told her. She says that the boy has run away. Who 
told her so ? The slave whom you saw in the house. Who 
are you ? I am a stranger. Whose son are you 7 I am 
the king's son. Who is that ? He is the trader's slave. 
What did you hear ? What I heard is the news that I 
told you. Whose horse did the king mount ? The horse 
of the stranger who followed you. This woman has the 
girl whom you saw. 



1. The indefinite pronouns are : — 



wata wod(d)an8uor 
or wasu 

some one, wan 


a certain 

person or 

thing (used 


and prono- 

any one, kowa,kowa- kowa, kowa- 

every one, nene checbe 

each one 

(used as a 

any, every, kowoni kowache (not used in 

each (used plural) 

as an ad- 

anything, komi, komi- 

e very thing, nene 


it be, what- 

There is a further pronoun, wane, meaning " so and so." 
Ex : enna wane ? where is so and so ? the name being 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 


known but not mentioned. The word kaza is used in a 
similar way in speaking of things. Ex. : na bashi abu 
kaza, I gave him such and such a thing. 

wroni . . . vroni denotes the one . . . the other : 
wosu . , , wosu, some . , . others. 

No one may be rendered by ba kowa, babu kowa, 
ba wanda, or babu wanda. ba komi or babu 
komi, nothing, kowoni is combined with the plurals 
of- the personal pronoun, thus, kowonlnmu, each of 
' us; kowoninku, each of you; kovroninsu, each of 

It will be observed that the greater part of the indefinite 
pronouns are formed by prefixing the particle ko to the 
interrogative forms, thus, wa, who 7 kowa, any one. mi, 
what? komi, anything, ko denotes either, or; and in 
negative sentences neither, nor. ko is also used in sen- 
tences where a negative meaning is implied though not 
expressed, thus, ko daia, not even one. It is also used as 
an indefinite pronominal prefix, as already explained. It is 
further used as an adverbial prefix to convey a sense of 
indefiniteness, like the English ever, thus, enna, where ? 
koenna, anywhere, everywhere, wherever, yaushe, 
when ? koyaushe, at any time, always, whenever, yan- 
zu, now; koyanzu, even now, immediately, ^aka, how!' 
kokaka, however, any how. 

2. The reciprocal pronouns Ate formed by prefixing juna, 
followed by the genitival particle -n, to the plural forms of 
the personal pronouns, thus, junanmu, junanku, junan- 
su, one another. Ex.; ba su so junansu ba, they did 
not love one another, juna can also be used by itself 
apart from the personal pronoun, thus, tnun yi murna da 
juna, we rejoiced with one another. 

8> Reflexive and emphatic forms of the personal pronoun 
are formed by using the words da kai (lit. with the 
head) together with the simplest forms of the possessive 



pronoun (na,i ka, ki, sa, ta, mu, ku, su, see chap, iv.)- 
Thus :— 

I myself ni dakaina 

thou th3:self kai dakainka or kai dakanka 

fern, ke dakainki or ke dakanki 
he himself shi dakainsa or shi dakansa 

she herself ita dakainta or ita dakanta 

we ourselves mu dakainmu or mu dakanmu 

you yourselves ku dadainku or ku dakanku 
they themselves su dakainsu or su dakansu 
The literal translation of the foregoing pronouns would 
be, I by myself, Slc. 

kaina, kanka, kansa, &c.,are used as reflexive pronouns 
in the objective case. Ex. : ya bata kansa, he destroyed 

4- The noun-agent in Hausa is formed in a manner which 
closely resembles the Arabic, viz. by prefixing mai- pi. 
masu- to verbs and substantives. Ex. : gudu, to run ; 
maigudu, a fugitive ; masugudu, fugitives. gid(d)a, a 
house ; maigid(d)a, the owner of the house. 

ma- is used in a somewhat similar way before verbs to 
form (i) nouns of the agent. Ex.: saka, to weave; ma- 
saki, pi. masaka, a weaver. (2) Nouns of place. Ex.: 
sapka, to unload ; masapki, a lodging. {3) Nouns of the 
instrument. Ex. : dauka, to take ; madauki, a handle. 
In cases where the verb to which ma- or mai- is prefixed 
ends in a, the singular of the compound form ends in i. 
The word maaike (or maaiki) has a passive meaning, and 
denotes the person sent. Ex. : maaiken allah, the 

Vocabulary III. 
murna gladness, joy 

kai head 

madauki handle 
I This is used instead of ihe form wa, cf. p. 13, _, , 





money (lit. cowries) 






to beat, hit 


to destroy 


to weave 


to carpenter 


to unload, put down, alight 


to take, Uke up 


to bring 


to wish, Uke, love, be willing 






on, upon 






where ? 




when ? 


whenever, at any time 









Exercise III. 

wonan mutum ya che ba ya sani ba wanda ya 
kawo kurdi. kad(d)a ka fada ma kowa labari. 
woni ya hawa doki woni ya hawa jaki. kai wa- 
ncne ? ni ne yaronka. yaushe masasaki ya kawo 
madauki? ban sani ba. fatake sun bata junansu. 
mutane sun sapka kowa ya taf(f)i gid(d)ansa. 
abinda na fada maka kad(d)a ka fada ma kowa 
chik(k)in garinka. yaro nan ya gaya mani shi 


bako ne ya che ba wanda ya sanshi. maigid(d)a 
ya che shi dakansa ba ya sani ba. 

Some fugitives on the road told me this news. Which 
road did they follow ? Some followed this road, others 
followed that one. Every one knows this. There is no 
one who does not know him. Each man brought his 
money. Each of them went to his house. Where is this 
horse's saddle ? It fell down on the road. The owner of 
the horse himself looked for it, but did not see it anywhere. 
Whose donkey did the boy bring ? The merchant's. The 
boys beat each other. Don't hit yourself. 

n,r.^^<i "/Google 


The use of the possessive pronouns in Hausa appears at 
first sight to be highly elaborate, but when carefully studied 
it is seen to be comparatively simple. There are two sets of 
possessive pronouns; (i) separable, (2) inseparable. The 
first correspond to a large extent, though not invariably, to 
the English pronouns mine, thine, &c., or the French le 
mien, le tien, &c. The second, i.e. the inseparable forms, 
correspond to the English my, thy, &c., and the French 
mon, ton, &c. 

1. The sepanible possessive pronouns axe composed of two 
parts, the first of which is the genitival connective na, fem. 
ta, while the second part is the personal pronoun. This 
genitival connective always agrees in gender with the thing 
which is possessed. Ex. : lit2ifi naku ne, the book is 
yours, but akwia taku che, the she-goat is yours. The 
forms of the personal pronoun to which this genitival con- 
nective is joined in order to make the possessive pronoun 



(of) us 


thee, m. 







-sa, -shi 





Note. — It will he seen that the above are the same as 
the oblique cases of the personal pronoun given in chap. i. 
3, with the exception of the first person, which is -wa 
instead of nj.. 

D,g,t,.?<l I,, Google 


In the following table 

m. and f. denote the gender of 

possessor :— 

when object fos- 
sessed is masc. 

w}un ohjectpo^ 
sessed is fern. 

mine or my, m. 






thine or thy, m. 







nasa, nash: 

i tasa 

hers or her 



ours or our 



yours or your 



theirs or their 



Ex, ; uba naka ne, it is thy father, or, the father is 
thine, shows that the person addressed is a man. If the 
person addressed is a woman it would be uba naki ne. 
uwa taka chc, it is thy mother, or, the mother is thine^ 
shows that the person addressed is a man. If the person 
addressed is a woman, it would be uwa taki che. 

S. The following are the inseparable forms which are 
suffixed to the substantives which they qualify. They are 
for the most part obvious abbreviations of the separable 
forms. Here, again, it will be seen that the only difference 
between the above and the oblique cases as given in chap, 
i. 5 is that the first person is na instead of ni (as in the 
oblique cases), or -wa (as in the case of the separable 

M. and f. denote gender of possessor — 

my, m. and f. 
thy, m. 

-nsa, -sa, •shi 

when object pos- 
sessed is fern. 

-rka, -Ika 
-rki, -Iki 
-rsa, -Isa (-Ishi) 
-rta, -Ita 

■,..<, .yGoogic 



when object pos- when object pi. 
sessed is masc. sessed is Jim. 


-rmu, -Imu 


■rku, -Iku 


-rsu, -Isu 


Ex. : ubanka, thy father (lit- the father of thee), 
shows that the person addressed is a man. If the person 
addressed is a woman it would be ubanki. uwarka, thy 
mother, shows that the person addressed is a man. If the 
person addressed is a woman it would be uwarki. 

The forms nasa and tasa, his, hers, are frequently 
shortened to nai and tai, but when these shortened forms 
are used their use and meaning is the same as that of the 
inseparable forms. They cannot be used absolutely for hi-^, 
hers, &c. 

Vocabulary IV. 

kasua market 

chiniki trade, bartering 

wuri place 

aboki friend 

gona farm 

karatu or karatu reading, education 

malam mallam, teacher 

rubutu writing 

kaya, m. a load, loads 

maikaya, pi. ma- the owner of a load 


maidaukan kaya, a carrier 

pi. masudaukan 


kare, to finish, end (usually intrans.) 

gam(m)a to complete, finish (trans.) 

fit(t)a to go out 

fit(t)o to come out 

'..>y Google 


koiya (followed 

to teach 

by ma) 


to learn 


to give 



tare da 

together with 





Exercise IV. 

gid(d)anga naku ko nasu ne ? ba namu ba ne, 
na sariki ne wanda ka ga dansa chik(k)m kasua. 
mutanen nan ba su ne sun taf{f)i garinka tare 
da ni ba. matar wanene ke nan ? matata che. 
akwia nan tawa che. fatake sun yi chinikinsu, 
sun kare. enna su ke yanzu? yanzu sun fit(t)a 
dag(g)a kasua sun taf(f)i garinsu. enna abokinka? 
ya taf(f)i wurin sarikinmu. kurdi nan naka ne ko 
nata ne ? aa nasu ne ba namu ba ne. gona da 
na gani talcu che ko ta wanene? tamu che. 

The teacher says that the boy whom you brought does 
not like reading. The mallam taught his son to write. He 
has taught mine nothing. He bartered his donkey. I 
gave him my horse. The king said to the traders that 
they must not bring their loads into his market. The 
carriers picked up their loads; they went oiF. The loads 
that they took are mine. The man who owns this load 
went away with your friend. Where are the loads ? I do 
not see mine. 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 


1. The tense which may best be described as x^^perfui 
ienst, though it is also sometimes used to denote present 
action,^ is formed by prefixing to the simplest forms of the 
verbal stem the pronouns given in chap. i. 4 (i.e. na, ka, f., 
kin, ya, f,, ta, mun, Itun, sun).^ The following are 
instances of the use of this tense where present action is 
denoted : ka ji bausa ? do you understand Hausa ? mun 
ji, we understand, mun gode maka, we thank you. 
mun yerda, we agree, sun fimu, they surpass us. 
mun iya, we are able. This use is specially common 
where the verbs ji, to understand, sani, to know, or gani, 
to see, are employed. The expression na yi may denote 
either I did, I have done, or I do. 

2. There is another tense which maybe called the narra- 
tive or historic past, which is specially used in narration 
and in dependent sentences. In the singular the forms 
given for the perfect tense are used;* in the plural the 
forms used are : — 

we muka or munka 

you kuka or kunka 

they suka or sunka 

1 This use of the perfect for ihe preseni tense may be compared with ihe 
Arabic use of Ihe perfecl for the purpose of expressing the future in certain 
classes of events ; e.g. to express an act the occurrence of which is so 
certain that it may be described as having already taken place ; in 
promises, ba^ains, oaths and asseverations. Cf. Wright's " Arabic 
Grammar," vol ii. I, e, and f. 

' The final n in the plural is probably not part of tlie pionominal form, 
but is a verbal suRix. 

' The form itika, for the fem. sing, of the second person, ii found. . 



Ex. : muka taf(f }i kasua muka zamna muka yi 
chiniki muka komo, we went lo the market, sat down, 
traded, and returned, saanda muka taf(f)i kasua 
muka zamna, &c., when we went to the market we sat 
down, &c. 

This tense is also used in dependent sentences to express 
future action as well as past. Ex.: idan suka zo gobc, 
if they come to-morrow. 

3- The present tense expressing present and continuous 
action is formed by prefixing eitlier to the simple form or 
more frequently to the verbal substantive formed from it, 
the following modifications of the personal pronoun. 
Whether the suffix na is actually part of the pronominal 
form or some form of auxiliary verb need not be discussed 

I (am) ina ni ke 

thou (art), m. kana ka ke 
f. kin a ki kc 

he (is) shina, yana, yina. shi ke, ya ke, yi ke 

she (is) tana ta ke 

we (are) muna mu ke 

you (are) kuna ku ke 

they (are) suna ' su ke 

The above tense may be used to express continuous 
action, even though the action be complete; e.g. shekara 
goma yana taf(f)ia har ubansa ya hannashi, he 
had been travelling for ten years till his father stopped 

4. The verbai subslaiilive, which roughly corresponds to 
the English present participle, is formed by suffixing -a to 
verbs ending in -i, and -wa to verbs ending in -a, -e, 

1 na ia often used where we should have expected suna ; ,.^. .. 

a yin hak(k)a, the men are doii^ so, dawaki na gudu, the horses 
e running away. 

■,..<, .yGoogic 


The verbal substantive formed from zo, to come, is zua, 
coming. Ex.: from taf(f )i, to go, and taf(f)o, to come, 
are formed the verbal substantives taf^Oia, going, 
taf(f)owa, coming ; thus kana taf(f)ia, thou art going ; 
ina taf(f)owa, I am coming. 

There are many verbs from which verbal substantives do 
not appear lo have been formed. In these cases the fdrms 
of the personal pronoun given above can be used before 
the simple forms of the verb. Ex. : yi, to do or make, 
mi kana yi, what are you doing? ina aiki, or ina yin 
aiki, I am working. 

In cases where these forms of the personal pronoun 
are used with the simple forms of the verb followed 
by a substantive^ a connective -n is generally suffixed to 
the verb. Ex. : kana yin aiki ? are you engaged in 
work ? 

6. Where any of the above tenses or the verbal substan- 
tive is used in negative statements, the following pronouns 
must be used : na or nt, ka, ki, ya or shi, mu, ku, su. 
Ex.: ba ya zua ba, he is not coming, ba mu taf(f)i 
ba, we did not come, ba shi da abinchi, he has nothing 
to eat. 

6. The forms ending in -ke are very seldom used with 
verbal substantives. They are most commonly used in 
asking questions or in the answer to a question in which 
this form has been used. Ex.: mi ku ke yi, what are 
you doing ? Ans. aiki mu ke yi, we are working. If this 
statement had not been the answer to a question, it would 
have been muna yin aiki. It is impossible to give defi- 
nite rules in regard to the use in any particular instance 
of the forms in na or ke. This can only be satisfactorily 
acquired by practice. 

The verbal pronouns ending in -na, when followed by 
the preposition da, with, can be used to denote possession 
in the same way as the forms ne, kc che ; cf. p. 10. Ex. : 
shina da abinchi, he has something to eat. 



Vocabulary V. 


going, journeying, a journey 




use, advantage 

rua, masc 

water, rain 


hour, time 


something to eat, food 







yau, yo 





kind, sort 




folsehood, a lie 





ran a 

su„, day 




to rise up, start 


to come 


to sit down 


to return, to come back 


to return, to go back 


to prevent, hinder 


to enter, go in 


to enter, come in 


to be spoiled 


to eat 


to find, obtain 


to bring 


when, the time when 


why ? 

domin or 

don because, because of, in order that 





da and 

har, hal until 

idan if 


dag(g)a enna mutumen nan ya taf(f)o? ya fa4a 
mani ya fit(t)o dag(g)a kano, ban san abin da ya 
kawoshi ba. enna anfanin gid(d)anka ba ya hanna 
rua ya shig(g)a chilt(k)i. saanda muka komo muka 
ga kayanmu duka sun bache. enna ubanka ? 
shina taf(f)owa. kana son taf(f)ia tare da ni? ina 
so. mi 5u ke yi yanzu? suna chin abinchinsu. 
mi ku ke kawowa ? abtnda muka samu chik(k)tn 
kasua. minene P surdi da linzami da likafa da 
kayan doki duka, ina taf(f)ia da su wurin sarikin 

The man whom you saw yesterday has come. He says 
he is coming again to-morrow. My boy says that the rain 
prevented his travelHng. What is the use of saying this ? 
I know it is not true. You are lying. Your friend gave 
me something to eat ; yesterday I ate nothing. When we 
heard the news we started ; travelling day and night, we 
arrived here. What is the use of this horse ? It fell down 
yesterday and has fallen down again to-day. Why are you 
sitting here ? I am looking for something to eat. The 
king is entering the town ; he is coming directly. We went 
to the market and found everything we want. When we 
entered the house we sat down and ate our food. 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 


1. The futurt tense is expressed in Hausa in two principal 
ways, (i) By prefixing the particle za to the personal 
pronoun ; (a) by suffixing the particle -a to the same 

Thus we have : — 


thou wilt, m., za- 
f., za- 

he will 

za-ni, zan, or (ni-a) contracted to nft or ni 



(ya-a, shia) 


mu-a often 

ku-a (never contracted) 

su-a often „ sa 


she will 
we will 
you will 
they will 

The two forms have distinct meanings, but are sometimes 
interchangeable. The first, za-ni, corresponds to the 
EngUsh I am going to, I am about to ; the second, nft, &c., 
to I will, I shall. Ex. : I am going to start, zan tashi. 
All right, I'll start, to, nfi tashi. 

In the second form the future is expressed by laying 
stress on the pronoun, the voice being distinctly raised. A 
further method of expressing future action is by means of 
the passive formations, and will be referred to later on. 

The future of the verb " to be " is formed by using 
zam(m)a, to become, with either of the forms of the future 
given above, ka zani{m)a talaka, you will become poor. 


2. Tke Infinitive. — There are three separate uses of the 
infinitive in English. It is used — 

(ii) As an abstract substantive, e.g. to travel is trouble- 

(^) In cases where two verbs occur, the latter of which 
is dependent upon the former, the latter being an infini- 
tive, e.g. I wish to go. 

{e) To express purpose, e.g. he brought food to eat. 
This use is called in modem English grammars the gerun- 
dial infinitive. 

There is no infinitive form in Hausa. The above three 
English uses of the infinitive are represented in Hausa as 
follows :— 

(a) is represented by the verbal substantive (as stated 
before, chap. v. rule 4, there are many verbs in which 
the simple verbal form is also the substantive form, e.g. 
chi, to eat ; chin abinchi, the eating of food). Ex.: To 
travel is troublesome, taf(f)ia ta yi wohal(l)a, cr taf(f)ia 
da wohal(l)a ta ke. Sleeping is pleasant, ber(i)chi ya 
yi dacli, or ber(i)chi da da^i ya ke, or ber(i)chi yana 
da da^i' 

(f)) is represented either by — 

(1) The verbal substantive. Ex.: I wish to go, ina son 
taf(f)ia. I intended to go,' da zani t8f(f )ia (Ht. formerly 
I was going to go). 

Or by (2) a subjunctive or conjunctive mood formed by 
prefiKing the following pronouns to the simple verbal 
form : — 

singular, plural. 

1st person en' ^ (em' before b), n' mu 

2nd m. ka ku 

f. ki 



Ex. I wish to go ina so en taf(f)i 

I wish him to go ina so shi (or ya) taf(f)i 

Did you intend to go? ka yi nuf(f)i ka taf(f)i 

(f) is represented — 

(i) By the verbal substantive as in {i) i, Ex.: I am . 
preparing to travel, ina shirin taf(f)ia. 

(2) By the use of the subjunctive mood, as in (d) 2. 
Ex. : I shall try to come back, na yi ^okari en komo. 
I sent him to bring the horse, na aikeshi shi kawo doki. 

(3) By the use of the future forms beginning with za, 
introduced by relative pronouns or particles. Ex.: Isent 
a man to bring a horse, na aike (mutum) wanda zashi 
(or zaya) kawo doki. There is nothing for me to eat, 
ba abin da zan chi. I taught him how to clean a gun, 
na koiya masa yad(d)a (or ^nda, or w3d(4)3) za shi 
(or zaya) wanke bindiga. 

(4) By the use of various conjunctions. Ex. : I sent him 
to bring the horse, na aikeshi don (or domin, or garin) 
shi kawo doki, or, na aikeshi garin kawo doki. 

(5) When the subject of the English infinitive is the 
same as the verb on which it is dependent, the connective 
word in Hausa, whether conjunction or preposition, is 
frequently omitted. Ex.; ya taf(f)i neman doki, he 
went to seek the horse, na taf(f)i halbi, I went to 
shoot. In both these cases garin, "for the purpose of," 
might be inserted after the first verb, halbi and nema 
being thus treated as verbal substantives. 

3> The particle kan (kam before b) is a defective 
auxiliary verb, and is used to give to the verb with which 
it is used (i) a frequentative or habitual sense ; (2) a sub- 
junctive or concessive sense ; (3) a sense of necessity or 

Ex.: (i) shi kan yi hak(k)a, he is in the habit of 
doing this, almajiri shi kan bid(4)a dengi nai, the 
pupil would seek after his relations (cf. B 137). 



(2) wanda ya chi giginia chik(k)insa ya (or shi) 
kan yi chiwo, he who eats (the fruit of) the fan-palm 
(some day) his stomach wi]l suffer (lit. be sick). 

(3) shi ne shi ke shak(k)a azaban lahira sai ya 
gamu da wuta ya kan che kaitaro, the man n-ho 
doubts the pain of the next world, when he meets the fire 
will say, Alas ! 

kan is used with the following pronouns : ni (or na), ka, 
ki, ya or shi, ta, mu, ku, su. 

There is another particle, ka, which may perhaps be an 
abbreviated form of kan. It appears to have a future 
meaning similar to za. Its use is mainly conlined to 
poetry. For examples cf. list of proverbs, chap. xv. 

abinda hankali ba ya gani ba kaka ido shi ka 
gashi kurkurkur, what the iatelligence does not perceive, 
how will (or can) the eye see it clearly ? (B 32.) 

4. The word sai is used in the following senses 1 — 

(i) Only, except, or but ; thus, sai wonan, this only. 

(z) Until, sai ka tsufa, (wait) till you grow old. 
sai gobe, till to-n 


berchi, or 
hankali ' 



sleep, or to sleep 


attempt, endeavour 
intelligence, carefulness 





fan palm, or deleb palm 



a well 


1 hankali is commonly 
hankali, take care ! 

used 0! 

i an intetjeclion, Tims, hankali, or y 

D,g,t,..db, Google 









to intend, purpose, desire (verb 

haibi, harbi 

or noun) 
to shoot 


to wash, clean 


to seek, search for 


to be able 

jin tsoro 

to be afraid, feel fear 


there is, there are 

da, or daa 

of old, formerly 

ii, orl. 



nothing, not any 



don, domin, 


1 as conjunctions, in order that : 
as prepositions, on account of 

yad(d)a, kanda. 

wa4(d)a how, the way in which 


all right, very well 

Exercise VI. 

ban sani ba abinda zamu yi yanzu. idan ka 
taf(f)i wurinsa ya fa^a maka labarl. kowa ya zo 
gld(d)ana ni kan bashi abinchi. mata chan ta che 
ba zata taf{f)i ba sal mun zo, en ba ka bani 
gaskia zan taf(f)i. ya che ya baku gaskia idan ku 
ka ganshi gobe. kana son taf(f)ia da rana ko da 
dere ? taf(f)i da dere da wohal(l}8 amma idan ka 
so na yi kokari. ka iya taf(f)ia? ba na iya ba; 
ina son ber(i)chi domin idona yina chiwo. na 

pjss, and can direcily precede a substanlii-e 
■i where the infinilive is used in English. 
It ka iya yin rubutu, are you able to wii:e ? 



fad(d)a masa shi kawo mani bindigata, ya che 
zashi wanketa. 

I told him I would not see him till to-morrow because it 
was useless to see him to-day. There is no one in this 
town who speaks the truth. Did you do what I told you 
to do yesterday ? No, I did not do it. Will you do what 
I tell you ? I cannot. These men wish to tell you the 
truth, but they are afraid, We are going away to-morrow ; 
if we come back we shall see you again. I am not going 
away ; I will await your return. I am constantly in the 
habit of going to the market and doing business with the 
traders. If I send a boy to bring them, will they come ? 
Yes. I want you to clean this gun. I cannot, I intended 
coming to .see you. Did you intend to go ? 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 


The Passive Voice. 

1, The passive voice is formed by prefixing an, aka, or 
anka to the simple form of the verb, the distinction between 
the three forms corresponding to the three indicative forms, 
mun, muka, munka ; i.e. an denotes the perfect. Ex. : 
ankawoshi, it is brought, it has been brought, aka and 
anka denote the dependent or narrative past. Ex. : 
saanda akakawoni, at the time when I was brought; 
jia akayi wonan abu, yesterday the thing was done. 

2* As will be seen from these examples, the subject, 
whether substantive or pronoun, is placed after the verb in 
the passive. The forms of the personal pronouns used, 
which are the same for all tenses of the passive, are the 
following; — ni, -ka, -ki, -shi, -ta, -mu, -ku, -su. 

3- The passive voue of the continuous present is formed by 
prefixing ana or ake to the simple form of the verb. These 
correspond to ina and nikc in the active voice. The latter 
form is chiefly used in asking or answering questions, as in 
the active voice ; cf, V 6. Ex. : anakoreni da yunwa.^ 
I am being driven away by hunger, 

4. This prefix can also be used with the verbal substan- 
tive. This formation represents a kind oi passive impersonal, 
and consequently the subject is omitted. Ex. : anaka- 
wowa, they (it, &c.) are being brought (lit. there is being 
done a bringing), anazua da su, they are being brought 
(lit, there is being done a coming with them). 

' This may also be expressed by anakorana, or anakorata. , 



In certain instances, however, the subject, if a substantive, 
can be added, anakawowan dawaki, the horses are 
being brought (lit. there is being done a bringing of 

When ana is prefixed to the simple form of the verb 
a connective n is usually placed between the verb and its 
subject. Ex. : anasamun mutane, the men are being 

6. The above forms, an, aka, anka, ana, and ake, 
cannot be used with a negative. The negative of the above 
ttn^i of the passive is expressed in alt cases by prefixing a- 
to the simple form of the verb or to the verbal substantive. 
Ex. : ba akoreshi ba, he was not driven out. ba azua 
da shi, he is not being brought. 

6. The two forms of the future tense which are expressed 
in the active voice by prefixing the particle za- or suffixing 
the particle -a to the personal pronoun, are expressed in 
the passive voice by prefixing za- to the shortest passive 
form ; viz. that in a-, or by prefixing a long emphasized &•. 
Ex. : za3kash(sh)eshi, he is going to \x killed ; ftkash- 
(sh)eshi, he will be killed. 

7. The imperative mood of the active voia is formed by 
prefixing the personal pronouns ka, ki, shi, (ya), ta, mu, 
ku, su, to the simplest form of the verb. Ex. : ka bani 
wanan, give me this. This might be translated equally 
well, thou didst give me this. That the sentence is in- 
tended to be imperative is shown by the intonation or by 
the context. 

In the second person of the imperative the pronoun is 
very generally omitted. From je, to go, are formed 
jeka (m.), jeki (f.), go! get out I yaka (m.), yaki (f.), 
come ! is a defective verb. These are apparently the only 
two cases in which the pronoun follows the verb. 

It will be seen that the above imperative pronouns are 
the same as the subjunctive pronouns given in chap, vi., 
rule 2. In the semi- imperative use of the first person, let 


me, the subjunctive en is used, en tashi, let me 

The imperative mood of the passive voice is formed by pre- 
fixing short a (to be disdngaished from the long a of the 
future passive) and suffixing the personal pronouns as given 
in rule 2 of this chapter ; e.g. akoreshi, let htm be driven 

The English active imperative is frequently expressed by 
the use of the passive forms of the verb. Thus, akawoshi, 
let it be brought, would frequently be substituted for 
(ka) kawoshi, bring it. When the passive forms are 
used, the final pronoun is frequently omitted in cases 
where there is no risk of a misunderstanding arising. 
Thus, akaw/o, lit. let be brought, is frequently used for 

8. The passive voice of the subjunctive mood is formed in 
the same way as the imperative passive, namely, by pre- 
fixing the short S and suffixing the pronouns given in 
rule 2 of this chapter, Ex. : ba na so akoreshi, I do 
not wish that he should be driven away ; or, I do not wish 
him to be driven away. 

The negative of the subjunctive and imperative, whether 
active or passive, is expressed by kad(d)a, do not, let not, 
that not, lest, placed before the pronoun in the active, or 
before the verb ia the passive. After k3d(d)a the pronoun 
of the imperative must not he omitted. Ex.: inajin tsoro 
kad(d)a akoreni, I am afraid lest I may be driven away. 
ya chc kad(d)a enyi hak(k)a, he said that I was not to 
do so, ya che kad(d)a ayi hak(k)a, he said this was 
not to be done. kad(d)a ayishi, don't let it be done. 
kad(d)a ku yi hak(k)a, don't do so. 

9. There are certain verbs which acquire a passive or 
intransitive sense by changing the last syllable into che, or 
she, and which form a past participle passive by adding 
this passive termination to the active form. The following 
are some of those most commonly found :— 

'..>y Google 


bata, to spoil 

lalata, to spoil 
(tr. or intr.) 

busa, to blow 
(tr. or inlr.) 

tafassa, to boil 

rikita, to con- 
fas{s)a, to break 

bache, to be 

lalache, to perish 

bushe, tobedry 

tafassu (or ta- 

fasshe), to 

boil (intr.) 
rikiche, to be 

fashe, to break 

(tr, or intr.) 

past /•articipli passive. 
batache, pi, batatu, 

lalatache, pi. lalata- 

tu, perished 

dried up 
tafassashe, boiled 

rikitache, p'. rikita- 
tu, confused 

fasashe, pi. fasasu, 

The past participle passive may also be formed by 
reduplication : — 

dafTa, to cook daffafe, pi, dafFafu, cooked 

nuna, to be ripe nunane, pi. nunanu, ripened 
tara, to collect tarare, collected 

mutu, to die, has a past participle, matache, pi. matatu, 

Vocabulary VII, 




the day before ; 




watan jia 

last month 

watan gobe 

next month 







flesh, meat 

nesa or nisa 


v,,,^ Google 


da nesa, or 

distant (used adjectivally and adverbi 

da nisa 



to leave, leave alone, allow 


to kill 


to drive away 


to think, suppose 


,, „ 


to cut, slaughter (of animals) 


to ask 

awoje, woje outside (adverb and preposition) 

gare to (used with the personal pronoun) 

bar ab(b)ada for ever 

tukuna as yet, not yet, presently 

kad(d)a do not, that not, lest 

Exercise VII. 

taf(f)i wurin sariki ka gaya masa shi atke man- 
zonsa gareni. ina so en tambayeshi ko ambashi 
abinchi. ya che ambashi kurdi amma ba abashi 
abinchi ba tukuna. anzo da mutane? tukuna, 
anazua da su. ka gaya masu kad(d)a su ji tsoro 
ba zaakoresu ba. abersu su taf(f )i ? idan sariki 
ya che Sbersu, abersu. kana tsamani sa (or sua) 
zo chik(k)in watan nan ko watan gobe ? ba zasu 
zo ba chik(k)in watan nan. suna taf(f)owa ko ba 
su taf(f)owa ba ? na kare aiki nan shekaranjla 
abani woni, yaki ya kare ? aa yaki ba ya karewa 
har ab(b)ada. 

If the ram has been killed, do not let the men eat the 
meat, because if they eat they won't want to travel far. 

sod occauonally before (he objeci 
bini atone, bill beri mu taf(f)i, 
not the direct object of beri. 

v,,,^ Google 


When the messenger comes, do not let him enter the 
house; he must sit down outside until I return. Where is 
this thing to be found ? I don't know ; nothing like it is 
to be found here. Do not let your boy mount my camel 
lest he fell. Give me water from the well in your house, 
for I have nothing to drink. Tell him that if he comes to 
see me to-morrow I will not see him. It is all a lie ; there 
is no truth to be got from them. I feel glad that you have 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 


1. Ix the Semitic languages proper the verbal sleitr 
undergoes a series of changes, by the addition of various 
prefixes, by doubHng one of the existing consonants, or by 
modification of the vowel sounds. In this way some fifteen 
voices, or changes of meaning somewhat resembling voices,, 
are obtained. In the Berber language, to which Hausa is- 
probably allied, there are ten such voices, though the 
changes in the verbal stem do not bear any close resemblance 
to those in Arabic. In Ilausa there appear to be traces of 
four or five such, though, with the exception of the ordinary 
passive formation, it is doubtful whether it is possible to- 
connect them with any uniform changes of meaning. 

2. The ordinary form of the Hausa verb ends in a, e, i, 
o, or u. It seems impossible to assign any distinct mean- 
ings to the first three terminations, which are also found in 
Nup^ and Fulah, Many verbs seem to be used indifTerently 
with each in turn. In certain cases the termination e i& 
apparently used when followed by a direct object only, 
and the termination a when this object is qualified by the 
addition of some subsidiary clause. Ex.: nature mutum, 
I pushed the man out. na tura mutum a ma, I pushed 
the man into the water.' 

As has been already, stated, in cases where the simple 
form of the verb ends in a or u, this form changes its final 
letter to e when followed by a pronoun which is its direct 
object. Ex. : na samu mutane, I found the men ; but, 

' Cr. Mlschlieh's" Lehrbuch der hausanischen Sprache." Berlin, 1902, 
p. 47. 



^a samcsu, I found them, ya dauka kaya, he took up 
the load; but, ya daukeshi, he took it up. There are a 
-certain number of exceptions to this rule. Ex,: ya tara 
mutane, he collected the men ; ya tarasu, he collected 
ihem. ya karasu, he increased their number. 

3. In cases where a verb uses more than one of the 
terminations a, e, and i, there is usually some distinction 
of meaning denoted by the different forms, though it does 
not seem possible to suggest any general rules. Ex. : ya 
fad(d)a mani, he told me ; but, ya fa^(d)i gaskia, he 
told the truth, ya fa4i, he fell down ; ya fa^i kas(s)a, 
he fell to the ground, ya fada a rua, he fell into the 
water ; but, ya fada rua, he flung himself into the water. 

4. The termination o suggests movement towards the 
speaker, or something done for the benefit of the speaker. 
Ex.: taf(f)i, to go; taf(f)o, to come, kai, carry away; 
Jcawo, bring here, wanke, to wash ; wanko,' wash it and 
bring it back, nema, to seek (neme before a pronoun) ; 
nemo, to seek and bring, koiya (followed by ma), to 
■teach; koiyo, to learn. In some cases o is the only 
termination employed. Ex. : so, to wish. 

6. The termination u is generally used where a passive 
•or intransitive sense is intended. Ex. : bude, to open ; 
budu, to be open, or to be opened, tara, to collect 
■(trans.) ; taru, to assemble, bara, to increase ; karu, to be 
increased. gani(m)a, to join together ; gam(m)u, to be 
joined, to meet (intrans.). 

mutu, less commonly mache, to die, both intransitive, 
and samu, to find, transitive, do not conform to the above 
rule, samu is, however, used in a passive or intransitive 
sense in the expression, hainya ta samu, there is a road, 
or the road is obtained ; i.e. the road now exists. 

6. From these forms in -u are obtained forms in -uwa, 
■which, in addition to their passive or intransitive meaning, 

' There is a third form, wonka, used wiih yi, which denotes to wash 
Ihe whole body, to bathe. It b probably a vetbil subalanlive. 

'..>y Google 


also denote potentiality or the opposite. These forms may 
be regarded as passive verbal substantives, and are used 
with the same pronominal forms as the active verbal sub- 
stantives. Ex. : shina yiuwa or yuuwa, can it be done ? 
ba shi yiuwa, it can't be done, gulabe suna ketaruwa, 
can the rivers be crossed ? ba ta amrua or aurua, she is 
not marriageable, ba na damua, I am not to be 

7. Apart from the variations of the terminal vowel 
already given, a number of suffixes are used with certain 
verbs. It seems impossible to connect any uniform changes 
of meaning with the use of these suffixes. 

The following are examples of such changes : — 

ba, to give. Ex.: ya bashi ita, he gave her to him. 
bada takes a preposition before the indirect object. Ex. : 
ya bada ita gareshi, he gave her to him. Where 
the accusative follows the verb directly bada is used in 
preference to ba ; where the indirect object follows the verb 
directly bada must not be used. Ex.: ya bani kurdi, 
he gave me money ; but, ya bada kurdi ga mutane, he 
gave money to the men. It is als^ used idiomatically thus : 
bada girima, to honour ; bada gaskia, to believe ; bada 
laiB, to accuse; bada hainya, to give way, but hainya 
ta badamu zua gari, the road led us to the town ; 
bayes or bayar, to give up, restore. When followed by 
an object da' is added. Ex.: na bayes, or, na bayes 
da shi, I gave it up. 

tara, to collect, put together; taras, tarda, or taras- 
da, to overtake, come up with. Ex. : na tardashi, I over- 
took him. tarie, to meet, go to meet, welcome.'' 

chi, to eat ; chida or chishe (followed by pronoun), to 
give to eat. Ex. : na chisheshi, I gave him to eat ; 
chinye, or chainye, to eat up. 

zuba, to pour, be spilt ; zubas, or zubar (when followed 

r:,9,N..<ib, Google 


by an object da is added, as with bayes), to pour ; zubda, 
to pour, or to upset (water). 

tashi, to rise : tada, or tashe (before a personal pro- 
noun), to make to rise, mise, 

bata, to destroy, be spoilt ; batas, batas da, to destroy ; 
bache, to be spoilt. 

kwana, to spend the night ; kwanta, or ytn kwanche, 
to sleep, lie down to sleep. 

manta, or manche, to forget. 

saiya (before a pronoun saiye), to buy ; saiyar, saiyes 
(when followed by an object, saiyes da, saiyer da, or 
Said^), or saishe (before a personal pronoun), to sell; 
saiyo, to buy and bring back.' 

8. The force of verbs is frequently intensified by the re- 
duplication of the first syllable. Ex.: tsaga, to (ear; 
' tsatsaga, to tear to pieces. chik(k)a, to fill ; chichik(k)a, 
to fill to the full, buga, to strike ; bubuga, to strike 
repeatedly, gusa, to gush out ; gurgusa, to gush out 
abundantly, tara, to collect ; tatara, to heap up. 


kaaa, kas(s)a ground, earth, land 

yawo a walk 

yin yawo to go for a walk 

gulbi, pi. gulabe river 

dilali broker 

zan(n)e a piece of cloth 

saura rest, remainder 

daji, or jeji bush, scrub, uncultivated forest land 

en(n)ua shade 

zuba to pour out, be poured out 

tara to collect (trans.) 

' Tbere is no verbal substanlivc formed from saiya, ot saiye, to buy. 
Thus, saiye da saiyerua (or saiyeswa,), buying and selling. 



to open 


to shut 


to join together (tran 


to increase 


to die 


to cross 

amrc.or aure 

to marry, marriage 


sin, offence 


to drink 


to buy 


to refuse, deny, hate 

saiyar, saiyas 

to sell 


karba, karbi 

to receive, accept 


to mix, confuse 

Exercise VIII. 

kara mani abinchi, ba ya issa ba. to, n& ikarashi. 
bawana ya taf(fji netnan yaro ba ya sameshi ba, 
kai ka taf(f)i ka nemoshi. Ina so ka kai zan(n)e 
nan wurin dilali shi saidashi, idan ya sayer ka 
karbi kurdi ka sayo mani rago ka kawo sauran 
kurdi. doki nan na sayerwa ne? aa ansayes da 
shi jia. ina so en sayc rakumi enna akesamunsa? 
masurakumi suna chik(k)in kasua suna saye da 
sayerwa. gulbi nan shina ketaruwa ? aa ba shi 
ketaruwa, ba ya bushewa bar ab(b)ada. kana so 
sariki shi baka jirigi domin ka ketare? sariki ya 
che ka ba shi abinsa. to na bayes. 

My friend welcomed me-on the road. I met the traders 
in the bush ; they were lying in the shade. I made them 
get up and take me to the town. Get up and bring me 
water to drink. I filled my water-bottle this morning, but 
it was spilt on the way ; my boy upset it. How did you 


Spoil this book ? I don't know ; I found it spoilt. Boil me 
some water. The water has boiled. Give me some boiling 
water. When the food is cooked, tell me. Give mc some 
cooked food. The meat is cooked. Go to the market and 
buy me a saddle. The man who has the saddle refuses to 
sell it. Are there no saddles to be found in the market } 
Go to some one else and buy. 

D,g,t,.?<l I,, Google 


1. The following are the prepositions most commonly 
used I — 



ga, gare 

to, towards 




to, for 

da (see note on various 


uses of da below) 

na, -n, fem. ta 




don, domin 

on account of 

tun, tunda 

as far as, since, until 


except, until, but 

banda, bamda 

apart from, in addition to 

In addition to the above a number of words are used as 
prepositions which are not strictly such, e.g.: — 





bis(s}a, bis{8)an 

in, into (from chik(k)i, 

the interior) 
outside (from woje, the 

in front of (from gab(b)a, 

the fi-ont) 
behind, beyond (from 

bay a, back) 
on top of (from bis(s)a, 

the top) 

■'..>y Google 




n, or kar- 

under (from kalka(8)shi, 


the under side) 



in the midst of, between 


(from tsak(k)a and 
tsak(k)ani, the midst) 


at the place of, with (from 
wuri, place) 


with (from gu, place, 
which cannot be used 
by itselO 


instead of 


or sab- 

oti account of (from A rabic 


<^, with da suffixed) 


for the sake of (probably 
from gari, a place) 


on, upon (probably a con- 
traction of a-kain, at 
the head of) 


in exchange for (probably 
from baki, a mouth) 



in exchange for (from 
maimaki, asubstitute) 


instead of (Arabic) 

zua, ya zua 



with reference to (from 
bat(t)u, conversation) 

ma is most commonly used with the personal pronouns. 
Ex. : maka, to thee, na goda maka, I thank you. The 
vowel is often assimilated to that of the governed pronoun. 
Ex. : mini, or mani, to me ; miki, or maki, to thee (f.) ; 
mishi, or mashi, to him; mum u, or mamu, to us; 
muku, or maku, to you ; musu, or masu, to them. 
The forms inaka and masa are frequently abbreviated to 
ma and mai. The form muna is also found, meaning to 
us. It is frequently used to govern substantives after verbs 


implying telling or sending. The student can only learn 
by practice when it is used otherwise. Ex.: na dakanta 
ma (or wa) sariki, I waited for the king. 

ga is frequently combined with other particles. Ex. : 
bis(3)a ga, upon ; kus(s)a ga, near Co ; baya ga, behind ; 
gab(b)a ga, in front of. ga is used before substantives, 
gare before pronouns. It is used to denote possession, 
Thus, garent, I have (lit., to me). The following forms of 
gare with the third person singular are found : — garas(3)a, 
garus, and gare ; the last form may be a contraction for 
gareshi, compare mai and tnashi, or it may be an absolute 
use, the pronoun being understood. 

a, at, to, in. It is almost equivalent to ga, but is of 
much less frequent occurrence. It is often prefixed to 
the prepositions gare, chik(k)in, and bis(s)a. Prefixed 
to baya, gab(b)a, kas(s)a, it is used adverbially ; thus, 
abaya, behind ; agab(b)a, in front ; akas(s)a, or akass, 
on the ground ; awoje, outside. 

wa is specially used after verbs meaning to tell. Ex.: 
kad(d)a ka gaya wa kowa, do not tell it to any one. 
Its use with other verbs is very rare. Ex. : ya yenke wa 
sariki kune, he cut off the king's ear. It cannot be used 
before personal pronouns. 

na. For uses of na, see chap. ii. 4. It is placed before 
the cardinal numerals to form the ordinals. Ex. : nabJu, 
fem. tabiu, second; cf. also nabaya, fern, tabaya, that 
which comes after, second. 

dag(g)a is frequently combined with other particles. 
Ex. : dag(g)a chik{k)i, from within ; dag(g)a baya, 
from behind, afterwards ; dag(g)a chan, thence, yonder ; 
dag(g)a enna, whence ? dag(g)a nesa, from afar ; dag(g)a 
garesu, from them. 

tun, tunda. The following are some of its commonest 
uses, some of which are conjunctival, tunda safe, since 
the morning ; tun haifuanka, tunda akahaifeka, or 
tunda ka ke, since your birth ; tunyaushe, since when ? 



how long ? tunda da dere, since last night ; tundadcwa, 
long since, from a long time, tun or tunda before n^a- 
tives means before. Ex. : tun bai mutu ba, even before 
he is dead. 

sai. Examplesof its use are, sai wota rana, (farewell) 
till another day ! sai anjima, good-bye for the present I 
sai gobe, (farewell) till to-morrow I sai wanan, only this 
sai ambideka, (wait) till you are sought for. sai lafia, 
quite well (used in answer to salutations). 

chilc(k)in. The expression chik(k)insa may either be 
inside it, or its inside. 

woje. Ex. : wojenka, with you. woje nan . . . 
dag(g)a woje chan, on this side ... on that side, ina 
taf(f)ia woje, I am walking outside. 

bayan. Ex.: bayansa, in his absence ; lit. behind him, 
ya taf(f)i bayan gari, he went outside the town. 

bis(s)a sometimes signifies " concerning." Ex. : bis(s)a 
zanche nan, concerning this conversation. bis(s)a 
yerdan allah, by the will of God, or, if God will. bis(s)a 
ga, in regard to. mi ka che bis(s)a gareni, what did 
you say about me ? 

t$ak(k)anin. Ex. : ya zamna tsak(k)anininu, he sat 
down between us. 

wurin. Ex. ; na zo wurinka, I have come to see you. 
Iita6 nan yana wurina, this book is in my possession, 
ansa wani wurinsa, another was put in his place. 

gun. Ex.: gunchan, over there. 

gurubin. Ex.: gurubinsa, in his place. 

garin. Ex. : ya taf(f)i garin yawo, he went (or, has 
gone) for a walk, na fit(t)o garin shan hiska, I have 
come out to enjoy (ill. drink) the air, 

akan. Ex.: akan doki, or bis(s)a kan doki, on 

ya zua. zua, and less frequently ya zua, are em- 
ployed with any number or person to express, to, unto. 
Ex. : 8vm taf(f)i zua (or ya Zua) sokoto, they went to 


Sokoto. hal ya zua yanzu, even to the present time, 
muna godia zua ga allah, we give thanks to God. 

Verbs of motion, such as taf(f )i, do not require to be 
followed by any equivalent for the English " to " when 
used with nouns of locality. Ex. : ya taf(f)i gari, he 
went to town ; but, ya taf(f )i ga sariki, he went to the 

Several adverbs of place, e.g. kus(s)a, near ; nesa, far ; 
ajere, in line ; daura (or dab(b)ara), alongside (but not so 
close as to touch), when followed by da, or less frequently 
by ga, or gare, are used as prepositions ; e.g. kus(s)a 
gareka, near to you ; su tsaya daura da juna, they stood 
side by side. 

ft. The word da is used as 2. preposition, coHJuneiion, adverb 
and relative pronoun. The following are its chief uses : — 

(i) Instrumental. Ex.: ya sareshi da takobi, he cut 
him with a sword. 

(a) Comitative, especially with tare, together. Ex. : ya 
zo tare da ni, he came with me. 

It is frequently used with verbs of motion. Ex. : taf(f)i 
da shi, go off with it; i.e. take it away, ya zo da shi, 
he came with it ; i.e. he brought it here. 

(3) From this comes the regular method of expressing 
possession) in Hausa. Ex.: suna da bindiga, they have 
a gun ; lit. they are with a gun. ina da shi, or, ni kc da 
shi, I have it. The expression da shi is often equivalent 
to " there is." 

(4) It is used to denote competition or contest. Ex. : ya 
yi fa^(^)a da wani mutum, he fought with a certain 
man, ya fini da keau, he excelled me in beauty, na 
li so (or fis(s)o) wonan da wonan, I prefer this to that. 

(5) It is prefixed to substantives in order to form adjec- 
tives or adverbs. Ex. : da anfani, useful ; lit. with use. 
da rai, alive, da wuri, early. 

' For use of the subslanlive verb a, to denote possession, cf. chap. xv. 


(6) da is also used as a sufiix to many verbs. Ex.: 
saiyes, saiyesda, to sell. 

(7) da is also used as a simple copulative with two or more 
substantives. It must not be used as the English word 
" and " to connect sentences, da ... da denotes both 
. . . and. The expression kus(s)a da kus(s)a (i.e. close 
and close ?) is equivalent to ku8(8)a da juna, close to each 

(8) da is also used as a conjunction or adverb, meaning 
when, where, or if. Ex. : da en yi wonan gara en 
mutu, I would rather die than do this ; lit. if I do this, it 
would be better to die. 

(9) da ... da are used in hypothetical sentences thus : 
da na sani ' da ban yishi ba, had I known, I would not 
have done it. da ni kai ne da na dawoiyo, had I 
been you, I would have returned here. 

(10) da is also used as a relative pronoun, meaning 
" which," especially in the expression, abin da, the thing 
which, saanda, or simply da, is used for the time when ; 
enda, or simply da, for " where." 

3. There are two other words da and da, formed from 

quite distinct roots. 

da, a son, is used in the following ways: — 

(i) Meaning son. Ex.: dan uwana, my brother; ht. 

son of my mother. 

(2) When followed by the name of a place it means a 
native of that place ; e.g. dan zozo, a native of Zozo. 

(3) It denotes character or occupation. Ex.: dan daki, 
a servant; lit, son of the house, dan yaki, a soldier; 
lit. son of war. dan gari, a citizen ; lit. son of the 

(4) It forms the diminutive of many nouns. Ex. : 4^" 
kasua, a little market, dan rua, a small stream. 

1 The expression da na sani, had I kacwn, is fret^uently used bjr 
itself to denote Tcmorse. Eirman kai da da na sani da haiinchi, 

pride and vain excuses and deceit. 

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(5) It denotes the young of animals. Ex. : dan tumkia, 
a lamb. 

(6) It means one who is free, as opposed to a stave. Ex. : 
ni da ne ba bawa ba, I am free : not a slave. 

{7) It is used in various idiomatic ways. Ex. : dan 
garumfa, one who carries his own toad ; lit. son of a straw 

da {pronounced da with a long sound) means " of old," 
and is frequently used with lokachi. Ex. : lokachin da, 
in olden time, mutanen da, men of old. It is often 
preceded by na. Ex. : kaman nada, as of old. 

It is used idiomatically to express unfulfilled inten- 
tion. Ex. : da za ni yin hak(k)a, I had intended to do 

Vocabulary IX. 










kango, pi. kangaye 


tumkia, pi. tumaki 


kiyauta, kiauta 




yin magana 

early morning 



will, consent 

air, wind 


beauty, goodness 


a ruin 




a present 

an elephant's tusk, ivory 

a pack ox 


to talk 




ture, pi. turawa 

a white man, a Toi 


a mud brick 


to consent 


to form up in line 


to beget 


to cut 


it is better 


to return here 

gin a 

to build 


alike, correct 


or daura 



ina so ka taf(f)i wurin sariki ka che da shi na 
gode masa sab(b)oda kiyauta da ya aiko mini. 
dag{g)a enna fatake nan suka lit(t)o ? dag(g)a 
yola, zasu kano da hauri. tunyaushe su ke 
taf(f)ia? watansu biu a hainya. ina so ralcumi 
idan na baka doki abakin rakuminka ka yerda ? 
aa ba ni da rakumi da zan baka sai takarkari. da 
na sani hak(k)a da ban zo-wurinka ba. ka gan 
shi? ii da na je gid(d)an$a na sameshi zamne a 
kofar gid(d)a tare da dansa anachewa da shi 
yusufu. da mutanen kasanga su kan yi fad(<|l)a da 
juna. ka gaya wa masukaya su tashi su tsaya 
ajere da juna. aa ba hak(k)anan ba. su jeru 
daidai ba na so su tsaya daura da juna. 

Go to my friend and tell him I am coming to him; I 
want to talk to him about the horse. During the whole of 
my life I have never seen its like till to-day. The men 
whom you see are people going to the farms ; they have 
come out from the town ; they don't sleep outside the town 
for fear of war. Why are they Still afraid ? Now that the 
white men have come, there is no more war. Were it not 
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for war, you would see towns close to each other all over 
this country ; now, except for ruins, you see nothing in the 
bush. This town was built before the war with Tukur, 
Emir of Katio ; it was taken before you came. What will 
you give me in exchange for this ? 

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Formation of the Plural. 

There are two numbers in Hausa, singular and plural. 
The plural of nouns is formed in a large number of different 
ways. In the ease of words ttiding in a, ike plural is 
formed; — 

(i) By changing the final a into i, ai, or u. 

(2) By adding ne, ni, ki, ye, or yi to the singular. 

(3) By changing the final a into O, reduplicating the last 
syllable, and adding i. 

{4) By changing the final a into u and adding una. 
(5) By adding je or she to the singular. 

singular. plural. 

(i) hankaka hankaki crow 

dorina dorinai hippopotamus 

alura alurai needle 

shekara shekaru year 

{2) kaka kakani grandfather 

uba ubane father 

kwana kwanaki day 

gona gonaki farm 

giwa giwaye elephant 

(3) yasa yasosi finger 
fuska fuskoki face 
tufa tufofi clothes 

(4) sanda sanduna stick 
riga riguna tobe gown 
ganga ganguna drum 

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singular. plural. 

(S) gid{cl)a gid(d)aje house, compound 

bis(s)a bis(s)ashe beast 

kuda kudaje fly 

kasa kasashe earth, land 

The plural of nouns ending in i is formed: — 
(i) By changing the final i into a or ai. 

(2) By an irregular reduplication of the last syllable. 

(3) By changing the final i into una or aye. 









shoe, sandal 









garurua, garuruka 








room, hut 




The plural of nouns ending in e is usually formed by 
rregular reduplicalion : — 

singular. plural. 

kar(r)e karnuka dog 

haske haskoki, haskaikai light 

The plural of nouns ending in O is formed : — 

(1) By changing the final o into a or i. 

(2) By changing the o into aye, aje, una, or anu. 
{3) By adding ni or ri to the singular. 

(4) By irregular reduplication. 
si?igular. plural. 

(i) yaro yara boy 

makafo makaB a blind man 

(2) kango kangaye a ruin 

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idanu, idanduna 





tsofa6, tsoB 






an idle person 

an old man 
; usually formed by 

The plural of words ending i. 
adding a or na to the singular. 
singular. plural. 
hanu hanua hand 
taru taruna net 

Many nouns use several different forms of the plural. 
The following list will illustrate some further ways in which 
plurals are formed : — 




sarakuna, sarakai, 
saraki ■ 




kawuna, kanua 



dawaki, dawakai 









jakuna, jakai 



suradi, surada, sur- 
duna, surdodi 



biraye, birai, hi- 
rari * 


itache, or itche 






v,,,^ Google 








tnaza, mazaje 

a male 


bayi, bai " 




a load 


ayuyuka, ayuka, 
aikoki,^' aikuna^ 



iri iri, irare 

kind, tribe 



cowry, shell 



a fowl, hen 

It will be observed that as a general rule dissyllables add 
a syllable in the plural ; words of more than two syllables 
seldom do so. 

Almost any noun can be used collectively and construed 
as though it were plural ; thus we may say, mutum biu, 
or mutane biu, two men, shekara goma, ten years. 

Patronymics, which are formed in the singular by prefix- 
ing ba to a modified form of the name of a country, make 
their plural by dropping the prefix ba and adding the ter- 
mination wa. Ex.: bahaushe, pi. hausawa, a Hausa 
native, balarabe, pi. larabawa, an Arab, bature, pi. 
turawra, a white man. But bafulache, a Fulane, forms 
its plural fulani. 

Abstract substantives usually end either in chi or ta. 
E.g. ragonchi, idleness, from rago, idle, diyauchi, or 
^iyanchi, freedom, from dia, free, chiv/uta, sickness, 
from chiwo, ill. mugunta, wickedness, from mugu, bad. 
la several cases forms with both suffixes are found ; thus, 
kuturchi, or kuturta, leprosy, from kuturu, to be 
leprous, bauchi, bav^anchi, or bauta, slavery, from 
bavva, a slave. 

The suffix chi sometimes denotes the office or work of a 

1 When iri means kind, Ihe pronoun used with it agrees in numl>eT and 
gender with the substantive which follows iri. E.g. li 

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person or thing; e.g. turanchi, that which belongs to the 
Arabs, the Arab language, taka is used as a suffix in a 
somewhat similar sense ; e.g. bakontaka, the service done 
to a stranger, from bal;o, a stranger, yin bakontaka, to 
show hospitality, barantaka, service, from bara, a 
servant, ^^yantaka, freedom, is used in the same way as 

Exercise X. 

enna maisanduna nan ya taf(f )i ? kayanka nawa 
ne. suna dayawa. to t ta{({)i ka shiria ka kawo 
kayeyekinka duka maza maza. falken nan ya 
ded(d)e da zua garin nan ? ii ya yi shekaru daya- 
wa da zuansa. achik(k)in kwanakin nan za ya 
tashi zua gid(d)ansa. sariki ya yi doka ya che 
mutane su gera dakuna achik(k)in gtd(d)ajensu. 
achtk(k)in kasan hausa akoi sarakuna dayawa. 
banda sarikin gari mutum maiduban kasua anche 
da shi sarikin kasua, mutum maijirankofa shi ne 
sarikin kofa, akoi wod(d)ansu kuma dayawa. wad- 
(d)ane irin birai ne abakin ruan binue ? iri iri 
har babu iyaka ; wad(cl)anda sun fi yawa suna da 
fuskoki kaman karnuka. ka aike wa masudawaki 
su yi surada da sauri. anzo da jakuna ? tukuna, 
sai rakuma. zo mana ka agajeni. 

In Hausaland the houses are built of mud-bricks and 
roofed with palm-stalks and grass; that is men's work ; the 
women beat in the floor of the house. Are there any fish 
in the market ? Yes. The king has issued an order that 
no trees are lo be cut down close to the town ; now the 
slaves have to go some distance to cut and bring firewood. 
This is the kind of sandals that I want. There is no lack 
of towns in Kano territory. The Hausas live in towns, the 
Fulani herdsmen live in cattle camps. Tell the headman 
of the canoes to send me all his canoes to this side ; I want 

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to cross the river. These goats are not mine; catch my 
goat for me out of them and drive the rest out of the com- 
pound. There are a great many blind people in Kano; 
some of them were formerly mallams ; now they are unable 
to teach boys to read. From here to Kano, how many 
days' march is it? The rain will be coming in a few 

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1 daia 

2 bin 

3 uku 

4 fudu, hudu 

5 biar, bial, biat 

6 shid{d)a 

7 bok(k)oi 

8 tok(k)08 

9 tara 
lo goma 

[I goma sha daia 
[2 goma sha biu 
[$ ashirin biu babu 

ashirin gaira biu 
9 ashirin daia babu, 
ashirin gaira daia 

ashirin, ishirin 

1 ashirin da daia 

ijOoo dubu, alif, zambar- 

i.ioo alu wai minya 

i,300 alu wa metin' 

1,300 dubu (or alif) da dari uku 

1,400 alu wa arba mia 

1,500 alu wa hamsa minya (or mia) 

1,600 dubu da dari shid(d)a 

1,700 dubu da dari bok(k)oi 

1,800 alfin gaira metin 

' Acomiptionoflhe Arabic alif wa, i.e. "a thousand 

22 ashirin da biu 

30 tal(I)atin 

40 arbain 

50 hamsin 

60 sittin 

70 seb{b)aiin 

80 tamanin 

90 tis(s)ain 
100 dari, mia, minya 
200 metin, metain 
300 dari uku 
400 arba mia 
500 4ari biar, hamsa mia 
600 dari shid(d)a 
700 dari bok(k)oi 
800 dari tok(k)os 
900 dari tara 


1,900 alfin gaira minya (or mia), alfin gatra dari 

2,000 alfin, alfain, zambar biu"*" 

3,000 tal(l)ata, zambar uku 

4,000 arba, zambar fudu 

5,000 hamsa, zambar biar 

6,000 sitta, zambar shid(d)a 

7,000 sebaa, zambar bok(k)oi 

8,000 tamania, zambar tok(k)05 

9,000 zambar tara 

10,000 zambar goma 

100,000 zambar dari 

200,000 zambar metin 

1,000,000 zambar dubu, zambar alif 

The word guda corresponds to the English " unit." Tt 
is used with numerals, thus, guda uku, three in number; 
, , . guda . . . guda, one . . . another (cf. B 25) ; shi 
do guda, guda ta tsire, let him try to take one, the 
other escapes, guda guda is used like daia daia for 
" one at a time," guda nawa denotes how many ? 

In the case of the numbers 11 to 17 inclusive the word 
goma is generally omitted in conversation ; thus 13 would 
be simply sha uku. The two numbers just below the 
decades are expressed by using babu, nothing or not, or 
gaira, less; thus, tal(l)atin daia babu, 29; d^ri gaira 
biu, 98. This system is often applied to the two decades 
below the hundreds. Ex.: metin gaira ashirin, 180. 

The rule for forming compound numbers is to place the 
largest numbers first and connect each succeeding numeral 
by inserting da, "and." Ex.: dubu da ^arl tok(k)os 
da ashirin da daia, 1,821. 

The numerals used to express the decades are taken from the 
Arabic, and in most instances those used to express hundreds 
and thousands. In some cases, as will be seen from the 
above list, either the Hausa or Arabic forms can be used. 
The cardinal numbers do not admit of gender. They 
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follow the nouns or pronouns to which they refer. Ex. : 
ku uku, you three, daia is combined with the personal 
pronouns ; thus, daianmu, one of us ; " two of us " would 
be biu dag(g)a chik(k)in mu. 

hauia, 20, is often used for counting cowries for numbers 
divisible by zo. Ex. : hauia biu, 40 ; hauia uku, 60 ; 
las(s)o is also less frequently used in the same way. 

gomia, a plural form of goma, is sometimes used in 
counting cowries for expressing the decades above la Ex.: 
gomia biu, 20. 

zangu denotes 100 cowries, kororo is used south and 
west of Zaria to denote a bag containing 20,000 cowries. 

The ordinal numbers are formed by prefixing na (masc.) 
or ta (fera.) to the cardinal numbers, except in the case of 
the first, which is formed from fara, to begin. 

mate. fern. 

nafari tafari first 

nabiu tabiu second 

□aiilcu taiiku third 

nabaia (m,), tabaia (f.), "after," is often used for 
"second." Above ten, cardinal numbers are usually em- 
ployed instead of ordinals. 

The adverbial numerals " once," " twice," &c., are formed 
by prefixing sau to the cardinal numbers ; thus, sau daia, 
once ; sau biu, twice ; sau uku, thrice, &c. 

The distributive numerals are formed by repeating the 
cardinal numbers; thus, ya kilga kurdi biar biar, he 
counted the cowries out by fives, or, ya bada biu biu ga 
mutane, he gave two to each of the men. 

Fractional numbers. Half is expressed by shasbi or 
rab(b)i (from rab(b)a, to divide). The other fractions are 
seldom used, and have obviously been borrowed from the 
Arabic. Those most commonly found are sulusi, a third ; 
rubui, a quarter; humusi, a fifth; sudusi, a sixth, 
subtii, a seventh ; sumuni, an eighth ; ushuri, a tenth. 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 


Exercise XI. 

rakumin nan kurdinsa nawa ne ? yina da araha, 
kurdtnsa ba su dayawa, zambar (lari da hamsin 
ne. aa da tsada, yi mini rongomi. to na reg(g]e 
maka alfin. aa hatnsa dai. to, na reg(g)e maka 
tal(l)ata wa hamsa mia. sht ke nan na yerda, zam- 
bar dad da arbain da shid(d)a da kurdi dari biar 
ke nan. kad(d)a ka kirga kurdinka shid(d)a 
shid(d)a, kirgasu biar biar. sau nawa ka taf(f)i 
sokoto ? ban taba taf(f )ia sokoto ba amma na 
taf(r)i wurno sau uku. kai madugu rab(b)a kurdin 
nan tsak(k)anin masudaukan kaya, bia su dubu 
dubu. mutum uku su tashi biu dag(g}a chik(k)tnsu 
su dauko rua, na ukunsu shi nemo itache. doki 
nawa akakawo 7 guda goma. guda nawa ne naka 
chik(k)insu. ko daia. ni talaka ne ko wun ba ni 
da shi. yaushe zaka yi wonan aiki 7 ba ni da 
dama da sanu ni yi. 

The price of a camel in the Kano market is from 120,000 
to 600,000 cowries ; of a horse, from 50,000 to 300,000. 
The price of a donkey is about half that of a horse. What 
was the price of a slave before a white man came to Kano ? 
A girl used to be sold for 200,000, a boy for 150,000. 
Every day you would see about 500 slaves in the market. 
I have got three horses; one of them has a sore back, 
another is lame, the third I have lent to a friend ; that is 
the reason for my going afooL What is the price of an egg 
in Hausaland ? The Hausas do not eat hens' eggs, only 
guinea fowls' eggs. If a stranger asks for hens' eggs they 
will bring them to him ; of the eggs that they bring quite 
half are bad. You have not told me what I asked you, the 
price of eggs. Their price at Lokoja is high ; one costs 
100 cowries ; but at Kano they cost 20 cowries apiece. 



Gendeh ; Adjectives, &c. 

1. The Hausa language, unlike many of the languages by 
which it is surrounded, possesses a distinct gender forma- 
tion. Many of these languages know of no distinction 
except that existing in nature, which is as a rule expressed 
by a totally distinct word. Hausa possesses two genders, 
masculine and feminine. All words which denote the 
female sex are feminine, and, in addition, nearly all words 
in the language ending in a. The feminine sex is denoted 
by various modifications of the masculine termination. As 
in English, the plural forms include both genders. Ex.: 
sa, bull ; saniai cow ; shanu, oxen, cattle. 

masc. Jem. 






elder brother 


elder sister 


younger brother 


younger sister 
























female servant 




maid, virgin 





old man 


old woman 










male camel 


female camel 


he- goat 





As a general rule, all words ending in a are feminine 
except those whicR denote the male sex. There are, how- 
ever, exceptions. Ex.: taberma, mat; guga, bucket; 
rua, water; baka, a bow ; nama, flesh ; gid(d)a, a house; 
zuma, honey ; kaya, a load ; kwaya, a grain. 

In certain expressions karta, falsehood, and gaskia, 
truth, are used as masculine. Kx, : karia ne, it is a lie. 
gaskia ne, it is true. 

The word safe, early morning, has also a feminine form, 
safia. safe ya yi, the morning came, kowache safia, 
every morning. 

2. There are very few genuine aJjeciives in Hausa. Most 
words used as such are either past participles of verbs, or 
are formed by prefixing certain prepositions or other 
particles to nouns. The adjective usually follows the noun 
which it qualifies; thus, mutum nagari, a good man; 
rua kad(^)an, a little water. It is placed before the noun 
when it is specially desired to emphasize the idea conveyed 
by the adjective. In this case -n is placed between it 
and the noun following; thus, bab{b)an sariki, a great 

3. Adjectives are inflected in order to express gender 
and number. The masculine gender may end in any vowel ; 
the feminine ends in a, or in some modification of a, such 
as ia, ua, or unia. There is no distinction of gender in 
the plural, the termination of which is usually ye or u. - 
nagari, good, forms its feminine tagari. 

4. The following is an approximate list of all the simple 
adjectives : — 

masc. fern. plural. 

algashi algasa algasai, algasu green 

bab(b)a bab(b)a mainya' great 

bak(k)i bak(k)a babaku, bakake black 

' Usually reduplicaled, mainya mainya. , ~ i 










fresh, raw 







fanifaru, farare 



gajera or 




















small, little 

karami ' 












raw ay a 

r a way a 





sabui, sababi 








tsoffi, tsofafi 



empty, bare, 

6, The following are instances of fait participles used at 




1. plural 


chikakia chikaku 



wankakia wankaku washed 


dafafia dafafu 



konania konanu 



tafasashia tafasasu 


tuyaye, toyaye toyayia toyayu 


6. The particles most commonly used as prefixes to 

' karami frequently borrows its plaial from l^aiikane. 
* This woid ought perhaps to be regarded as a sulwtandve, but it is 
often used adjeclWally. Ex. : wofln mutum, a woitblets man. 




nouns in order to form adjectives are mai, ma, dai 
maras. Words to which mai is prefixed form their 
plurals by changing mai into masu ; words beginning 
with ma form their plurals by a modification of the last 
syllable. The prefix maras {formed from ma and ras(s)a) 
forms its plural maras(s)a. Words compounded with da 
have no separate forms for the plural. None of these 
compound forms have a separate form for the feminine. 

The following are examples of adjectives formed by the 
addition of prefixes : — 

Miasc. and fern. 




da karifi 

ma ike a u 


da keau 

good, nice 

da rai alive 

makafo makafi blind 

maras hankali inaras(s)a han^ali senseless 

maras kumia mar3s(s)a kumia shameless 
da araha cheap 

da tsada dear 

In many cases where an adjective would be used in 
English to denote condition of mind or body, the Hausas 
use ji, to feel, or yi, to make, followed by a substantive. 
Ex. L na ji da(Ji, I am happy, lit., I felt sweetness, na yi 
murna, I am glad, lit., I made gladness. 

7- Adjectives denoting colour, when repeated, represent a 
modification of that colour. Ex.: bak(k)i, black; bak(^)i 
ba^(k)i, blackish; this is also used to express dark blue, 
fari, white; fari fari, whitish, or dirty white, ja, red; 
ja ja, reddish, shudi, blue; shudi shudi, light blue. 
kore, grass green ; kore kore, tight green. 

The following intensive forms occur: — fari fet, very 

white, ja wur, very red. bak(k:)i ^irln, very black. 



The terminations fet, wur, and (tirin are never found 
except in these combinations. 

In many instances the Hausas use instead of an adjective 
a substantive followed by the preposition gare. Ex. : 
abinchin nan zafi gareshi, this food is hot ; lit., this 
food, there is heat to it. The statement might also be 
expressed thus: — abinchin nan shina da zafi. 

8. There is no regular formation in Hausa to express 
degrees 0/ comparison. 

The following are some of the commonest forms of cir- 
cumlocution which are used in order to express Che idea of 
comparison : — 

(«) The comparative is generally expressed by the use of 
the word fi, to excel, followed by the substantival form of 
the corresponding adjective. Ex.: abokina ya fini 
tsawo, my friend is taller than I (lit., surpasses me in 
height). The word fi is also used in many other cases 
where a comparison of some kind is suggested. Ex. : na 
fi so wanan da wanan, I prefer this to that, minene 
ka ke so wanda ya fi wonan, what do you want better 
than this ? mafi kunche, narrower, or very narrow, yi, 
followed by ma, is used in a similar way. Ex. ; ya yi 
mini wiya, it is too difficult for me. ya fini wiya, this 
thing is too dlfHcult for me. 

{b) the word " better " is sometimes expressed by gara. 
Ex. : gara hak(k)a, it is better so. gwoma (or goma or 
guma) is occasionally used in the same way. Ex. : gwoma 
yau da jia, better to-day than yesterday. 

(f) " Better," in the sense of improvement, is expressed 
by dama or rongomi. Ex.: ka ji dama ya fi jia, do 
you feel better than yesterday? na ji rongomi yau, I 
feel better to-day, 

{d) The superlative is usually expressed by the use of fi 
followed by duka, all. Ex. : allah ya fisu duka girima, 
God is the greatest, lit., surpasses all in greatness. A 
reduplicated form of fi is sometimes used in forming either 


a comparative or a superlative. Ex.: wranan mafifichi 
dag{g)a wad(d)anan, this is the best of these, wanan 
ya fi duka nauyi, this is the heaviest. gab(b)a, before, 
is occasionally used in a somewhat simUar way. Ex. : shi 
nc gab(b)ansu duka, he is the greatest ; lit., he is great 
before ail. faye, to abound, is used thus : makafi sun 
faye talauchi, blind men are very poor. The word 
faskare, to overcome, is used as an impersonal verb. Ex. : 
ya faskareni, it is beyond my power. 

(e) Emphasis is sometimes denoted by the repetition of 
the adjective. Ex, : kad(d)an,alittle; kad{d)an ka^{4)an 
a very little. 

Exercise XII. 

rakutni ka ke so ko tagua ka fi so. na B son 
rakumi don ya fi tagua karlfi. godian nan ta fi 
dokinka samrin taf(f)ia. akwia ta fi bunsuru an- 
fani. vtranene wanan ? dan uwana ne. uvtra qlaia 
uba daia ? aa uwa muka tara. achik(k)in hausa 
wanda kuka tara gari da shi idan ka gamu da shi 
a wota kasa, sai ka che da shi clan uwanka. 
bab(b)an mutum ba shi yin hak(k)a. nauyin kayan 
nan ya fi karifina. karia ne ba shi da nauyi kam- 
{m)an sauran kaya. gaskia ne amma ni karamin 
yaro gara ka bani karamin kaya. dakin nan kan- 
kane ne ya yi mini kunche. bani tafasashen rua. 
masan nan antoyasu? ii toyayu nc. mutumen 
vtfofi ba ya tab(b)a rad(d)an gaskia ba, reshin kumia 

This sword is very dear, its price is too high for me ; 
show me one that costs less than this. What kind of food 
do black men eat ? The Hausas mostly eat guinea corn. 
What is guinea corn ? A kind of small red grain ; the 
women grind it on a stone and then pound it in a mortar. 
The Yorubas eat yams ; they cannot carry more than half 


the load a Hausa can — so the Hausas say. When will the 
food be ready? I am hungry. This old man is my 
countryman ; we were born in the same town ; my wife is 
his younger sister. In Hausaland it would not be said, 
"the great man is sick," it would more generally be said, 
" he is not well." I am very sorry for what has happened 
to you. Our friends will be glad at our return. 

r:,9,N..<ib, Google 


Adverbs, Conjunctions, Interjections. 

1 . There are a large number of Adverbs in Hausa which 
are used to denote place, time, manner, &c. The following 
list contains those most commonly used. Several of them 
are compounds of prepositions and other adverbs. 


tare, together 
gab(b)adaia, gab(b)adai, 

together, at the same time 

or place 
en(n)a, where ? 
dag{g)a en(n)a, whence ? 
koen(n)a, anywhere 


nan, nana,"^ nanyanga. 

Chan, chana,"^ there 
dag(g)anan, hence, 

dag(g)achan, thence 
kus{s)a, near, nearly 
nesa,' nisa,' far away 


yanzu, now 
yaushe, when ? 
saanda, when 
lokachinda, wokachinda, 

koyanzu, now, immedi- 

koyaushe, at any time, 

kuma, again 

har yau, yet (in negative 

saanan, then 
kadai, once, only 
kana, before that, until 

bar, hal, until 
tun, tunda, while, while as 

yet, since 
tuni, tuntuni,* long ago 

' Also used as a substantive to denote distance. 


tunyaushe, how long? 

ab{b)ada, or hal ab(b)ada, 

tukuna, (not) yet 

for ever 

tundadewa, long since 

kulum, always 

dafari, at first 

nan da nan,> immediately 

da safe, in the morning, 

sau dayawa,* often (ht., 


many times) 

da mareche, in the even> 

da, of old 


Varshe,* lastly 


hak{k)a, thus 

bal(l)e, balshe,* much 

hak(k)anan, in this way 


yad(d)a, wad(d)a, how 

fache, much less, however 

kaka, how ? 

maz(z)a, quickly 

awa,* how 

sanu, slowly, gently 

doli, by force 

baki daia, together, all at 

koka^a, anyhow 


tilas, by force 

daidai,' properly uni- 

dakir, with difficulty 


sar(r)ai, exactly, rightly 

mana, then, if you please 

lal{l)e, of necessity, of a 

sai, only 



or negation. 

ai, really 

labudda, certainly, no 

ashe, truly 


aa, no 

hakika, truly 

i, ii, yes 

watakila, or watakila. 



The preposition da is frequently joined either to an 
adjective or a noun in order to form an adverb ; thus, da 
karifi, powerfully, da hankali,'^ (or ahankali), carehjlly. 

' Oolf used in narration. 

' This word, daidai, ^j^j must not be conruied with daidai, J^ 
a contracted form of daia daia, one at a tine. 

' Used in response to a summons ; e.g. jes, ^i 1 or here, sir I Not 
used in answer to questions. 

■,..<, .yGoogic 


da wuri, early, of old. The adverb lau is only used in 
the expression lafia lau, very well. 

2. The conjunctions most commonly used are :— 

da, and (cf. p. 55) 
da . . . da, both . 
am(in)a, but' 
kua, kau,*^ kawa,"' 
da^((j)a, again 
kuma, again 
ko, either, or, even 
kad(d)a, lest 
koda,* although 
en, if 
idan, if 

kad(d)an, kur, if, when 
. . and don, because, in order that 

tamkar, tamkan, tike as 
also kani(m)an, like as 

kam(ni)ada, like as, ac- 
cording as 
a^va,''' like as 
koka,''- like as 
fa, therefore {used as a suffix 

to imply emphasis) 
dai, then 

3. The interjections in ordinary use are : — 
kai, ho ! arr,* be off! 

ya, oh ! tir, alas ! 

^vai, alas ! af, oh ! (an exclamation of 

hub(b)a, hab(b)a, used to recollection) 

express astonishment or oho, oho, it does not con- 
indignation cern me 
madala, indeed! (an ex- aha, so! (an exclamation ot 

pression of joy) " satisfaction) 

to, all right! 

kai is used in calling a person in order to attract his 
attention. Ex. ; kai yaro, ho, boy ! It sometimes implies 
disgust or fear, ya is most commonly met with in the 
expression, borrowed from the Arabic, ya sidi, sir, or 
O, sir. wai, alas! is used by itself (cf. F. 159), It ex- 
presses doubt or incredulity ; it is often equivalent to 
" they say so." 

Exercise XIII. 

kai abokina kad(d)a ka taf(f)i gid(d)aniu zamna 
tare, da safe mu tashi gab(b)a ^^\&. ka iya gaya 


mini yacl(d)a mutumen nan ya mutu ? aa ban sani 
ba sarai, yanzu na komo dag(g)a woni wuri mai- 
nesa; amma na ji labari ya bau doki, ya taf(f)i 
kasua, ya fatji. nan da nan ya mutu, ashel U 
hak(k)anan ne. kai maidoki jima ka^(d)an bar en 
dawoiyo, ba zan taf(f)i nesa ba ina so dakanta 
mini anan. zaka taf(f)o da mareche ko gobe da 
safe ? lal(l)e ina zua da marecbe. yaron nan 
uban dakinsa ya sashi shi yi aikinga, til as ya 
yisbi. dakir na samu bainya. enna ka kwana? 
na kw^na woni gari sunansa sabon birni, dag(g)a 
Chan na bata hainya. mi ya saka bata hainya ? 
raS ne ya ban(n)ani en wuche. labudda sau da- 
yawa shi kan yi hak(k)a. ka gaya wa masukaya 
su tashi yanzu, ina son taf(f)ia. chik(k)in kasar 
hausa ba ta tab(b)a yin dari kamar ^asar england. 

When did you start ? I started when I got your letter. 
Why have you been so long on the road P you must have 
travelled very slowly ; had you made haste you would have 
been here long ago. Where am I to light the fire ? Light 
it anywhere, and don't worry me again until the food is 
cooked, then come back. Here, caravan leader ! Yes ! 
Look sharp and collect the traders. This river is very 
deep ; the horsemen ought to go in front, the donkey-men 
must follow them carefully. Tie up the loads properly so 
that they won't fall into the water. The donkeys must not 
enter the water all at once, they most follow each other and 
enter one at a time. How long have you been in the 
Hausa country ? What are you thinking about ? I was 
■ wondering whether I shall be able to start to-morrow. In 
some parts it is almost as hot in the night as in the day. 
Take care not to be late. 

n,r.^^<i "/Google 

Salutations, Hours of the Day, &c. 

1 . The following are some of the commonest f»rms of 

sanu, or sanu sanu, hail ! 

The word sanu is often repeated a dozen or more times 
in order to add emphasis to the greeting. It is joined to 
the second personal pronouns. Ex. : sanunku, greetings 
to you, sanunki, hail, lady ! The following are examples 
of its use : — 

sanu da rana 
sanu da yamma, or 
sanu da mareche 
sanu da aiki 
sanu da gajia 

sanu da rua 
sanu da zua 
sanu da taf(f)ia 

sanu da kewa 

sanu da kwana biu 

good day ! 
good evening 1 

greetings to you at your work ! 
a greeting to a weary man (lit., 

greetings to your weariness) 
greetings to you in the rain ! 
welcome ! 
good luck to you on your 

journey ! 
greetings to you in your be- 
reavement ! 
greetings to you ! (used only 

in response to another 

a greeting after a prolonged 

absence (lit., greetings for 

two days) 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 


sanu is also used as an exclamation of sympathy. Thus, 
when any small accident happens to anyone the bystanders 
would say, sanu, i.e, I hope you are not hurt. 

laBa, health, is used in the following ways :— 

kana (kuna, muna, &c), are you well ? how do you 

lafia do ? 

ka kwana lafia, or kwra have you slept welt ? good 

laBa morning 1 

tafia lau, sai tafia quite well. 

sauka tafia may you dismount safely ! 

(a forewell to a horseman) 

In response to the question, kana lafia, are you well ? 
the reply frequently made is, aa sai lafia, there is nothing 
the matter with me (lit., no, only welt). 

The word berka, lit. blessing, is either used by itself or 
in combination with other words. Thus : — 

berka hail ! 

berka da zua welcome ! 

berka da yini welcome to you for the whole day I 

Several different forms of gaida, gaisa, or gaishe, to 
greet, occur, Ex.: — 

agaisheka may you be saluted ! 

muna gaisheka, we salute you ! 

or muna gaisua 

ka gaida gid(d)a give my salutations to your people 

The word sai, till, is used thus : — 

sai gobe good-bye till to-morrow ! 

sai wota rana farewell for a long time ! (lit., till 

another day) 
sai anjima good-bye for the present ! i.e. I am 

just coming back, or come back 


?<i I,, Google 


sai ka dawo good-bye till you return ! 

sai ankwan biu good-bye for gome time ! (lit., till 

it has been slept twice) 
Other common forms of salutation are ; — 

marhaba, marhabi, 

or maraba 
en(n)a labari 
sai lafia, or sai 

enna gajia 

welcome ! a salutation used on 
meeting after a long absence 
what is the news ? 
all well ! 

I hope that you are refreshed 
(lit,, where is your weariness ?) 
babu gajia, or gajia I am not tired, or, I am feeling 

da sauki less tired 

kaka gid(d)ai howare the inhabitants of your 

kaka sainyi how are you in the cold ? 

aa da godia I do not feel the cold (lit., no, . 

with thanks) 
ingweya*^ a salutation addressed to an 

important personage 
huttara* Oh, be careful I a compli- 

mentary salutation addressed 
to a king 
If a Hausa wishes to be thought learned, he will usually 
begin with the Arabic form of salutation, salam alaikum, 
peace be unto you ! to which the person saluted is expected 
to reply, alaikum salam, upon you be peace. This form 
of salutation is specially used on entering a house. 

The following salutations or comphmentary epithets 
would be addressed to a king: — 

zaki, lit. lion, toron giwa, lit. bull elephant, allah 
shi baka nas(s)ara, may God grant you victory, allah 
shi ded(d)i da ranka, may God lengthen your life. 



There are many other expressions of a similar nature. 
S, /fours of (At day, appToximately. 

jijif! the first glimmer of light just 

before the dawn 
kiran salla nafari the call to the first prayer 



gari ya waye 



very early morning 


the morning (generally) 


two hours after dawn ; 

about 8 a.m. 


about 10 a.m. 


day-time (used generally) 

sTana tsak(k)a 



the time soon after midday 


about 2 p.m. 


late afternoon, 4 to 5 p.m. 


just before sunset 


after sunset, about 7 p.m. 

faduar rana 




tsak(k)an dere 


Nearly all the above are modifications or corruptions 
from the Arabic. The word kwana, lit. sleep, is used to 
denote a day of twenty-four hours. 

3. The daj-i of the week. 

ran' iahadi Sunday 

ran' aljimua, or 


„ latini Monday 


„ talata Tuesday 

,, assabit, or 


,, laraba Wednesday 


„ alhamis Thursday 

The Hausas do not as a rule employ any terms to denote 
the months of the year. The learned amongst them know 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 


the Arabic names for the Mohammedan months, but as 
these are lunar months, and consequently alter from year 
to year, they do not correspond to the English months. 
Time is generally reckoned by the seasons of the year, 
which are as follows : — 

funturu, or lokachin The cold season, beginning about 
dari December or January ; the 

season of the harmatCan wind 
rani The hot season after the conclu- 

sion of the cold or harmattan, 
beginning about March 
bazara, or basara The hottest part of the dry season, 

just as the rains are beginning ; 
the tornado season, i.e. about 
April and May 
damana The wet season, June, July, and 

agazere, or agajere The hot season at the end of the 
rains, i.e. September and October 
kaka The harvest season, i.e. October 

and November 
The points of the compass are as follows : — 
North, arewa ; south, kud(d)u : east, gab(b)as, or 
gab(b)az ; west, yamma ; the right-hand, hanun dama ; 
the left-hand, hanun hagu. The intermediate points of 
the compass are expressed by the use of kusurua, or 
sukurua, lit., a corner; thus, north-west Is ^cusurua 
yamma da arewa. 
4. Expressions used in buying and selling. 
Buyer ; rakumi nan na is this camel for sale ? 

sayerwa ne 
Seller ; i na sayerwa yes, it is for sale, 

Buyer : ba shi suna, or name its price (lit., give it a 
sa suna name) 



Seller: zambar metin 250,000 cowries 

wa hamsin 

Buyer: zambar daii (I offer) 100,000 

Seller : hubba mana Good gracious ! it is worth 

ya fi zambar more than 1 00,000. No, 

4ari alberka thank you 

alberka is used in salutations for " thank you " ; but in 
the language of the market it is equivalent to " no, thank 

enna rongomi ? what are you going to allow me ? (lit., 
where is the deduction ?) This is the usual phrase used 
in asking for the discount on a large ready-money trans- 

enna gara ? how much are you going to give me into 
the bargain ? (When a man buys nuts or anything else 
in a small way, he gets his 50 or 100 cowries worth and 
so many extra thrown in for luck. This is called the gara, 
or addition.) 

lad(d)a ^ woje, 1ad(d)a chik(k)i. If a man sells any- 
thing in the market or through a broker lad(d)a woje 
(lit,, reward without), he receives the whole of the money 
paid, and the buyer pays the market fee or the broker's 
commission. If, however, the transaction is concluded 
lad(d)a chik(k)i (lit., reward within), the reverse obtains. 
The usual lad(d)a, i.e. discount, is 5 per cent, on the whole 
amount involved. 

chin riba, to make profit. 

1 Compare the nse of the French nurci. 

^ In some districts this is pronounced la'ada ; it is to be distinguished 
from lada, which <s used 10 denote wages paid to a servant. 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 


.Some Idiomatic Uses. 

There is a substantive verb a, used especially in Sokoto 
and Katsena in place of ke. It is used with all persons; 
thus, ni adda shi, I have it. kai (f, ke) adda shi, shi 
(f. ita), mu, ku, su, adda shi. It may follow a noun 
directl}-. Ex.: kura adda shi, the hyena has it. It is 
.also used with nan. Ex.: gari annan, a town is there. 
In each case where it is used the consonant which follows 
it is redupHcated. shi abbaba, he is the great man. shi 
addaidai, it is all right, shi assarakinmu, he is our 
king. The a may sometimes stand by itself. Ex.: shi a 
abokinmu, he is our friend, ni a, is it I 7 

The substantive verb ne, when used in reply to a ques- 
tion, is sometimes placed after a complete verbal phrase. 
Thus in reply to the question, " Who is it you want ?" the 
answer would be, na zo v^urinka ne, it is you that I 
come to. In reply to a foolish question the answer is 
sometimes made, na sani ne, the meaning being, "you 
think that you know better than I do." 

The verb yi, to do, or make, is used in several different 
ways. The following sentences illustrate its principal 
uses: — 

ya yishi, he did it, ya yi, it is satisfectory (ci. English, 
it will do), ya yi girma, he has grown up. sun yi 
nawa, how many were there ? rana ta yi, it is day- 
light, ya yi shekara fu^u, he is four years old. na yi, 
lit., I did, is often used in answering a question where we 


should use "yes." yi, followed by ma, is used to denote 
too much (cf. p. 73). yi is also used to denote equality; 
thus, wanan ya yi wonchan, this is equal to that, 
anayi da shi, he is set upon. 

ta is used idiomatically, especially after yi, as a connec- 
tive particle. Ex. : ku yi ta taf(f )ia, march ! forward ! 
ku yi ta yi, go on with what you are doing, ku yi ta 
tuba, repent ! 

The verb chi, to eat, is used idiomatically. Ex. : sariki 
ya chi gari, the king captured the town, anachin 
kasua, or kasua ta chi, the market is being held, 
fatake sun chi riba, the traders made a profit. The 
expression na chi, when used by garabiers, means, 1 won. 
ku chi gab(b)a, go in front. 

The expression abinda na gani, lit., the thing which I 
saw, is frequently used as an equivalent for, as far as I can 
see, or, in my opinion. Ex.: abinda na gani, wanda 
ya fi anfani sai mu taf(f}i, in my opinion, the best 
thing for us to do is to go. 

It is not considered polite in Hausa to use the words 
chiwo, sickness, or mutu, died, in referring to the sick- 
ness or death of a friend or of a person of importance. In 
place of mutu, the word ras(s)u, was lost, is used. In 
place of chiwo, the expression ba > . . da lafia is 
frequently used. Ex. : sariki ya ras{s)u, the king is 
dead, abokina ba shi da lafia, my friend is ill. There 
are several other similar periphrases employed. Ex. : 
wazirin sokoto ba ya gani yanzu, the waziri of Sokoto 
is blind now. 

Again, adjectives denoting physical defects which are 
applied to man are in many cases not applicable to beasts. 
Thus, a Hausa would not say of a horse, guragu ne, he is 
lame, but, ba shi da kaf(f)a, lit., he has not a foot; 
similarly, in referring to a blind horse, he would say, ba 
shi da ido, lit, he has not an eye. 

The word dama (cf. chap. xii. 8(c)) is used with several 



different meanings. Ex.: hanun dama, the right hand. 
jin dama, to feel better, samu dama, to get an oppor- 
tunity ; e.g. gobe ina zua idan na samu dama, I will 
come to-morrow if I get the chance, ga dama, to see fit. 
Ex. ka yi abin da ka ga dama, do whatever you think 
right, dama dama, moderately, ya yi dama, it is 
better so. 

babu is used idiomatically in the phrase, ba abin da 
babu, there is nothing lacking. 

sha, to drink, is used idiomatically ; thus, shan hiska, 
to go for a walk; lit., to drink the wind, shan en{n)ua, 
to enjoy the shade, shan wrobat(I)a, to get into trouble. 

Some Common Colloquial Expressions. 

ya yi arziki 

enna (often pro- 
nounced ina) labari 

ban ji komi ba 

mutumen nan han- 
^alinsa ya tashi 

shig(g)a hankalinka 

ya shig(g)a hanka- 

kana yin magana 

kana jin hausa 

aa amma ina so ka 
koiya mini hausa 

kad(d)a ka yi ma- 
gana hak{k)a da 

enna marabin wa- 
nan da wanchan 

it was fortunate 
what is the news ? 

I have not heard anything 

this man is very much worried 

(lit., his wits have arisen) 
be reasonable ! 
he has recovered himself 

do you speak Hausa ? 

do you understand Hausa P 

no; but I wish you would teach 

me Hausa 
do not speak so fast 

what is the difference between 
this and that (lit., where is that 
which divides ... J 



babu marabi tsak- 

(k)anin8U duka 

daia ne 
wane lokachi ne 

rana tana da zafi 
ba shi kai hak(k)a- 

nan ba . 
kanajin zabzabi (or 

na ji dama kad(d)an 

ina murna da ga- 

kana iya karanta 

ban karba ba 
kaka sunanka 
yaushe zaka kama 

ka tabba zua sokoto 
mi ya sameka 
babu ruanka 
enna ruana da wa- 

ba yarona keauta 
ber yaronka ya kar- 
bi tukuichi 

ya bata mani zucbia 
da gaske ban so 
akayi bak(k)a ba 

ba na rikitua 

zuchiata ta fi rin- 
jaya wonan da 

there is no difTerence between 
them ; they are all the same 

what time is it now ? 

it is a hot day 

the price is too much 

have you got fever ? 

I feel a little better 

I am glad to see you 

can you read this writing ? 

I do not believe it 

what is your name ? 

when are you going to start work ? 

have you ever been to Sokoto ? 
what is the matter with you ? 
it is no concern of yours 
what have I got to do with this ? 

give my boy a present 

let your boy take his " dash." 
(tukuichi is the tip given to the 
messenger who brings a present) 

I am very sorry, I did not wish 
this to happen 

I am not to be deceived 
I prefer this to that 

D,g,t,.?<l I,, Google 



ka yi mini gafera 
ban ji dadi ba 
wanan enna maa- 

nansa (or enna 

azenchin wonan) 
bayenna (or gaya) 

ka zo idan ka samu 

rana ta yi kwarai 
ina son taf(f)ia da 

far in wata 
kaka (or yaya) zaka 


kilikili, or dokin 
allah, or malam 
bude litafinka 

da balatache ne 
amma ya yi kiriki 

ka yi sauri na kosa 

kawo mani kuna rua 

muna so mu kare 
gini nan amma 
ma ya hiwache 

woni ya bani laba- 
rin abinda ka yi 
ya che da ni ka ji 
ka ji 

ya rigaya ya taf(f)i 

excuse me ! 
I don't feel well 
what does this mean ? 

explain it to me 

if you have an opportunity, come 

the sun is very hot 
I like to travel by moonlight 

how a 

; you going to manage ? 

a butterfly. (i)=" glitter"; (2) 
=God's horse ; (3}=mallam, 
open your book ! (the fluttering 
of a butterfly's wings being sup- 
posed to resemble the opening 
and shutting of a book) 

before, he was a worthless fellow ; 
but he is doing better now 

hurry up, I am tired of waiting 

(lit., I am ripe) 
bring me some pure water 
we intended to finish this building, 

but the rain prevented 

a certain man told me the news of 
what you did; he said to me. 
Listen to my news * 

he is gone already 

sentence like this denotes gossip as opposed 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 



ka 8hig(g)a ne- begin to seek him 


takalmi dubu ya he met a caravan of a thousand 

gamu traders 

Proverbs' and Proverbial Expressions. 

a great man is a nobody where no 
one knows him (lit-, an elephant 
is a hare in another town) 

/i/eras^ri/ifa mane/ Q'lt., if yoav/Tite, 
the writing remains; if you keep 
[a thing in your mind] it flees 

despise not little things (lit., the 
grass that you despise may 
pierce your eye) 

a libel hurts worse than a spear- 
thrust (lit., a made-up story sur- 
passes a thrust [of a spear] in 

half a loaf is better than no bread 
(lit., than no fool, better a fool) 

he who takes a leper's pay cannot 
refuse to shave him; i.e, if a 
man takes money for a job he 
must go through with it, how- 
ever distasteful it may be 

thanks to the fowl, the lizard finds 
water to drink in the pot (if 
there were no fowls there would 
be no water' put out). This is 

1 The word proverb may be rendered in Hausa by ker(r)ui magana, 
which is used to denote an innuendo, or any hidden meaning. 

Many of these proverbs are found in different Forms iu dilTerent parts of 
the country. 

giwa av^ani gari 

idan ka rubuta ya 
tab(b)atta idan ka 
kiyaye ya gudu 

chiawa da ka rena 
ita ta kan tsokane 
maka tdanu 

d aura re n magana 
ta 6 data da 
mashi chi^vo 

5 da babu wawa gara 
da wawa 
kowa ya chi ladan 
kuturu ya yi tnasa 

alberkachin kaza 
Ifadangari shi kan 
sha ruan kasko 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 

karambanin akwia 
ta gaida kura 

haukan (or haukar) 
kaza amren mu- 
lojini ba ya maganin 
kishirua ba 

berin kashi achik- 
(k)i ba ya maga- 
nin yunwa 
dere rigan mugu 
mache da takobi 
abin tsoro 

kowa ya yi karia 
t& dameshi 

15 kowa ya chi shin- 
kaf(f)an ranche 
tasa ya chi 


said when a man gains some 
benefit through no virtue of his 

it is no business of the goat to 
salute the hyena ; i.e. if a man 
meddles with that which does 
not concern him, he has only 
himself to thank for his mis- 

it is madness for the fowl to marry 
a cat (the meaning is practically 
the same as the preceding) 

blood is no cure for thirst ; i.e. a 
similar thing is no substitute for 
the real thing ; or, a thing em- 
ployed improperly does no good. 
The latter use suggests the 
impossibility of benefiting by 
stolen goods 

" hoarding your money won't pay 
your debts " 

night is a cloak for the evil man 
a woman with a sword is a thing 

of fear ; used as a sneer at the 

woman who tries to ape the man 
" Be sure your sin will find you 

out " (lit., whoever tells a He, it 

will confound him) 
whoever eats borrowed rice eats 

that which is his own; i.e. 

though you borrow your rice, 

it is your own that you eat ; 

the man who tries to live on 

credit must pay eventually; 

borrowing won't save expense 



kowa ya yi samako 
yK futa da rana 

kayan samako da 
mareche akan- 

yakuan munafiki ba 
na mutum 4^ia 
ne ba 

mugun mia ba ta 
karewa atukunia 

okura ta ga sania 
tana lashe ^ia 
lata ta che ma- 
suabu su kan chi 
da rana, wanda 
ba shi'da abu sal 
shi dangana (a 
variant of the last 
clause is maras abu 
sai da dere) 
liBdi ya B kafaijan 
dilali gagara ba- 
ture ajia 

ko ba agwada^ ba 

1 agnada, from gwada, t 

he who starts very early must rest 
at mid-day 

if you want to start very early you 
must make ready over night 
(lit., the load for an early 
start must be tied up in the 

" False to one, false to all " (lit., 
the seasoning of a hypocrite is 
not for one man alone ; it is 
customary for a farmer who 
grows yakua to send presents 
of it to all his friends : so, too, 
does the liar with his lies) 

bad soup never gets finished in 
the pot ; i.e. things which you 
dislike you can never get 
rid of 

the hyena sees a cow licking her 
calf and says, " those who have 
can eat by day ; he who has not 
must live in expectation"; the 
proverb is used to denote igno- 
rance (as the hyena imagines 
that the cow is about to eat her 
calf) and jealousy 

a coat of mail is too heavy for a 
broker's shoulder, too big for 
the Arab as stock-in-trade ; i.e. 
the king's uniform is not an 
article of trade 

even without measurement a 

> laeasure oi compare the size of anything. 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 


linzami ya fi ba- 
kin kaza 

da auren karua gara 
kiwon zakara 

]a dukan ruan 
sain(m)a nc da 
chiwo ba ruan 

25 tsofon doki mai- 
halbi awutsia ya fi 

chiye chiye ya fi 

mugun gatarinka ya 
fi sari ka ba ni 

aikin banza makafo 
da waiwaiye 

bridle is (obviously) too big for 
a fowl's mouth ; used in regard 
to that which is obviously im- 

better keep a cock to lay eggs than 
marry a bad woman ; i.e. you 
can obtain some advantage from 
a cock when it fails to lay eggs 
by eating it ; but you can ob- 
tain no good from a bad woman 

It is not the beating of the rain 
that hurts, but the drippings 
from trees ; supposed to be said 
by monkeys, who, after shelter- 
ing from a rain-storm, bring 
down upon themselves a shower 
of rain-drops as they jump from 
branch to branch. The mean- 
ing is, that it is the petty ills of 
life that hurt most 

an old horse is crafty 

" Half a loaf is better than no 

bread " (lit., to hit in the tail is 

better than to miss) 
to eat a little at a time is better 

than to eat up all at once ; i.e. 

you should not squander your 

resources at once 
a tool that is your own, even if it 

be bad, will cut better than a 

borrowed one (lit., your own 

bad axe cuts better than " give 

me one ") 
a fruitless task is like a blind man 

turning round to look; an ex- 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 



30 funtu ya yi darial 

haifua maganin mu- 

derea tuo ba kwana 
da yunwa ba ne 

zua da ' 
zua da V 

■i ya fi 
i wuri 

haukar ban! maga- 
nin ta ungo 

35 yau da gobe shi ya 
sa alura ginin 
dan dengi tuonsa 
ba shi (yin) rua 

pression applied to an attempt 
which is regarded as hopeless 

the naked man laughs at the man 
in rags ; i.e. the naked man &iia 
to see that even a ragged man 
is better-off than himself 

the begetting of a son is the 
medicine for death ; i.e. a man 
who begets a son will have some 
one to preserve his remem- 
brance after death 

the night of a supper you do 
not sleep hungry ; i.e. having 
to wait for food does not 
mean going without it (used 
as a remonstrance against im- 

to come (late) with a cowry is 
better than to come very early 
(empty handed). An untrans- 
latable pun on wuri, which 
means a cowry shell, and early. 
The meaning is, it is better to 
be slow and sure 

the madness of begging {lit., " give 
me ") its medicine is " take it ! " 
i.e. the remedy for persistent 
begging is to give what is asked 

to-day and to-morrow (i.e. perse- 
verance) makes a needle dig a 

a relation's food is not water ; i.e. 
if you ask a relative for food he 
will give you more than plain 

?<i I,, Google 


mutane dein(m)in 
gujia ne 

ramin V^ria ba shi 
wiyar kurewa ' 

kwodayi mabudin 
40 rubabcn hakori ya 
fi baki wofi 

kafar woni ba ta yi 
wa woni taf(f)ia 

ban ji ba ban gani 
ba ta rab(b)aka da 
1 tara 

en(n)uar giginia na 
nesa ka(kan)' sha 

mahakurchi mawa- 

men are a bundle of ground nuts ; 
i.e. it in as impossible to secure 
unity amongst a number of men 
as it is to tie up a bundle of 
ground nuts 

tbe hole of a lie is not difficult to 
probe to the end; i.e. it is easy 
to detect a liar in his lies 

vain desire opens the door to 

spoilt teeth are better than an 
empty mouth ; i.e. an in- 
different thing is better than 
nothing at all 

the foot of one man cannot walk 
for another ; i.e. no man can 
do another's work 

" I did not hear, I did not see," 
separates you from the place of 
fines ; i.e. keep clear of mischief 
and you will not be liable to 

shadow of fan-palm ! at a distance 
men enjoy you (the ka or kan 
is an abbreviation for su kan). 
The fan -palm, owing to the 
height of its foliage from the 
ground, throws its shadow at a 
distance. This proverb is ad- 
dressed toamanwho lavishes his 
bounty outside his own house 
(cf. " charity begins at home ") 
the patient man is the rich man 

> kurewa used of a plac 

from which there is no outlet. 




45 yau da gobe kayan 

maganin kiyeya ra- 

kowa yi keta kansa 

ramar bashi ta fi 

sai anfa8(8)a akan- 

san(i) bidi 
50 fa^e fade ba yi ba 

jiki ya fi kune ji 

zumunta akafa ta 

zumu zuma i 

dunia mache da 
chik<k)i Che 

to-day and to-morrow are God's 
possession; i.e. continuity b the 
prerogative of God 

the cure for hatred is separation 

the evil that a man does (recoils 

on) himself 
the leanness of a debt is better 

than its fatness ; i.e. it is better 

to pay off your debts than to 

make them greater 
only when a rout occurs is a fast 

horse known 
talking is not doing 

the body surpasses the ear in 
hearing ; i.e. if a man will not 
listen, he will gain his ex- 
perience in his person 

relationship is a matter of the 
feet ; i.e. if a person does not 
take the trouble to go to see 
his relation, the relationship 
becomes of no account (cf. " out 
of sight out of mind ") 

a relation is as honey ; a play on 
the words zumu and zuma, 

the world is like a woman with 
child ; i.e. as you cannot tell 
whether a woman will bear a 
son or daughter, so you cannot 
tell what fate has in store for 

55 wiya mawuchia (or 

difficulty is a thing which passes 
away; a sa3'ing attributed to 
the bush cat (musurun tofa) 


when hesitating whether to run 
out of a bush-fire and be killed 
or to stay and be singed 

that which has been sown 15 that 
which will come up; i.e. as a 
man sows, so shall he reap 

a boy does not know the lire till 
it has burnt him ; " a bornt 
child dreads the fire " 
ba shi ka- a hare is not caught by sitting 
dag(g)a down 

abinda akashuka 
shi kan tsira 

yaro bai san wuta 
ba sai ta konashi 



sanu ba ta sanu 

60 abin banza hanchi 

babu kafa 
banza farin ido 

babu gani 
mu je mu gani ma- 

ganin makariachi 

maganin kad(d}a aji 
kad(d)a ayi 

hanu maimia aka- 
65 magana zarar bunu 

yunwa abaki afuta 

going slowly does not prevent 

a worthless thing is a nose without 

a bright eye that cannot see is 

" let us go and see " is the medi- 
cine for a liar; the witness of 
a liar needs to be supported 
by the evidence of one's own 

the medicine for "let it not be 
heard " is " let it not be done "; 
i.e. if you don't want a thing to 
be heard of, don't do it 

the hand that has soup gets licked 
(of cupboard love) 

a word spoken is as the pulling 
out of thatch; i.e. as a straw 
pulled out of the thatch cannot 
be replaced, so a word spoken 
cannot be recalled 

oh, hunger, you have had some- 
thing given to you, rest ! (said 



abin sawa chik(k)in 
daki ya fi daki 

rashin sani ya B 

dere dufu 
butulu kaman chik- 


70 wiyar buki rashin 
abin buki 

komi ya bache han- 
kuri a babu {or ne 

rashin fa 4a ya B 
neman gafara 

kama da wane 
wane ba ne 

gur(i)bin ido ba ido 
ba ne 

75 mutum maganin 

to a persistent beggar to whom 
something is given) 

the things for placing in a house 
exceed the house in difficulty ; 
i.e. it is of no use having built a 
fine house if you have nothing 
to put inside it 

to be without knowledge is worse 
than (to be out in] a dark night 

an ungrateful person is like the 
stomach (which is always want- 
ing more and is never satisfied) 

the difficulty of the feast (arises 
from) the absence of the where- 
withal (to provide) the feast ; 
i.e. any one can be luxurious, the 
difficulty is to obtain the means 
wherewith to provide luxury 

everything goes wrong where 
patience is lacking 

avoidance of quarrelling is better 
than the quest for pardon : i.e. 
it is better not to quarrel than 
to quarrel and then ask for 

the likeness of any one is not the 
person himself ; equivalent to 
English proverb, " all is not 
gold that glitters " 

the socket of the eye is not the 
eye itself; the meaning is the 
same as that of the preceding 

man is the medicine for man j i.e. 
only man can outwit (or get the 
better of) man 

'..>y Google 


}a daiji tana gid- 
(d)an na koshi 

yunwa maganin 
muguniar daf(f )ua 

don hanunka ya yi 
doi ba ka yen- 
kewa ka yes 

laiB duk na kura 
ne amma bamda 
satar wad(d)ari 
80 don tsananin yun- 
wa ba ayi mia da 
giz(z)a g^z(z)a 

bab{b)an da ba wuri 

kowa ya kas kifi 

bukin wata doka 
bukin wata kun- 

85 dakir na tsira ya (or 

" not nice " keeps house with " I 
am satisfied"; i.e. only a man 
who lives in luxury can afford 
to say of anything, It is not 
nice (i.e. can afford to be dis- 

hunger is the remedy for bad 
cooking; cf. "hunger is the 
best sauce " 

because your hand smells badly, 
you do not cut it off or throw it 
away ; i.e. you do not abandon 
a relation because he does a 
slight wrong 

a hyena has many faults, but it 
does not steal string ; i.e. no 
man is altogether bad 

even in stress of hunger soup is 
not made of spiders; i.e. how- 
ever great your need, you must 
use suitable means to accom- 
plish your end 

a grown-up man who is without a 
cowry is but a boy 

the width of a river is not (a guide 
to its) depth ; i.e. a broad river 
is not necessarily deep, or, " ap- 
pearances are often deceptive " 

whoever kills a fish (it is for his 
own) basket; i.e. a man's acts 
come home to himself 

the desire of one woman is plaited 
hair, the desire of another is a 
shaven head ; i.e. different 
things please diflferent people 

" with difficulty I escaped " is 


ta) fi dakir akaka- 
aje for ri^(k)e) kar- 
(r)enka don karen 
gid(d)an woni 

talauchi kankanchi 

mutum da gishi- 
rinsa en ya so ya 
daf(f)a kafo 

aikin gona da wiya 
kad(d)an ya karc 
da da^in chi 
90 tamaha wa<l(4)^ t^ 
han(n)a malam 
noma 8ab(b)oda 
hatsin zakka * 

lafiar jiki arziki i 

abokin sariki sariki 

better than "with difficulty T 
was caught " 

keep a dog for yourself, because 
of the dog in another man's 
house ; i.e. be prepared with 
the same weapons as those with 
which you will be attacked 
(cf. " set a thief to catch 3 

poverty is degradation ; i.e. there 
is nothing like poverty to make 
a man feel small 

a man who has got salt of his own 
can cook a horn if he please ; 
i.e. a man who is rich can waste 
his salt on that which is un- 

farm work is laborious, but when 
it is finished the eating is 

it is expectation that hinders the 
malla^i from farming, because 
of (his hope for) tithe corn ; i.e. 
a maliam will not take to agri- 
culture because he relies upon 
others to feed him ; or, reliance 
upon others breeds improvi- 

health of the body is good for- 
tune : used by a man who has 
failed in a dangerous enterprise, 
but who consoles himself that 
he has escaped unharmed 

the friend of a king is hims^ 
king ; a piece of flattery (bam 
magana) used to a courtier 


komi nisan dere 
gari ya waye 

kworia ta bi kworia 
en ta bi akosht ta 


95 dama mun so zua 
birni ba1(l)e sa- 
riki ya aiko 

talauchi ba za ya 
kauda yanchi ba 

ba ja ba ne turan* 
chi maidukia shi 
ne abba 

en kana awo auna 
ga maitaiki 

sabo da mayata 
maganin wota 

that which is far away at night 
(will be near when) the day 
dawns ; i.e. a hidden mystery will 
become dear if you only wait 

a calabash should follow a cala- 
bash ; if it follow a wooden dish 
it breaks; i.e. a man should 
associate with men of his own 
class ; if he associate with those 
of a higher class he will come 
to grief 

we wish all the more to go to the 
town now that the king of the 
town has sent for us; a proverb 
used by a man who has tried 
successfully to pick a quarrel 
with another, birni represents 
the object in dispute, sariki the 
person who has accepted the 
challenge to fight 

poverty ought not to take away 
freedom ; i.e. you ought not to 
■ take advantage of a poor man 

it is not the foreigner with a red 
skin who is master, but the 
rich man (of whatever nation- 
ality he may be) 

if you want to measure out any- 
thing, go to the man who has 
the bag and measure ; i.e. if you 
want anything, ask the owner 
for it ; do not ask his servant 
being accustomed to misfortune is 
the medicine for the (unknown) 
future ; used of a rich man who 
was formerly poor 

■'..>y Google 



loo allah shi kai dum- 
(in)u ga harawa 
ko ba shi chi shi 

kuruma magana che 

don tuon gobe ake- 

wanke tukunia 

anema jini ga fara 

komi fadan dorina 
ba ta fid(d)a kada 

105 zomo ba bawan 
giwa ba dawa su 
ka tara 

abin chik(k)in aljifu 
malakan mairiga 

God may bring a lizard to the 
dried leaves; ifhedoesnoteathe 
lies on top of it. Thedum(ni)u, 
lizard, is specially fond of the 
harawa leaves ; even when he 
cannot eat it he likes to be near 
it; i.e. may God bring me to 
the war ; even if I do no fight- 
ing I shall be in the thick of it 

" silence gives consent " 

the pot must be washed for to- 
morrow's food ; i.e. hard work 
to-day will prove to have been 
the preparation for something 
good to-morrow 

let blood be sought for iti a locust. 
A locust is supposed by the 
Hausas to be bloodless; the 
proverb is used to express that 
which is inconceivable 

however much the hippopotamus 
fights, it cannot drive the croco- 
dile out of the river; i.e. you 
cannot separate those whom 
nature has joined together 

the hare is not the slave of the 
elephant, (only in) the forest 
do they meet together ; a pro- 
verb used by a poor man who 
has been brought into some 
connection with a rich man 
when the rich man attempts to 
treat him contemptuously 

that which is in the pocket is the 
property of the owner of the 
cloak ; i.e. all that a slave or a 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 


dan banza rairai ne 
ko andunkula shi 
ma ya rushe 

karamin sani ku- 

kar(r)e ka mutu da 
hau&hin kura 

iiokaska ka mutu da 
hausbin kifi 

a reshin sani kaza 
ta kwana akan 
demi da yunwa 

enda woni ya ki 
da yini, nan woni 
yi ke nema da 

son has belongs to his master or 

a worthless man is like sand ; if 
you press it together it falls to 
pieces again 

small knowledge is as the tying of 
a man's hand to his neck ; i.e. a 
little knowledge is a dangerous 

dog ! you will die of your spite 
against the hyena. The dog 
hates the hyena, but is never 
able to get the better of it. 
Said with reference to unsuc- 
cessful attempts by an enemy 
to injure the speaker 

tick ! you will die of your spite 
against the fish. Similar to the 
foregoing, ticks being unable to 
injure fish 

for lack of knowledge the fowl 
slept hungry on the bundle {of 
corn) ; used of opportunities 
missed through ignorance 

the place in which one man re- 
fuses to spend the day, another 
chooses (seeks for) for sleeping 
in. " One man's meat is another 
man's poison." 

Some Common Sayings. 

hankuri maganin patience is the world's medicine 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 


komi maiwiya shi- everything that is difficult comes 

na da makarinsa to an end 

gadon gid(d)a alal the inheritance of a house is 

ga rago a source of worry to the idle 

yunwa ta ke maida 

yaro tsofo 
ikoshi shi ke maida 

tsofo yaro 
kowa ya yi chiniki 

^aria ya yi bian 


gid(d)a biu maganin 

kad(d)a kowa ya 
kuka da woni ya 
kuka da kansa 

halshinka ya jawo 
maka magana ba 
woni ba 

enda maigudayaje 
anhan^ura mai- 
taf{f)ia ya je 

mutum en ya che 
ya hadi gated 
rike masa kota 

maganin gan 
nesa taf(f)ia 

hunger makes a boy into an old 

satisfaction makes an old man into 
a boy 

every one who trades in lies will 
have to pay truth ; i.e. he who 
tells lies in joke will be held to 
his word to his cost 

the remedy against a conflagration 
is to have two houses 

let not any complain of another, 
(in doing so) he complains of 
himself; i.e. he is the cause of 
the injury which has been done 
to him by another 

it is your own tongue that draws 
out evi! words, not (that of) 
another. The meaning is the 
same as that of the preceding 

the traveller with patience will 
arrive at the place whither the 
man who runs is going 

if a man says that he can swallow 
an axe, (do not vex him by ex- 
pressing disbelief, but conciliate 
him by offering to) hold the axe 
handle; i.e. it is of no use to 
cause needless vexation to those 
who boast 

the remedy for a distant town is 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 

ba mugun sariki sai 
mugun bafadi 

babu laiB babu tu- 

kar(r)e bakinsa na 

zaki na wai aba- 


jinjiri ba ya 
babu ba 


no evil is done by a king, (the 
responsibility for the) evil 
belongs to his counsellors 

where there is no wrong there is 
no remorse 

the dog looks as if it wanted some- 
thing to eat ; lit., the dog, its . 
mouth of sweetness, it is said 
let something be given 
san a baby won't take No for an 
answer ; used as a reply to a 
man who persists in asking you 
to do that which is impossible. 

D,g,t,.?<l I,, Google 



Did you understand ? I understood. The man mounted 
the (or a) horse. The men went (or went away). We are 
traders. The king is old. The trader came. It is I. The 
headman has a slave, I have a slave. The king has a 
horse. The woman has a girl. Are you the headman ? 
I am the headman. The woman went away; she is old. 
The slave heard. I am old. The trader is a slave. 

ni sariki ne. shi bawa ne. yaro ha hawa (or 
ya hau) doki. yarinia ta taf(f)i. ke mache che. 
kunji? mun ji, mutane sun zo. fatake su ke 
da doki (this form would seldom be used except in 
answer to a question), sariki ne da bawa. sariki ya 
ji. fatake su ke da yara. ni ne (or ke) da shi. 
bawa ya zo. yarinia ta ke da doki. ita yarinia 
che. kai tsofo ne. ke tsofua che, or, tsofua ki 

What did the boy tell you ? He said (or says) there is 
not enough water in the house. Did the woman go ? 
'What woman was it that came? It was the girl whom 
you saw. Whose horse has run away ? It is the stranger's 
horse. What did these men say to you ? I did not hear 
(or understand). What news did he tell you ? He said 
that the man whom you sought did not (or has not) come. 
All right, I have seen him. Who has the king's horse ? I 
do not know ; I did not see the horse. The boy says that 



the king's slave has the horse. What you told me is not so. 
Which road did you follow ? I followed the caravan road 
(lit., the traders' road). Who told you the news? The 
man whom you saw in the house. 

mutum wanda ka nema ke nan. ba^o ya bi 
hainya wa^^a ka fa4a masa. wonan mache ^iy^r 
wonchan mutum ta ke, wonchan mutum {or more 
idiomatically tnutumennan) dan bako nan ne, yaron 
nan dan wanene ne ? shi dan bawan sariki ne. 
yarinia ba ta ji ba labari da ka fa^a mata. ta 
che yaro ya gudu. wa ya , gaya (or fa^a) mata 
hak(k)a? bawa wonda ka gani chik(k)in gid(d)a. 
kai wanene ? ni bako ne. dan wanene kai ? ni 
dan sariki ne. wanene wonchan ? bawan falke 
ne. mi ka ji ? abinda na ji shi ne labarin da na 
gaya maka. dokin wanene sariki ya hau? dokin 
bako wanda ya bika. machen nan ita (or ta) ke da 
yarinia wa^tja ka gani. 


This man said that he did not know who brought the 
money. Do not tell any one the news. One mounted a 
horse, one mounted a doakey. Who are you ? It is I, 
your boy. When did the carpenter bring the handle ? I 
do not know. The merchants ruined each other. The 
people dismounted, and every one went to his house. Do 
not tell anybody in your town what I told you. This boy 
told me that he was a stranger, he said that no one knew 
him. The master of the house said that he himself did not 

wosu masugudu akan hainya sun fa(}a mani 
labarin nan. wache hainya sun bi. wosu sun bi 
hainya nan wosu sun bi wonchan. kowa ya 
san(i) abin nan. ba wanda ba ya sanshi ba. 
kowont mutum ya kawo kurdinsa. kowoninsu ya 
D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 


taf(f)i gid(d)ansa. enna surdin dokin nan. ya fa^i 
akan hainya. maidoki dakansa ya nemeshi, amma 
ba ya ganshi ba koenna. jakin wanene yaro ya 
kawo. jakin falke, or, na falke ne. yara sun buga 
junansu. kad(d)a ka buga kanka. 

Is this house yours or theirs ? It is not ours, it belongs 
to the headman whose son you saw in the market. It was 
not these men (or, these are not the men) who went' with 
me to your town. Whose wife is this ? She is my wife. 
This she-goat is mine. The traders finished their business 
(lit., they did their business, they finished). Where are they 
now ? They have just gone out from the market and gone 
to their town. Where is your friend ? He has gone to 
our headman's place. Is this money ^ yours or hers ? 
Neither (ht., no) ; it is theirs, not ours. Is the farm that I 
saw yours, or whose is it ? It is ours. 

malam ya che yaro wanda ka kawo ba ya son 
karatu (ba), or, ba ya so ya yi karatu (ba). malam 
ya koiya ma dansa rubutu. ba ya koiya ma nawa 
komi ba. ya yi chinikin jakinsa na bashi dokina. 
sariki ya che ma fatake kad(d)a su kawo kayansu 
chik(k)in kasuarsa. masukaya sun dauka kayansu 
sun taf(f)i. kaya da sun dauka nawa ne. maika- 
yanga ya taf(f)i tare da abokinka. enna kaya ? ban 
gani kaya nawa ba. 


Whence does this man come ? He told me that he came 
from Kano. I don't know what has brought him (or, why 

' When the subject lo which the relative refers is 1 personal pronoun in 
the nominative case, the reUiive is omitted in Hausa and the relative idea is 
expressed by two co-ordinate sentences in the same person. Ex, ; nine 
nafadi, it was I who fell ; ita che la gudu, it was she who ran awaji. But 
if the personal pronoun is in the objective case, it is omitted in Hausa and 
the relative is used, Ex. : na mma -manda ya fa4i, I sought him who fell. 

• The Hausa tent should read kurdin. 



he has come). What (lit., where) is the use of your house ? 
It does not keep out the rain (lit., prevent the rain from 
entering the inside). When we came back, we saw all our 
loads spoilt. Where is your iathei: ? He is coming. Do 
you like travelling with me? Yes. What are they doing 
now ? They are eating their food. What are you bring- 
ing ? What we got in the market. What is that ? A 
saddle, bridle, stirrups, and horse trappings complete. I 
am taking them to the headman of the town. 

mutum wanda ka gani jia ya zo. ya che shina 
zua kuma gobe. yarona ya che rua ya han(n)a 
masa taf(f)ia. enna anfanin magana irin wonan 
na sani ba gaskta ba ne. karia ka ke yi. abokinka 
ya bani abinchi ; jia ban chi komi ba, saanda 
muka ji labari muka tashi muna taf(f)ia dere da 
rana, muka zo nan. dokin nan enna anfaninsa, or, 
cnna anfanin dokinga ? jia ya fa^i yau kuma ya 
fadi. domi kana (or ka ke) zamna nan ? ina neman 
abinchi. sariki yana shig(g)owa gari yana zua 
yanzu. mun taf(f)i kasua mun samu abinda mu 
ke so duka. saanda muka shig(g)a gid(d)a muka 
zamna muka chi abinchi. 

I do not know what we are going to do now. If you go 
to him, he will tell you the news. Every one who comes 
to my house, I feed him. That woman says she is not 
going till we come (or, said she was not going till we came). 
If you do not tell (lit., give) me the truth, I shall go (or, I 
am going). He says that he will tell you the truth if you 
will see him to-morrow. Do you wish to travel (or, do you 
like travelling) by day or by night ? To travel by night is 
troublesome (lit., with trouble), but if you like I will make 
the attempt. Can you travel ? I cannot (lit., shall not be 
able). I want to sleep for my eye is sore (lit., sick). I told 

. n,,:-A-..>yGoogle 


him to bring me my gun ; he said that he was going to 
clean it. (The last clause might equally mean, he says that 
he is going to dean it ; the actual tense is shown by the 

na fada masa ba zan ganshi ba sat gobe, domin 
habu anfani ganinsa yau, or, ganinsa yau ba shi 
da anfani. ba wanda ya fada gaskia (or babu mai- 
fadin gaskia) chik(k)in garin nan. abinda na gaya 
maka jia ka yi shi, or, ka yi abinda na gaya maka 
jia ? aa ban yi ba, or, ban yishi ba. ka yi abinda 
na gaya maka ? ba na iya ba. .mutanen nan suna 
so su baka gaskia amma suna jin tsoro. zamu 
taf(f)i gobe. idan mu ka komo mua ganka kuma. 
ni ba zan taf(r)i ba na jiraka ka komo. kulum na 
kan taf(f)i kasua na kan yi chiniki da fatake. idan 
na aike yaro shi kawosu sa zo. sa zo. ina so ka 
wanke bindiga nan. ba zan iya ba. da zani 
wurinka. dil za ka (or d& kana so ka) taf(f)i, or, 
dtl zaka taf(f)ia. 

Go to the king and tell him to send his messenger to 
me. I want to ask him whether he has been given any- 
thing to eat. He says that money has been given to him, 
but that food has not yet been given. Have the men come 
(lit., has it been come with the men) ? Not yet, they are 
are coming. Tell them not to be afraid, they are not going 
lo be driven away. Will they be allowed to go ? If the 
king says that they are to be allowed, they will he allowed. 
Do you think that they will come this month or next? 
They will not come this month. Are they coming, or are 
they not coming ? I finished this work the day before 
yesterday, let me be given some more. Has the war 
finished ? No ; war never ceases. 

idan anyenka rago kad(d)a ka ber mutane su 

L chi 


nama yanzu domin idan suka (or sun) chi ba zasu 
so taf(f)ia da nesa ba. saanda manzo ya zo 
kad(d)a ka bershi (or kad(d)a abershi) shi shig(g)a 
gid(d)a shi zamna awoje bar na komo. enna ake- 
samu (or anasamu) abin nan ? ban sani ba ba 
asamu irinsa anan. kad(d)a ka ber yaronka shi 
(or ya) hau rakumina domin (or don) kad(d)a shi 
fadi. bani rua dag(g)a rijiar chik(k)in gid(d)anka 
(lit., well of the inside of your house), domin ba ni da 
abin da zan sha, or, ba ni da komi na sha (lit., I 
have nothing of drinking), ka gaya masa idan ya zo 
wurina (lit., to my place; a literal translation of the 
English given would not be idiomatic Hausa) gobe ba 
zan ganshi ba. karia akeyi ba asamun gaskia 
wurinsu (ba). naji dadi da zuanka. 

Give me more to eat, this is not enough, All right, I 
will increase it. My slave has gone to seek the boy, but 
he has not found him ; you, there, go and seek for him 
and bring him here. I want you to take this piece of cloth 
to the broker for him to sell ; if he sells it take the money, 
buy me a ram, and bring back here the rest of the money. 
Is this horse for sale P No ; it was sold yesterday. I want 
to buy a camel. Where is one to be found (lit., where is it 
found) ? The owners of the camels are in the market, 
buying and selling. Can this river be crossed ? No, it 
cannot be crossed, it never dries up. Do you wish the 
king to give you a canoe in order that you may cross 7 
The king says that, you are to give him what belongs to 
him. All right, I will give it up. 

abokina ya tarieni a hainya. na gam(m)u da 
fatake chik(k)in daji sun kwanta (or suna kwanche) 
a en(n)ua na tardasu don su kaini gari. tashi ka 
kawo mani rua en sha. na chik(k)a goran rua da 


safe amma ya zuba (or zube) yarona ya zubdashi. 
^ka ka bata litafi nan ? ban san(n)i ba na same- 
shi ya bache. tafas(s)a mani rua. rua ya tafas(s)a 
(or tafas(s)u). bani tafas(s)ashen rua. saanda 
andaffa abinchi ka gaya mani. bani dafFafen abin- 
chi. nama ya dafFu. taf(f)i kasua ka saiyo mani 
surdi. maisurdi ya ki sayerwa. irassa surdi chik: 
(k)in kasua. ka taf(f)i ga wani ka saiyo. 

I want you to go to the king and tell him that I thank 
him for the present which he has sent me. Whence did 
these traders come ? From Yola ; they are on their way to 
Kano with ivory. How long have they been travelling ? 
They have been two months on the road. I want a camei ; 
if I give you a horse in exchange for your camel, will you 
agree ? No ; I have not a camel to give you, only a pack 
ox. Had I known this, I would not have come to you. 
Did you see him ? Yes, when I went to his house I found 
him sitting at the door of his house with his son, who is 
called Joseph, In olden time the men of this country were 
wont to fight with one another. Tell the carriers to get 
up and stand in line — no, not like that ; they must line up ; 
I do not want them to stand with intervals between. 

taf(f)i ga (or wurin) abokina ka fada masa (or 
mai) ina -zua gareshi. ina so en yi magana da 
shi bis(s)a bat(t)un doki. tunda ni ke ban tab(b)ai 
ganin irinsa banda (or sai) yau. mutanen da ka 
gani masuzua gonake sun fit(t)o dag(g)a chik(k)in 
gari, ba su kwana awojen gari don tsoron yaki. 
domi su ke jin tsoro yanzu tunda turawa su ka 
zo babu sauran yaki (lit., no remainder of war), da 
babu yaki da ka ga garurua kus(s)a da kus(s)a (or 
kus(s)a da juna) koenna akasa nan. yanzu banda 

' lit., touched ; this is the usual way of translating " ever " before a verb. 


kango^ba ka ga komi ba achik(k)in daji. angina 
garin nan gab(b)an yakin tukur sarikin kano, an- 
chishi tun ba ka zo ba. mi zaka bani maimakin 
(or amaimakin) wonan? 

Where has the owner of these sticks gone ? How many 
loads have you ? I have many (lit., they are many). All 
right, go and get ready and bring all your loads here very 
quickly. Is it long since this merchant came to this town ? 
Yes, it is many years since he came. In a few days (lit., in 
these days) he will start to go to his house. The king 
made a proclamation to the effect that the people should 
repair the huts in their compounds. In the Hausa country 
there are many kings ; besides the king of the town, the 
man who looks after the market is called the king of the 
market, the attendant at the gate is the king of the gate ; 
there are also many others. What kind of monkeys are 
there on the banks of the river Benue ? There are an 
unlimited number of kinds; those that are commonest (lit,, 
surpass as to plenty) have faces like dogs. Send to the 
horsemen (and tell them) to saddle up (lit., make saddles) 
quickly. Have the donkeys been brought ? Not yet, only 
the camels. Come and help me. 

chik(k)in hausa angina dakuna da tubali 
anrufesu da tukurua da chiawa aikin maza ke 
nan mata su kan deb(b)e chik(k)in daki. akoi kifi 
chik(k)in kasua ? akoisu. sariki ya yi doka 
kad(d)a asare itatuan kusa da gad, yanzu bayi su 
kan taf(f)i nesa su saro itachen wuta. wad(d)a- 
nan irin takalman. da ni ke so. ba arassa garurua 
(or garuruka) akasar (or achik(k)in kasar) kano. 
hausawa su kan zamna chik(k)in gari fulani masu< 
shanu su kan zamna chik(k)in ruga, ka gaya wa 
(or ma) sarikin jirigi shi aiko mini jiragensa (or 


da jiragensa) duka aketaren nan ina so en ketare 
gulbi. awakin nan ba nawa ba ne ; kamo ak- 
wiata dag(g)a chik(k)insu ka kore saura dag(g)a 
chik(k)in gid(d)a. akoi makafi. dayawa achik(k)in 
kano, da urad(^)an8U malamai ne yanzu ba su iya 
koiya wa (or ma) yara karatu. dag(g)anan zua 
kano kwana nawa ne ahainya. achik(k)in kwanakin 
nan ayi rua. 

What is the price of this camel ? It is cheap ; its price 
is not great, 150,000 cowries. No, it is dear; make me a 
reduction. Well I will reduce it for you by s,ooo. No, 
(reduce it by) 5,000. Well, I will reduce it for you by 
3,500. All right, I agree; that makes 146,500 (lit., 146 
zambar and 500 cowries). Do not count your cowries six 
at a time, but count them by fives. How many times have 
you been to Sokoto ? I have never been to Sokoto, but I 
have been three times to Wurno. Here, caravan -leader, 
divide this money amongst the carriers; pay them a 
thousand each. Let three men get up ; let two of them 
draw and bring water, let the third man of them seek and 
bring wood. How many horses are brought ? Ten. How 
many of them are yours ? Not one. (For this use of ko, 
cf. p. 19.) I am a poor man; I have not even a single 
cowrie. When are you going to do this work ? I have no 
opportunity (at present) ; I will do it some time. 

kurdin rakumi chik(k)in kasuar kano dag(g)a 
zambar dari da asherin (or miya wa asherin) har 
zambar dari shid(d)a, na doki dag(g)a zambar 
hamsin har zambar dari uku. kurdin jaki kotan- 
chin rab(b)in kurdin doki ne. kurdin bawa nawa 
ne tunda turawa ba su zo kano ba ? yarinia 
akansayer da ita zambar metin akansayer da yaro 
minya wa hamsin. kowache rana ka kan ganl 
bayi kaman dari biar chik(k)in kasua. ina da doki 


uku daia chik(k)insu yina da baya (lit., has a back, 
cf. p. 87) 4aia kuma ba shi da kaf(f)a (lit., has not a 
foot), daia kuma na badashi aro ga abokina, shi ya 
sa ni ke taf(f)ia akas(s)a. kurdin kwoi nawa ne 
chik(k}tn kasar hausa (or chik(k)in hausa). hau- 
sawa ba su chin Ifwoin kaji sai na zabi. idan 
bako ya tambayi l^woin kaza su kan kawo masa. 
kwoin da su ke kawowa rab(b)insa duk batache 
ne (lit., spoilt), battun kurdin Ifu/oi da na tamba- 
yeka ba ka gaya mini ba. kurdinsa alokoja 
dayawa guda 4^)3 43''> "^ amma akano kurdi 
asherin asherin ne. 

Do you prefer a male or female camel ? I prefer a male 
camel, because it is stronger than a female. This mare is 
fiister than your horse. A she-goat is more useful than a 
he-goat. Who is this? He is my brother. Has he the 
same fether and mother as you have 7 No ; we have 
(only) the same mother. In Hausaland, any man who 
belongs to your town (lit., he with whom you have a town 
in common), if you meet him in another country you would 
always (lit., only) call him your brother. A gentleman 
(lit., a big man) would not act thus. This load is too heavy 
for me. It is a lie ; it is lighter than all the others {lit., it 
has not weight like the rest). It is true ; but I am a small 
boy ; it is better for you to give me a small load. This 
room is small ; it is (too) confined for me. Give me some 
boiling water. Are the cakes baked ? Yes, they are 
baked. A worthless man never speaks the truth ; he is 
utterly shameless (lit., there is a lack of shame to him). 

takobin nan da tsada ya ke (or yi ke), or takobin 
nan ya faye tsada, kurdinsa ya yi mini yawa. 
nuna mini wani wanda ya fi wanan araha. wani 
irin abinchi bakaken mutane su ke chi ? hausawa 

■'..>y Google 


sun fi chin dawa. minene dawa ? wani irin jan 
kwaya kankane mata su kan nik{k)a shi aduchi su 
kan dak(k)a shi achik(k)in turumi. yorubawa su 
kan chi doiya ba su iya daukan kaya da bahaushe ke 
dauka sai rab(b)i hak(k)anan hausawa su kan che. 
yaushe zaakare abinchi (lit., when will it be finished) 7 
ina jin yunwa. tsofon nan 4an uwana ne anhaifemu 
gari daia, matata kanua tasa che. achik(k)in haasa 
ba ache bab(b)an mutum yina chiwo anfi fad(i^)an 
ba shi da laha. na jin tausayen abinda ya sameka. 
abokanmu s& yi muma da komowanmu. 

My friend, do not go to our house ; let us stay together 
and start at the same time in the morning. Can you tell 
me how this man died ? No I do not know exactly, I have 
only just returned from a distant place ; but I heard news 
that he mounted his horse, went to the market, fell off, and 
died straightway. Really ! Yes, that is so. Here, horse- 
boy, wait a httle till I come back ; I am not going far, and 
I want you to wait for me here. Will you come in the 
evening, or to-morrow morning ? I am bound to come 
this evening. This boy's master made him do this work, 
and he was compelled to do it. I had great difficulty in 
finding the way. Where did you pass the night f I slept 
at a town called sabon-birni (Ht., Newtown) : I lost the 
way from there. What caused you to lose the way ? It 
was the river that prevented me from crossing (lit., passing). 
Yes, that is so ; it often does so. Tell the carriers to get 
up immediately, as I wish to start. In Hausaland it is never 
so cold as it is in England. 

yaushe (or wani lokachi) ka tashi ? saanda na 
samu takerdarka saanan (or kana) na tashi. dotni 
ka ded(d)e ahainya abinda na gani ka yi taf(f)ia 

(i.e. as far as I saw you travelled) sanu sanu. da ka yi 



sauri, da kana nan tun dad(<l)ewa, or, da ka 
ded(d)e da zua. enna zan fura wuta ? fura 
koenna, kad(d)a ka dameni kuma sai abtnchi ya 
daf(f)u, saanan ka komo. kai madugu ! naam. 
maz(z)a ka tara fatake. rafin nan ya faye zurii ya 
kamata masudawaki su chi gab(b)a masujakai su 
bisu ahankali. daura kaya daidai kad{d)a su fada 
arua kad(d)a jakai su shig(g)a rua gab(b)a daia sai su 
bi juna su shig(g)a daia daia. tunyaushe ka ke 
achik{k)in kasar hausa ? mi ka ke tamaha (or 
tsamani) ? ina tunanin ko ha tashi gobe. woni 
woje zafin dere ya kus(s)a zafin rana. kad(d)a ka 







J«ll Aiif 




Not pronounced 

C Ba 





English i 1 

\J Ta 





.1 ' 

6 Cha 



Soft cA as in eAurch 

r-t J- 





English > 

W Hha 





Strong A 

U. Kha 





kh, or hard ch, asi in 
Scotch loch ' 

Jli Dal 





English d 

JlS ZaI 





,. ^ 

i; Ea 



„ r' 

^,- Sin 

English z, usually 
pronounced the 
same as i 

English s 

^ Shin 





„ M 

jC Sid 





ti ^T Pro- 
nounced the same 

jU Did 





Engh^ rf or / 

' For fuller explanatEon of the sound of these letters, cf. pp. 7, 8. 








i Ta 





English /s, some- 
times /, also fre- 

it Tsa 
a^ Ain 



quently used to 

represent hard d 

or rf/ sound ' 
English is, very 

seldom used in 

Not pronounced 

^E Chain 





English hard g 

i; Fa 




English/ KSf 





J, a sub-palatal gut- 
tural i' 
English k 

^i Kit 





|.V Llm 





,. ^' 

p^ Mim 





„ 'n 

^jjj Nun 





„ n 

U Ha 





» ■* 

/, W4 





„ ai 

.; Ya 





., ^' 

The reader who is acquainted with Arabic will observe 
that i^ and ^, which represent ii and a sort of palatal d 
respectively in Arabic, are pronounced M and / in Hausa. 
The letter ^ji is, however, very rarely used. 

' For fuller explanation of the sound of these letters, cf. pp. j, 8. 


The Arabic language contains several distinctions of 
sound which are not found in Hausa at all Thus no clear 
or uniform distinction is recognized by the Hausas between 
J and i, ^ and u», — and i. 

The letters a/if and ai'n are used in Hausa simply as the 
bearers of the vowel-sounds, and are frequently inter- 
changed ; cf. ita ol and ia,c she ; the presence of an aJi/ 
does not necessarily imply that the syllable is long, or 
that the accent rests on that syllable. The letter s ain is 
not at all commonly used by the Hausaa except in words 
which they have borrowed from Arabic. Many words 
when they stand at the end of a line or sentence, especially 
in poetry, have a final I a/i/ or j _y which they would not 
otherwise take. 

Hausa Vowels, — The vowel sounds used by the Hausas 
are: a — as in father, e jj— pronounced like a in fate,' j — 
or - as i in ravine or ee in feet, — a shortened e or i, e.g. w_»U 
/iia/i or /eta^, writing ; it is also used for i in a closed 
syllable, i.e. when it is preceded and followed by a conso- 
nant as in ii»Ae ^SJ, to roll up. When — occurs in a closed 
syllable it is sometimes pronounced a as in rag, sometimes 
e" as in beg, thus fariftt ts-fjt, very white. The long 
vowel o is written jl, thus yijj rogo, to ask; o in a closed 
syllable is written L, thus U;A> konga, a plain ; the sound 
u as in flute is written ji-, or occasionally — , thus j.Lt samu, 
to find ; u in a closed syllable is written -, thus muska iJLl,, 

Diphthongs. — The diphthongs are ai j— , pronounced 
like i in nice, thus 1^ maita, witchcraft ; au j- pro- 
nounced like ow in how, thus MJ, bauta, slavery ; and y^— 

' In modem Arabic the soand of the Italian i is often represented thus 
1-i-, cf. Wright's "Arabic Grammar," I. 6, rem. c. The sound ofl-i 
inclines in later times and in certain localities from d to e, just as tlut of 
faiha does from S to ^■ 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 


oi, pronounced like oi in loiter, thus ^Sj tokkoi, seven ; iu 
J-, like ew in shrew, skiuji., silence. Diphthongs in closed 
syllables are written with the first vowel of the diphthong 
only, e.g. C;*. for hainya, Qjj for dawoinya. 

Accents. — As the emphasis laid on different syllables 
differs a good deal in different localities, very sparing use 
has been made of accents. They have only been employed 
where the emphasis to be placed upon a syllable is very 
pronounced or specially liable to be misplaced. 

Hamza. — The sign hamza • which the Hausas have 
borrowed from the Arabs, and which denotes the cutting 
off of the stream of breath which can precede or follow a 
vowel, is more often omitted than inserted. 

The student is reminded that he must be prepared to 
find considerable variety in the systems of writing adopted 
by different Hausa mallams. In the specimens of Hausa 
writing contained iu this grammar an attempt is made to 
represent the method adopted by the best educated and 
most representative Hausas. The divisions between words 
are also differently made by different writers; pronouns 
and prepositions are sometimes joined on to substantives or 
verbs and sometimes written as separate words. 

In the selected readings which follow no attempt has 
been made to correct the native writing so as to produce 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 


ubammu wanda ke chik(k)in sam(m)a, atsarkake 
sunanka ; sarautarka ta zo : abin da ka ke so 
ayishi chik(k)in dunia kamar yad(d)a akeyinsa 
chik(k)in 8ain(ni)a. ka ba mu rananga abinchin 
yini. ka gafarta mamu laifinmu kamar yad(d)a 
mu kuma muna gafarta ma wad(d)anda su kan yi 
mamu laifi, kad(d)a ka kaimu wurin jaraba, 
ani(m)a ka chechemu dag(g)a shaitan : gam(in)a 
sarauta da iko da girma naka ne har abada. 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 


^^ojj wanda ke, who art. The fuller form of expression would be 

^^i^iij wanda ka ke, lit., who thou art. 

U- sam(m)a, heaven, is a borrowed Arabic word denoting the heai-ens 
or the firmament. 

J^J^'^ atsarkake, let it be sanctified, cf. E. 30. mu tsarkaka 
zuchiaimu, we cleanse our hearts. 

ifjjj- sarautarka, thy kingdom. The word sarauta usually denotes 
the tenitoiy governed by a king, not the sovereignly of the king. To 
express this lalter idea it would be better, perhaps, to use the Arabic word 
mulki. The feminine saSs. -rka is used, as sarauta is feminine, cf. 
p. 24- 

^\ ayishi, let it be done. For use of passive imperative, cf. p. 40. 

■ii ^ kamar yad(d)a, like as. r, the feminine form of the connec- 
tive, IS used instead of n, as kama, likeness, is feminine ; the expression 
Icamaii yad(d)a (or yed{d)a) is, however, frequently heard. 

i^fi akeyinsa, lit., let there be its doing. The prefix ake is nsed to 
denote the passive of the continuous present, cf. p. 38, 

XiJi, rananga, this day. For use of the demonstrative pronoun -nga, 
<:f-P- «■, 

^ ,^1 abinchin yini, the food of to-day. yini is frequently used as 
a verb, meaning to stay at a place for a day. 

QjjUr'ka gafarta, thuu didst forgive, gafarta, or yin gafarta, to 
forgive or encase ; cf. gafara, pardon ! 

>i mamu, to us. For uses of ma> cf. p. 51. 

,j*i^ su kan yi. kan v. used in a frequentative or habitual sense, 

jjjj wurin, lit., the place of, is very commonly used as a preposition, 


l>j>i jaraba, tiial or temptation. 

Ij^'l^ har (or hal) abada, for ever, from Arabic M'\ eternity. 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 


A SONG of Abdallah, the son of Fodio, on the occasion of 
the repulse of Yunfe, king of Gobir, from an attack upon 
the town of R^a Fako. 

55\y/ ty y* -^^ 1?!;?^^^ cr^ 

Ul^ ^^ Ulj L_^U OUi" ^_y-.^j-»jj^ yP 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 

4lJ J-i C? 3jJ f^jS CJiJ-d IS 

\il- i^ i:j^ j^ ij^ ^ (_5*^ b^j^J^ 



^\k-V* ^jlsLUi _^*j3 fc-loi j^yJti ^^^— 

til^5 \j\3 y^-^i 33 

\ ''J ': ' _,'-•'■' 1'? ' ,' V'?'" '^ ' 

D,g,t,.;<i I,, Google 


t_iC j_y^-j yJA» 1^' wJ^i (_ysu_^_.i> (_yJ 

yan uwa mun gode mun yi imanchi da 

allah salla 

har jihadi donka jalla mun kasshc dengi na 

dal(l]a 1 
J sun sani su sun yi tarki' 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 


mun ka(s)she alkafi- su su(a) ne gobirawa 

sun taf(f)o don kadi- su da sashin asbi- 

rawa^ nawa^ 

6 sun taf(f)o su ^ duk da sarki 

Chan kwoto su sun babu fama sai ta mata 

kazata " 
sun bero laima da rayi' kasko munka(s)- 

mata sheta 

9 sun sani don babu dumki 

babusaruru^ wayunfa ya yi bobowa da 

sun taf(f)o duk babu sun kazata bar ma- 

kanfa ^ Haifa 

12 sun bero sashi ga maiki'" 

ingaramu sun ka ber- duk da ' rakutna ga 

su wansu 

mayya mayya^' mun- sarkaki^ ya fanshi 

ka kassu wansu 

15 mun ka kas barde^' da garki^* 

masulifdi ^^ duk na munka kassu don 

fa^{ql)a"* ibada 

gurguri'^ duk ba mu don mu sam riba da 

tada i^ lada 

18 babi» wohaI(l)a babu aiki 

gobirawa kun yi raki kun taf(f)o ku duk 

da zaki^o 
kun ka zam koka ^^ kun yi sassaka ^ ta 

tumaki jaki 

21 ya bero falke da taiki 



gobirawa kun yi la'na kun taf(f)o don kauda 

kun ka zam ku duk masudtnini ^ masu- 

kahunna ^ zanna ^^ 

24 masualada ^' ga sarki 

da ka che ^^ dai kuy munduwal ^s zina ^ ta 

tatuba ** soba si 

har tamantaka ^* ta tukunyal bawa^s ta 

baba ^ taba 

27 mun ka(s)6hesu^ babu tsamki 

ko'ina yau gamu zamu ko fit(t}a su ba su 

sun shige kunchi da don ta tsoron masu- 

ramu ^' kamu 

30 masuwarwada^ da kulki 

dukiyammu *'' gata dauri ^b en sun samu 

gamu namu 

don ta allah ba su abu kad(d)an sai suyi 

bamu takamu 

33 zasu chin tara da gumki ** 

yunfa ya kankanta har saraki sun yi 

dunya kumya 

sun sani ya bata ya gudano masuchin- 

sumya ^ ya *' 

36 babu lifdi babu doki 

ya gudano masu- yan huware ^ masu< 

taggo *^ faggo ** 

masuyin ^aki da kal- sunka kore yunfa 

go *5 raggo 

39 zasu gadowal saraki 



masurigan zangu sunka kore sansanin- 

uku *" ku *' 

zasu binku har garin- aniyansu chin hat- 

ku sinku 

43 suy ^iba ku kun yi raki 

Chan kwoto mu mun chan fa funtu ya yi 

ji zaki saki^ 

gobirawa kunyibaki** zamu al^alawa^ yaki 

45 fid(d)a zomo °^ zamu daki 

ya'kubawa^^ kun yi kun taf(f)o don yada 

washi mashi « 

kun taf(f)o kun dauki zamu hakka °* babu 

bashi fashi 

43 don ku jita ^' fai ga baki 

wansu chan muzab- dukiyassu tafi dina'^ 

zabina ^ 
gasu sun zam fasi- mu amir-al-mumini- 

kina '^ na °* 

51 munka samu mun yi sarki 

Brethren, we thank God ; We perform acts of faith 

and prayer ; 
Even holy war for Thee We slew the breed of 

the Exalted One : dogs, 

3 They know (now) that their task was beyond their 


We have slain the Who were they ? The 

heathen ; men of Gobir. 

They came for the sake They and half the men 

of (fighting) the fol- of Asben, 

lowers of Abd-el-kadr: 
6 They came, all of them, together with (their) king. 



There at Kwoto they There was no fighting, 

fled, save of women, 

They left (for us) tents We destroyed life as 

and women, though it had been a 

9 They know that there is no repairing. 

There is no one so foolish He made much splutter- 
as Yunfa, ing and froth, 

They came all of them. They fled even to their 

there was no one left birth-places, 
at home, 

2 They have left half (their number) to the vultures. 

Their chargers they left Their camels, too, for 

behind, others, 

Their great ones we The thorn-bush saved 

killed, some ; 

5 We slew their horsemen, both light and heavy. 

All the mail-clad coun- We slew them in the 

sellors, service (of God), 

All the foot-soldiers, we To get profit and reward, 
did not choose between 

8 Without trouble, without labour. 

Ye men of Gobir, you You came, all of you, 

were fearful ; with your lion-like 

You became like unto You ran away like a 

sheep, donkey 

I That leaves behind (it) the merchant and its bag, 

L, Google 


Ye men of Gobir, you You came in order to 

have brought a curse turn aside the right 

upon you : way, 

You all became like Who blacken (the teeth), 

women and are in female at- 

+ Who make obeisance before the king. 

Had you known, you The golden bracelet of 

would have repented ! Soba, 

Even the girdle of Baba, The tobacco pipe of 

7 We have taken them without a blow. 

To-day behold us ; we go They cannot even go 

everywhere ; forth ; 

The thick bush and holes For fear of those who 

did they enter, take captives, 

o Of those armed with hatchets and clubs. 

Behold us, behold our all, Formerly, when they 

found that which be- 
longed to us, 
(Even if we said) for (For any) little thing 

God's sake, they did they seized (our goods), 

not give it us, 
J Now they will have to pay fines and ransoms. 

Yunfa would humiliate Even kings feel ashamed ; 

the world ; 
They know that he de- He fled from a bare-legged 

stroyed spiders' webs, people, 

6 Who had neither coat of mail nor horse. 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 


He fled (from) the men Who live in reed huts, 

with short shirts, who possess but a 

woman's load, 

Who make their huts These are they who drove 

out of the kalgo-tree; awaythecowardYunfe. 

9 They will be the heritors of kings. 

They whose apparel costs They drove away your 

but 300 cowries, army, 

They will follow you to Their purpose is to seize 

your country, your com ; 

3 They will fatten while you tremble. 

Thereat Kwoto we tasted There the naked found 

the sweets (of victory), fine floth. 

Ye men of Gobir, ye have We are coming to Alka< 

guests with you ; lawa to war ; 

We who had to drive out the hares are coming to 
5 (your) houses. 

Ye men of Yakuba, Ye came to cast the 

ye sharpened (your spear, 

Ye came to collect a debt, We will do that which is 

right without delay, 
S Therefore hear it openly from my mouth. 

Some there were waver- Their wealth was more 

ers; (to them) than their 

religion ; 
Behold them, they have We, the prince of the 

become profligates, believers 

1 We have found and made him king, 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 



The king of Gobir wis the most powerful kii^ in Ihe Hausa Slates 
prior to their conquest bjr the Futani, Fulbe, or Fulahs, ns they are 
variously called. The author of this song was Abd-illahi, son of Fodio, 
who is probably to be identihed with Ihe copyist of F. in " Specimens of 
Hausa Literature." Vunfa, king of Gobir. tiad made an attack upon 
Othman at Ruga Fako, and had been defeated with much loss. Sut>»e- 
quent to the battle of Ruga Fako, and, apparently, to the compositiun of 
this song, Vunb was defeated and kilied at Kwoto, and Alkalawa, the 
capital of Gobir, was captured by the Fulahs. The battle to which this 
song refers took place about the year 1S04. 

' dal(l)a, a rare word for dogs ; also Ihe name of the lirst king of 

* tarki, a Sokoto word denoting an impossible task. 

' kadirawa. The reference is to the sect founded by Abd-al-kadr, of 
Silaiii, of Bagdad, 561 A H., i.e. 1165 A.D. Si Ahmad ben Idris, Sheikh 
of the KadiiBwa order, sent missionaries into N. Africa during the early 
part of the I9lh century. The majoriiy of the Fulani, including Othman 
dan Fodio and his adherents, belonged to this sect. 

* asbinawa, people of Ashen, a name given to one of the Tuarek tribes. 
^ au ; another reading is wai, they say. 

* ka*ata, probably a Sokolo wokI iiieaning to run away ; or perhaps 
we should read aunfca zata, they thought. In this cose we should 
translate, " they thought that there would be no fighting except with 
women " (cf line 19), 

' rayi, i.e. rai yi. rai is masculine, but is here treated as feminine 
for the sake of the rhythm; yi denotes "like." cf. A. 6. 

" sarewa is applied to a useless, foolish person. 

' l^anfa, a Sokoto word equivalent to saura, remainder. 

>" maiki, or meke, a species of eagle or vulture. 

II mayya mayya, usually written mainya mainya. 

" sarkttki, sometimes written sirkakia, a thorny bush which grows 
neat water. The meaning of the passage is, thai some secured their safety 
by hiding in Ihe bush. 

1" barde, cavalry without shields. 

" garki, cavalry with shields. 

>' masulifdi ; lifdi, or lifiidi, is a quilted shirt worn by horse soldiers. 

" Iiad(<i)a. the king's council. 

'' gurgtiri, or guriguri, properly a runner in front of a horse, so foot 
soldiers generally, 

'•* tada, lit., to raise up, hence to choose. 

" The MS. reads babu, but for the sake of the rhythm Ihe u must be 

^ zaki, lion, a title applied to a king. 

" koka, a Sokoto equivalent for kaman, like. 

^ sassaka, " to jog " (of a donkey). 

" kahtinna, i.e. Arabic ^ the fem. form of they, used here in order 
to rhyme with the other lines in the verse. 

^' masudinini. The three last syllables must be scanned as two for 
the sake of the rhythm. 

" masualada, lit , those wiio perform the custom. It probably refers 
to the performance of afi, a form of obeisance. 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 


^ da kacbe is apparenlty equivalent lo da kun sani, hud you known 
(cf. p 55 n). 

» tatuba. For Ihis use of ta cf. p. 87. 

^ munduwa, pi. mundaye, a biacelci. 

^ zina, another resiling is zinaria, which, liovever, spoils the rhytlim. 
zina is probably a conlraclion for zinaria. 

'' Soba was the uncle of Vunfa. The ring and olher loot memitmed 
ueie sell known heirlooms. 

^ tamantaka, a Tuaiek word denoting mi Asben girdle. 

^ Baba and Bawa were also uncles of Ynnfa. 

'' kH(s)she, here used like chi, 10 capmre, not necessarily implying 

''^ kuncbi is often applied to the lliorn fence and rami lo the diicli 
surrounding' a town. The passage may mean, " they have taken refuge 
inside their towns." 

* warwada or walwada, a long-hladed hoe or hatchet. The reference 
is 10 ihe inadequate weapons of the Fulani. 

^ dukiyammu, a euphonic variation of dukialmu. The meaning is 
that the speakers possessed nothing but that which they were wearing. 

^ dauri, a shortened form of dawuri, formerly. 

"* gn^mki, the money paid lo ransom a captured slave. 

« Bumya, spider's web. The meaning apjarently is, that in his hasty 
flight through the bush he hroke the spiders' webs. 

" maauchinya. The Futanis in these days did not wear trousers. 
Cf. Fr. sani culoltei. 

'" maautaggo 1 taggo, another form of tugua, a short, armless shirt. 

'^ huware, a Fulani word denoting the reed shelters used by tic Fitlanj 

* faego, or paggo, a Fulani word denoting a woman's lu^age carried 


From the bark of the kalgo tree are made cords to tie up the 
rseds of the house. 

*' .100 cowries, i e. alout threepence. 

*'' sansani, lit . camp, here used for army. 

"^ saki, or aoaki, a valuable dark blue cloth. 

** yin bako means to have a guest to stay. 

" alkalawa was the capial of Gobir. 

>' fid(d)a zomo, for masu fid((I)a zomo. The meaning apparently 
is, that (he speakers had originally to dispute their tenure with animals. 
They here endeavour lo glorif)' their present success ty comparing it with 
their former insignificance. 

^ Yakuba wis the predecessor of Vunfa. ya'kubawa signifies men of 

^ yada fuasbi, lit., throw spear. The expression is applied to the 
first war waged by a king after his accession 

^ taakka, Arabic <^ right, or truth. 

'^ jita : ta, refers to magana, which is understood. 

M muzabzabifia, Arabic, waverera. In this case, and in the three 
following lines, the a is added to the Arabic form for the sake of scanuon. 

*^ dina, Arabic, religious worship (cf. addini). 

^ fasilrina, Arabic, proSigates. 

'* amira-l-muminina, Arabic, a title given lo the Sultan of Sokolo. 
The Hausa form is sarikin muBuImi. 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 


' A description by a Uauea native in the Mahdi's camp. 



i^U^ (joj< • jtiS t jJ-i* 04^ l^j^ ^ cH -^y 

,«^> tyii^ j.3^ ^ J ^4-^ tiJi Vw^ ^"l 

^-iS t^\ ^^ 04* . V'J*^'^ (jiJjUi'\ ftwui 
^_.j ^O ,_yliae\ (_^,\j ij-^J<^\ (^^-li\ 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 



rana da akakamashi anyi yaki tunda safe hal 
mareche babu zamnawa. mutanen basha an- 
ka(s)shesu; mutanen mahadi kuma anka(s)she5u 
dayawa hal dere hal asuba. mutanen basha 
sunka ber woni wuri sunka zo wurin mahadi 
sunka che mun gaji babu futawa yo ku chishemu 
kad(d)an kun taf(f)i gid(d)ada dere basha ya gudu. 
mahadi ya che to haka zamu yi mu sameshi : 
mahadi ya basu dukia ya che ku taf(f)i en kun so 
ku zona chik(k)in sansan(n)ina en ba ku so ba ku 
taf(f)i garinku. sukayi murna ; ya kawo shanu 
akayenka da rakumi akayenka : ya kawo kurdi 
dayawa ya ba masufa4(d)a ya che to wanan ba 
ni so shi kwana sai mun chishi da ikon allah : 
saanan fa akatashi da asuba ya sa mutane sunka 
taf(f)i gab(b)az ga khartum wadansu kuma ga arewa : 
mahadi shina dag(g)a kud(d)u. mahadi ya tashi 
akayi busa, duka suka taf(f)i zua ga khartum, 
mutanen khartum suka tashi akagamu anafa4(0)a 
wanan da wanan suna bugun bindiga hal dere : 
suna fa4(4)a ba su iya shig(g)a ba. anafad(4)a 
bar gari ya waye da jijifi mahadi ya 5hig(g)a gari 
mutanen basha da suka ji hak(k]anan zuchiarsu 
ta bache. kad(d)an mutanen mahadi suka soki 
mutum ya kan yesda bindiga. suka kama mutum 
kaman ashirin : basha ya che ba zashi gudu ba 
har akakamashi : ambugeshi da bindiga akasareshi 
da takobi. mahadi ya che akawo kansa akasare- 
shi akadauki namansa akajefashi chik(k)in rua. 
akakawo kansa wurin mahadi. mahadi ya che 
arufe idanunsa ya che kun yi mugun abu domi 
kuka ka(s)sheshi : ya yi fushi ya tasht ya komo 
.n(n)i da mareche. 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 

140 hausa grammar 


On the day on which the city was captured the fight was 
carried on from morning till night without any respite. 
Many of the Pasha's men and many of the Mahdi's men 
were killed. (This went on) till evening, till the early 
dawn. The Pasha's men left a certain place and came to the 
place where the Mahdi was and said, we are tired and have 
had no rest to-day ; give us something to eat. If you come 
to the house to-night the Pasha will run away. The 
Mahdi said, it is well ; we will do so ; we will capture him. 
The Mahdi gave them goods ; he said, go if you wish, or 
stay in my camp if you do not wish to go to your own 
town. They rejoiced ; he brought them cattle, they were 
killed ; a caroel also was killed (for eating). He brought 
much money, he gave it to the soldiers. He said, it is well ; 
I do not wish that he (the Pasha) should sleep before we 
capture him, by the power of God. 

Then they rose up in the early morning. He caused 
his men to go to the east towards Khartum, others to 
the north, the Mahdi himself was at the south. He rose 
up and blew a trumpet, they all went to Khartum. The 
men of Khartum rose up ; they met, they fought one with 
another. They fire guns, they fight till, the evening, they 
are not able to enter. The fight went on till break of day, 
till the early dawn ; (then) the Mahdi entered the town. 

When the Pasha's men heard this their heart failed. 
When the Mahdi's men pierced any one (with a spwar) he 
threw away his gun. About twenty men captured the 
Pasha. He said that he would not run away till he was 
captured. He was shot with a gun, he was cut with a 
sword. The Mahdi said that his head was to be brought. 
It was cut off and taken ; his body was thrown into the 
water, his head was taken to the place where the Mahdi 
was. The Mahdi said, let his eyes be shut. He said, you 
have done a wicked thing ; why did you kill him ? He was 
angry ; he rose up ; he returned to the camp in the evening. 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 


\Iliji' f^^ j^^j VjL- ^ W>« " Vl?— ^ 
* jlj i/ i'uj tiJ;— • ^^ ^ ^jj^ J-'J'*^ * L5^ 

I Written by Mallam Abda Samada, of Katsena. 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 



tasunia. mujia tai sata ta kawo chik(k}iii 
kogonta ta boiye. shafo da shirwa suka tara 
tsuntsaye duka suka che abldota. en ba su 
samota ba kad(d)a su komo gid(d)ajensu. mujia 
ta samu labari ta boiya ; suna bidanta ta shig(B)a 
chik(k)in kogon iche : ba ta fit(t)a sai da dere : shir- 
iwa da shafo suka sami labari mujia na tare da 
jimina: suka kira jimina suka tambayeta : jimina 
ta che ba ta da labari sai atambayi kada mujia 
tana gid(d)ansa : suka che akira kada : kada ya 
che ba shi zua babu ruansa: suka che shi taf(f)o: 
ya che ba shi zua ; ya shig(g)a chik(k)in rua : ya 
boiya : sarki ya samu labari ya che akamusu 
shirwa da shafo ; sarki ya bada kurdi tari : akayi 
terko : akkaamusu : sarki ya tambayesu en(n)a laifin 
mujia : suka che ta yi sata : sarki ya che mi ta 
sata : suka che kwoi : sarki ya che en(n)a maikwoi : 
suka yi shiu : en(n)a maikwoi: suka yi shiriu, 
sarki ya kamasu ya yenkasu : yayansu suka che 
koen(n)a suka ga mujia su kas(s)heta : mujia ba ta 
fit(t)a sai da dere. 

?<i I,, Google 



The story : the owl committed a theft and carried (what 
she stole) into her hole and hid (it) : the kite and the hawk 
collected all the birds, and said let her be sought for and 
brought ; if they do not find her let them not return to 
their houses: the owl heard the news: and hid herself: 
they seek her : she entered into the hollow of a tree ; she 
did not come out till the evening : the kite and the hawk 
heard the news that the owl was with the ostrich : they 
called the ostrich : they inquired of it : the ostrich said that 
it had no news: but the crocodile should be asked (lit., 
there should be asking of the crocodile) (as) the owl was in 
his house : they said let the crocodile be called : the croco- 
dile said he was not coming, it was no concern of his : they 
said let him come : he said he would not come ; he entered . 
the water: he hid himself; the king heard the news, he 
said let the hawk and the kite be caught : the king gave 
much money : a trap was made : they were caught : the 
king asked, where is the fault of the owl ? They said, she 
committed a theft : the king said, what did she steal ? 
They said, an egg : the king said, where is the owner of 
the egg? They were silent : (he said again), where is the 
owner of the egg ? They were silent : the king seized 
them and killed them : their children said that wherever 
they saw the owl they would kill it : the owl does not come 
"out except at night. 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 

Translitkration of the Extract from Hausa Poem 
FACING Title Page. 

bismi allahi errahmani errahimi salla 

allahu ala saydina muhammadin wa ilihi wa 

sahbihi wa salaman tasliman 

haz alkitab alrata Hmansub 

bismi allahi allah 

farawa na karatu 
y& allah rabbi ka 

bamu gamu katarta 
ya allah ya khaliku 

ya arziki bai 
ya allah ka shiriamu 

mu yi aiki sawaba 

zamu fa haddichi ni 
akan majia kalami 

to matamu almajirai 
akumaida hiin(in)a 

akoi nesa ku ber kai 
da kawowa na karia 

ku ji choro akoi ran- 
gamu mu da mu 
da allah 

anaboiya anajachik- 
(k)i anafasada 

suna (ne) na allah da 

kan yi afara aiki 
muna zikri muna ad- 

dua muna sallati 
ya maabudu ya rab- 

bana sarki sarauta 
kad(d)a mu kurkura 

mu yi abinda ba 

shi kama ba 
bawanan da kan ji shi 

ba shi kalkade ba 
kuna zikri kuna ad- 

(d)ua kuna sal(l)ati 
ku ber ta rad(d)a ku 

ber hasada da anan- 

rana na kumya ka 

ke chik(k)i sai ta 

wata rana akanda- 

masa ya ka che ba 

yi ba 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 



10 atuba haki^a aboki 
aber na karia 
ayi tuba ga allah 
aber tuba mazoro 

maituba mazoro ba 
shi ishi kow/ani 

akandarmishi baibai 
ajashi da birkidawa 

ajashi anadak(k)a hal 
ta yin dorawa az&- 
15 shina kuka shina sha 
shashaki achik(k)i 

kuma akankaishi 

(a)kanrataia ga 

rinun az&ba 
Bhi ke nan fa daimu 

babu fita dadai ba 
maituba ba shi komo 

ga aiki nai na sabo 

ayi tuba ga allah 
aboki aber na karia 

20 tuba hakika aber riki- 
chi na banza 
maisuabo izan ya ki 
tuba ya yi khas&ra 

ku bi allah ku ber bi 
la'inu da shi da 

aber rikichi aber sha 

gia da bam da buza 
shi ke tuba kaza tana 

baka (baki) bai sako 

sai zunubi sai san- 

duna da su da sarka 

wuta da wuta ta kan 

wanyi duka babu 

chik(k)in machichi 

chik(k)in gamats 

chik(k)in masiba 
az&ba anatakura ana- 

dandakasa kamal 

shina tsua shina ta- 

kura kamal kutara 

ba mutua bale shido- 

shi shi je shi futa 
kun ji fa mun fadi 

yanda ka nemasa 

ba khilafa 
aber koiya na shaitan 

da zashi gid(d)an 

idan haka yi gobe 

anadubu nadama 
ya rubushi ya kora 

kansa chik(k)in azfi- 

kuna azumi da salla 

kuna zaka da haji 




In the name of God, the CompasstoDate, the Merciful, 

may God bless our lord Mohammed and his 

relations and his friends, and peace be (ratified to them). 

This is written for the warning of ray relations. 

In the name of God, God is the beginning of (my) reading, 

it is the name of God which you must make fast at the 

beginning of (your) work. 
O God, my Lord, grant us to obtain our desire, we utter 

invocations, we offer supplications and prayers, 
O God, creator and sustainer of Thy servants, O my Lord, 

who art worshipped and rulest over the kingdom. 
O God, prepare us that we may work successfully, let us 

not fail or do that which is unfitting. 
5 We will begin to speak, our preaching is for those who 

listen to our words ; let not the man who hears cast 

away {what he hears). 
Ye, too, O women, my disciples, do you show diligence; 

invoke the name of God and offer supplications and 

There is a far-away (judgment), leave off false dealing, leave 

off whispering, leave off jealousy and tale-bearing. 
Be afraid, there is a day of meeting between us and God ; 

it is a day of shame, (whatever) you are within shall be 

There is hiding, there is crouching, there is wrong-doing, 

on another day he is confused, he is sorry that he did 

not do it. 
10 My friend, repent truly and leave off falsehood, leave off 

deceit, leave off drinking gia and bam and buza. 
Repent to God, leave off repenting like a wild cat ; it 

repents with the fowl in its mouth, it puts it not 


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Repentance like that of the wild cat is not enough for any 
one, he shall indeed have nothing but evil, stripes and 

He shall be bound with his hands behind, he shall be 
dragged and turned over and over, the fire shall 
include everything, there shall be no getting away 

He shall be dragged and beaten till the pain is increased ; 

in the squeezing, crushing, and great pain. 
15 He cries, he gasps for breath in the pain, he is bowed 

down, he is struck frequently, as a skin (that is beaten). 
Again he is taken and tied to a painful stake, he screams, 

he bends like the kutara tree. 
There is indeed for ever no release at all ; much less will 

death take him away, so that he should go to rest. 
He who repents, returns not to his work again ; do you 

listen, we tell you what you are looking for, there is 

no variation. 
My fHend, you must repent to God, you must leave off 

falsehood, leave off the teaching of Satan, who will go 

to the house of pain. 
20 Repent truly, leave off vain deceit ; if this be done, to- 
morrow your repentance will be seen. 
The evil doer, if he refuses to repent, will suffer misfortune ; 

he loses (all), he hurries himself to {the place of) pain. 
Follow God, cease following the wicked man, leave both 

him and his desires ; keep the fast, and pray, give 

tithes, and go on the pilgrimage. 

, NOTES.* 
The first two lines in the MS. ate in Arabic. 
' ^^ oi, should be ij ne. 
da kati yi, which you should make ; i.e. make fast. 

* \SjjS katarta. Katar was a special friend of Mohammed. The ex- 

• The nos. attached 10 these notes refer to the nos. of the lines in the 

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pression gamu katarta denotes to obtain a thing with ease, ot to obtain 
the object of desire, even as Katai obtained bis wishes from MohaEiinled. 

* i>>jl arzi^i, prosperitir, here used as source of prosperiCf. The \jlfoi 
the Arabic is usually pronounced in Hausa as though it weie written el k. 
Another readmg here is jjlj razikun, i.e. Arabic equivalent for sus- 

^ bai, a shortened form of bayi, the pi. of bawa, slave. 

iyiK- Arabic, worshipped. 

' mIj" Arabic, that which is right. 

1,^kurkura, for lij to miss the mark in shooting. 

Ur kama, for katnata, right, litling. 

* ji shi ba. The ba is superfluous, and should be omiiled. 
C4<i>- had(d)ichi, cf. second form of Arabic oo*. to enploin. 
l,«* majia, another fonn of jf^ masuji, listeners. 

' Lit., give up taking away and bringing back deceitfully, Le, giving 
one report to one person and a different one to another, l^^karia 
should be written ^/ karia. 

W ^1 lit., (here is far away, Le. there is another world. 

' jjjt choTO. The Fulahs who speak Kausa generally use choro for 

* ^/^^ ja cbik(k)i, dra^ng the belly ; an expression suggested by 
the crawling of a snake, often applie 1 to the secret approach of a thief. 

,j£-i ya ka che, an idiomatic expression generally used ot a man who 
regrets what he has just done. cf. use of da na Ban!, had I known, 
p. 55 note. Another reading is ya ka che da ba yiwo ba, 

10 ^j^ ^ Ci gia, bam, biua, three intoxicating drinks, gia ii 
mEide by soaking guinea cjrn imivBter for three days till it begins to sprout. 
It is then boiled and crushed, bam is palm wine obtained t^ direct 
incision into the stem o( the palm, buza is made of salt, honey, and 

" jjjil mazoro, a wild cat ; the repentance of a wild cat is a Hausa 
synonym for insincerity ) with a stolen chicken in its mouth, which it has 
no intenlion of giving up, it says, " I repent." 

" bal ta yin. For a somewhat similar use of ta, cf. grammar, p. 87. 

1' shina fiha ehashaki, the first sha should be omitted, shashaki 
is used of the gurgling sound made by a gnat when its throat is cut, 

1' y, rinu, properly an iron fork for toasting meat. 

lyL tsua, the noise made by a mouse when caught by a cat. 


^^Ukutara, the name of a tree; the rafters made from its wood are 
heated in the fire in onler that they may be bent into shape. 

■' liSi. khilafa, Arabic, difference, inconsistency; i.e. we tell you what 
to do, none can tell you anything different. 

*) haka yi, foth*ka ka yi. 

Cu nadama, Arabic i><Sj' repentance, remorse. The meaning is. If 
you repent to^iay, you will not sin again to-monow, but you will repent 
what has been done. 

" ^ ta'inu, Arabic, accursed. Another reading is, v^ la'abu, 
Arabic, playing of game?. 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 


I*/' Lr>A^!* j^j i^^jr' "^^ ^J- ^ u^^ 
oojj^i i^^U ^^ ^}:i,:> _.* ^Jio cX^ t^ 

j^-0 * tiU _.J> __^^ j*'i t^J^ t-5jlttlj *l*iiLi 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 

letter to the king of zinder ijl 

jagaban aiyari ya gaida sarikin zinder ya gais- 
sheshi kuma ya gaisheshi gaisua dubu dubu ya 
che allah shi ded(d)i ransa bayan hak(k}a ya che 
mu da wadanda ke tare da mu tunda kwana 
goma sha fudu mu ber kano: yanzu muna so mu 
zo garinka inun rokeka ka bermu mu shig{g)a 
kasuan garinka mu yi cbiniki bar shegpjlgulamu 
su kare baya nan zamu haji zua makka : mu yi 
abu duka da ka fad(d)a zamanmu nan naka ne 
fit(t)anmu nan naka ne. jagaba ya che en ka che 
ya kamata mu tashi to mu tashi en ka che mu yi 
shegulgutamu bar su kare to mu yi saanan mu 
gode maka dayawa. jagaba ya che kuma kad(d)a 
ka karbi abinda akache duka agaremu : mu dai 
fatake ne mu ba masufeshe ba ne bale mu yi 
sata achik(k)in kasuan garinka mun rokeka kuma 
ka fa(J{d)a mutanenka kad(d|a su tashemu tilas sai 
mun samu guzuri sabada taf(f)iarmu : na aiko 
maka da goro alfin tare da takerdan nan : allah 
shi tsawonta ranka. iyaka ya kare. 


The guide of the caravan salutes the king of Zinder; 

he salutes him again, he salutes him with thousands of 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 


salutations. He says, raay God prolong his life. After this 
he says, we and those who are with us left Kano fourteen 
days ago. Now we wish to come to your town, we beg of you 
that you allow us to enter the market-place of your town 
that we may trade until our business is finished : after this 
we will go forth as pilgrims to Mecca, We will do every- 
thing that you tell us ; our stay here is in your hands, our 
going forth hence is in your hands. The guide says, if you 
say it is necessary for us to arise, well, we will arise ; if you 
say we are to do the business that we have until it is 
finished, well, we will do it, and will then thank you much. 
The guide says again, do not believe everything that is 
said of us. We are indeed traders ; we are not brigands, 
much less do we wish to steal in the market of your town. 
We beg of you again that you will say to your men that 
they are not to forcibly disturb us till we have obtained 
provision for the way in view of our journey. Together 
with this letter I send two thousand kola nuts. May God 
prolong your life. The end. It is finished. 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 


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^1 \j«U. jyji jjss: J.JU . lj«li i^^i (j.«J 
oj\-» • U[^ (j^j^ c-joi- l.ojS2^ \^«U- Cjj 



u' U-* ij-^ tiljy. ,_y=** (j^ U*— ^ 

• lilli j^\ .yi\ \^ ^ ,_yJS:- \j«li ,_j-i, 

^_jil- • \Jk£j5o U\j tii\ jii ^,\ ,jpj\i 15A; 

U-^ cr5>* LTf^ • V** / u-f <^J^ 

U^ ''^ O"**^ LS^' U-^ * *— ''^ J^J'^ 

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« ^ j^ j^ \}^ is^^— ;? c;^-^ ^J-*^ * ^J^ 

•o^ ^/«^ V--W )^'^ • jJ^^-^ tll\j ^^ [**^ 
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Lf^ i5TH^ V'_j-5 t_Sj\aS"^ tjjj Lis i>i. 1^^ t\Jo 
N V.' i-lj.j ^J^fi3 ^^.•J' ,«JJtJ^ (r-^' t-^^" ^ji^'S" 

Tr AXSLIT 1£ i; AT I O N" . 

gartn shamuwa. 
sariki ya nemi wani mutum wanda zai taf(f)i ya 
ga enda rana ta ke fit(t)owa : ananan wani talaka 
matsiachi ya zo ya chC da sariki ni na taf(f)i : 
sariki ya che to ka taf(f)i ; akayi masa guzuri ya 
taf(f)i gid(d)a ya daura wa dokinsa surdi ya hau 
ya fit(t)a dag(g)a gari zashi gunan enda rana ta 
ke fit(t)owa : ya taf(f)i taf^fjia har ya samu wata 


guda : ya wuche duka har ya is(s)a garin sha- 
mu^va. saanda ya je garin shamuwa akoi wota 
shamuwa da ta ke zua gid(d)ansa ta ke yi kwot : 
saanda ya taf(f)i garin nan shamuwan nan ta 
ganshi : ashe shamuwa agarinsu mutane ne en 
zasu zo garinmu su kan zama tsuntsaye : ta 
daukeshi ta kaishi gab(b)an sariki suka gaisa ta 
kaishi gid(d)a akayt masa kalachi ya chi : shi 
kua bai sansu ba su kua sun sanshi : ya tam- 
bayesu ya che ku mutanen nan enna kuka 
sanni ? suka che mun sanka : ya che kaka kuka 
sanni ? suka che mun je garinku suka che masa 
en damuna ta yi wad(d)ane tsuntsaye ne su ke 
zua garinku ? ya che shamuwa : ya che ku ne 
shamuiAra ? suka che mu ne shamuwa : suka che 
kai kua ataru enna zaka? ya che zani en gano 
cnda rana ta kc flt(t)owa. suka che ka zo ka 
kwana da safe ka wuni : idan dere ya yi da 
jijib ka taf(f)i ka iske guri maidufu. ya che ka 
wuche ka is(s)a guri maija : ya je ya wuche ya 
is(s)a guri farifet kogin azurfa ya diba kad^an 
azurfa ya kunsa hanun riga ya wuche ya taf(f)i 
wuri maija kogin zinaria ya diba kad^an ya kunsa 
hanun riga ya iske bab(b)an gumjt ya wuche ya iske 
bab(b)an baure da durumi da tsamia dogua da ita : 
ya is(s)a ya tsaya ya gani fufunda bab(b)an tsuntsu. 
da asuba zakara ya yi chara da rana zata fit{t)o ya 
kuma chara. jtmawa kaddan ya sake yin chara 
har sau uku ; saanan maibudun kofa ya zo ya 
bude ya che rana zata fit{t)o ya kuma fad(d)a rana 
zata fit(t)o. ataru ya yi sukua kamin ya 20 garin 
shamuwa rana ta koneshi ya zo dakir(r) ya sabka 
suka yi masa jinia har ya warke : fufunda sarikin 
tsuntsaye yina da ^woi guda daia tunda akatsiri 
dunia ya yi ^woi nan ya hau kansa yina kwancht 
bai kenke(s)she ba sai randa dunia ta kare : wanda 



ya yi kikiyawan hal(l)i ya shig(g)a en{n)ua tasa 
wanda bai yi kikiyawan hal(l}i ba ya zona arana 
kokolua tasa ta tafas(s)a yina gani en(n)uan fu- 
funda ba ya shig(g)a ba. 

The CouHti-y of the Storks. 
A king sought for a man to go and see where the sun 
comes out. Presently a poor destitute man came and 
said to the king, I will go. The king said, well, go. Pro- 
vision for the journey was prepared for him, he went to his 
house, he put the saddle on his horse, he mounted, he went 
forth from the country to go to the place where the sun 
comes forth. He went on his journey, he spent one month, 
he passed beyond everything, he came to the country of 
the storks. When he came to the country of the storks, 
there was a certain stork who used to go to his own house to 
lay eggs. When he came to this country, this stork saw him. 
The storks indeed in their own country are men. When 
they are about to come to our country they become birds. 
(The stork) took him and brought him before the king, they 
saluted ; she took him home, breakfast was made ready for 
him, he ate. He, in &ct, did not know them ; they knew 
him, he asked them and said, you men here, where did you 
know me ? They said, we have known you ; he said how is 
it that you know (me) ? They said, we go to your country ; 
they said to him, when the wet season occurs what birds are 
those that come to your country? He said, storks; he said, 
are you storks? They said, we are storks; they said, you, 
Ataru, where are you going ? He said, I come in order to 
see where the sun comes out. They said, come and stay 
the night, when the morning (comes), pass the day, when 
the evening comes, take your journey very early (till) you 
arrive at a dark place. He said, pass on, till you reach 
a red place; he went, he passed on, he came to a very 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 


white place, a silver river, he took a little silver, he 
folded (it) up (in) his sleeve (lit., the hand of the cloak), he 
passed on, -he went to a red place, to a golden river, he 
took a little, he folded (it) up (in) his sleeve, he came to a 
large gutta percha tree, he passed on, he came to a large 
fig tree, and a durumi tree, and a tamarind tree, which 
was tall. He arrived he stopped, he saw a large bird, the 
phcenix : in the early dawn the cock used to crow, when 
the sun was about to come forth he would crow again: 
after a little he would crow a third time: then the 
opener of the door would come and open and say, the 
sun is coming forth, he would say again, the sun is 
coming forth : Ataru galloped till he came to the town 
of the storks: the sun burnt him, he came with diffi- 
culty, he dismounted, they waited upon him (till) he was 
healed : the phcenix is the king of birds, it has (had) one 
egg since the world began, it laid that egg, it mounted 
{on it), it sat on it, it has not hatched the egg, (it will not 
hatch it) till the day on which the world ends: he who is 
of a good disposition will come under its shadow, he who is 
not of a good disposition will remain in the sun, his brains 
will boil, he will see the shadow of the phcenix, he will not 
enter it, 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 


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jyi\j\ (J-Wfl-t C*a-* U*^'^ j_p-l*U— 1 j*^^-^ 

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^-i^^ (_^tXC- 15-^?^ tiP^ *\<jjj V-\ ^^ 

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j_^.j4 ^xjj-fljo— ( (»-3^ ^^-4^*^ '^■^ 1)^*^ Wi^j 


su zo kusa ga rua na yemma su yi kaman 
yedda mutane suke yl 3u wuche kuma har sau 
bok(k)oi : hak(k)a su taf(f}o wuiin ka'aba^ suna 
duban daki^ samrai shina magana da su kad(d)an 
sun gam(in)a su nife ido su fit(t)o su taf(f)i wurin 
tsayawan annabi ibrahtm su yi salla so biu su 
tashi duka samrai nan shina magana da su kad- 
(d}an sun gam(m)a su rufe ido su taf(f)t dakin 
zumzum^ su sha su yt wanka su je wojen kofan 
safa^ kad(d)an sun yi kusa da bakin ikofan safa su 
komo su lashi dutsi^ su fit(t)a su tsaya abakin 
1;ofa su yi magana su sauka suna yi magana su 
taf(f)i wurin safa sii hau bis(s)a su che bismi 


allahi allahu akbar. su sauka su je wurin gudu 
duka su yi gudu kad(d)an su tsaya su yi taf(f)ia 
su taf(f)i wurin marwa" su hau bis(s)a marwa su 
yi magana su sauka su yt hak(k)anan sau bok(k)oi 
kana su taf(f)o su yi aski su kawo kurdi maiyawa 
aba satnari akawo kuma aba wanzami saanan su 
taf(f)i gid(d)ansu su tube zane. 

idan gari ya waye su taf(f)i mina' su zamna su 
tar(f)i arafa^ su hau bis(s)a tunda hantsi bar rana 
ta fadi. liman* ya che lab(b)aiki'> mutanc duka 
su che lab(b)aik bar rana ta yi zaB saanan duka 
su taf(f)i mina kowa ya dauki dutsi bok(k)oi bok- 
(k)oi ya jefi shetan : su komo duka gid(d)a mutane 
masukurdi su sai raguna woni ya sai d^" woni 
dari da hamsin woni ya sai metin duka hak(k)a- 
nan zasu saya : ayenkasu duka tunda safe har 
laasar : anazuba wa achtk(k)in rami masuchi suna 
diba suna soiyawa : gobc da safe kuma ayenka 
kaman na jia : mutane su taf(f )i su jefa dutsi 
bok(k)oi bok(k)oi su komo gid(d)a : gobe da safe 
rana ta uku su koma su jefa bok(k)oi bok(k)oi su 
tar(f)i kuma su jefa nabiu su koma naiiku su jefa 
kuma su yi aski su kawo rtga su sa su sa wando 
su sa fula su nadda rawani ayenka raguna 
kaman na shekaranjia da laasar : rana ta fudu 
mutane duka su taf(fji wad{d)ansu bis(s)a dawaki 
wad(d)ansu bissa jakuna wad(d)ansu bis(s)a alfa- 
darai wad(d)ansu bis(s)a rakuma saura duka suna 
taf(f)ia akasa suna taf(f)ia wurin da akayenka 
ismail^i su yi addua su wuche zua muk(k)a 
askarawa dayawa suna buga madafa su shig(g)o 
mak(k)a su sauka. 


They come near to the water on the west, they do as the 

others do, they pass by seven times : thus they come to 



the place of the Kaaba,^ they behold (the) house,* a young 
man speaks with them : when they have finished this they 
close their eyes, they come out, they go to the place where 
the prophet Abraham stopped, they offer prayer twice, they 
all rise up, the young man addresses them ; when they 
have finished this they close their eyes, they go to the 
house of Zemzem,' they drink, they wash, they go 
outside the door Safa,* when they come near to the thres- 
hold of the door Safa, they come back, they kiss the stone,* 
they go out of the door, they stop at the threshold of the 
door, they utter (certain) words, they go down, they utter 
(more) words, they go to the place of Safa, they mount up 
on it, they say, in the name of God, God is great. They 
go down, they go to the place of running, they all run; 
when they stop they make their journey, they go to the 
place of Marwa,' they mount up on Marwa, they utter 
(certain) words, they go down : they do this seven times 
then they come, they shave, they bring much money, it is 
given to ihe young men, more is brought and given to the 
barber, then they go to their houses, they take off their 

When the day dawns they go to Mina,^ they sit down 
there, they go to Arafa," they mount up on it, (they stay 
there) from early morning till sunset. The Liman ' says, 
" labbaik," '"they all say " labbaik " till the sun is hot, then 
they all go to Mina, each takes seven stones, and pelts the 
evil spirit ; they all return home, those who have money 
buy rams, one buys a hundred, another a hundred and fifty, 
another two hundred ; all will thus buy rams, they are all 
killed from morning til! late in the afternoon ; (the flesh) is 
poured out into a hole, those who eat take it out and 
roast it. 

On the following morning again (rams) are killed as on 
the previous day ; the men go, they throw seven stones 
each, they return home : on the morning of the third day 
they go back, they throw seven stones each, they depart 



again, they throw them a second time, they go back, a third 
time they throw them again, they shave, they bring their 
robes, they put them on, they put on trousers, they put on 
caps, they make up their turbans ; rams are killed as on 
the day before yesterday in the afternoon. 

On the fourth day all the men go away, some on horses, 
some on donkeys, some on mules, some on camels, all the 
rest go on foot : they go to the place where Ishmaei '* was 
killed, they offer prayer, they pass on towards Mecca ; many 
soldiers fire off caimon, they come into Mecca, they sit down 

' kaaba. — For explanatory description of the sites visited bj the 
pilgrims to Mecca, cf. " llausaland, pp. 199 — 203. The Kaaba, which 
IS believed to have been originally built by Adam, is regai-ded by (he 
Mohammedans as the most sacred site in the world . 

' i.e. the »icred enclosure fonning the Kaaba. 

' zemiem, the well believed to have been discovered by Hagar. 

' The hill safa, to which the door of the mosque called by the same 
name leads, is about fifty paces distant. Before the time of Mohammed it 
was revered as the abode of the idol Asaf. 

' i.e. the famous black stone built into the outside of the Kaaba. It is 
supposed to have been originally white and (o have become black in 
consequence of the ^ns of the pilgrims who have kissed it. 

° Marwa is another hQl not far from Safa. The ground between the 
two was that traversed by Hagar in search for water. The pilgrim is 
directed to walk seven times over it with an inquisitive air, now running, 
now walking, now stopping and looking anniously back. It is covered 
with shops at the present day. For reference to Suh. and Marwa, cf. 
Koran ii. 153, " verily S. and M. are of the institutions of God." 

? mina, Le. Wady Mina, the place where Abraham drove the devil 
away by pelting him with stones. In imitaiion of his action the pilgrims 
throw stones at three pillars erected here. 

^ arafa, a hill outside Mecca. It is here that the sermon is preached 
on the first day of the pilgrimage by a preacher, who is directed to be 
moved with feeling and compunction. This is prior to the visit to Wady 

' liman, from Arabic (.'-.I Imam, or priest. 

'° labbaik. — This is the formula of response at the end of the prayers. 
It comes from the Arabic^ labi, the second form of which means, to 
pronounce the words <2y labbaika, "here I am for your service." 
For origin of custom, cf. " Religion of Semites," by Robertson Smith, 
p. 411. 

" According to Mohammedan tradition, Abraham attempted to offer 
Ishmaei, not Isaac, in sacrifice. 

r:,9,N..<ib, Google 


The following are specimens of the changes which many 
Arahic words and letters undergo when adopted into Hausa, 
both in regard to their writing and pronunciation. 

The Ar. article appears in Hausa : i. Unchanged 
from the Ar. form, e.g. alkali ,jiil'l, Ar. 
tionsof id, judge; aljenna, W', Ar. id., paradise; 
^^^l addini, ^ll, Ar. ^s, religion ; cf. also addua, 

annabi, annabanchi. 2. As the letter 1, e.g. 
lada liv, Ar. iJlc, wages, pay; lokachi ^JiS^, Ar. is>ij, 
Kanuri lokta, time ; laya t5?, Ar. i^l, a writing, a charm ; 
lisha li, Ar, i\l^'\, late evening. 3. As the letter a, e.g. 
azuhur = Ar.^lkl(,' afternoon. 4. With closer assimila- 
tion in the case of words containing 1, e.g. allewa tjjl, 
Ar. uyt., sweetmeats ; v. under ,ji. 

Some of these Arabic words appear in Hausa both with 
and without the article, though occasionally with a slight 
difference of meaning, e.g. aia, ada, amru, alameri. In 
the same way we employ in English koran and alkoran, 
kali (as in lemon-kali) and alkali For modifications of the 
Arabic article in English similar to those found in Hausa 
we may note alcohol, which appears in Hausa as kulli 
(antimony), alkali, almacantar, and almagest. This last, 
which is used in astronomy to denote Ptolemy's great col- 
lection of problems, is a combination of the Arabic article 
Jl and the Greek itxyumj " greatest." 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 


An interesting example of the modification of the Arabic 
alphabet in a manner closely parallel to what occurs in 
Hausa is afforded by the history of the Greek cl/i^if 
" goblet " ; borrowed by the Arab chemists it appears as 
t_a^t and <^l ambtkun, which, with the Ar. article, is 
seen in the French alambic, English alembic, while a 
further reduction of the article gives the English limbeck, 
Italian lambicco. Illustrations of this assimilation and 
disappearance of the article may be found in the European 
languages themselves, thus, English newt = an ewt, an 
adder = a nadder : • English ounce (a lynx), French 
once, Italian lonza : English manatee (a sea cow), French 

A reduplicated consonant in Arabic often appears in 
Hausa as a single consonant followed by an 
^I^P"- alif; thus kali J^, to disregard = Ar. fealla 
co'^nants. »^ ' ^^^ '\A"'' '° revile = Ar. sabba C*-- 
Conversely a syllable, originally long, appears 
in Hausa as one ending in a double consonant ; thus daffa 
u-!^, to cook='Ar. >— *^j; fatilla >4 > l^mp = Ar. iLa. 

The Ar. u b frequently appears in Hausa as f <_j, 

occasionally as m |. ; thus Ar. thaubun up 
Changes , , 

in words becomes H. tufa ^*jj, a shirt; Ar. lata da jj, 

from H. lufudi ijjijl, a coat of mail ; Ar. rakubun 

w^ , H. rakumi >, , camel. 

Ar. i±j th is regularly pronounced ch in Hausa ; thus 

H, chabura, Ar, ^jj, trouble; occasionally, however, it 

appears as t o or s ^ ; thus Ar. ^ thabata, H. u^ 

' An inlereresling parallel to this is seen in modem Ar. itself, comparing 
j^ "viper" with the classical Ar. ^^If'f " the viper." 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 


tabbeta (usually pronounced tabetta), to continue; Ar. 
Jlii., H. Jil. tniskal, a weight. 

Ar. — hh sometimes appears in Hausa as alif I ; some- 
times it disappears altogether ; thus Ar, jJ rabahha, H. 
\ij riba, unlawful gain. 

Ar. p. kh is often changed to h _ ; thus Ar. khamasa 
,j-^, H. humushi ^(l,*, tax ; the Ar. khasratun i^ 
appears in Hausa under the three forms: hasara \j-~*-, 
asara |^L.1, and tasari ^LJ, loss; the Hausa word labari 
jC*^, news, comes from the Ar, khabarun ^i, the article 
having been first prefixed and then assimilated ; of. also 
fas(s)o j^, chapping, from Ar. fasikha Lj ; Toma Cji, 
pride, from Ar, fakhuma 'j^.. 

Ar. i dh or ds is pronounced z in Hausa ; occasionally, 
however, it appears as H. ch lI. or H. 1. ts ; thus Ar. 
dsorun jjj, H. choro jjjJ or tsoro jj^, fear; Ar, ^*»il, 
H. chuVumara \j>*J, cheese ; the Hausa word ^1 if, or 
when, i.e, the Ar. bl is usually pronounced idan ; cf. also 
H. dira \'y>, cubit, from Ar. dsira'un cj^. 

Ar. Lj« s sometimes changes to Hausa sh ^ before i ; 
thus Ar. sunnatun iw, H. 8hin{n)i ,jfi, knowledge. 

Ar. ^jB s may appear in Hausa as z J, z ^ , ts W , or j _ ; 
thus, Ar. sabba t^, H. zuba i-jj or ^j ; Ar. sarihhun 
_j^, H, tsari y^)e, pure; Ar. saumun -^, H. azumi 
^il, a fast ; Ar. kasirun^,-^, H. gajere j^.*?, short. 

Ar. yff palatal d is often written and pronounced in 
Hausa as d j ; thus H. Ifada jl> , to judge, from Ar. ^ ; 
H, yerda j^i, to consent, from Ar, U, ; H. rubda i\j, to 



crawl, from Ar. ^^- In a Tew instances the ^ is changed 
by the Hausas to J 1 ; thus H. |_y» fululu, arrogance, from 
Ar. Jj^ ; H. alale ^ySl, trouble, from Ar. ^#1 . Some- 
times the yo is retained in the written Hausa, but is pro- 
nounced as 1; thus, \yii lullo, purification, fromAr. fjjj, 
with article prefixed. As an instance of the variety 
brought about by the juxtaposition of the 1 J of the Ar. 
article and ^Ji, cf. in Diet, under allowa, alwal(l)a, 
anvalla, and lullo, all derived from Ar. Lij. 

Ar. t emphatic t is regularly pronounced ts in Hausa ; 
e.g. tsaka^, midst; tsaya ^, to stand. Occasionally 
in borrowed words the proper Arabic pronunciation is 
retained; thus H. J^_'- shaitan. An Ar. 1« sometimes 
appears in Hausa as o ; e.g. H. tasa ClJ, cup, from Ar, 
ilt; H. butulshi ^A'^■~l, ingratitude, from Ar. JW. A 
tendency to pronounce l> as j may be seen in the substi- 
tution of the latter for the former in words borrowed from 
the Arabic; e.g. H. sheradi iiyi, an agreement, from Ar. 


This letter k is generally used by the better-educated 
Hausas to represent the hard d or dt sound produced when 
the tongue touches the edge of the upper teeth ; e.g. Uoi 
fada, or fad(d)a, a fight ; Q> (Jaia, one (cf. pp. 7, 120). 

Ar. k weak emphatic s appears in Hausa writing (1) un- 
changed; e.g. A 50 ^^l^ (pronounced tsalimchi), deceit, 
from Ar. root Jb : (2) as l> , with which it is then more or 
less identified in pronunciation ; e.g. H. tsalimi Jli» , also 
from the Ar, root JJi . (3) Hausa forms of the same 
origin show as well i z; e.g, B 59, E 36, zulumi ^U, 

r:,9,N..<ib, Google 


doubt, fear. (4) In the Hausa word minzeri i.jy-— , 
spectacles, from Ar. i;^, the )i has become z y This 
weakening of the sibilants renders it sometimes difficult or 
impossible to decide with certainty the exact origin of 

words derived from Arabic; thus azurfa «jjl, silver, is 
probably derived from the Ar. root i-j^ (as suggested in 
the Diet.), but it may possibly come from the Ar. ^^Ji ; in 
either case the initial letter in Hausa represents an 
attenuated form of the Ar. article. 

Ar. e ain. As a general rule, to which, however, there 
are numerous exceptions, the occurrence of this letter in a 
Hausa word suggests that it is borrowed from Arabic. Its 
occurrence in words which have been definitely incorporated 
into the Hausa language does not aifect the pronunciation, 
and no mark has therefore been used to represent it in 
transliterating. In words merely borrowed from the 
Arabic and where the Arabic pronunciation is retained, 
its presence is marked by '. The Hausas constantly inter- 
change e and I ; thus we have ido jj£ and ^il, eye ; ita lis 
and ih , she ; ishe ^-ic and ^1 , to reach. In C 22, 23, 
what was once the Ar. article is spelt with c ; thus, 
alkaweli Jjilc, agreement. From the Ar. allama J.* 
the Hausas get halama Jc , to mark. 

Ar. i_j tc is sometimes represented by the Hausa g e ; 
thus, H. gufa lijc , basket, from Ar. ui ; H. shirga e^ , to 
overcharge, from Ar. i_i;i. In the colloquial Arabic spoken 
in N. Africa and in some parts of Arabia the Ar. i_J is 
frequently pronounced as g. 

Ar. I h, the Ar. j_all shahiyatun, appears in Hausa as 
^\i shahu and jttl shafo. 



The treatment of the sound f i_» in Hausa causes much 
variation In forms, and is strongly characteristic 
Pho\o. of the language. Generally speaking, in Europe 
J^^XT" the f-sound is produced by making contact of 
the lower lip with the edge of the upper 
teeth and forcing out the stream of air with audible friction 
of the passing breath.* The Hausas, however, exhibit a 
tendency to avoid tbe contact referred to. They simply 
draw the lips near one to another, producing a " bi-labial " 
fricative. In consequence of this looser articulation the 
barrier between this and the other labials is slight, and on 
the least occasion, say that of a following explosive, a 
labial stop p or b is heard instead of f. Thus a word 
which, as we know, had originally our f, tuf ka (Ar. t_ial>), 
to plait, may be correctly pronounced tup^a or tubka ; 
cf. also — 

hafshi hapshi habshi to bark 
safko sapko sabko to start 
taf^i tapki tabki a pool 
tafshi tapshi tabshi soft 

Again the Ar, Jt , pi. ^1^, mouse, appears in Hausa as 
bera, A 44. Other examples of this fluctuation at the 
beginning of words are — 

falasa palasa to revile 
fansa pansa reward 
fasshe passhe to break 

Further, words which must have come into the language 
with h have sometimes changed this to f; e.g. Ar. ^-^ 
sheik appears as shefu, C 46 note, so Ar. ia^ as huja or 
fuja, excuse. Finally, an original f may be weakened to a 

' Dwight Whitney, *' life and Growth of Language," p. 64 1 Max 
Muller, " Sc. of Lang," ii, p. 148. 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 


mere breath ; e.g. fira (cf. Ar. j^ , to trump up falsehood), 
an untrue story, is also found as hira ; cf. also — 

fuda huda to pierce 

fusba huska face, 6 171 

futju hudu four 

foro horo rebuke 

In these cases the true Hausa pronunciation would be 
best suggested by transliterating the letter <_j as fh. 

In closed syllables the labial is often entirely vocalized.' 

The labial is then merged into a diphthong or 

kb^il^^ vowel ; thus hafshi, haushi, to bark ; sabtu 

(orig. Pers. safta), sotu, a trust; shipka, 

shuka, to sow. 

The same slackness of articulation will explain changes 
exhibited in cases like zunufi = zunubi, Ar. ^i ; 
hawainya, Ar. ^;_,V , chamelion; rakumi, Ar. w^' 
camel; samako, Ar. -_>,to start. It was noticed above 
that hafshi, to bark, appears also as habshi and haushi. 
Equally complete absorption of an original b occurs in 
Hausa alura = alibra = Ar. i^Kl , needle. 

In a similar way m is vocalized in damre, daure, dora, 
to bind, fosten up ; zamna and zona, to sit down. Hence 
it is probably correct to refer the H. hauka, foolish, mad, 
totheAr. i_i^. 

One of the most characteristic phenomena of Hausa 

, , . ,. pronunciation is the tendency to labiaHze the 

Ldbialism. ... r . ■.». 

sounds k and g. In connection with Indo- 
European languages its origin is described by Dr. Peile:* 
" k is the hardest of all consonants to pronounce, and 
requires the most distinct articulation to keep the sound 



pure from subsidiary breaths. If we pronounce it lazily 
without fully opening the mouth, the result is that together 
with it a slight w^-sound is quite unconsciously pronounced, 
because the position of the tongue is almost exactly the 
same for k and g as for w, and if the lips be nearly shut an 
imperfect labial is necessarily produced : the k or g sound 
is followed by a labial after-sound, a ' halbvocalischer 
labialer Nachklang,' Corssen calls it, though the sound is a 
genuine consonant." ^ In the Indo-European languages 
this labialism has resulted in a change of the k or g into 
another consonant, e.g. Sanskrit gaus, Gr. j9oSs, O.H.G. 
chuo. In Hausa, however, this labialism is still inan initial 
stage, and the after-sound causes no actual change in the 
consonant which it follows. In fact, it is so unfixed that it 
maybe introduced or omitted at will. ')Thus we may say 
koda or kwoda, although ; komi or kwomi, anything ; 
koria or ^woria, a gourd ; takwoshi or tarkoshi, to go 
lame ; gonda or gwanda, a pawpaw ; goza or gwaza, a 
sweet potato ; koi or kwoi, an egg. The last example, if 
the identification with the Ar. ^y chick, and iyli egg, be 
right, shows how through force of custom the w is treated 
as if it were not radical but parasitic, being omitted or 
rejected at pleasure. In most, though not all, of the above 
instances, a " rounded " vowel of the o, u, class follows the 
labialized consonant. This may perhaps have tended to 
facilitate the labialization, though how far this has been so 
it is difficult to say. The suggestion derives some support 
from the fact tlmt in a few words a y sound is at times 
heard after k or g when followed by " front " vowels (such 
as those in Eng, bell or bale). Thus we may equally say 
ketu or i:yetu, a flint; kemru or kyemru, a reed; 
kenwa or kyanwa, cat; gero or gyero, corn. 

' ForfurtherdiscusMon of this principle, cf. Brugmann, "Comp. Grim. 
of the lodo-Gennanic Languages," i. 417 in Wright's itaoslation; also 
Max Miillei, " Science of Language, ii. 272. 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 


Here the parasitic palatizing glide imparts to k a slightly 
fricative character of the nature of the Germ, ach, or of the 
Eng, " kyind " for kind, or " gyirl " for girl. There is 
another k in Hausa where the hack palatal is a purely 
explosive k found in Arabic words with ._i, and in some 
cases with back vowels o and u. Thus we must distinguish 
kura, hyena, and kura, dust; kusa, near, and kusa, 

The Hausa language possesses the palatal ch (as in Eng. 
„, , which); e.g. wonchan, that; chiniki, trade: 

chivro, sickness; chocha, ant ; also sh (as in 
Eng. wish); e.g. ishinn, twenty; shiga, gusset; and in 
addition their " voiced counterparts " j (as in Eng. jungle) ; 
e.g. jawo, to draw; jefa, to throw; and j pronounced as 
Eng. s and z in leisure and azure', i.e. a kind of jh ; e.g. 
aje, truly. To these must be added the " glide " y, whose 
affinity with the palatals is exemplified in F 117, where 
junwa = yunwa, hunger. 

How strong this tendency to palatalism is we may see in 
the Hausa pronunciation of the Ar. iIj. That of Arab 
speakers varies much in different districts. Thus in Tripoli 
it is heard as t ; e.g. bei4 tnein, two eggs ; while in Egypt ' 
it is pronounced either as t or s, and in Algiers' as ts. 
From whatever quarter Arabic loan-words came into Hausa, 
the attempt to difTerentiate li from o gave occasion to its 
palatization as ch. 

The front vowels e, i, regularly change a preceding t 
intoch; e.g. kotanta and kotanchi, to compare ; mata 
and mache, a woman ; sata and sache, to steal. This 
change is most clearly seen in the case of participles; e.g. 
m. batache, f batachia, pi. batatu, spoiled; m. mata- 
che, f. matachia, pi. matatu, dead. Under the same 
circumstances 8 becomes sh; e.g. tarsa, tarshe, and 

'..>y Google 


tarshi, to help; kassa and kasshe, to kill; hausa and 
bahaushe, Hausa. 

The Hausas, as before remarked, frequently pronounce 
Li as ts, but the assibilation often leads to palatalization ; 
e.g. tsaga or chaga, to tear; tsarki or charki, purity ; 
see Diet, under chira, &c. We may add as further 
examples of fluctuating articulation in connection with 
palatals: shikkin (A 9) = chikkin, in; shariri = jariri, 
child; shere=jere, line; 5hure=jure, to kick; sau- 
rara = jurara, to listen. 

Close relations subsist between the trilled r and lateral 

,. ., 1 semi-vowels,' In Hausa, as in many other 

Liquids. , , , ,., . . 

languages, the one sound readily runs into the 

other. Thus the change seen in the Fr. armet, Eng. 
helmet, is common in Hausa, cf. — 

galgassa gargassa hairy 
galma garma a hoe 
halbi harbi to shoot 

tsalka tsarki purity 

In open syllables, too, this lisping, like that satirized in 
the " Wasps " (44) of Aristophanes, may frequently be 
heard ; e.g. fasala = fasara, to explain. Of the connec- 
tion between 1 and n we have instances in ladama ^ 
nadama,' repentance ; Hmke = nimka, to fold. Compare 
It. alma, contracted from the Lat. anima. 

In the case of Fr., Germ., It. t the point of the tongue is 
touched to the edge of the upper teeth. We may, how- 
ever, produce another t by pressing the blade of the tongue 
against the palate, as in English t. A similar difference is 
to be found in Hausa, and we must distinguish t from the 
t, energetically articulated with tongue and palate, as in — 
tsaya stand 

rotel pound 

dakket with difficulty 
' Cf. Dwight Whitney, ibid. p. 66 ; Max MUller, ibid. ii. p. 186. 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 


So with the corresponding soft sounds d and 4 in — 
da of old 

da son 

daidai alike 
daidai ever 

In Latin, d sometimes becomes r or 1 ; e.g. nemo me 
dacrumis {= lacrumis) decoret,' arbiter = adbiter ; a similar 
instance is found in Algerian Arabic in the use of VI for 
1 jl ; ' this latter is most Hkely due to the influence of 
African speech. In Hausa a d may change into an r ; 
of. fa^a = fad = far, F 190, where its occurrence at the 
end of the word probably assisted the change. These 
illustrations suggest the reason why in attempting to 
pronounce the Ar. palatal d ^^ the Hausas sometimes 
substitute for it 1. In studying Hausa MSS. the reader 
may occasionally come across an instance where, by a 
mannerism of the writer, ^^ is used instead of J in the 
spelHng of words like sarki, king J^^ when intended to 
be pronounced as salki. 

Of the interchange of r and s we have as examples — 

asna = arna heathen 

bisne = birna to bury 

hasbia = harbia pigeon 

With this may be compared the similar treatment of 
medial S in Latin ; e.g. mures = muses, mice. 

The Hausa language has been compared to the Italian 
owing to its preference for ending words with 
v'™U.^' vowels. With a few exceptions, to be referred 
to later on, the Hausas seem to find a difficulty 
in pronouncing consonants at the end of words. " The 
difficulty is one which English speakers can hardly realize, 
since they allow freely every consonant in their alphabet 

' Peile, ibid, p.339. ' Machuel, ibid. p. 129. 

D,gj,..dh, Google 


(with the accidental exception of the zh sound) at the end 
of a word, or of a syllable, before another consonant ; but 
the Polynesian dialects, for example, admit no groups of 
consonants anywhere, and end every word with a vowel ; 
the literary Chinese has no final con^ionant except a nasal ; 
the Greek none save r, tr, p (n, s, r) ; the Sanskrit allows 
only about half a dozen, and almost never a group of more 
than one ; the Italian rarely has any final consonant." ^ 
The following are illustrations of variation and inter- 
change among the vowel sounds : — 
Interchange Xhe change from u to i, whenever it does 
sounds. "ot ^""'^ from mere carelessness, seems to take 

place through a modification of the u to a sound 
resembling the Fr. u or the Germ, u ; cf. — 
duduge didigi heel 
fukafuki fikafike feather 
rufe rife to cover 

tulli tilli heap 

The rounding of a to o is met with ; e.g. — 
kewaye kewoye to go round 
tufafi tufofi shirts 

wraje woje quarter 

An i is frequently transformed into an c (tf. p. 15 
note); e.g. — 

dalishi dalashe to be blunt 
halbi halbe to strike 
tsiwa tsewa insolent 
When S is followed by the vowels e or i, the effect is 
often the palatalizing of the consonant ; e.g. tarsa, tarshe, 
tarshi, to help; fansa, fanshe, to ransom. So also t 
becomes ch ; cf. daidaita, daidaiche, to be or make 
similar ; mata, mache, woman ; batache, pi. batatu, 

' Dwight Whitnej', ibid. p. 7a. 


In the English vulgar pronunciation of " yes " a sort of 
dull a is heard. By the ear alone it is hard to tell whether 
the vowel be a or e, as it really hes between them. Such 
an a or e, represented in Hausa script by jl, is found 
in words such as beri u^, to leave; dere jt;*, night; 
ferko jJjj, beginning; sayes ,_,--», to sell. 

The influence of vowels on other vowels when separated 
Vowel from them by consonants is seen in the change 

Hssimila- from Eng. man to men owing to the former 
tion. presence of an i vowel in the plural ending.' 

In the word men the a of the singular was never wholly 
lost, but was modified through anticipation of the 1 of the 
plural ending. But in Hausa, and in some of the other 
African languages, this assimilation is carried to a much 
greater degree. We meet with introduction or substitution 
due to a feeling for assonance and made in obedience to a 
harmonic law. This is most clearly seen in the modifica- 
tions of the preposition ma, to, when followed by suffixed 
pronouns: e.g. mini = mani ; niumu=mamu; muku 
= maku ; musu = miasu. Cases like fitilla = fatilla, a 
lamp, and kuruchia = kurichia, a dove, are perhaps 
illustrations of the same principle ; cf. also muguje = 
maguje, fugitive. 

In connection with liquids a parasitic vowel, generally 
Parasitic assimilated to that of the syllable, is often 
vowel with introduced. Parallel cases in other languages 
liquids. gj.g periculum = periclum, lucinus = W;(cos. 

Examples in Hausa are ; — 




to reap 













zarmi zarumi zaromi 


■ Dwigh 

t Whitney, ibid, p 



In 3 Urge number of instances where a vowel precedes 
J, . ,. and follows a consonant the latter is pronounced 

of con- with an emphatic stress as if doubled. This 

soimnis. energetic doubling is found in Aramaic and in 

Hebrew; e.g. Heb. constr. pi. innebhe, grapes. In Hausa 
we may compare bakki, black ; sanni, to know ; chikka, 
to fill; gidda, house; tokkos, eight; godda, to show; 
tsukke, to chew. As before stated, in these cases where 
the doubhng of the consonant is uncertain, or where it is 
pronounced but not written, the second consonant will be 
found in the Grammar with a bracket thus — ba^{k)i. 

The number of consonants which can be used at the end 
of a word in Hausa is extremely limited. 
sonant™' "^^^ ^'^^y ^^^ words which are found ending 

in b are Arabic ; e.g. magarub, west ; ajub, 

f. The word jifjif, morning, B 56, is poetical; alif, 
thousand, is Arabic. 

k. The chief and ahnost only example is duk, all, an 
abbreviated form of duka. It is very often employed, and 
the preservation of the k seems helped by the emphasis 
natural to its meaning ; so, too, with tutuk, on which see 

1. A final 1 occurs rarely ; e.g. chisat, a disease ; ful 
and pul, very many ; rotel, a pound, and halat, lawful, 
are Arabic. 

m. There are a few instances of final m ; e.g. anim, be 
sought, B 1 55, a poetical use ; bam, palm wine ; bambam, 
diflerent ; dabam, id. ; dankam, for ever ; dungutn, much. 
From the Arabic are haram, lawful; kuilum, always. 

n. Final n is apparently but not really common. It is 
used as an abbreviated form of na, of, as a connective ; 
e.g. abin mamaki, a thing of wonder ; chik(k)in gid{d)a, 
on the inside of the house. In the case of a proper name 
no difficulty is felt ; e.g. sudan ; for other instances, cf. 
nan, kerrin. 



p. shakup, light, kutup kutup, tottering, occur. In 
the latter case the retention of the final p is aided by the 

r. Comparatively rarely used. In most instances where 
it appears at the end of a word it is a feminine form of the 
connective n. beri, to leave, is sometimes contracted to 
her : cf. also biar, five ; dak{k)ir, with difficulty ; giger, 
leg-irons ; id(d)ubar, a red ass ; wur, very (red). Words 
derived from the Arabic are: akbar, great; alhanzir, 
boar ; askar, soldier ; azuhur, afternoon. 

s. This is the most commonly used of the final conso- 
nants; examples are: akass, down; akras, file; lalas, 
hot iron ; tilas, by force ; tubbas, certainly, s often 
appears suffixed to primary verbs in order to produce 
secondary forms ; cf. — 

ba bayes to give 

bata batas to destroy 

saye sayes to sell 

tuda tudas to spill 

In many instances such forms have da appended to 
them, the effect being to give to the word a causative 
meaning, or otherwise to modify its sense {cf. p. 46). 

The following words ending in s are Arabic : albaras, 
leprosy; alba rus, gunpowder ; alzibbus, gypsum ; arsas, 
a bullet ; buss, less. 

t. The difficulty of pronouncing a word ending with a 
consonant is nowhere more clearly manifested than in the 
case of a final t. It alternates in this position with final 
1, n, and r ; e.g. — 

biar bial biat five 

dak(k)ir dak(k)et with difficulty 

tutur tutul tutut tutuk for ever 

So we must explain the connective forms in r and 1 of 

r.,.:-7.y..y, Google 


feminine substantives e.g. dukiar-ka (thy goods) or du- 
kial-ka = dukiat-ka = dukia-taka. 

The word farifet, very white, is probably to be explained 
in this way as being equivalent to the reduplicated form 
farifar for farifari. So also in far for faij= fad(4)a, 
fight, F 190, the dental is interchanged with the final r. 

The following are illustrations of the shortening of 
final vowels and syllables which is sometimes 
"'""''*■ found:- 

dau and do for dauka, to take 

du for duka, all 

fau, up, and hau, to mount, from hawa 

lai and lau, very (well), from lafia 

ma, great, for mainya, and ma, to thee, for maka 

ra and ran for rana, day. 

The following are instances of words common to Hausa 
European ^""^ European languages, most if not all of 
words in which have come into Hausa through the 
"='"''^ Arabic. 

From Greek or Latin : zinaria, gold, from Grk. Sijviipioi', 
Lat. denarius ; kauwera, a flat place, Grk. )(yipo. ; sabuni, 
soap, Grk. aairasv \ takarda, paper, Grk. x'V"?** 

From Italian : bumbu, a child carried on the back, 
probably from It. bambino ; btndiga, a gun, possibly a 
corruption of It. Venedigp (see Diet, under bindiga) ; 
augulu or agulu, a vulture, from It. aguglia, Lat. aquila ; 
araha, cheap, possibly from It, arra, Lat. arrha, earnest 

From Spanish: liar, a dollar, apparently an inverted 
form of rial; tambari, a drum, Sp, tambor, in Barbary 

From French : kankanchi, quarrelling, possibly an 
Arabicized form of caucan, idle gossip ; and perhaps sam- 
ba zai, sandal, from Fr. savate. 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 


From German : talashi, satin ; Genn. Aclass, from Ar. 


The word takas, a badger, is the Lat. taxus, taxo 
(Augustine), It. tasso, Germ, dachs. takanda, sugar cane, 
is the Ar. ix», Eng. candy, samfalwa, a blue bead, ia 
probably the hx.j^L.a^ Eng. sapphire. 

The most cursory study of the Hausa Dictionary will 

serve to show to the Arabic scholar that there 
Connection , ,. 

between are not only numerous words borrowed direct 
Haiisaand f^om Arabic, but that there are also a large 
number of idioms and of methods of word 
building and construction which must have had a Semitic 
source unless the hypothesis be adopted that the Hausa 
language was itself Semitic. This latter hypothesis may 
some day conceivably be established, but at present the 
fact that two-thirds of the Hausa vocabulary present no 
similarity to any Semitic language forms art almost in- 
superable obstacle to the acceptance of this theory until 
such time as a careful study of the surrounding languages, 
and more particularly of the languages which are spoken in 
and on the borders of the Sahara Desert, e.g. Berber, 
Tuareg, Songai, &c., may prove either the existence or 
non-existence of connecting links between Hausa and 
Arabic or any other Semitic language.' 

The question still remains in regard to the large number 
of words which have obviously been borrowed or added to 
the Hausa language from the Arabic as it now exists, 
from what exact sources did the Hausas obtain the words, 
so many of which they have incorporated into their 
language ? The answer which we should naturally expect 
to this question would be, from Arab traders or travellers 

' Foi arguments fur and against this suggested connection the student 
nsult Kenan, " Misloire des Langues Scmitiques," i. a, S9 ; Prof. 

v,,,^ Google 


who many years ago may have visited the country and 
have introduced articles previously unknown, leaving 
behind not only the articles, but their Arabic names. An 
examination of the Dictionary will, however, show that 
that such an answer is altogether incorrect. The majority 
of the Hausa pronouns, and many other words of everyday 
use, though obviously derived from Arabic, are extremely 
unlikely to have been introduced by traders. Several 
animals which were probably introduced from Arabic- 
speaking countries do not appear to have Semitic names. 
Moreover, the Arabic words borrowed or incorporated by 
the Hausas are not, in most cases, taken from the colloquial, 
but from the classical Arabic, The camel, for example, 
which is clearly an animal introduced by Arabs, does not 
bear the name universal among the Arabs, but is a modifi- 
cation of a word which is sometimes used in classical Arabic 
for camel ; cf. under rakumi. A very large proportion of 
the words borrowed from Arabic and now universally 
adopted by the Hausas have been borrowed from written 
as contrasted with spoken Arabic, and not only from the 
Koran, but from other literary works current among the 
Arabs. Mohammedanism had very little hold in Hausa- 
land until the beginning of the present century, whereas 
long before this it is certain that the Hausa language 
contained many of the words connected with Arabic roots 
which are now found in it. 

It is just conceivable that the introduction of many 
Semitic words into Hausa and some other West African 
languages may be traced back as hr as the Carthaginian 
expedition described in the "Periplus" of Hanno. Ac- 
cording to Pliny, this was sent out "Carthaginis poten- 
tia florente " (500 b.c. ?). It consisted of sixty ships 
with fifty oars each, containing 30,000 men and women 
colonists. That they reached as fer as the Congo seems 
certain from the description given of gorillas, three skins 
of which were afterwards hung up in the temple of 


Kronos. The modern word " gorilla " is derived from this 

The Persian language, half the vocabulary of which is 
Arabic,* affords an illustration of how the Moslem carries 
with him not only his religion but his language ; but in 
this case the Persians have been in contact with Islam for 
centuries. We can but hope that a careful study of some 
of the other languages by which Hausa is surrounded may 
ere long shed further light upon the problem suggested at 
once by the similarity and dissimilarity of the Hausa and 
Arabic languages. 

' On Ihe subject of the dicumnavigalion of Africa, &c., cf. Heiod. ii. 
3^1 33< iv- 43> 43) with Blakesley's notes ; also Pomponius Mela, iii. 90, 
94; Plby, "Nat. Hist." ii, 67, v. i; Cic. "Tusc." v. 32, 90, 

- Cf. Duncan Forbes, " Gc. of tlie Persian Language," p. 99, \i. 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 



Words explained in the notes attached to the selected 
readings are not as a rule included in the vocabulary, nor 
are the less common words contained in the collection of 
proverbs. For these the student is referred to the Hausa 
dictionary, * after a word means that the word is not 
used in colloquial Hausa. 

a, at; cf. p. 52 

abakin, in exchange for 
ab(b)ada or hal ab(b)ada, 

for ever 
abduga, cotton, cotton- 
abin da, the thing which, 

which ; cf. abu 
abinchi, something to eat 
abinsha, something to 

abis(5)a, cf. bis(5)a 
aboki, pi. abokai, friend 
abu, connective form abin, 

pi. abubua, thing 
achik(k)e, f. achik(k)a, pi, 

achik(k)u, full; cf. also 


addua, prayer 

af, oh ! an exclamation of 

agaishcka, hail to you 1 

from gaishe, to salute 
agaje, to help 
aha, so ! an exclamation of 

ai, really 
aiki, pi. ayuyuka, ayuka, 

work ; cf. p. 
aiki or yin aiki, to work 
aiyari, caravan 
ajere, in line 
akan,* if 

akan, on, upon; cf. p. 51 
akass for a ^asa, on the 

akwia, pi. awaki, she-goat 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 


akwoi or akoi, there is, 

there are 
alfadari, mule 
algashi, f. algasa, pi. al- 

gasu, green 
alif, thousand; alfin, two 

aljifu, pocket, small bag 
allah, God 

alura, pi. alurai, needle 
am(m)a, but 
amre or aure, to marry, 

anfani, use ; da anfani, 

anjitna, a little while; cf. 

p. 81 
araha, cheapness; da ara- 

ha, cheap 
arbaa, four 
arbain, forty 
arba mia, four hundred 
ariawa, north 
aro, a loan; bada aro, to 

arr,* be off ! 
arziki, good fortune ; cf. 

also D 3, note 
ashe, really, truly 
ashirin, or ishirin, 

assuba, early dawn; cf.p. 83. 
aw a,* like as 
awoje, outside (adv. and 

azurfa, silver 

azumi, fost ; yin azumi, 
to fast 

ba . . . ba, not' 

ba, to give 

ba, prefix to denote an- 
cestry; cf. p. 63 

baba, indigo 

bab(b)a, pi. mainya, great 

babe, locust 

babu, nothing, without; a 
contraction of ba abu, 
not anything 

bache, to be destroyed or 
spoilt ; cf. p. 47 

bada, to give ; cf. p. 46 

ba-haushe, a Hausa native 

bai, a contraction of ba yi 
or ba ya yi 

baia, cf. baya 

baka, masc., a bow 

bakt, pi. bakuna, mouth 

baki 43'3< together, all at 

bak(k)i, f. bak(k)a, pi. 
babaku, black 

bako, pi. baki, stranger 

bakontaka or bakonchi, 
the service done to a 
stranger ; yin bakon- 
taka, to show hospitality 

ba-larabe, pi. larabawa, 
an Arab 

bal(l)e, much less 

banda or bamda, besides, 

apart from, in addition to 




banza, in vain, worthless 
bara, f. barania, hired 

barantaka, service 
barao, f. baraunia, thief 
bashi, to give up, to deliver 

up to 
bata, to destroy, to spoil, be 

destroyed ; cf. p. 47 
batas, batasda, to destroy 
bat{t)u, conversation 
bat(t)un, with reference to 
bature, white man, stranger. 

Arab ; cf. p. 6 2 
bauchi, bawanchi, or 

bauta, slavery 
baure, fig-tree 
bawa, pi. bayi, bai, slave 
baya, the back 
bayan, behind, beyond; cf. 

ber(r)i or bcr, to leave, 

leave alone, to allow ; cf. 

p. 43, note 
berichi or berchi, to sleep, 

berkono, pepper 
bi, to follow 
biar, bial, or biat, five 
bid(d)a, to seek, search for 
big(g)eri, instead of 
bindiga, pi. bindigogi, 

biri, pi. btraye, birai, 

bi8(s)a, the top 

bi5(s)a or bis(s)an, on top 

bis(s)a, pi. bis(s)ashe, 

bill or biyu, two 
boiya, secret 
boiye, to hide 
bok(k)oi, seven 
bude, to open ; budu, t& 

be open 
budurua, maid, 
buga, to strike ; buga 

buga, to strike repeatedly 
buga bindiga, to shoot 
bunsuru, he -goat 
busa, to blow 
bushe, to be dry; cf. p. 41 

Chan, there, that, those 

che, to say 

chi, to eat, to take forcible 

possession of, &c. ; cf. 

p. 87 
chiawa, grass 
chida, to give to eat; ct 

p. 46 
chik(k)a, to fill, full; chi- 

chik(k)a, to fill quite full ; 

cf. p. 47 
chikake, full; cf. p. 71 
chik(k}i, the interior 
chik(k)in or achik(k)in, ixiy 

within; cf. p. 53 
chiniki, trade, bartering j 

yin chiniki, to do busi- 



chinye or chainye, to eat 

up ; cf. p. 46 
chira or chara, to crow 
chira or tsira, salvation 
chirasda, to deliver 
chishe, to give to eat; cf. 

p. 46 
chiwo, sickness; da chi- 

wo, ill 

da, to have, to possess; cf. 
P- 54 

da, and, with, when ; cf, 
P- 54, 55 

da . . . da, both . . . and 

4a, free 

da, dan, son, native of 

da or daa, of old ; lokachin 
da, in olden time 

da, used to denote unful- 
filled intention ; cf. pp. 33 

dadai, ever, till now ; when 
followed by negative state- 
ment, never 

da4(4)a< again 

da4(^)e, to prolong, to in- 

da^i, sweetness ; jin dadi, 
to feel happy; da da^i, 

dafari, at first 
daf(f)a, to cook; dafafe, 
f. dafafa, pi. dafafu, 


dag(g)a, from; cf. p. 52; 

dag(g)a Chan, thence ; 

dag(g)a enna, whence? 

dag(g)a nan, hence 

dai, then 

^aia, one; 4°tanku, one 

of you; cf. p. 67 
daidai, correct, alike 
4ainye, f. dainya, pi. dain- 

yoyi, fresh, raw 
daji, bush, scrub, unculti- 
vated forest land ; cf. jeji 
^akt, pi. dakuna, room 
dakir, daket, with diffi- 
dak(k)a, to beat 
dama, better ; cf. p. 73 
dama, opportunity ; cf. 

p. 88 
damuna or damana, wet 

dari, hundred 
<lari, cold 
daria, laughter; yin daria, 

to laugh 
darmi or darime, to bind 
dauka, to take, take up 
dauri, cf. darime 
dawa, guinea corn, i.e. a 

small red millet 
dawoiya, to return to a 

place at a distance 
dawotyo, to return here 
def(f)i, poison 
dere, late evening, night 
dia, daughter 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 


diyantaka, diyauchi, free- 

dilali, broker; yin dilali, 
to trade 

dogo, f. dogua, pi. dogaye, 

doiya, yam 

doki, pi. dawaki or dawa- 
kai, horse 

domi, why ? 

domin or don, because, be- 
cause of, in order that 

dorina, pi. dorinai, hippo- 

doro, swelling on the back, 

dubu, thousand 

duchi, pi. duatsu, a stone 

duka, all, every 

dukia, goods 

dum{m)i, noise 

dunia, world 


en, if 

en(n)a, where? koen{n)a, 

en(n]ua, shade 

fa, then, therefore ; cf. p. 78 
fache, much less, however 
fad{d)aor fad(^)i, to speak, 

fad(d)a, to fight 
fi^ior Kda, tofall. 
falke, pi. fatake, trader 

fansa or pansa, reward 
fara, pi. faruna or farori, 

farawa, beginning 
fari, f. fara, pi. farufaru, 

farare, white 
fas{s)a, to break, tr. 
fashe, to break, tr. and 

faskare, to overcome ; to 

be unable to do anything ; 

cf. p. 74 
fawa, to slaughter 
faye, to abound ; cf. p. 74 
fet, very, used as a suffix ; 

cf. p. 72 
fi, to excel, to surpass 
fit(t)a, to go out 
fit(t)o, to come out 
fuche, cf. wuche 
fudu, four 
fufunda, phcenix 
Tula, cap, fez 
fure, pi. furare or furayi, 

a flower 
fushi, fhushi, anger 
fuska, pi. fuskoki, face 
futa, to rest ; futawa, rest, 

fut(t)owa, coming out; cf. 


ga, to, for; cf. p. 52 
ga, to see ; cf. p. 16 n, 
gab(b)a, the front 
gab(b)an, in front of 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 


gab(b)adaia or gab(b)adai, 


gab(b)az, east 

gado, pi. gadodi, hog ; 
gadania, sow 

gado, pi. gadaje, bed 

gafera, excuse me! par- 

gafcrta, to forgive 

Ida, to salute ; cf. p. 8i 
ira, less; cf. p. 66 
sa, cf. gaida 
isua, salutation, greet- 

iere, f. gajera, gajerla, 
pl. gajeru, short 
, weariness; jin gajia. 


gam(m)a, to complete, 

finish, join together 
gamma, because of 
gam(m)u, to meet with 
ganga, pl. ganguna, drum 
gant, to see ; cf. p. i6 n. 
gara, gwoma, better ; cf. 

gare, to, used with the 

personal pronoun 
gari, pl. garurua or gani- 

ruka, town 
garin, on account of 
gaskia, m., truth ; ba gas- 

kia, to speak the truth; 

da gaskia, true, truly 
gata, three days hence 


gaya, to tell, explain 
gcra, to prepare, make 

gid(d)a, pl. gid(d)aje, m., 

gigtnia, fan palm 
gina, to build 
girima, greatness ; bada 

girima, to honour; yin 

girima, to grow 
giwa, pl. giwaye, elephant 
gobe, to-morrow 
gode, to thank 
godia, thanks; yin godia, 

to thank 
godia, mare 
goma, pl. gomia, ten; cf. 

p. 66 
gona, pl. gonaki, farm 
goro, kola nut 
gouma, better; cf, p. 73 
guda, unit ; cf. p. 66 
gudu, to run, run away 
guga, m., a bucket 
gulbi, pl. gulabe, river, 

deep ravine 
gun,* with ; cf. p. 53 
gurgu, f. gurgua, pl. gu- 

ragu, lame 
gurubin,* instead of 
gusa, to gush out ; gur- 

gusa, to gush out abun- 
dantly; cf. p. 47 
guzurt, provisions for a 

gwoma, better ; cf. gouma 



haife, to beget 

haifua, birth 

hainya, pi. hainyoyi, road, 

path, way ; bata hainya, 

to lose the way 
haji, to go on the pilgrimage 
hak(k)a or hak{k)anan, 

thus, likewise 
hakika, truly 
hak(k)ori, tooth; hak(k)o- 

rin giwa, ivory 
halbi or harbi, to shoot 
hal(l)i, disposition 
hamza, five 
hamsin,. fifty 
hankaka, pi. hankaki, a 

large crow with white 

breast and white rim round 

its neck 
hankali, intelligence, care- 
fulness! da hankali, 

hanna, to prevent, hinder 
hantsi, two hours after 

hanu, pi. hanua, hand 
har or hal, until 
bar ab(b)ada, for ever 
hario, again 
hasada, jealousy 
haske, pi. haskoki or has- 

kaikai, light 
hauia, twenty ; of. p. 67 
hauri, ivory 
hawa, bawo, hau, to 


hiska, air, wind 

bub{b)a, hab(b)a, an ex- 
clamation expressing as- 
tonishment or indigna- 

hudu, cf. fudu 
buja, affair, reason 
huska, cf. fuska 

i or ii, yes 

idan, if 

ido, pi. idanu, idanduna, 

iko, power 
iri, pi. iri iri, irare, kind, 

tribe ; cf. 62 n. 
ishe, to suffice 
iske or isbe, to arrive at 
issa, to reach, to be equal 

to, to be sufficient ; da 

ya issa, enough 
ita, she ; cf. p. 9 
itache or itche, pi. itatua, 

a tree ; a branch cut from 

a tree 
iya, to be able 
iyaka, boundary, end 

ja, pi. jajaye, red 

ja, to drag 

jagaba, guide 

jaki, p). jakuna or jakai, 

jaraba,* temptation 
jariri, jarili, an infant 



je, to go 
jefa, to throw 
jeji, bush, scrub, unculti- 
vated forest land ; cf. daji 
ji, to hear, obey, feel, under- 
jia, yesterday 

jibi, the day after to- 
jijifi, the twilight just be- 
fore the dawn 
jima, to wait 
imawa, a short time 
iimina, ostrich 
ini, blood 

irigi, pi. jirage, canoe 
una, one another ; cf. p. 19 

ka, thou, thy ; cf. p. 9 

kada, a crocodile 

kada, spindle 

kad(d)a, lest 

kaij(d)ai or kadai, once, 

only, alone 
kad(d)an, if, when 
kad(d)an, few 
kadi, to spin 
kaffa or ^afa, pi. kafafu, 

foot ; akaffa, on foot 
kafo, f. kafa, pi. kafi, blind 
kafo, pi. kafoni, horn 
kai, ho! cf. p. 78 
kai, pi. kanua or kawuna, 

head ; for uses of da kai, 

cf. p. 9 

kai, to carry 

kaia or kaya, a load 

kaka or kak(k)a, how ? 

kaka, pi. kakani, grand- 

kaka, harvest season 

kakabra, fat 

kalachi, breakfast, dinner 

kalkashi, the underside, 
below ; kalkashin, be- 
neath, under 

kama, to seize, to catch 

kam(n))a, likeness 

kani(ni)an or kani(m)al, 
like as 

(ya) kamata, it is neces- 

kam(m)anda, like as, ac- 
cording as 

kan, for uses of cf. p. 34 

kana, before that, until 

kanda, how, the way in 

kane, younger brother 

kango, pi. kangaye, a ruin 

kankane, f. kan^anwa, pi. 
kankana, kanana, small, 

kanua, younger sister 

kara, to increase 

karami, f. karama, pi. ka- 
ramu, small, little 

karatu, reading, education 

karba or karbi, to receive, 



l^are, to finish, end (usually 

karia, masc., falsehood ; 

yin karia, to miss fire 
karifi, strength; da ^arifi, 

kar(r)e, f. kar(r)ia, pi. kar- 

nuka, dog 
kar she, end 
kasa, pi. kasashe, earth, 

ka(s)she, to kill 
kasua, market, market- 
kawo, to bring 
kawowa, bringing 
kaya or kaia, pi. ka- 

yayeki, masc, a load, 

kaza, pi. kaji, fowl, hen 
kaza, such an one ; kaza 

da kaza, so and so 
keau or kiyau, beauty, 

goodness ; da keau, good 
kenkeshe, to hatch 
ketare, to cross 
ki, fem., thou ; cf. p. 
ki, to refuse 
kibta, pi. kibo, arrow 
kifi, pi. kifaye,* fish 
kilago, skin, cow-hide 
|:ilga, kirga, kedaya, to 

kirin or ker(r)in, very ; cf. 

kiyauta, a present 


ko, either, or, even ; also 
used in asking a ques- 

koda, although 

koenna, anywhere 

kofa, door 

kogo, hole, hollow 

koiya, to teach (followed by 

koiyo, to learn 

kokaka, however 

kokari, attempt, endeavour 

^okolua or kolua, skull, 

koma, to go back, return 
komi or komine, anything, 

everything; babu komi 

or ba komi ba, nothing 
komo, to come back 
konane, f. konania, pi. 

konanu, burnt 
kone, to burn 
kore, f. koria, pi. kworrc,* 

kore, to drive away 
kororo, a bag of cowries; 

cf. p. 67 
kotanchi, measure or like- 
ness; kotanchin hak(k)a, 

like this 
kowa, every one, any one, 

any; babu kowa or ba 

kowa ba, no one 
kowane or kowanene, a 

strengthened form of 

kowa ; cf. p. 1 8 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 


koyaushe, at any time, 

koyanzu, now, immedi* 

ku, you ; cf. p. 9 
kua, also 

^uda, pl.^udaje, fly 
kud(d)u, south 
kuka, cry, lament 
kul(l)a, to care for 
kulum, always 
kuma, again 
kumia, shame 
kuncbe, to loosen 
, kune, ear 
kur,* if; cf. kad(d)an 
kurdi or kudi, money, 

price; cf. wuri 
kus(s)a, near, nearly; kus- 

sa ga, near to 
kuturchi or kuturta, 

kuturu, leprous 
kwa^o, pi. kivado^i or 

kwaduna, toad, frog 
kwana, to pass the night ; 

cf. p. 47 
kwana, pi. kwanaki, 

kwanche, to sleep, to lie 

down ; cf. p. 47. 
kwanta, to lie down 
^wara, grain, fruit, kernel 
kwarai, rightly, properly 
kwarikwassa, travelling 


kwaya, masc., a grain, ear 

of fruit 
kwoi, egg, eggs 

labudda, certainly, no 

labari, news 
lafia, healthy ; for use in 

salutations, cf. p. 81 
laifi, sin, offence ; bada 

laifi, to condemn 
lalata, to spoil (trans, and 

intrans.) ; lalache, to 

perish ; cf. p. 41 
la1(l)e, of necessity 
lasso, twenty 
lau, very ; cf. p. 78 
likafa, stirrup 
linzami, bridle 
litafi, writing, book 
lokachi, time 

ma, to ; for use of, cf p. 5 1 
ma, verbal prefix ; cf. p. 20 
maaikachi, workman 
maaike, messenger 
macbe, pi. mata, woman, 

female ; cf. mata 
machichi,* squeezing 
machiji, pi. machijai, 

madala, indeed ; cf. p. 78 
madaukt, handle 
madugu, caravan leader 
mafauchi, butcher , 


magana, word; yin ma- 
gana, to talk 

mai, a prefix ; for use of, cf. 
p. 20 

maibarra, beggar 

maida, to change; maida 
him ma, to take care of 

maidaukan kaya, a carrier 

inaigid{d)a, owner of house 

maigirima, one who is 

maigudu, fugitive 

maikaya, the owner of a 

maimako or maimaki, in 
exchange for ; cf. p. 51 

matroko, beggar 

maizini, sharp 

makafo, pi. makafi, bHnd 

makaranta, school 

malam, mallam, teacher 

mamaki, anything wonder- 
ful; jin mamaki, to won- 
der; yin mamaki, to 
make to wonder 

mana, then, if you please 

manche or manta, to for- 

manzo, pi. manzani, mes- 

maras, without, wanting; 
used as a prefix 

mareche, evening; da 
mareche, in the evening 

masabki, a lodging place 

masaka, weaver 


mas(s)a, a small cake 

mata, wife; also used 'as a 
plural of mache 

maz(z)a, quickly 

mctin, metain, two hun- 

mi, mine, or mtnene, 

mia, minya, hundred 

miji, cf. namiji 

mu, we; cf. p. 9 

mugu, f, mugunia, pi. 
miagu, bad, evil 

mujia, owl 

murna, gladness, joy 

mutanc, cf. mutum 

mutu, to die 

mutua, death 

mutum or mutume, pi. 
mutanc, man 

na or -n, of; cf. p. 14 
-na, my ; cf. p. 24 
naam, yes; cf. p. 77 n. 
nabaia, f. tabaiEi, second, 

that which comes after 
nabiu, f. tabiu, second 
na()(d)e, to roll up 
naij(cl)u, to be rolled up, to 

roll oneself up 
nafari, f, tafari, first 
nam a (masc), flesh 
namiji or miji, pi. maza, 

mazaje, a male 
nan, here ; cf. p. 12, this 



nan da nan, immediately; 

cf. p. 77 
nasa, nasu, nata, cf. p. 24 
natiku, f. taiiku, third 
nauyi, heaviness ; da nau- 

yi, heavy 
nawa, how much ? how 

many ? 
nawa, my; cf. p. 24 
netna, to search for 
nemo, to seek and bring 
nesa or nisa, distance ; da 
nesa or da nisa, far 
away ; used adjectivally 
and adverbially 
ni, I; cf. p. 9 
nik(^)a, to grind 
nuf(f)i, to intend, to pur- 
pose, intention 

oho, oho I it does not con- 
cern me 

rab{b)i, half 

ra4(4)s, to whisper, whis- 

rag(g)o, pi. rag(g)age, an 
idle person 

rago, pi. raguna, ram 

ragonchi, idleness 

rai, life ; da rai, alive 

ra^umi, pi. rakuma, camel 

rami, a hole, pit 

rana, sun, day; pi. kwa- 
naki, days ; rana tsak- 
{k)a, midday 

randa, for rana da 
rashi, lack; rashin karifi, 

ras(s}a, to lose, to be lost 

rataia, to tie, to hang up 

rawani, turban 

rawaya, pi. rawayu, yel- 

reshi ; cf. rashi 

riga, pi. riguna, tobe, gown, 

rijia, a well 

rikichi, deceit 

rikita, to confuse; rikiche, 
to be confused 

roko, to ask, beg 

rongomi, a reduction, bet- 
ter; cf. pp. 73, 85 

rua (masc), water, rain 

rubutu, writing 

rude, to deceive 

rufe, to shut 

ruga, cattle pen 

sa, bull; f. sania, pi. sha- 

nu, oxen 
-sa, his ; cf. p. 24 
saa, time, season, hour 
saanan, then 
saanda, when, the time 

saba, to be accustomed 
sab(b)ada or sab(b)oda, 

on account of, in exchange 




sabka or sapka, to unload, 

to alight 
sabo, f. sabua, pi. sabui, 

sababi, new 
safe, early morning; da 

safe, in the morning 
saBa, a fem. form of the 

sai, quite, only, except, un- 
til, but; cf. pp. 35, 53,81 
saiya, to buy ; cf. p. 47 
saiyar, saiyes, saida,- to 

saka, to weave 
salla, prayer 
sain(ni)a, pi. sam(m)a or 

satnania, the heavens 
samri, sauri, quickness ; 

da samri, quickly 
samu, to find, to obtain 
sanda, pi. sanduna, stick 
sania, cow ; cf. sa 
san(n)i, or sani, to know 
sansanchi, to understand 

sansan(n)i, camp 
sanu, hail ! cf. p. So 
sanu, slowly, gently 
sapka, to unload, put down, 

saraunia, queen 
sarauta, kingdom 
sare, 10 cut 
sariki or sarki, pi. sarakai 

or sarakuna, king, head- 


sarka, pi. sarl^una or sar- 

koki, chain 
sarmayi, pi. samari, a 

sar{r)ai, exactly, rightly 
sasafe, very early in the 

sasaka, to carpenter 
sata, theft 
sau, used with numerals 

thus: sau daia, once; 

sau btu, twice 
saura, rest, remainder 
sayes or sayesda, to sell, 
sayi or satdei, to buy 
seb{b)ain, seventy 
sha, to drink ; cf. p. 88 
shafo, a kite 
shag{g)eli or shuggelt, pi. 

shugulgula, business 
shamu, pi. shamuwa, stork 
shanu, oxen ; cf. sa 
shashi, half 

shekara, pi. shekaru, year 
shekaranjia, the day before 

shi, he ; cf. p. 9 ; shi ke 

nan, there is, it is so 
shid(d)a, six 
shig(g)a, to enter, go in 
shig(g)o, to enter, come in 
shin, preparation 
shirwa or shirua, a hawk 
shiu or shiriu, silence 
shudi, f shu4ia, pi, shu- 

dodi, blue 

I '..lyGoogle 



stttin, sixty 

so, to like, love, wish, be 

soki, to pierce 
8U, they ; cf, p. 9 
sua, pi. suanene, who ? 

which ? what ? 
suabo or swabo, evil ; yin 

suabo, to revile 
sukua, galloping 
sun a, name 
surdi, pi. suradi, surada, 

surduna, surdodi, saddle 

ta, she ; cf. p. 9 
-ta, her ; cf, p. 24 

ta, used idiomatically ; cf. p. 


taba, to touch; cf, pp. 89, 

113 n- 
taberma (masc), a tnat 
tada, to raise up 
tafassashe, f. tafassashia, 

pi. tafassashu, boiling 
tafassa, to boil, tr. ; tafas- 

SU, intr. ; cf. p. 41 
taf(f)i, to go; taf(f)i da, 

to take away ; taf(f)ia, 

going, journey' 
taf{f)o, to come; taf(f)o- 

wa, coming 
tagua, pi. taguai, female 

taka, thy ; cf. p. 24 
takalmi, pi. takalma, shoe, 


takarkari, pack ox 

taki (fern.), your ; cf. p. 24 

takobi, pi. takoba or ta- 
kuba, sword ' 

talaka, a poor man 

talauchi, poverty 

tal(l)atin, thirty 

tamaha, to think, suppose 

tamanin, eighty 

tambaya, to ask 

tamkar, hke as 

tara, nine 

tara, to collect ; tatara, to 
heap up ; cf. pp. 46, 47 

taras, tarda, tarasda, to 
overtake, to come up 
with ; cf. p. 46 

tare, together ; tare da, to- 
gether with 

tari, to meet, to go to meet, 
to put together with 

taro, pi. tarori, multitude, 

taru, pi. taruna, net 

taru, to assemble 

tashi, to rise up, start 

tasunia, story, tale 

tataka, to tread down 

tausaye, pity, sorrow 

tilas, by force 

tir, alas ! 

tissaln, ninety 

to, well ! all right ! 

tok(k)os, eight 

toron giwa, a male ele- 

■'..>y Google 

1 98 

toyaye, f. toyayia, pi, to- 

yaya, baked 
tsada, or tsada, dearness; 

da tsa<Ja, dear, expensive 
tsaga, to tear ; tsatsaga, 

to tear in pieces ; cf. p. 47 
tsak(k)a or tsak(k)ani, the 

tsak{k)an or tsak(k)anin, 

in the midst of, between ; 

cf. p. 51 
tsamani, to think, suppose 
tsawo, length ; da tsawo, 

long, tall 
tsaya, to remain, to stand 

still, to be finished 
tsofo, f. tsofua, pi. tsofii, 

tsofafi, old 
tsofo, an old man ; tsofua, 

an old woman 
tsoro, fear; jin tsoro, to 

be afraid 
tsuntsua (or zunzua), pi. 

tsuntsaye, bird 
tuba, to repent ' 

tubali, a mud brick 
tube, to take off 
tufa, pi. tufofi, shirt, 

tukuna, (not) yet 
tukunia, pitcher 
tumkia, pi. tumaki, sheep 
tun or tunda, as far as, 

while as yet, until, since, 

before ; cf. p. 52 
tundadewa, long since 


tuni, tuntuni,* long ago 
tunyaushe, how long? 
turanchi, the Arab language 
ture, pi. turawa, a white 

man, a foreigner 
turumi, a mortar 

uba, pi. ubane, father 
uku, three 
uwa, mother 

wa, to, cf p. 53 

wa or wane, m., who? 

which ? ivhat? cf. p. 13 
wa, elder brother 
wache, f. who ? which ? 

wad(d)a, how, the way in 

which ; cf. p. 77 
wai, alas ! 

wando, pi. wanduna, trou- 
wanke, to wash, clean ; for 

use of wanko cf p. 45 
wata, month ; watan jia, 

last month ; watan gobe, 

next month 
watakila, perhaps 
waye, to 'dawn ; gari ya 

waye, the day dawns 
wiya, wuya, difficulty. 
wochan, cf. wonchan 
wodanga, cf. wonga 
wod(d,anan, cf. wonan 
wofi, emptiness, worthless- 

ness ; cf. p. 71 



wogga, cf. v/onga 
wohaI(l)a, trouble 
woje, outside ; cf. awoje 
wol{l}ata, about 10 a.m. 
wonan, pi, wo4(d)anan, 

this near by ; cf. p. 12 
wronchan, f. w6chan, pt. 

wod(d)anan, that over 

wronda, f..wa4da ov wod- 

da, pi. wo^danda, whop 

which? babu wonda, no 

wonga, f. wog(g)a, pi. 

wo4(d}anga, this near by 
woni or wani, f. wota or 

wata, pi. wod{d)^su, 

wonsu or WO8U, some 

one, some, a certain person 

or thing ; cf. p. 18 
worigi, play ; yin worigi, 

to play 
worike, to heal, to be 

wotika, letter 
wuche, to pass by 
wuni, to pass the night 
wur, very, cf. p. 72 
wuri, pi, wurare, place ; 

da wuri, early 
wurin, at the place of, with, 

in place of, cf, p, 53 
wuri, pi. kurdi, cowry shell 
wuta, fire 
wuya, wiya, difficulty ; da 

wuya, difficult. 

ya, he, cf. p. 9 

ya, elder sister 

ya, oh I 

yad(d)a, how, the way in 

yaka, come I 
yaki, war 
yanzu, now 
yarinia, girl 
yaro, pi. yara, boy 
yau, yo, to-day 
yaushe, when ? 
yav/o, a walk ; yin yawo, 

to go for a walk 
yenka, to cut, slaughter 

(used of animals) 
yerda, will, consent; v., to 

consent, remit 
yesda, to throw away 
yi, to do, to make ; for 

idiomatic uses, cf. pp. 73', 

86 ; for use of yiuwa, cf. 

p. 46 
yunwa, pronounced yung- 

wa, hunger ; da yunwa 


za, for uses of, cf. p. 32 
zaba, zabt, to choose 
zabua, pi. zabi, guinea-fowl 
zafi, heat 
zaka, to come 
zaklira, cock 
zaki, pi. zakoki, lion 
zakka, Ar., the alms enjoined 
by the Koran 

'..>y Google 


zambar, thousand 
zamna, to rest, sit down, to 
reside, rest, intermis- 

zanche, conversation 
zangu, a hundred cowries; 

cf. p. 67 
zan(n)i, p]. zanua, a piece 

of cloth 
zar(r)e, thread 
ZO, to come 
zona, cf. zamna 
zua, coming ; zua or ya 

zua, prep, towards ; cf. 

zuba, to pour out, be 

poured out; for zubas, 

zubasda, cf. p. 46 
zubda, to pour or upset 
zuchia, heart 

zuma, zumua, masc., honey 
zungo, halting place for the 

zunufi, sin, evil 

zunzua, a bird : cf. tsun- 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 


NoTK. — When more than one rendering is given for an 
English word, it is not suggested that the words given are 
synonymous. For their exact meaning reference must be 
made to the Hausa Dictionary, 
able, to be, iya alone, ka(J(d)ai 

above, bis(s)a, abis(s)a also, kua 

accept, to, karba always, kuluni, koyaushe 

:omplish,to,kare,chik(k)a amidst, tsak(k)an, tsak- 

accustomed, to be, saba 
advantage, anfani 
afraid, to be, jin tsoro 
after, bay a, bay a ga 
afternoon, azuhur, laasar, 

cf. p. 83 
afterwards, bayan hak(k)a, 

again, kuma, hario 
agree, to, yin, baki daia, 

yiD daidai 
aid, to, tsaya 
air, hiska 
alas, wai 

alight, to, sabka, shid(d)o 
alike, duka daia, daidai 
alive, da rai 
ail, duka 

alligator, kada, pi. kadodi 
allow, beri, ber 


and, da, cf. p. 55 

anger, fushi (pronounced 

angry, to be, yin fushi, da 

ankle, idon kafa 

anoint, shafe 

another, woni, wont kuma 

answer, amsa, to answer, 
yin amsa 

ant, gara, kwrarikwas(s)a 

any, kowa kowane 

anyhow, ko^aka 

anything, komi 

anywhere, koenna 

approach, to, yin kus(s)a 

Arab, ba-Iaraba, pi. lara- 
bawa; the Arabic lan- 
guage, turanchi 


arise, tashi 

arouse, tada 

arrow, kibia, pi. kibo 

as. kamma, kammanda 

ass, jaki 

at, a ; cf. pp. 50, 57 

attempt, to, yin kokari 

await, to, jira 

awake, to, falka, farka 

axe, g£tari 

back, baya 

bad, mugu, pi. miagu 

bag, jek{k)a, kankandi 

banana, ay aba 

bank, rafi 

basin, kasko (made of day), 

akoshi (made of wood) 
basket, samfo, kwando 
be, to, ne, ke, che ; cf. 

p. 10 
beast, bis(s)a, naman daji 

beat, to, buga, dak(k)a 
beautifu], da keau 
because, don, domi ; cf. 

before, gab(b)a, gab(b)a ga 
beget, to, haifi 
'^^gg^i'i tnaibarra, mai- 

begin, to, fara, beginning, 

behind, bay an, dag(g)a 

baya ; cf. p. 5a 
be^def, bam da 

better, mafifichi dag(g)a ; 

cf. p. 73 ■f?- 
between, t5ak(k)anin 
bind, to, damre, darime 
bird, tsuntsua 
birth, baifua 
bitch, kar(r)ia 
bite, to chizo 
bitter, doachi, tsami 
black, bak(k)i 
blind, kafo, b. person, ma- 

blow, to, busa 
blue, shudi 
body, jiki 

boiling, tafassashe; cf.p.41 
bow, baka 
boy, yaro, samrai, pi. sa- 

break, to, fas(5)a 
bridle, linzami 
bring, to, kawo 
broad, fadi, maifadi 
brother, dan-uiwa; elder b., 

vra ; younger b., kane 
bucket, guga 
build, to, gina, kaf(f)a 
bull, sa 
burn, to, t:one 
bury, to, bisne, bizne 
business, Bhag{g)eli ; it is 

not your business, babu 

but, amma 
butter, main shanu 
buy, to, saiya ; cf. p. 47 


calabash, ^Fworia, kumbu 
camel, rakumi, f. tagua 
camp, zungo, sansan* 

canoe, jirigi 
cap, tagia, fula 
capsize, to, jtrikiche 
caravan, aiyari 
care, to c. for, yin kul(l)a 
carrier, maidaukan kaya ; 

cf.p. 2 5 
carry, to, kai, kawo 
catch, Co, kama 
certainly, da gaskta, ashe 
chain, sarka 
change, to, sake 
character, hal(l)i 
cheap, araha, da araha 
cheating, rikichi 
chief, sariki, bab(b]a 
choose, to, zaba 
clean, to, gerta, yin sarai 
close, to, rufe / 
cloth, a piece of, zan(n)e 
cock, zakara 
cold, dari 
collect, to, tara 
come, to, zo, taf(f)o 
consent, to, yerda 
converse, to, yin bat(t)u, 

yin magana, yin zanche 
cook, to, daffa 
cough, tari 

count, to, kedaya, kilga 
country, kasa 
cow sania 

crocodile, kada 
cure, to, worike 
curse, to, zagi 
cut, to, yenke, sare 

dark, dufu 

date, dabino 

daughter, dia 

dawn, assuba; cf. p. 83 

day, rana, kwana 

dead, matache, mutu 

dear, da tsada (or tsa^a) 

death, mutua 

debt, bashi 

deceit, wayo, mantua, 

decrease, to, reg(g)i, rag{g)u 
deep, zunifi 
delay, dad(d)ewa 
deny, to, yin musu, ki 
depart, to, rabu, fit{t)a 
despise, to, rena 
destroy, to, bata 
die, to, mutu 
difficult, da wiya 
dig, to, tona, gina 
disease, chiwuta 
dismount, sabka, 5hid(d)o 
distant, da nesa 
do, to, yi 

doctor, maimagani 
dog, kar(r)e, f, kar(r)ia 
donkey, jaki 
door, kofa 
draw, to, ja, jawo 
drink, to, sha 

'..>y Google 



drive, to, kore 
drum, kid(d)i, gaoga 
dry, kekashe 
dry-season, rani ; cf, p. 84 
dust, kura 

each, kowa, kowane ; cf. 

p. ,8 
ear, kune, pi. kunua 
early, dawuri ; very early, 

sasafe, da wuriwuri 
earth, the, dunia ; soil, kasa 
east, gab(b)a5 ; cf. p. S4 
eat, to, chi 
egg, kvroi 
eight, tok(k)os 
eighty, tamanin 
elephant, toron giwa 
eleven, gotna sha daia 
end, makari 

endeavour, to, yin kojcari 
enemy, abokin gaba, ma- 

enough, it is, ya issa, ya 

enter, 8hig(g)a 
equal, daidai; to make 

equal, daidaita 
escort, rakia 

evening, mareche ; cf. p. 83 
ever, e.g. have you ever 

done so? ka taba yin 

every, kowa, kowane ; cf. 

p. 18 
everything, duka komi 

evil, mugu, f. mugunia, pi. 

except, sai, sai^ai 
excuse, to, gafera 
explain, to, waye, bayenna 
eye, ido, pi. idanu 

face, fuska 

fall, to, fadi 

falsehood, karia 

far, nesa, nisa 

farm, gona 

father, uba 

fear, tsoro ; to f., jin tsoro 

feast, buki 

feel, to, ji 

female, mache 

fever, inas(s)asara, zaz- 

few, kad(ij)an 
fifteen, goma stia btar 
fifty, hamsin 
fight, to, fad(d}a 
fill, to, chik(k}a 
find, to, samu 
finger, yasa 

finish, to, ^are, gam(m)a 
fire, wuta 

first, naferko, nafari 
fish, kifi 
five, biar, bial 
flesh, nama 
fly, kuda, pi. Ifudashe 
follow, to, bi 
food, abinchi 
foot, kafa 

D,g,t,.?<i I,, Google 



force, karifi ; by f,, tilas 

forest, daji 

forget, to, manchi 

forty, arbain 

four, fudu 

fourteen, goma sha fu^u 

fowl, kaza, pi. kaji 

freedom, diyanchi 

friend, aboki 

frighten, bada tsoro 

from, dag(g)a 

full, chikake; cf. p. 71 

gain, riba 

gift, keauta 

girl, yarinia 

give, to, ba, bada, bashi ; 

cf. p. 46 
go, to, taf(f)i, je 
goat, akwia ; he goat, bun- 

God, allah 
gold, zinaria 
good, nagari, f. tagari 
goods, dukia 
grandfather, kaka 
grass, chiawa 
grave, kusheya 
great, bab(b)a, da girima 
grind, to (e.g. corn), nik(k)a 
ground, kasa 
grow, yin girima 
guide, jagaba 
guinea-corn, dawa 
guinea-fowl, zabua 
gun, bindiga 

half, shashi, rab(b)i 

hand, hanu 

hang, rataya, rataia 

harvest, kaka 

hatchet, fantaria, g£tari 

hate, to, ki 

he, ya, shi ; cf. p. 9 

head, kai 

health, lafia 

hear, to, ji 

heart, zuchia 

heat, zafi 

heathen, kafiri, pi. kafir- 

awa, arna 
heaven, sam(m)a 
help, taya 
hence, dag(g)anan 
her, -ta, -nta ; cf. pp. 23, 24 
here, nan, wurin nan 
hide, to, bo lye 
hinder, to, hanna 
hippopotamus, dorina 
his, -sa, -nsa ; cf. pp. 33, 24 
hold, to, rik(k}e 
honey, zumua 
horse, doki, f. godia 
hot, da zaS; hot water, 

ruan dimi 
hour, cf. -p. 83 
house, gid(d)a 
how, kaka 

how long, tunyaushe ? 
hundred, dari, mia 
hunger, yun(g)wa 
husband, miji 
hy^na, kura 

r:,9,N..<ib, Google 



I, ni, na; cf. p. 9 

idle, rago 

if, en, kad(d)an, idan 

ill, maichiwo; cf. p. 87 

in, chik(k)in 

increase, to, kara 

instead of, abakin, mai- 

mako ; cf, p. 5 1 
ivory, hak(k)onn giwa, 

haurin giwa 

join, to, gam(m)a 
journey, taf(f)ia 
joy, muma 

keep, to, rik(k)e 
kill, to, ka(s)she 
king, sariki 
kingdom, sarauta 
know, to, san(n)i 
kola- nut, goro 

lamb, dan tumkia 

land, kasa 

large, bab(b)a 

laugh, to, yin daria 

lead, dalma 

leader of caravan, madugu 

learn, to, koiyo 

leave, to, ber, beri 

left hand, hanun, hag(g)um 

leg, kafa 

lend, to, bada aro 

leper, kuturu 

leprosy, kuturta 

lest, kad(d)a 

lie down, to, kwanta 

life, rai 

light, haske ; to 1. a lire, 

has(s)a wuta, fura wuta 
like, kam(ni)a, tamka 
lion, zaki 
little, karami, kad(d)an, 

lizard, kadangari, gusa 
locust, far a 
long, da tsawo, dogo 
loose, to, kunche 
love, to, so 

make, to, yi 

male, namiji, miji 

man, mutum, mutume; 

pi. mutane 
many, dayawa 
mare, godia 
meaning, maana 
meet,to,i5ke, gam(m)u da 
messenger, manzo 
midday, rana tsak(k)a 

milk, nono 

money, kurdi ; cf. p. 63 
monkey, biri 
month, wata 
moon, wata 
morning, safe, safia ; cf. 

mother, uwa 
mount, to, hawa, hau 
much, dayawa 
my, -na, f. -ta ; cf. pp. 23, 24 





name, suna 

narrow, maikunchi 

near, kus(8)a 

neck, wuya, wiya 

needle, alura 

net, taru 

never, dadai (when com- 
bined with negative par- 

new, sabo 

news, lab&ri 

night, dere ; cf. p. 83 

nine, tara 

nineteen, goma sha tara 

ninety, tissain 

no, aa 

noise, dum(m)i 

none, ba kowa, babu 
won da 

north, ariawa 

no^, hanchi 

not, ba . . . ba 

nothing, babu, babu komi, 
ba komi ba 

now, yanzu 

obtain, to, samu 
old, tsofo 
once, sau daia 
one, daia 
only, kad(^)ai 
open, to, bu^e 
or, ko 

other, woni ; cf. p, 19 
our, -mu, namu ; cf, pp. 25, 

outside, woje, dag(g)a 

woje; cf. pp.'SO- S3 
over, bis(s)a, abis(s)a 
ox, sa, takarkari 

palm tree, tukurua, giginia 

palm-wine, bam 

pardon, to, gafera 

part, rab(b)i 

pass, to, wuche, shudi 

patience, han^uri 

perhaps, wotakila 

pig, gado 

pity, tausaye 

place, wuri ; to place, sa 

play, worigi 

please, to, gumshe; it 

pleases me, ya gumsheni 
poor, talaka 
pot, tukunia, kasko 
pour, to, zuba 
power, iko, karifi 
pray, to, yin salla, yin 

prefer, to, fiso, fis{s)o ; cf. 

preparation, shiri 
present, a, abin gaisuwa, 

kiyauta, keauta 
prevent, to, hanna 
price, kurdi 
pull, to, ja 
push, to,ttunkuda 
put, to, sa, aje 

queen, saraania 

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question, to, tambaya - 
quickly, da sauri, maz(z)a 

rain, rua 

rainy-season, damana ; cf. 

p. 84 
raise, to, tada 
ram, rago 

read, to, yin Icaratu 
receive, to, samu, karba 
red, ja 
refuse, to, ki 
relation, dengi 
remainder, saura 
repent, to, tuba 
rest, to, futa 
return hither, to, komo, da- 

return thither, to, koma da- 

rice, shinkafa 
right-hand, dam a 
ring, zobe 
rise, to tashi 
rob, to, sache, yin sata 
room, daki 
run, to, gudu 

sack, jik(k)a, taiki, buhu 

saddle, surdi 

salt, gishiri 

salute, to, gaida, gaishe ; 

cf. p. 81 
satisfied, to be, koshi 
save, to, cheche 

say, to, che, fa^(d)a 
second, nabiu, f. tabiu 
seed, iri 

seek, to, nema, btd(d)a 
sell, to, sayes, sayesda; 

cf. p. 47 
send, to, aiko, aiki 
separate, to, rab(b)a 
servant, bara 
seven, bok(k)oi 
sew, to, qlumke 
shade, en(n)ua 
shame, kumia 
she, ta, ita ; cf. p. 9 
sheep, tumkia 
shoot, to, halbt, buga bin- 

short, gajiri 
show, to, nuna, goda 
shut, to, rufe 
sin, zunufi, laiB 
sing, to, yin waka 
sister, elder, ya ; younger, 

sit, to, zamna 
six, shid(d)a 
sky, 8am(m)a 
slave, bawa ; pi. bayi 
slavery, bauchi, bauta, ba- 

sleep, to, yin berichi 
slowly, sanu sanu 
small, karami ; cf. p. 71 
snake, machiji 
so, hak{k)a, hak(k)anan 
soldier, dan yaki 

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some, worn . . . worn, 

wosu, wod(d)ansu; cf. 

p, 19 
sometimes, woni yayij 

woni lokachi 
son, 4a 

south, kud(d)u 
speak, to, yin magana, 

spider, giz(z)o 
spin, to, kadi 
stand, to, tsaya 
steal, tOp sache, yin sata 
stone, duchi ; pi. duatsu 
stranger, bako 
strike, to, buga 
sun, rana 
sunrise, gari ya waye ; cf, 

p. 83 
sunset, faduar rana 
surpass, to, fi, faye 
sweep, to, share 
sweet, da zaki, da dadi 
sword, takobi 

take, to dauka, karba 
tail, dogo 
teach, to, koiya 
tell, to, fad(d)a 
ten, goma 
thank, to. gode 
that, chan, wonchan 
theft, sata 
then, saanan 
thence, dag(g)a chan 

there, chan, wurin chan 
therefore, don wonan, 

domin hak(k)a 
thief, barao, maisata 
thing, abu, pl.'abubua; cf. 

p. 12 
think, to, tamaha. zet(t)o 
thirst, kishirua 
thirty, tal(I)atin 
this, wonan, -nga, wonga, 

nan ; cf, p. 12 
thou, ka, f. ki 
thousand, dubu, zambar, 

alif ; cf. p. 65 
throw, to, jefa, yesda 
thus, hak(k)a, hak(k)anan 
time, lokachi 
to, ga, gare, zua ; cf. pp. 

SO- S3 
tobe, riga 

together, tare, gab(b)adaia 
to-morrow, gobe 
too, kua 
tooth, hak(k)ori 
touch, to, tab(b)a 
town, birni, gari 
trader, falke, maichiniki, 

dan kasua 
tree, itachc 
trouble, wohal(l)a 
true, da gaskia 
truly, ashe 
try, to, yin kokari 
twelve, goma sha biu 
twenty, asherin, ishirin, 

hauia, lasso ; cf. p, 67 



twice, sau biu 
two, biu 

understand, to, ji 
unless, sai, saidai 
until, har, hal 
upset, to, jirikiche 
us, mu 
use, anfani 

wait, to, jira 

walk, to, yin yawo 

war, yaki 

wash, to, wanke 

water, rua 

well, rijia 

west, yamma 

what? mi, mine, minene ; 


P- 13 

when ? yaushe 

whence ? dag(g) enna 

where, enna 

which, wonda, da, abinda 

while, tunda, tun 

whisper, rad(d)a 

white, fari, farifet 

who? wa, wanene; cf. 

P- 13 
who, wonda; cf. p. 13 

why, domi 

wide, fa^i 

wife, mata 

wind, hiska, iska 

wish, to, so 

with, da, tare da 

without, babu, bamda, 

maras ; to be w., tabi 
woman, mache 
wonder, to, jin mamaki 
wood, itache, itche 
word, magana 
work, aiki 
world, dunia 
write, to, yin rubutu ' 
wrong, laifi 

yam, doiya 

year, shekara ; last year, 
bara; next year, bad(4)i; 
this year, ban(n)a 

yellow, rawaiya 

yes, i, hak(k)anan, shi ke 

yesterday, jia ; the day be- 
fore yesterday, sheka- 

)'ou, ku 

youth, samrai ; pi. sar- 

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