Skip to main content

Full text of "Nuer-English dictionary"

See other formats

Nuer-English Dictionary 


Ray Huffman 


l r~ — \ 



1 )\ 


Dietrich Reimer (Ernst Vohsen) / Berlin 1929 


Printed by J. J. Augustin in Gliickstadt and Hamburg. 


The words tabulated here have been collected from every source to 
which I have had access during the four and one-half years I have spent 
in Nuerland. 

Words have been given me by other missionaries, those contained in the 
school books as well as those which I have learned directly from the Nuers 
themselves during my residence among them, have been listed. 

After the first draft of this dictionary was made, every word was reviewed 
with the help of from one to six Nuers and this book as published is the final 

All words marked with an asterisk are spelled as given me by Prof. 
D. Westermann of the International Institute of African Languages and 
Cultures who worked with one Nuer man at the Rejaf Language Conference 
at Rejaf, Sudan in 1928. 

The singular form of nouns is first given, followed by the plural form 
(if known). 

All open vowels have been marked in this dictionary because it is for the 
use of the European but I do not urge the marking of the open A, I, and u 
in books for the Nuer as the eight vowels — a, e, i, o, u, e, o and o are 

The Nuer tribe is large and various estimates are made as to their number. 
At the Rejaf Language Conference in 1928, their number was given as 

They occupy a large area in the southern part of the Anglo-Egyptian 
Sudan, along the Sobat liver in the Nasser and Abwong districts and on the 
Zeraf island and along the Nile river. 

Little has been published about this pagan tribe by those who have lived 
among them for any time. But little has been done to reduce the language 
of this illiterate tribe to writing. There are several dialects but the diffe- 
rences are slight. This language is rich in folklore. The words given here 
are but a small portion of what one may hope to find. 

I am deeply indebted to my Nuer teachers, especially to Dhiel Rwac 
and Pec Kak for their patience, to Reverend W. J. Adair of the American 
Mission at Nasser for his constant encouragement, and to Prof. D. Wester- 
mann of the International Institute of African Languages and Cultures for 
his valuable advice and assistance in preparing this book for the publisher. 

Rav Huffman 


American Mission Nasser, Sudan- 

Nuer alphabet as adopted at the Rejaf Language Conference April 1928 
and used in this book. 
b as in English. 
d as in English. 

g as in English "go" and "got". 
k as in English. 
I as in English. 
m as in English. 
n as in English. 
p as in English. 
r trilled lingual r. 
t as in English. 
w as in English "water". 
y consonantal as in English "yet". 
c palatalized t, almost as ch in "church". 
j palatalized d, approaching j in "judge", resembling dy. 
dh interdental d. 
th interdental t. 
nh interdental n. 

ny palatalized n as gn in French "Boulogne". 
I) velar n. 
Y velar fricative voiced resembling Arabic ghain. 


a as in Italian; e, i, 0, u are close vowels. 

e open e as in French "pere", or in English "let". 

open o as in English "not" as distinct from "note". 

central vowel resembling e in English "father". 

Long or doubled vowels are represented by doubling the letter. 

When a word changes when a suffix has been added, the original spelling 

has been retained in most cases. 
When needing a very slight u, have used w. 
When needing a very slight i, have used y. 
Besides the sounds described, above the language has an open i and u as in 

"fit" and "put", they are represented by I and u, and the sound of u 

in "but", this is rendered bv A. 

Nuer-English Dictionary. 


a when. 

a, kwa let (sing.) a ku te — you let it 

alone; (pi.) kwa te — you let it 

a participle, sign of passive voice, 

abe, abeeni lie is coming. 
Adam Adam, 
ay an exclamation. 
ajor absent. 

allA exclamation of surprise. 
alenu what is it? 
a math slow, slowly. 
arath for a long distance. 
athin there is. 
au world*. 

mi au ci kaq kwony full moon. 
au cuol evening about 7 p. m. 
au mai fishing season. 
awano here. 
awui cry of distress or sorrow, used 

by men only. 


baan bedbugs. 

bac slovenly. 

badak eight. 

badakdien eighth. 

bailoc one class of Nuers, now old 

men about 60 years old. 
bak to call to go together. 

bak early morning before sunrise; 

bakcl six. 
bakellicn sixth. 

bal (cike jc bal) to go on ahead of. 
bal to overleap. 
bal to pass by. 
bam vulva. 

ban to run; fast; speed, 
bany prosperous; rich. 
bany piny to leave on ground; to 

bai) excuse (cue bar) CO cap) he plotted 

excuse; empty; free; false; for 

bai), barjni veranda; porch, 
barjbel one kind of white dura. 
baqwan nine. 
baqwandicn ninth. 
bap breast, including chest and 

bap to fall forward; to run aimlessly. 
bapdit sea. 

bap milual redbreast. 
bap rar to break down. 
bar, ban good dancer. 
bar, bareni long, longer. 
bar Anuak (ran bar, jl bar); large 

pool; lake. 
bar to shoot; to run away; to fly;. 

to flee; to send for; to send a 

thing; bow and arrow. 
bara bamia. 
ban stature. 


— 6 — 


baro seven; constellation of seven 

barodien seventh. 
bat to mark; to check with pencil; 

to cross out with pencil; to 

jl bat A fishhook and line. 
bath famine. 
bath to be lost. 
ram mi bath bath deserter. 
bau war evening or morning star. 
bA also. 

bA shall; I shall. 
bAbur steamer; boat. 
bAk to cut open; to split open. 
b A ken Ike seeing them or visiting 

them for awhile. 
bAk ke to divide in parts. 
bAk- wic headache. 
bAl, b All donkey; mule. 
bAlle tasteless. 
bAlle thu very tasteless. 
be dowry, when they bring all the 

cattle to bride's place. 
bee uncomfortable feeling; to hurt; 

hurt; pain. 
bee to spy out; to long for; to yearn 

bee wanted to kill ox in village in 

order to keep meat for self. 
berj kernel in groin or axilla. 
ber line; rafters; window casing, 

cross pieces. 
be would; shall (3d. pers. sing.); 

also 3d. person singular of bir. 
bel, poss. beel dura; kaffir corn. 
bel to make peace beleni ro (they 

make peace themselves); to lick; 

(ku ro bel, jin karo) used to 

mean it is your own fault. 

bel n. arbitration. 

bl ben ke bende to come on one's own 

bet to shake as ca tetdA bet (I shook 

my hand). 
Beth lee m Bethlehem. 
bi, bieni clothes; garment. 
bi mi te maan best clothes. 
bi mi yath yath sackcloth; mourning 

bi mi yual woolen goods. 
bie big mound in Lau part of 

Nuerland made by £?underj, 

blown up by government in 

bier markings on body for beauty; 

v. to mark body for beauty. 
bier- (biereni je) to bind house with 

biel, biel color; biel mi mer purple; 

mi yen yellow; mi lit brownish 

black; mi lual red. 
biel duop mouse. 
biet to keep silence; bin I 2nd. pers. 

sing, imperative; biete 2nd. 

pers. pi. imperative. 
biet cataract. 
biet blessing. 

bil cut (used for smaller cuts). 
bil blacksmith; potter: fault. 
bil to taste: to open, used as CI 

nhial bil meaning the clouds 

scattered leaving the sky clear, 
bim to eavesdrop. 
bio club with head. 
bi, bike will. 

biam to waylay; to lie in wait. 
bldit, bldit quack of wild ducks. 
blkA will become; cikA became. 
bir 2nd. pers. sing, imperative. 


— 7 — 


bea* come, 2nd. pers. pi. impe- 

bia come, 2nd. pers. pi. impe- 

ben came. 
bir cor come closer imperative (sing.) 
bit- to curse. 
blth fishing spear. 
boam to hug. 
bol was heated and smells; coals of 

fire; white-haired. 
boll sunbeams; sun near sunset. 
bon long dance dress. 
bon, bunni pelican. 
bon partition. 
bony* to go under water; to dive; 

one kind of red dura. 
bor lap of person; white; to hover 

both* to lead. 
both daddy-long-legs. 
bou fruit of sunt tree, Nuers pound 

fruit and make pancakes. 
bo ye white; bright. 
bo ye pAk very white. 
bor kwe thorns put on calf's mouth 

to keep it from sucking. 
bot- to menstruate. 
bot, boni sore, wound, abscess; 
jl buoni the ones who have sores. 
both* to lead with a rope. 
both tockA to drag. 
both hunger. 
both e nak hungry; both ke nak 

both nei nak; they are hungry, 

we are hungry; both ye nak you 

are hungry. 
bua chapped; cold sores caused by 

buai light. 

buau, poss. buokA sunt tree; 

bue, bui bell made from doleib nut. 

bum able-bodied; courageous; hard; 

bum etet, bumketet very hard; very 

buok rotten (used with things in 

buol to rot. 
buom strength. 

buokA cai) middle of afternoon. 
buon, buonni group; herd; crowd; 

buor grass at bank of river; buor- to 

make fun of. 
buor windbreak for fire. 
buot tree, possibly shrub; cotton 

armlet; certain ornament. 
buoth to crawl; to creep. 
buoth, buorjl goat. 
buoye, buoyeni fishnet. 
bup to turn upside down. 
but to stay all day. 
but ke luai to file in slowly. 
but but bush with thorns. 
buth small melon; manure pile. 
buk to assemble; to throw at; to 

besmear; to thrust; to spread 

over surface. 
buk ethur to make commotion. 
bul to heat or roast over hot open 

fire; to toast; to roast; festival; 

toast; trunk of body. 
bul bul- wasp nest (Nuers moisten it 

with water and feed to cow for 

certain illness). 
bul, poss. bwol dance, drum. 
bul thuor dance but not wedding 

bure, bure to call pussy, pussy. 


— 8 — 


buth to deceive; to plaster; smash 
as of falling body hitting floor, 
(used with big things only). 

buth sterile (female only). 

bwony to dive. 

bwok weeds. 

bwum when part of generative 
organs are undeveloped. 


cac abreast in a row. 

Cagi Abbysinians, part of whom 

raided Nuerland. 
cai exclamation of surprise. 
cai yAtni class of Nuers, tribal marks 

made in 1925, also called wum 

cak- to put; milk. 
cam north; left hand. 
cam- to eat; to cheat. 
cam cam iodine. 
can destitute; forlorn; sad; poor. 
can € can entirely full. 
cai) sun*; even if. 
caijdar noon. 
caije right now. 

CI cai) nei luot sunshine warmed us. 
ci cai) rode bAk about 1 p. m. 
pai cai) thai warm a little in sunshine. 
cai) kany sunrise; east. 
caqke to refuse them when there is 

nothing good. 
cai) kwony sunset; west. 
cany bad food; to abhor; bad; 

finicky about eating; to sort 

out the best. 
canyc jc to refuse to have anything 

to do with person on account 

of sores; prissy. 

gwan canyA abhorrer. 

cap plot; fault. 

cap cap to plan: to plot. 

car to view: considerate; to con- 
sider; to look around; to pon- 
der; road; thought; worry; 

car kler big aquatic animal, fine skin. 

mi car, ticar black. 

carboc one class of Nuers now about 
30 — 35 years old. 

carl twok wic table set the table. 

cau to make splashing sound; cikc 
WA cau they went splash or 
as we say made a splashing 

CAk creator; formation; creation; 

CAk to fabricate; to create; to make; 
to start a fire. 

CAk kwoth freak. 

CAk- cuk to parade; to drill. 

CAl, cai groin. 

CAl, CAt resembles, is like. 

cai), mn day. 

cai) cdan, (pi.) nm ti kon one day 
awhile back; from 5 — 8 days 

CAl) kel sometime in future. 

cai) jec lat Monday; cai) lat da- 
reudlen Tuesday; caij lat 
dyokdien Wednesday; CAl) lat 
nwandien Thursday; CAl) lat 
dhyecdicn Friday; caij lat mitot 
Saturday; CAl) kwoth Sunday. 

mi cAr cAr level as rol mi cAr CAr 
(level country). 

CAt, to slip; (3d. per. sing, past) 
ce cot. 

CAt CAt slippery. 


— 9 — 


cck ripe 

eel, poss. cecl big fish. 

cei) to live at; to abide. 

ccij- bi pwony to dress. 

cerjA life; cei)AdA my life. 

ceij-ro a gwaa to visit nicely; 

ciel to peel cane or cornstalks. 

ciem- to kiss. 

cicm kiss. 

ciemani his family; ciemori your 
family; ciemandlen their fa- 
mily; ciemari my family; cie- 
manniklen their families. 

cien pity; compassion. 

ciene very small fish, (like thAn). 

cier piethA southern cross. 

cier comet; planet; animal resem- 
bling cat that always bites at 
everything it touches. 

cieth dung; feces. 

cili), ciiqni village; town. 

jl cili) villagers; inhabitants. 

ciin-thu family-in-law. 

cim- to whip. 

CI sign of negative; sign of past, 
perfect tense. 

cic, ceni the same as. 

cieke, pi. cuie smaller, shorter. 

Clep long grass skirt. 

clkA became; bik a become. 

Clkc; cuo they. 

Cll, del elbow. 

cin, cin bowels; intestines. 

Cll) bad as when fish is rotten; used 
for very bad as spoiled fish 
smells badly. 

Cin mi cuo cuo small intestine; cin 
mi dhok dhok large intestine. 

cir cir, cir cirni centipede. 

Clt, Clteke, cite, CAt equally; like; 

the same as. 
Clthe diarrhea; to have diarrhea. 
CO and, connecting sentences. 
CO husband; (her) coade; urine; WA 

com lac to urinate. 
coi very nice: very good. 
col- to return borrowed money. 
conyict fiance; bridegroom. 
cop dura planter (stick with one 

end like spoon for making holes 

for planting dura); to reach, 
ci pi cop piny water covered ground. 
cor, cur, adj. cor blind. 
COriAl black and white ox without 

horns; animal like waterbuck. 
cok image: stingy; small black worm 

that eats dura. 
cok person. 
col- to call. 
col open part of ear; part of snail 

cot, cot, poss. cotnl boys who have 

just had the tribal marks cut. 
COt hornless. 
cot cotnl cow without horns, will 

turn into Let. 
cot-ro to line up single file. 
cotdul one kind of red dura. 
cot riAl, cot ri All zebra, 
cu, cwaye negative, do not. 
cuac to drive. 

cuak, cuAk, poss. cuAkni twins. 
cual, cuah sack. 
cual poor dancer. 
cuane do not (includes person 

speaking) l 8t- pers. pi. 
cuany ox. 

cuai) to be perplexed be wiede cuai); 
to kill time te cuai) cuai)- 

cuai] e cuar) 

— 10 — 

cwa leet 

cuai) e cuai) continually changing 

his order. 
cuatcuor certain class of Nuers of 

long ago, all dead now. 
cuath fat; to start a fire; to make a 

cue* tired. 
cue, ce he; she; it. 
cue, cui leech. 
cuel penis; to squat. 
cuer one kind of white dura, 
cuer, ram mi cuer, nei ti cuer thief. 
cueth place where guinea worm 

comes out of; moonbeams; 

sunbeams; reached the ground. 
CUle narrow, 
cull to be very tired of; to be worn 

out entirely. 
cult to hiss; to insert. 
cuk part of; earthern cooking pot. 
cuk, cukni foot, 
cul clear water in river or well so you 

can see bottom. 
cul a god, sender of dreams, 
cul cuek calf of leg; muscles of arm 

or lower part of leg. 
cum cum sweet, delicious. 
cume dear; delicious; tastes good, 

used with other things than 

cui) to stop; to draw up; correct. 
cut) A height. 
cui) cui) good; straight. 
cui) -dor to hide. 
cui] epic straight; perfect; absolutely 

cui) (jok) to sit up; — (cuk) to stand 

on heel. 
curjkA standing. 
cui)ni, curje you keep quiet. 

cui) tet ligament. 

pwanykien cuo cuo very muscular. 

cuok to press upon; to crowd; to sit 
close, touching; to bump into 
each other. 

cuo I revenge; recompense; dirt; to 

cuol, cul e cue darkness; very dark. 

wai)- cuol to be blinded, as when 
going into dark room out of 
bright light. 

cuom to encourage; savour. 

cuom angry now, afterwhile will be 
very angry; quarrel. 

cuo cuoni bronchial tubes; capilla- 

cuop (cuk) ankle area; (tet) wrist. 

cuoth- to rub; to polish. 

cuoko we. 

cuorj; goie righteousness. 

cuor vulture. 

cuor mi rial very large buzzard. 

cuor when hair is partly grey. 

cuot large intestine; to put in an 
enclosed place. 

cup to reach; to arrive at. 

cur n. blind. 

cut, cuut name. 

cut to drag; to fall; to call; re- 

cut ryai smokestack of boat. 

cut piny to be lost. 

cuth eraser. 

cuut- pacifier for child. 

cum snail; snailshell. 

cumcie fine copper wire. 

cwa* bone. 

cwa buom sacrum and coccyx. 

cwa jok vertebral column. 

cwa leet dorsal vertebrae. 


— 11 — 


cwaye tender as meat is tender. 

ewe one kind of worm. 

cwec south; right hand. 

cwei* gravy; soup. 

cweny liver. 

cwel to circumcise. 

cwol name of man. 

cwoth guinea worm: disease carried 

by guinea worm. 
CWOC* weariness. 

CWOIJ to abate; smoothly; straight. 
cyai)* habit; mid it patience. 
cyat] cyai)* daily. 
cyek* man, poss. cyik, mam wife. 
cyek fertile; chain; anklet; bracelet; 

wristlet; finger ring. 
cyek cyek short, small of stature. 
cyek jok widow. 
cyek mi kau young woman as yet 

cyo(k)de* his foot. 

dai dai warm: lukewarm, as pi tl dai 

dai warm water. 
dai vacant; no one there; A Ia dai 

dak cannot reach; to pillage; to tear 

down; to plunder; to destroy; 

to abolish; to put out; to 

dak ro to get a divorce. 
dak n. divorce; heartburn. 
dak piny to scatter; to disperse. 
dai to rub. 
dai) wedding stick. 
dai)e puffer fish that is slippery, has 

false and true skin. 

daqkeni to sorape all flesh off of 

hide so it will dry well. 
dai) ro some come: some go. 
dap n. birth; to give birth (used for 

humans only); to bear children. 
dap jor to abort. 
dapni right now. 
dar amidst; middle; zenith. 
dar, poss. dwar idiot. 
dar dwar* or dar doar middle of 

field; desert; uncultivated area; 

uninhabited place; wilderness. 
dare top of head. 
dareudlen second. 
dany- to hold out hands in 

-dA suffix meaning my. 
-dAn suffix meaning ours. 
d Af) to remove bad part; to operate. 
dArjdl how much; to the number of. 
mi dAr red. 

dAr one kind of red dura. 
dA(r)dar greedy; stingy. 
ram mi dA(r)dar elorj sponger. 
dAt sore between cow's toes. 
de able; can; should; would; shall; 

might; could; fruit. 
de jiath fruit of tree. 
dec n. wrinkles. 
dec- to choke; to strangle. 
dec- to overcome you because too 

der to hold burden on head without 

handling it. 
-de suffix meaning its, hers, his. 
del, det, poss. deel, deet* sheep. 
del kwoth butterfly. [things). 

del del thick, big, large (used with 
deman, demani brother; demar, 

deman my brother; demor, 


12 — 

do i)- ro 

demon your brother; dcmandicn 

their brother. 
dcqcck bad snake, green and white. 
dcp- to annoy; to fish; to accuse; 

to implicate; to tease. 
dcp n. rope. 

gwan dcp, poss. deep fisherman. 
dep wan shoestrings. 
deth- to carry. 
diar gourd with neck. 
diem the country that lies beyond; 

dieq to fish (with spear and string). 
dier iron beams used to support 

die maybe, 
diel antelope. 

diem to strain as strain milk. 
dier wild animal; to fill in low places 

with dirt. 
dier, dicn pig. 
dieth to beget; to calve; to give 

birth to (used with animals). 
dicthke parents; ancestors. 
run tl diethke Jithath life of Jesus. 
run tl kon tl dicthke jc life. 
dil to stop up crevices; to fill up; 

to mend; numb. 
dil dil cannot see. 
dioq to mix; grass which is cooked. 
din inlet in river (not natural). 
dit, diit song. 
dit, di(t)ni roofer. 
dit, comp. ditni big; large; great. 
dit grown up; anxious; to esteem; 

greedy in every way dit loc; 

dit', dif, poss. din bird. 
ram mi dit Iwac covetous person. 
diu doubt. 

diu- to doubt. 

dial all. 

-dlcn suffix meaning theirs, (added 
to all numerals except 'six' 
where -hen is used, to make 
adjective out of noun as making 
two 'second'. 

dlk certain grass, seed used for 

dil perhaps; complete; persistently; 
master; favorite; aristocracy of 
Nuers, certain family and all 

din now: surely: exactly. 

dil) to sink. 

dir to fertilize; to entice; to tempt; 
to make trial; to obstruct; nose 
stopped up; cold in head or 
lungs; return of feeling after 
numbness; deaf; always con- 
cerned about others; respon- 

do, de the young of anything; 
offspring; lamb do dcel; de deet; 
calf do yaij, de yok; core of sore. 

doc to wither. 

dor, poss. dar dwar* (or) doar steppe: 
bush: open spaces; wilderness. 

dol- tok to laugh. 

dominyal calf with red spotted body. 

dompiny night dance. 

donpiny peanuts. 

dony to crush; to nudge; to step on. 

dony bul kingfisher. 

do; dot) perhaps; maybe. 

do bwol small drum. 

dodicn, kokien other; another. 

dok bead, large, white, oblong. 

dolcni thulbuk collecting taxes. 

doij- ro to roll about; to be restless. 


— 13 


dongoqkA class of Nuers about 
40 years old now. 

doq- to rap; to sift; to collect the 
good only out of anything. 

dor) bracelet made of many little 
rings of ostrich shell. 

doi), poss. duq n. knock; rap. 

dop- to start fire. 

du, dwaye do not. 

du, ce wa du (it went calm) or (it is 
calm) no wind; calm. 

-du, -dun suffix meaning yours. 

dual to nod. 

duany- to beckon by winking. 

duany ni pon (may nothing harm 
you) special blessing. 

duaq, mi duaq duaq aged; old. 

dual) tet tendon in elbow. 

duar to refuse what is offered; same 
as "brother" when speaking to 
younger person. 

due to dodge. 

dui try me out. 

dul long hair; cornsilk; dirt; clod 
of dirt. 

dulc bleached hair. 

dull bricks to hold pot off fire. 

dun to fall or ebb; dry. 

duq of; very; if. 

duq, nyin belonging to; belongings; 

duol store; to assemble; n. congre- 

duop flesh in bridge of nose. 

duor to hold tightly. 

du(r)dur early morning; dawn. 

dut, poss. dwot grass used for roof- 
ing, also called geu. 

duth child which is weaned; to wean; 
free gift; to pull stick out of 

spear; to dance; to take up 

cattle stakes. 
dwac to beat; to whip. 
dwac gcr to eat. 
dwal to fear; to be afraid; fear. 
dwal sheepskin as garment, worn 

over woman's shoulder. 
dwalc lazy; dwal pwony to be 

ram mi dwal dwal coward. 
dwany, dwanyi born a cripple. 
dwany- to bend; entirely good. 
dwaq breeze; air. 
ram mi dwar fool. 
dwat May. 

dwek, dwlk common people. 
dwi dwi small, black insects in water. 
dwil, dwill house: (your) dwillu: 

(their) dwillien. 
dwil bie, dwil bieni tent. 
dwil gorA or dwil gorkA school, 
dwil jail hotel, inn. [academy. 

dwilwAl clinic; hospital. 
dwir, dwiri sin; to sin. 
gwan dwiri, jl dwiri sinner. 
dwop, dup road; highway; path; 

(use dup when exact path is 

dwop dier iron bridge. 
dwop mi gon gon winding road. 
dwok to dress hair in fashion of 

another tribe. 
dwoq, duq shell of ostrich egg. 
dwoq dancing because happy (used 

with wedding talk only). 
dwor, sing, thing; qwak, qwani 

dwoth to relinguish; remainder; 

bl dwothkien jik to subtract; 

gur dwothkien to subtract. 

dwcth jo k 

— 14 


dwoth jok person who is passed on 

dwoth, dwoth large, black fish. 
dyeny, dyenyi* baby basket; manger. 
dyok* three. 
dyokdien* third. 

dhai sightless. 
dhal- to astonish; to be dismayed; 

incomprehensible; impossible. 
dham dham idle; nonsense. 
dhar, dhar I jar, large earthern pot. 
dhar that earthern cooking pot. 
dher) to bleed; to hemorrhage; 

dhek dhek throbbing; ticking. 
dhem bridge between fishtraps. 
dhie blinded. 
dhiel to lessen pain; to return to 

place of; to return with; person 

who stays in wilderness; one 

who refuses to quarrel. 
wal dhiel A sedative, opiate. 
dhim to squeeze to take water out. 
dhlai to dissolve. 

dhlap to consume; brittle; very old. 
gwan dhiatni one who boasts of self. 
dhik dhik sound of footsteps. 
dhlk- to constantly refuse to help. 
dhol, dhoii, wic dhulA island. 
dhol to abuse; to despise. 
dhom to commit adultery. 
ram ml dhoti not a real man; cie 

wut pany. 
dhor to hold tightly because afraid. 
dhoc entirely full; to lean over in 

front of*; to push or crowd 

dhoal to call you for nothing. 

dhol, dholl poss. dhol* boy. 

dholi gorkA, ji gorka students. 

dhop leprosy. 

ran dhop, ji dhop leper. 

dhot- to doubt. 

dhual to call to fight. 

dhuc pouty person. 

d hue to run fast; to jump high. 

dhuk kile like turkey beard. 

dhuk dhuk (or is it dhok dhok) fat. 

dhum adultery. 

dhuol to bring bride to home. 

dhuor sorry (as when they throw 

themselves on the ground and 

cry because of grief). 
dhuon, dhon small piece of. 
dhur splash; bang; big ox. 
dhur gwic rope net left to catch 

foot of giraffe. 
dhwor to get away. 
dhyec five. 
dhyecdien fifth. 

enjel angel. 

e, en is. 

Ebel Abel. 

EbraAm Abraham. 

Ebtholum Absalom. 

ebuth, yot- ebuth to slap or to hit 

ecac exactly. 

edan one day sometime ago. 
edhek to spurt out as ce WA edhek (it 

spurted out). 
e gik e gik stamping sound made by 

ejen yes. 
ekuek at once. 


15 — 


ekuom footsteps. 

eh k bang. 

elli)- very (when used with full as 

thiai) eii!)). 
el or)* much; (very) or elurj- 
eluk with a big slapping sound. 
erne this. 
emo that. 
en same. 
en I or an I where. 
enei when. 
eno so; like this. 
erja who. 
erju what. 

e ijuan what, same as eiju. 
e ou e ou jingling. 
epuc certainly; surely. 
erac* very bad. 
erau hazy like a mirage. 
criath when all flee. 
eric dodged. 
et et scratching sound; teke et et it 

has scratching sound. 
etyat to break in pieces; ce pen etyat 

it fell in pieces. 
eterj, entirely finished; ce WA eter) it 

was entirely finished. 
ethll absolutely. 

ethur to bang with stick as buk 
ewa they say. [ethur. 

ewac to revive. 
ewic entirely; all of them. 
eyat entirely: finished. 
eyum entirely: very. 


ga verily. 

gaac* to be amazed; to be asto- 
nished; to be surprised. 

gak quarrel; to quarrel; vexed; to 

gal to throng; to press upon. 

gam to sing solo part; to help; to 
assist; to deliver mother of 
child; midwife. 

gan gankA generations to come; 

gany to prickle as with needles in it. 

gany, ganyni land crocodile. 

gai) to protect; to guard; to turn; 
protector; front part of wo- 
man's dress made of narrow 
strips of sheepskin tied together. 

gar person who cuts tribal marks; 
Nuer tribal marks; mark; man. 

kwoth mi gar gar omnipresent god. 

gat, gaat* child; gat mi kA firstborn; 
gur ka kA second child; gaati 
dan between second and last 
child; gat mi gur youngest 
child now; gat ml pek last 
child possible. 

gat gankA generation ;• descendant; 
gaat gankA (pi.). 

gat gwani child of father or of uncle. 

ci gat kam rar to abort. 

gat kwan prince. 

gat kel mi cedieth karo only begotten. 

gat mi pai dap, gaati ti pai dap 

gaum flower; (bud) gaum mi rul. 

g Al to dally; to halt; to hesitate; 
stretcher; bier. 

gAn bed. 

gAn large grass. 

geu eaves; roofing grass. 

geugenkA cr gegekA to recline. 

gekA neighboring; nearby; at a 
little distance; jl gekA neighbors. 


— 16 


ge(k)ni on all sides. 
gel bony; gel (used for man) surroun- 
ded. * 
ger comb of hen; to spread apart; 

to separate; to steer or row a 

boat; batwing Shullik hairdress. 
get to bake, to fry. 
geth- to scrape. 

giAk to stutter; gikl do you stutter? 
git to keep punching with spear. 
git e git to be entirely finished with 
giek beside. [food. 

gil persuaded and persuaded; to 

refuse; to argue; n. ebony. 
gir hunger. 
gir to be hungry. 
giric, gireni piaster. 
gith to dip out water. 
go good (pi. of migwaa). 
goie goodness. 
gor- to write: gori bakel ke gwath 

dareu to multiply; n. writing. 
ji gorkA scribes. 
gok, gokni monkey. 
gok shell used for ornament; grass, 

seed of which may be used for 

gok butkA scab of sore. 
gol to pass by; to go around; small 

smudge fire in barn; home. 
gol, gwath, poss. gollA, gwathni 

jl gol the people of my place; as 

ji gol I A the people of my place. 
gon- to hold or carry in hand. 
goi) blue beads used as headband; 

to bend; to serve guests with 

gop to remove top part; to take off: 

to take a crosscut or bypath. 

got got to be fidgety as teke got got. 
goth to stand erect as ce jecde goth 

he stood erect. 
gu after while; exactly. 
gual to go into fire ; to sing part song. 
guan- to beg; to refuse to leave 

without present, 
guar], gwath mi la guai) cavern. 
guar place where roof and walls 

meet; chest and breast. 
guat fruitlessly; kept fishing but 

caught none; to go away on 

river; to scrape a dish; also a 

bad word. 
guath to remove scales from fish. 
gueny to separate sticks in making 

guer blessing. 
gu guk sheltered; gwath mi guguk 

sheltered place. 
guk purse; bag; pocket; to retch. 
guk raven; dove. 
guk kwoth, gok kwoth prophet. 
guk nyitni pleural cavity. 
gul to be surrounded (used for 

animals); traveler; to go ahead 

of; wants it also duij gul e. 
gul- to cool hot water by adding cold. 
ml gul gul round with hole in center. 
gule, gulke different. 
gum not quite full; n. big gourd 

with small opening in top. 
gumut, gumuni owl. 
gun string of bow; n. handle; skunk; 

civet cat. 
guny* to witness. 
gunykA n. witness; jl gunykA wit- 
gut) to stoop; ce ro gui) he stooped 



17 — 

gwath mi Ia tor 

guocc, guoceni sword. 

guok Adam's apple; to shut up; to 

sew shut. 
guok stiff, ci yetkA guk as my finger 

is stiff, 
guol smallpox. 
guorj, guob guinea fowl. 
guorj to widen when making fishnet. 
guot, guotnl insect something like 

grasshopper but back like big 

green leaf. 
gut to reach all the territory it 

wanted to and to accomplish 

its purpose. 
gut pik pouty; to pout. 
gur spitting snake; to search: to 

seek: to want; to hunt; to wish. 
guth act of standing on tiptoe; to 

take by hand and drag out; 

side of neck. 
guwek* guwekni spoon. 
guwek Iwac cartilage at end of 

gwaa* pi. tigo good. 
gwac to make a mistake; to connect; 

to meet; to pass; n. mistake. 
gwac- to be cross at each other. 
gwac A pardon me; I am mistaken. 
gwacni kc to exchange. 
g wad in sir. 
gwak April. 
gwak oppossum. 
gwal corral for cattle; to bow; to 

exchange; to take turns at work; 

to relieve of burden. 
gwal ken I rwac debating. 
gwan father; (my) gwar; (your) 

gur; (their) gwandicn; (our) 

gwandAn; owner. 
gwan barjni lucky person. 

2 Huffman, Nuer-English 

gwan bokm librarian. 

gwan canyA person who is particular 

about food; one who is prissy. 
gwan deet, jl deet shepherd. 
gwan dhomni adulterer. 
gwan dhotA boaster, 
gwan dor) grandfather. 
gwandonj ancestors. 
gwan duothni person who smiles. 
gwan kac liar. 

gwanlen- uncle on father's side. 
gwan liAkA boaster. 
gwan nyakni unstable person: one 

who is constantly changing 

gwan riet mine lawyer. 
gwan tielA hypocrite: miser: crabbed 

gwan tietkA genius. 
gwan thok* interpreter. 
gwan thu father-in-law. 
gwan thwokni humble person; 

truthful person. 
gwan wal quack doctor; medicine 

gwai) axillary; sound of fish in 

gwap rweini to slobber because 

talking too fast. 
gwath com bladder. 
gwath mi dai stand or high place. 
gwath kukA store. 
gwath kwonykA grave. 
gwath laakA, pi. gwath laakni 

gwath mi luij lui) deep place. 
gwath mi nAn nAn distant place. 
gwath mi I a te thin abode. 
gwath mi thAp valley; low place. 
gwath ml I A tor honeycombed place. 


— 18 


gwathwAl hospital; clinic. 

gwAr girl about puberty; to grind. 

gwe bark of a dog. 

gwec, gwic giraffe. 

gwec kwoth prophecy. 

gweny to step aside; to make way; 

to separate; root of lotus, may 

roast and eat it. 
gwei) tiep small shrub, used as 

gwce, gwi gravel. 
gwek* frog. 

gwel gwel to talk mixed languages. 
gwet to attain; to scrape out. 
gwet gwet to be undecided; locdA 

te gwet gwet my heart is un- 
gwi ice; hail. 

gwic to see; to watch; to perceive. 
gwice gwik to be still hungry. 
gwi gwic insects, biting cattle before 

gwi I to look for; to see; to examine. 
gwilik small white headed bird. 
gwir to touch; limit; to comb hair; 

name of certain village. 
gwit to rake. 
gwith pride; stubbornness: proud: 

warlike; pugnacious. 
gwith Iwac imagination. 
gwop skin of person. 
gwop bum hump on cow. 
gwop waij eyelid; (upper lid) gwop 

nhial; lower lid gwop piny, 
gwok upper part of ear. 
gwoi) hollowed out; to hew out: to 

hull; ce jokde g wo I) to be tardy. 
gwoi), gwoij hedgehog. 
gwoij cuk flesh on upper part of leg. 
gwoi* person who always goes by 

self; chase; elephant; rock 

rabbits; next; to pursue; to 

follow after. 
gwoi", gwor mole. 
gwor ivory armlet. 
gwori short hair, 
gwor jail armlet same as made of 

gourd but made of different 

thing, very white. Found at 

Toe, none at Nasser. 
gwor ken armlet made of gourd. 
gwuij to stoop a little; to be bowed 

gwuth- to pick fruit; to pull out 


rei yaa* m * ne world. 

yac, yAC fisherman. 

yac to carry on head. 

yai to swell up like rice in water. 

yam* thigh. 

yar* to spread. 

yA* me. 

yAn* I. 

yAn en I am here. 

yer* to urge to take; large container 

for dura, 
yoc* to be damp; to be wet; to warm 

yoie pelvic region; hip; lumbar 

yom trap as hole dug to catch 

yor to revive; to restore; n. restorer, 
yok* to push. 
yok* cattle (pi.) of yai)- 
yol* roofing grass. 
yon* help me; tc try. 


— 19 — 

jen badak 

yon* to test; to measure. 

yor* ambatch. 

yui to crawl on hands and feet with 

back next to ground. 
yuk* gourd with hole in top. 
yunh to return from journey. 
yur cupping to get blood out, small 

cuts are made and then place 

cow horn over cut and suck on 

it to get blood out. 
yut, yutni shelf; ledge. 
yuth propeller; to journey. 


I that. 

IC, le no. 

id I how. 

le whether. 

imei fishing season ahead. 

imith which. 

in-, tin- prefixes specifying parti- 
cular — ; the. 

in in which. 

mbor, tinbor the white — . 

indAn the thing that we were — . 

inene like this. 

I no thus. 

mono the same. 

intot, tintot the small — . 

irun tomorrow; sometime in future; 
indefinite time ahead. 

ithiaij this afternoon. 

lyo afterwhile. 

ja it; him; her. 

jac to reach; nhial to look up, to 

shoot, (when thing shot at is 


jacni first came to. — as jacni Gwir 

first came to Gwir. 
jaiA to want to leave, 1st. pers. sing. 
jai ni jc to deny (falsely). 
jakok crow; mirol crow with white 

jak pany top of wall. 
jal nausea; to belch. 
jal to walk; to journey; visitor; WA 

to rinse: a math to walk slowly; 

jor to overflow: ke mal to 

crawl; ke jok jok to walk 

backwards; thok yiir to wade 

in water at river bank; ibis; 

guest; visitor. 
jalAb, jalAbni arab merchant. 
jalany bran soaked in water and 

jany shallow; to prolong; to dally; 

to delay. 
jai) to take. 
jaij, jaai) servant. 
jath to be sorry; sorrow as ci locdA 

jath am sorry. 
jath, jen; poss. jiath, jien tree; jath 

dun, yar also called jath yai) is 

a certain club. 
jAk to jump up and down; to shake; 

to churn; to send a person. 
JAr, JAN shoulder. 
jec to scrape the black off. 
jec, poss. jic* abdomen; stomach; 

je her; him; it. 

jec* to stand up; nhial to lift up. 
jen he; she; it. 
jen badak eighty. 
jen badak wicde kel eighty-one. 
jen badak wicde reu eighty-two. 
jen badak wicde dyok eighty-three. 

jen badak wicde ijwan 

20 — 


en badak wicde ijwan eighty-four. 

en badak wicde dhyec eighty-five. 

en badak wicde bakel eighty-six. 

en badak wicde baro eighty-seven. 

en badak wicde badak eighty-eight. 

en badak wicde baijwan eighty-nine. 

en bakel sixty. 

en bakel wicde kel sixty-one. 

en bakel wicde reu sixty-two. 

en bakel wicde dyok sixty-three. 

en bakel wicde ijwan sixty-four. 

en bakel wicde dhyec sixty-five. 

en bakel wicde bakel sixty-six. 

en bakel wicde baro sixty-seven. 

en bakel wicde badak sixty-eight. 

en bakel wicde baijwan sixty-nine. 

en baijwan ninety. 

en baijwan wicde kel ninety-one. 

en baijwan wicde reu ninety-two. 

en barjwan wicde dyok ninety-three. 

en baijwan wicde ijwan ninety-four. 

en baijwan wicde dhyec ninety-five. 

en baijwan wicde bakel ninety-six. 

en baijwan wicde baro ninety-seven. 

en baijwan wicde badak ninety- 
jen baijwan wicde baijwan ninety- 
jen baro seventy. 
jen baro wicde kel seventy-one. 
jen baro wicde reu seventy-two. 
jen baro wicde dyok seventy-three. 
jen baro wicde ijwan seventy-four. 
jen baro wicde dhyec seventy-five. 
jen baro wicde bakel seventy-six. 
jen baro wicde baro seventy-seven. 
jen baro wicde badak seventy-eight. 
jen baro wicde baijwan seventy-nine. 
jen dhyec fifty. 
jen dhyec wicde kel fifty-one. 

en dhyec wicde reu fifty-two. 
en dhyec wicde dyok fifty-three. 
en dhyec wicde ijwan fifty-four. 
en dhyec wicde dhyec fifty-five. 
en dhyec wicde bakel fifty-six. 
en dhyec wicde baro fifty-seven. 
en dhyec wicde badak fifty-eight. 
en dhyec wicde baijwan fifty-nine. 
en dyok thirty. 
en dyok wicde kel thirty one. 
en dyok wicde reu thirty two. 
en dyok wicde dyok thirty three. 
en dyok wicde ijwan thirty four, 
en dyok wicde dhyec thirty five. 
en dyok wicde bakel thirty six. 
en dyok wicde baro thirty seven. 
en dyok wicde badak thirty eight. 
en dyek wicde baijwan thirty nine. 
ene it is here. 
en ijwan forty. 
en ijwan wicde kel forty-one. 
en ijwan wicde reu forty-two. 
en ijwan wicde dyok forty-three. 
en ijwan wicde ijwan forty-four. 
en ijwan wicde dhyec forty-five. 
en ijwan wicde bakel forty-six. 
en ijwan wicde baro forty-seven. 
en ijwan wicde badak forty-eight. 
en ijwan wicde barjwan forty-nine. 
ereu twenty. 

ereu wicde kel twenty-one. 
ereu wicde reu twenty-two. 
ereu wicde dyok twenty-three. 
ereu wicde ijwan twenty-four. 
ereu wicde dhyec twenty-five. 
ereu wicde bakel twenty-six. 
ereu wicde baro twenty-seven. 
ereu wicde badak twenty-eight. 
ereu wicde baijwan twenty-nine. 
eth to wade across; to cross over. 


— 21 — 


ji clatter; noise. 

jiai the people ,of. 

jie to sting as when hand touches ice. 

jier lime. 

jith to stop raining. 

jiu, jiuni, poss. jio well. 

jl, ye you. 

jl gekA neighbors. 

jllth* scorpion. 

dui) jic, nym jic abdominal. 

jiec immediately. 

jlk* to find. 

jl ke people; relations. 

j 1 1 chaff. 

jin, yen (nom. form); jl, ye (ob- 
jective) you. 
jin to lie down: to rest; to lie awake. 

jli) thui strong grass used for 

jipni altogether. 
jl tietkA yaa prophets. 
jlth* ear. 
jlth leaf. 
jlth Iwac auricle. 
jo voice; sound. 
jom wind; season of cool winds; to 

dip out. 
jo I) to forget for a minute. 
jony itches; to scratch; n. juny. 
jop to fell; to chop. 
jop to shrink, ci ro jop it shrunk 

b A joe I will see about it (used in 1st 

person only). 
tet joe crippled (without one hand). 
joe to be stranded; somewhat dry 

but not entirely. 
jok bones of cervical region; back 
(poss. jok)*; surely; behind; 
certainly; ghost; of a truth; 

cattle and sheep disease but 

they are different. 
jok, jokni week. 
ce ben kA jok tardy. 
jok wee back of village. 
jol in succession. 
jo i) to lie down ce rode jorj as he laid 

himself down. 
jor (ajor) absent; to be lost; outside; 

to run outside alone. 
jot kel one pound Egyptian; ten. 
juak measles. 

juak udder; one kind of red dura. 
jual tail, 
juan (bi ci ro juan) to wrinkle; (the 

cloth wrinkled itself). 
juat feather; kot- feather fan. 
judol red and white ox. 
juik aluminum hearts made to wear 

around waist. 
juk thuom crossbar of fiddle. 
juk thill k, juk thillkni bicycle. 
juk (mtot) dog; (indit) horse. 
juk- to plaster part way up wall 

(CA juk ke cement). 
juk lee fish that bites. 
juk mwon top (toy for children). 
juk nyApec coyote; wild horse. 
Jul only living child ; one kind of fish. 
Jul certain headdress for woman, 

4 turfs of hair left on head to 

show she has but one child. 
Jul A to pick a quarrel. 
jum cheek; jawbone. 
juntoc black and white ox with 

green head (extinct now). 
juoc to chase; to run off. 
riem be juoc to bruise. 
juok- to jump in (cike ro juokni yir) 
they jumped in river). 

juok cukA 

— 22 — 


juok cukA metatarsal. 

juol, jol hip joint. 

jup, jupni ax. 

jur, juri sore coming without any 

cause seemingly and dis- 
appearing similiarly. 
jurr, jurr foreignor. 
jut to annoy; to urge persistently; to 

tease; to pester. 
jut, ju It old maid. 
juth Jews; ran Juth, ji Juth Jew. 
juk- to say; to reply. 
jur) very hot water but not boiling. 
jur), jur) a very high platform; rack 

for dura heads; shelter for 

jwac, rei jwa(c)ni grass; rei juol in 

certain kind of grass. 
ram mi jwar grasping. 
jwath one kind of fish. 
jwath tet, jwath tetni forearm. 
jwe, jwath poss. jwathni sickness; 

disease, illness; jl jwathni the 

sick people. 
jwir grasping. 
jwot long stick with ambatch head 

that is carried by newly gar- ed 

jyarj- to skin animal. 
jyek* bad; dirty; (Iwac) mad; a 

locdu CI jyek cheer up; jyek e 

jyek very bad; gwan jyekni, ji 

jyekni* devil; demon; jyek 

erac* very bad. 


ka or; but: to. 

kaam gateway or passageway. 

kac to sting; to pinch one's body 

between wood; to lie; to deny; 

to bite; n. lie. 
ml kac kac bitey (like peppers). 
kac- nh lam to pass another on path, 
kac piny to alight; to step down; 

to hop. 
kac riem artery. 
kai satisfied (used with water only); 

to quench thirst. 
kak, kak, poss. rei kakA, rei kakni 

field; farm. 
kak to hunt. 

kal, kaal fence; wall around yard. 
kal kal small skin for rug; hot water 

kal Iwac fatty covering of heart. 
kam between. 
kam pamni valley. 
kam puothni ke nyiet pleural cavity. 
kam ral cartilage. 
kan to appropriate; to escape; to 

save; to take; to steal; to go 

kan, kenne used with negative; not. 
kan Saviour. 
kany to rise; rising. 
kany car) east. 
kany dwil to come in. 
kany- to want to take hold. 
kany i)uok north winds; winter 

kany rar to jump in or down. 
kai) kwar, kai) kwari kingfisher. 
kai) to deceive; to fool. 
kar) cornet; whistle: mouth organ; 

kap forceps; pliers; thong. 
kap(de) tail of fish. 
kapeni shaking dura to get fine out; 

to sift. 

kap tick 

23 — 


kap tick sing, kapni tick pi. hinge. 

kap rac n. catch (of fish). 

kap yie, kap yieni food which may be 

eaten raw while awaiting cooked 

kar branch or bough of tree; to cut 

in long strips as cutting meat. 
kar A, karo; karo I only; only; they 

kat, kat bird like hawk. 
kat, katnl sleeping place for women 

in fishing camp. 
kat A meat and mush eaten together 

but cooked separately; salt. 
kat kat to be very sharp teke kat kat. 
katipe vegetable like potato. 
cyek mi kau, man ti kath bride; 

newly married woman. 
kA, ke seed and fiber in gourd; pulp. 
kAk reputation; report; to cleai 

one's throat; to split. 
kAk to spread apart as ce cukke 

kAk piny he spread his feet 

kAl to court a girl; ce WA kAl he went 

kAlam Nuer hoe. 
kAm to give (when one must walk to 

get it, use kAm; when hand it 

use nun,). 
kAl] moon. 
kAp to catch; to take hold of; to 

el piny kAp calm. 
kArakon jail; prison. 
kAr kAr, kAr kAN spider; web. 
kAt kite. 
kAth bile; breast of cow; rust; mold; 

to stumble on (ca cukdA nak 

ke kAth); gallbladder. 

ke path between neighbors. 

kea certain herb. 

kec to be angry; quarrel which 
started with play. 

keel to urge to go. 

kec I kA to call off dog; big talk; loud. 

keliu all. 

keu reedbuck; bushbuck; chest. 

key A certain grass, women eat it 
cooked, young men refuse it, 
old men eat it. 

ke with; and; from; them. 

keac wooden beads. 

keac, kec dura birds. 

kedl how many. 

kek to draw lines on paper: to 
scratch (ce ya kek) it scratched 

kek, kekni, poss. kik* dike. 

kel* one. 

keloi), keloijni squash; pumpkin. 

ken, kan, ci not; sign of negative. 

ken they. 

kendial all of them. 

kendial ewic every one of them. 

kene and. 

kenke sign of negative pi. not. 

ker to awaken; to scratch on ground 
as bith mi ker ran piny fishing 
spear which one scratches on 
ground; to cut little cuts on 
body to let blood out; nail worn 
in upper lip of Nuer girl and 
in lower lip of Anuak girl. 

ker foundation of house. 

ker, ken gourd. 

ker ker, ker ken lizard. 

ker u I) w An morning; in the morning. 

ket burnt work on gourd. 

ket to swim; to sing; to shake rattle 


— 24 — 


to quiet child; club; bird with 

long, red legs, white breast, 

brown back; walking stick (pi. 

kete surely; now. to laud. 
keteth red peppers, also called ml 

keue to declare (falsely); to ask 

emphatically is it I ? 
kick (ca wicdA kick juat) to put 

ornament in or on head; put 

feather on my head, 
kieldokral bird with beard, long legs. 
kien egrets. 
kicr certain kind of club; name of 

tree; loss of appetite today; 

when rainy season wants to 

kil saddle billed jaribu; maribou. 
kirn, kimni doctor; physician. 
kir to bloat; gas rumbling in bowels 

(ci jecdA kir). 
kit ke tok to laugh heartily. 
kle or. 
-klcn pi. suffix meaning theirs; sing. 

klk scratch, 
kll, kill rhinoceros. 
kin I incessantly; repeatedly. 
kir, kin, poss. klir river. 
kite finally. 
kith cow urine. 
kith to sprinkle; to sow; to plant 

koc cold; to sew: to mend; weak as 

koc c te. 
kocdlcn the first of them. 
kok to ache. 
kom to husk; to thrash. 
kom, kuam worm. 

kom yak A mushroom shaped thing 
that gTows in ground, not 

kop (Ia dwopde e kope), as mole 
makes hole. 

kok, gwath kokA grave. 

kok all broken up ci rol kok keliu 
all the country broken up or 
destroyed; to buy; to sell; to 
barter; to be stranded; to 
trade; to be kind; to comfort. 

kokien pi. of dodlen others. 

kol to dodge; to fan; tallow; horse- 
tail used as fan. 

kom, komni chair; Nuer pillow for 

kom bie, kom bieni our kind of 

kon, (nom.), ko (obj.) we. 

kon; kone first. 

kondial kel all of us together. 

kone I and — . 

koij to welcome; to hasten to; big 

kop to distend as balloon blown up; 
to be swollen, used for ground 
and dead animals; certain grass 
along river. 

kop mush. 

kor, kur war. 

kor after; behind. 

kor qaii), kori big fight between 

kot to hang up; to climb; vine with 

kot nhial to fly. 

koth to fertilize. 

ku seems to express habitual action. 

-ku, -kun suffix meaning yours. 

kuak trap for animals. 



kwan kwan 

kuAk to grab unexpectedly; kAp € 

kuAk to grab when they are not 

expecting it. 
kual, kual calf. 
kuaq intoxicating drink. 
kuat to hide. 

kuath to tie together with grass. 
kuc n. sewing; to restore. 
kuit, kui(t)ni ivory armlet. 
kuk kindness: to utter a series of 

short sounds. 
kuk, poss. kukA hole as hole in tree. 
kuk kwoth sacrifice. 
kul skin to sleep or sit on; Nuer bed; 

disease which draws one's body 

ku lo nien a gwaa (sing.) goodby; 

kwa lo nien a gwaa (pi.) goodby 

(when bidding several goodby). 
kul yo metal rug. 
kum husk of corn; eggshell; pod; to 

kum, kumni hat; lid; cover. 
kum jiath bark of tree. 
kumekumto keep hitting; sound of 

sticks as they hit fish. 
kum lai) steel helmet. 
kun, kwoan pi. poss. kwoanni rat. 
kul) n. race; to race. 
kuoc buffalo that goes off by itself; 

to run off by oneself. 
ram mi kuoc stingy man; miser; 

kuom grunt; to cast a shadow. 
kuon to refuse to eat with one 

because they have quarrelled, 

ci mith kuon. 
kuot fattened. 
kuok to be faint from hunger; to die 

of hunger. 

kuoth marrow. 

kup kupni mush well cooked. 

kur cleaver; finger joints; to scratch 

ram mi kur proficient or clever 

ran kur, nei tl kur warrior, 
kurrien their war. 
kur dAf) reu two hundred; kur dyok 
three hundred; kur dArj ijwan 
four hundred; kur dArj dhyec 
five hundred. 
kur 1 1 bath dor all large numbers. 
kurum crunch. 
kut, kuni shield; step; cane along 

river; place of the buffalo. 
kut beside; dry. 
kut kut, kut ku(t)ni colt; pup. 
kuth tall grass in swamp; reed. 
kuth midit swampy. 
kwA little, scant. 
ml kwA car] erne sometime soon. 
kwac kwac* soft. 
kwac, kwacni leopard. 
kwac yir kingfisher. 
kwac spotted ; to scratch : to sharpen, 
used for pointing big things, not 
used for pencils ; to dig out roots 
of trees; bead, oblong, thin, 
many colored, worn singly; fin. 
kwai seeds for planting as seedcorn. 
kwak sore which persistently stays 
bad ram mi teke kwak (person 
who has persistent sore). 
kwakA, pi. of twok dishes. 
kwal to steal. 
kwal tot finger or toe nail. 
ke kwal stealthily; secretly. 
kwallan, kwallani one kind of bird, 
kwan kwan, kwan kwannilobeofear. 


26 — 

kwith kwal 

kwany to pick up; to collect; to 

gather; to rake. 
kwany cuk to learn to walk as baby 

kwany kwany to walk carefully. 
kwanywalthwan Nasser. 
kwaqle to float or to swim on back. 
kwar, kwaar chief. 
kwat small pimples on neck where 

hair is shaved. 
kwAl part of husk of dura. 
kwAr to gather. 
kwAt, kwAtni nerve of body. 
kwe, kwith fishing eagle (or is it 

kwe bot bot cuckoo. 
kwec-, do not know kwac-, l 9t pers. 

sing; kwic- is also used in 3d. 

kwec to hoe grass; to hoe ground 

when no rain as yet. 
kwer to wrestle, kwir is one form. 
kwer no grass. 
kwe wanting to return. 
kwek to husk; to hull; to peel. 
kwel to be spongy. 
kwel a yok certain constellation of 

yaq mi kwelitA cow, brown body, 

white head. 
kwem disease something like yaws. 
kwen to wear upper and lower 

bracelets; to count; to find; 

(amath) talk slowly; (jo) read 

aloud; ci nhiemde kwen to bind 

hair on account of sorrow. 
kwen* to marry. 
kwen* food. 
kwen ku nyuor when wedding talk 

is on. 

kwendek dropsy. 

kwen, trot. 

kwet, kwet tortoise; turtle. 

kwet to kick. 

kwet calf that is weaned. 

kwi for; small elephant; why. 

ram mi kwi mithde one who eats 

kwic side; yonder; across. 
kwicimi opposite side, 
kwiel small hiding place. 
kwieny (pi bi kwieny pwonyde) to run 

off as water when body is 

greased (water will run off his 
kwik eagle. [body). 

kwiny to toss about; to move about; 

to bully; to torment; to pick 

up with hand. 
kwiny kwiny fussy; ashamed (teke 

kwiny kwiny). 
kwinyuot June. 
kwiye, kwike few; scant; too small; 

too young. 
kwi a smaller. 

kwi I, kwel hole in anything: star. 
kwil stealing. 
kwi I A yuk little dipper. 
kwil Clke ro luai certain constellation 

of stars. 
kwil le jok milky way. 
kwin marriage. 

kwir to fall; threw spear at him. 
kwir kec to wrestle until they are 

kwit male lamb. 
kwit- v. beating of heart; n. heart 

kwith to curse; n. curse. 
kwith kwal (ram mi kwith kwal) 

one brave about hunger. 


27 — 


kwoan (ce kwoan) to be mad, (he 
was mad). 

kwoc, kwoc instep. 

kwom to cover up; (piny) to cover. 

kwony (can) setting sun; to bury. 

kwor, kur hundred. 

kwor kel one hundred; kwor kel 
wicde kel one hundred one; 
kwor kel wicde reu one hundred 
two; kwor kel wicde dyok one 
hundred three; kwor kel wicde 
wal one hundred ten; kwor kel 
wicde wal wicde kel one hundred 
eleven; kwor kel wicde jereu one 
hundred twenty; kwor kel wicde 
jereu wicde reu one hundred 
twenty two. 

kwoth a small fish; to snort; to 
whistle as ci ryei kan. kwoth; 
as the boat blew whistle. 

cak kwoth monstrosity. 

kwoth, kuth* God. 

kwok, kwi, poss. pi. kwini thorn; fork. 

kwok must; to force one to; occiput. 

kwol wristlet of black and white 
beads worn by man whose wife 
is pregnant to protect him from 
sores and cuts. 

kwor joint of finger. 

kwore piny to count age less than 
it is. 

kwot to adorn body in order to 
attract one of opposite sex. 

kwot, kwotnl ardeb tree. 

kwut, kwuni suitor. 

labith, labitheni fishhook. 
lac to defecate; menses. 

lajok one class of Nuers; (of long 

ago, all dead now). 
lak to graze; to wash; to slobber; 

to foam at mouth. 
bl wicde lak ke pi kwoth to baptize. 
lak lak e ke to dream. 
lal- to pierce. 

lam to curse: to imprecate. 
lambA lamp; candle. 
Ian Ian very good. 
lany* to put ashes on hair to bleach 

laij lai), poss. Ian laqni swing. 
laijerep, larjerepni Sudani bed. 
lap rice. 
lapA adv. like. 
lap a bitl to be still and refuse to 

lar to tell; to say; to go slowly. 
lar lar to go to tell the news. 
I at work; job; to work; to speak. 
lat e wicde karo to support, literally, 

(work is on his head only). 
lat ke lat to visit. 
lat mi bee bee hard work. 
lat- luar working for pleasure. 
lat- riak working for necessities of 

lath to put; to call; to entice; to 

tremble; to put on airs; affec- 
lath corns as on feet. 
lath ken soldiers. 
lath- lieth wic- to anoint. 
lath puk to sift ashes. 
lau- one section of Nuerland. 
laue of soft consistency like prepared 

I A always; -I A suffix meaning my, 

used with nowns ending in 1. 




I At) to request; to beseech; to 

petition; brass bracelets; ring; 

lAp to be very hot as sun is hot; 

v. to lap. 
lAt, let, poss. leet, leni orge. 
I At comb. 
lee, lee tooth. 
lecke nyieny to make a face when 

eating something bitter, 
lei, lei, poss. leini wild animal. 
lek- to shut. 
lek, poss. lek certain large fish, 

I eke to ruminate. 
te lek lek to rock. 
lei- to eat; to do; to make. 
thlle ml lei it makes no difference. 
leni repeatedly. 
lenye, lenyke comparative form; 

exceeding; surpassing. 
leu tuber resembling potato. 
leu, leuni oar; bamboo. 
le repeatedly but not always; again; 

-le suffix meaning its, hers, his 

used with nouns ending in 1. 
lem lem to go a little ways, stop, then 

go on; te lem lem. 
lei) almost fell. 
Icp to open. 
lep, leep tongue. 
Icp lep strips: shreds; to eat skin 

that is blistered. 
lep tot fangs of snake. 
ler to roll; awhile. 
lerke slowly. 

let, poss. leet waist; dorsal vertebrae. 
leth perspiration; hot. 
lia, poss. Math death. 
Mac dried fish. 

Mac pregnant, used with cattle. 
liak to praise; to commend; to 

praise with words ; (ro) to boast. 

n. praise. 
gwan MakA, ji MakA boaster; hypo- 
Mam to mix; to spy out; to mingle 

Mai)- to open mouth forcibly. 
IJAk oesophagus. 
liAk to tickle. 
MaI to peek at when provoked; to 

lide kel same form. 
lieny harpoon used by Anuaks to 

kill hippos. 
lieny kwoth judgment of God. 
Mel, liell stream; tributary of river. 
Mel jok backbone. 
lier- to cut. 
Met (ci pi Met A cikA gwi) to freeze, 

the water froze when it became 

Meth grease of any kind; fat; oil; 

place to tie cattle. 
lik heart throbbing (c I loeda WA lik) 

my heart throbbed. 
Ml- to drink all of it; to empty; to 

liny, linyni flea. 
lip-, to wait. 2nd. person, sing. 

Mpni, 2nd. person, plural liape.. 
lip nyal fiance. 
liu to perish; to die. 

I lap to mix together. 

Iiap hap to blink as teke hap hap 
he is blinking. 

I I ail chronic illness. 

-hen suffix added to nouns ending 
in 1, meaning theirs. 


— 29 — 


llercni class of Nuers whose tribal 

marks were out in 1926. 
Ilet, poss. Iltk A sand. 
Mm to beg; when cold winds start 

and then warm weather comes 
lime sweet. [again. 

Iim Mm delicious. 
liny to sort out. 

Ill) to throw down as in wrestling. 
Ill)- to hear. 
WA III) entirely full. 
line kA biete dumb but not deaf. 
lip fishing bird. 
Mr scrofula. 
lire to melt. 
Iith (biel mi lith) tan. 
Iithgaac intot, hthgaac indit- classes 

of Nuers. The Iithgaac intot is 

about 20 to 25 years old now. 

The Iithgaac indit is about 

25 or 26 years old now. 
lo afterwards. 
lok trigger of gun; belt of cane 

stalks worn by newly gar- ed 

lony* to loosen; to untie. 
lony* poss. luony lion. 
lop to cock; to put food on fire to 

lou big water animal much feared 

(now extinct, possibly mythical) 
lou white hair. 
loc* luc, poss. Iwac*, lucni heart; 

loc cuk center of sole of foot; loc tet 

center of palm of hand, 
locdaa hearts of all of us. 
loip- fever; to be feverish. 
lok to blow away. 
loki tramp. 

lok lok when food is cooking and 

spatters out of pot; teke lok lok. 
lokothiai, lokothiaieni mosquito net. 
lol to take out; to pluck out; place 

where the river is deep. 
loi)- to rest. 
loi) gut crooked staff. 
loi) ro never mind, 
lop placenta. 
lor- to go to meet. 
lore empty; naked. 
lorke to sacrifice. 
lot heart beat. 
loth cotton; thread. 
lotkero to follow after. 
lok-* to refuse; n. refusal; ci ro lok 

to commit suicide; ce lok eloi) 

to abhor; lok- to search; to go to 

one place and then another. 
-lu, -lun suffix for nouns (ending in 

1), meaning yours. 
lua to always come when person is 

luac gum of tree; wax.' 
Iliac luac spongy. 
luai to file in; to lower (may also use 

lue piny), 
luak, luek barn. 
lual skinned place that hurts. 
lualdit poisonous snake, red, also 

called rir. 
luai), luai) fly. 
luai) luai) to stroll slowly. 
luar to recede. 
luc, luc cattle stakes. 
luc to change mind; to return from; 

elevated; n. sterile (man). 
luc ke thok to translate. 
luek to admonish; to reason with; 

to reprove; n. peacemaker. 




luck, lulk discipline. 

luel to exchange; to replace. 

luei) to assent; to poison: n. poison. 

lull to exchange things of equal 

luk to hunt; to spread; n. navel. 
luk locdu ke yA forgive me. 
luk luk tadpoles. 
lukni- to go along river instead of 

lul cry. 

lum prayer; lover; to court, 
lundur machine gun. 
lunkur wrigley. 
luny* to return. 
luny bi pwonydu put your clothes 

on; to dress. 
luny- loc to forgive; to have mercy. 
luny nhial fish that falls with rain, 
luny (or) luony to leak. 
luny thieni moles. 
luny wicde jor to overflow. 
lui) tuber like potato, requires much 

lui) ro stand on your head. 
lui) artificial respiration; deep. 
lui) lui) steep. 
luoce to repeat. 

luoc luoc higher slope, not a hill. 
luoi, nei ti luoini person who cannot 

luoke to fly over. 
luom courtship; small dance; news 

of dance; to slander. 
luor tree with red trunk, thorny; to 

be tied loosely. 
luot to be afraid; impregnation when 

child is not weaned; muscles of 

back; abscess; east; west; 


CA ro luot they match. 

CI ro luot piny as snake going in hole. 

luot to be partly cooked. 

luoth early morning. 

lut to impregnate when child is 

nursing as ce gat lut. 
lut to advance head down; to put 

head to ground; to belch. 
luth elephant trunk. 
luth fish that stays in swamp or dry 

land, makes cacoon. 
luth- to tell bad — . 
luthrun morning rain. 
Iutke(nyure lutke) to be idle; unused. 
luth, luth bell. 
lUAk to help. 
lui)* to call. 

Iwak, Iwek snail; mussel; oyster. 
Iwany* to soak. 

Iwai), ci locde ku Iwai) to be happy. 
IwAi) to help; help; aid; able. 
Iwei) deep. 

Iwceth* to suckle ci man gat Iwccth. 
Iweth* gat cc man Iweth to nurse. 
Iwilwi, Iwilwini duck. 
lyec to look upward. 


ma(r) mother, directly addressed. 
maath*pl. maathni friend; friendship 

mac* fire. 

mac gun; labor pains; to cheat. 
mac din shotgun. 

do mac, de mac shell for gun ; n. shot. 
mad in title for older woman, 

addressed directly. 
madhieth bladder. 
mai to fish. 

mai telA 

— 31 


mai tei A to fish by wading in swamps. 

mal greeting; easy; light; peaceful; 

male sound; in good shape; safe. 

mall, malu, male direct greeting 

mam to hit. 

mamero to change mind right now. 

man, poss. mani mother; women 
(pi. only as cyek is singular 

mandoi), mardoi) grandmother; my 

man gAnke daughter-in-law. 

mani and. 

man l car] kel never. 

mani jak never. 

mani pai I co lee never (emphati- 
cally) used when there is great 

manlieth, manhethni hawk. 

man pAlek, man pAle(k)ni hen; 

manyan, honored surname among 
Nuers for girls. 

manytAp, manytApni maize; corn. 

mai), poss. maijkA wave. 

mar, mor my mother; your mother. 

mar friendship. 

thile ke mar, duqdien gak what we 
call jealousy among men (li- 
terally, they no friendship, be- 
longing to them quarrel). 

mar- to guess; to speak false rumors 

marAk to call with loud voice tc 
place where fish are found. 

mare family of brothers and sisters. 

mar man riddle; trick. 

mar nhial thunder; lightning. 

marthu, morthu, manthu my mother- 

in- law; your mother-in-law; 

mat to fold; to multiply; to add. 
math to reconcile as math nei ro; we 

reconcile ourselves. 
math* to drink. 
math to absorb; to ally with; 

mathol onion. 
mA slang 'kid', used by men 

mAt to go outside and afterwhile 

me introducing time clause of 

completed action. 
mei poss. mai fishing season. 
me; ml if. 
meAt n. plot, 
meedan* sometime ago. 
meepan yesterday. 
meepan ke caqdAr yesterday noon. 
mek- to choose. 
mekanA machine gun; engine; sewing 

machine; typewriter. 
nicker one class of Nuers, now about 

50 — 55 years old. 
me me this. 
men to weave as a fishnet; to turn 

as winding road; bl candle WA 

men to put top on. 
mepethlth district commissioner. 
mer to opine that it surely did look 

like — ; to lighten as with lamp; 

to stay absent; tears; vitreous 

humor; light. 
mer mer dazzling. 
merun the next day. 
met to taste; to plot; to deceive; to 

fool; to beguile. 
met never; anus. 




mewalkA, mewmkA, mcwin, mewal 

long ago. 
mi giraffe hair. 
miak, miakni insect always biting 

mien to pinch; to slam ci thok dwil 

ro mien; the door of the house 

slammed (itself). 
miei) deaf, dumb or both, n. mir). 
mier y&a. sunset. 
miet to catch hand in door; to tread 

on each other; to shut as 

mi (et) ni yetku; shut your 

hand; ca thukkien miet their 

mouths were shut. 
mile glutted; satiated. 
mim charcoal. 

min min muscles of upper arm. 
miot, mioni hoof. 
mit, mieni fireworm. 
mit, mit firefly. 
mit rainbow. 
mith food; to eat. 
mi which; introducing relative 

mi bar, or mi bar bar tall; very tall. 
mibor, tibor white. 
micor, ticur blind. 
midit, tidit; big. 
midul red. 
milual, tilual red. 
ml mi this (when thing is at a little 

m I n since ; when ; to fight very much. 
mmdan awhile ago. 
mingul why. 
mm war last night. 
minwArui) this morning. 
minyai) brown. 
mil) to sorrow. 

mir to remember; to hit, same as 

mir to refuse to lend to friend. 
au mir evening; WA mir to go at 

miric government. 
mir mir faintly. 
mirnyin head band of beads. 
mit, mm mini big limb of tree. 
mit smudge fire in barn; fireplace in 

mit to snap fingers. 
mitath big (used with spear only). 
mi thar last year. 
mi thar ke je year before last. 
mi tlth red. 
mi toe green; yellow. 
mi toe yil green. 
mi yil blue. 
mi yil car brown. 
ml yil lual seal brown. 
mi yil liet purple. 
mi wal mei last fishing season. 
mo sign of emphatic action. 
moc to give; to sting ci pien e moc. 
moc, muc n. gift. 
moc-pwony ke bi to dress. 
mom piny unexpectedly; surprised. 
mok to rise as river rises. 
molA* day after tomorrow. 
molA dodlen day after day after 

molthin to cover over, 
mo mo that. 
mon, to visit; visit. 
gwAth mon,k A visiting room or space, 
mony to blow and spit on one when 

greeting one ; also a work of t he 

medicine man. 
mor to massage with hot water. 


— 33 

nei ni dial 

mor eastern part of Lau country, 

opposite section called Guny. 
mor mor certain kind of large ant. 
mot to be faint. 
moth secretly; plot. 
mdk* buffalo. 
muac to mention name of one's pet 

steer when praising; to call 

muany- to husk by rolling grain in 

ram mi muc generous person. 
mill carbuncle; boil; cartilage. 
mul, mull mule. 
mum, muomni roan antelope. 
mun, poss. mwon* dirt; ground. 
muom to run away ci jin e muom 

you ran away. 
muoc to spatter out of kettle; to 

muok part of fish that is bad. 
muol, mual knee. 
muol to cover as cover seeds with 

ground; to press dirt over seed 

with foot. 
muol muol gentle. 
muor to slumber lightly. 
muot sightless; blind. 
muot A coi very sharp. 
muoth- to sharpen; to bite hard food 

as toast; to gnaw. 
muoth atlth to eat but not finish 

meal; to eat raw food. 
rei muoth in the darkness. 
murkir tail of gourd. 
mut, muni spear. 
mut name of Nuer god; blinded; to 

splice; to sacrifice on account of 

death of person; to leave off 

mourning; to shave; something 

3 Huffman, Nuer-English 

about menstruation; sexual in- 

muth dark of moon. 

mual to crawl. 

mUAm to swallow as fish does bait. 

muath muath silently; to whisper. 

muk to reverse as ci ro muk jok 
it reversed itself. 

mul, mull enlarged knee. 

mum to eat; small pieces. 

muon to faint 

mwaa* to drown. 

mwon grave. 


nac cow which has not yet calved. 

nai to wrap around; to twine around. 

naiwAl vine. 

nak n. death; to kill. 

nam to accompany. 

nai) to take away. 

nar uncle on mother's side. 

nar mwon fishworm. 

nath people. 

naye- to climb as a vine. 

nAk sour milk; buttermilk; to eat; 
shelf; to be entirely finished 
with food as ce nAk piny. 

nAnA far. 

nAn nAn at a distance. 

nApec disease of cattle and sheep. 

nedial, nadial everybody; all the 

neeke* his people; disciples. 

nei* we; it is. 

nei, na people. 

nei* when. 

nei ni dial all of the people. 

nei ti bor 

— 34 


nei tl bor white people; Caucasians. 

nei tl dit adults. 

nei tl luek, helpers; partners; nei tl 
lue(k)ni helpers; partners. 

nei ti nath Nuers. 

nei tl wal people of long ago. 

nei tl yAni yellow people. 

nenike descendants; generations yet 
to come. 

ner to salute. 

ncn* to see. 

ncn, nenni mirror. 

nie din dim immediately; now. 

nien sleep; to sleep. 

nicn ke wil interrupted sleep. 

ci nicnu, nicn gaatku a gwaa gree- 
tings do you sleep well; are 
your children well. 

nict wax in ear; dirt which collects 
on bodv; rust. 

nie tame pany immediately; now. 

nieth to be senseless; obstinate; 

nin nights; to pass the time. 

nil) very narrow; when one is 
smaller or undeveloped as CI 
cuk NyApini nirj (the foot of 
NyApini is undeveloped or 

noc- to sweep up dirt in dustpan. 

no mm bel when dura is very fine. 

nompiny- class of Nuers of long ago 
all dead now. 

nor]- to bring. 

nor Old Nasser. 

nor- to pound it fine; to bruise. 

nok epilepsy. 

nuai meat and mush cooked to- 

nil an quite dirty; very bad. 

nuanc tough as meat is tough. 

nuai) palsy. 

nuar certain kind of white dura. 

nuat life. 

nuAn thin. 

nuer- v. people of murdered person 
never eat with relatives of mur- 

nuir to never die; to live forever. 

nuk to fish with fishing spear. 

nuk, nukm blue heron. 

nuoi) to travel, same as uth. 

nuor to fall to pieces; tender. 

nuor; nuon tired. 

nuor- to kill. 

nuor, nur trunk of dom palm. 

nup flour; finely pounded dura. 

nup to invite; to send word. 


nhial heaven; sky; up. 

ran nhial, ji nhial angel. 

ci nhial dAm to rain. 

nhial gil a dAm to rain steadily. 

nhial ci mar to thunder and light- 

CI nhial ijok rainy season stopped. 

nhiam face; forward; in front of; 
east; west. 

nhian well nourished. 

nhiem hair. 

nhiem pieth short hair; bobbed hair. 

nhiem thok mustache; whiskers. 

nhir, nhir water tortoise. 

nhir- lat perfect work; no mistakes; 

nhir-rwac perfect words; no mis- 
takes; correct. 



mi nyu nyu 

nhlt to use a cane. 

nhok to agree; to be willing; to 

acquiesce; to be satisfied. 
nhok* to love; to assent. 
nhok* n. love; assent; order. 


nyaal python. 

nyac harvesting season; teke nyac; 
to have but little vision. 

nyak to throw away something you 
are very fond of; to take away; 
n. jealousy, used with women 

nyakai) poisonous snake. 

nyak war, daughter of chief; princess. 

nyal, nyier girl. 

nyal can girl who has never deve- 
loped and cannot bear children. 

nyal co sterile woman. 

nyaleci ual certain kind of white dura. 

nyalotkwok certain kind of white 

nyal lual variegated red. 

nyal pam daughter of mountain. 

nyal pini slime on top of water. 

nyam, nyier; nyiti (directly addres- 
sed), girl. 

nyam mi dik dik nice girl. 

nyam mi rier rier flirt. 

nyA nyade, nyA gatde girl grandchild. 

nyA nyiman, nyA deman niece. 

nyAn testicles. 

nyancek certain kind of white dura. 

nyai) to be saturated; soaked; to 
wallow in; brown. 

nyai), nyur) crocodile. 

nyaijgeri spears used by Anuaks to 
pay for wives. 


nyar gum of mouth. 

nyawuthgul certain red dura, very 

nyeu, nyeuni cat. 

nyeth to imitate; to mock; to echo. 
nyiAm lower front teeth which Nuers 

take out. 
nyieny- mad; fighting. 
nyim fins. 

nyith, nyith mosquito. 
nyier dwil gcrkA schoolgirls. 
nyier tl jiet fully developed girls. 
nyik, nyikni the fellow wife. 
nyikarj certain kind of white dura. 
nyiman, nyimani sister; (my) 

nyimar; (your) nyimor. 
nyin property; belongings. 
nym jalA baggage. 
le nym nathi where is your faith? 
nyin yar name of yellow cow. 
nyipatl certain kind of white dura, 
nyir n. hate; to hate. 
nyireu certain kind of white dura. 
nyith to try. 
nyith person who has all they need 

but is continually asking for 

nyith nyith naughty. 
nyoc flood. 

nyor to warm a portion of body. 
nyok to repeat. 
nyok, nyok louse. 
nyok ke lep to reopen. 
nyole to cry repeatedly. 
nyai) to climb or twine as vine. 
nyop- to knead; to mix. 
nyop to be lazy; (ram mi) lazy 

nyot to stir; to mix. 
mi nyu nyu small, like small writing. 


— 36 — 


nyuac to long for. 

nyuak to eat roasted part of partly 

roasted fish; man who will 

inherit wife; one who eats with 

mi nyuany to have teeth as fish 

nyuany gau cameleon. 
nyuani white beads. 
nyuat name of tree used for splicing 

injured rib. 
nyuAr sprinkle of rain, 
nyuen straw. 
nyuen en in to stampede. 
nyuen, nyueni spiked bracelet. 
nyueny animal somewhat like land 

nyuer to notch ornaments. 
nyuer, nyueer raindrop. 
nyuit to touch in passing. 
nyuk cud. 
nyurj- to strain intoxicating drink 

thru bag. 
nyungul buzzard. 
nyuon to wrinkle up. 
nyuoi), also nyuij to wrap around; to 

nyuony disease somewhat like yaws. 
nyuoth- to show; to point out. 
nyuothkA n. showing. 
nyur- to sit. 
nyur- amath peaceful. 
nyur mul mull to knell. 
nyur ke nyurrien to sit quietly as 

they sit quietly cike nyur ke 

nyum nyum, nyum nyumni canni- 
nywei* to chew; to masticate. 

ija, eija who. 

ijaac* to milk. 

ijaac del female lamb. 

qac* to know. 

i)ac momo ke Iwacdu do you believe 

rjak man! (exclamation). 

i)ak nom to argue; to contradict. 

I) ale large bracelet; thin wristlet; 
wristlet with two prongs. 

i) am to open as open mouth; to 
yawn; to cook dura whole 
without pounding ci bel rjam. 

n,ai) to growl as dog growls ;to fool one. 

nap to hang up. 

nap ro ke dhot. qap ro ke dhotni bat. 

ijar to play; sour; all very sorry; 
artery in neck throbbing; game. 

ijar rjar crying, almost in tears. 

came ijar i)ar thokdA something in- 
visible bites my mouth. 

Ijat to peel; oblong, thin, white 
bead, worn singly. 

ijath* trust; to trust; ijath ke Iwac 
(to trust with heart) to believe. 

ijath when a person is very happy 
over present not yet received. 

ijAr, rjAr gazelle. 

ijec bird something like guinea fowl. 

rjec afterwhile; dew; second course 
of meal. 

ijeny ijeny always angry. 

qek to cut body to let blood out. 

i)er to head dura; secretly; secret; 
the people had plenty to eat 
and just wanted to lie around; 
to soak to become soft; curse, 
if a thief steals my things and I 
curse him, he being absent. 

qcr qer 

— 37 


qer qer happy, ci locdA qer qer m y 

heart was happy. 
qet fragment of broken dish ; piece of. 
i)€th ashes. 
[jien to sift. 

qiu to cut with sharp razor. 
QIC teacher; knew (past tense of 

1)1 n to carry on head. 
i)ip to sob; sob. 
qir gossip. 

ijir ijir bright and shiny, teke rjir qir. 
qith brain. 
rjcar beans. 
i)0C to call with loud voice; swampy; 

last of October. 
[)0C€, rjec strengthen (imperative). 
tjok to vomit. 
ijok- yie ijok- to sigh. 
ijom, qomni, poss. quom knife. 
qop to breathe in. 
ijok rubber tree; Dinka. 
rj ol first ; not late ; right away ; to spit. 
tjol, ljuit crippled; lame; (ram ml) 

cripple; (nei tl ljuit) cripples. 
ijot, ci wicde rjot crazy. 
ijote still; yet. 
rjuarj to pry up; to strike mildly but 

not let go stick. 
rjuat not yet finished with food. 
rjuat ljuat to talk thru nose. 
rjueny to pick up mud or dirt; 

cloddy ground; to mix with 

grass rjueny piny rei kakA; to 

race ci ne € ijueny ke ran we 

raced with a person. 
quet fishhook and pole together 

quet ke guari. 
ijui poorly as mac pete rjui fire burns 


te war) ke qui qui blinked. 

quik hiccough. 

quit to scratch. 

quk to pass at right angles; to see 

at a distance; vomitus. 
qukA as kwi qukA why. 
qui cuk heel. 
qui puk to put ash on. 
qun-handto — . used when something 

close by is wanted. 
rwacke e qun qun to whisper. 
quon to twist and make armlets; 

to hunt one up rjuone je ciiq 

emo hunt him in that village. 
quok to interrupt; to divide; to 

judge quok rwac; to cut. 
CA quok piny the conference is 

finished; to disperse. 
quot to cut off; to cut; n. boil. 
CI quot have you passed menopause ? 
quot, qut female. 
qut to ask about wedding feast; 

big dance; wedding dance; fish. 
qut to sharpen bl pencil qut 

(cutting toward you). 
qut I these things (when name 

qwaaq* worn out physically; tired; 

used as tired of my sins. 
qwac to smell of; to sniff. 
qwak*, qwak neck, 
qwak* pi.; (sing.) dwor, many 

qwal to borrow; loan; debt. 
qwale quth bad. 
qwan four; much. 
qwandien fourth. 
qwani (pi.), dwor (sing.) things. 
qwanke enough; abundant; many. 
qwat constipation. 


— 38 — 

teke pau pau 

ijwath* to nurse or care for; (ram mi) 

ijwen to provoke eiju ijweni yA mo 

what do you provoke me (for). 
ijwcny to escape. 
ijwet*, ijweni* suitor; bachelor; 

young man. 
I) wet* to pull in fishline. 
I) wet* scratch. 
qwoth to stink; to smell badly; to 

ijyec to teach. 
qyeceni rode practicing. 

-0 as suffix of nown means first to 
one and then to another. 

-0 added to verb means interro- 

oam to tempt. 

oam, oamni n. temptation. 

oi* to fall off. 

om when swollen place, being 
pressed, is slow to regain shape. 

or A to sympathize or A ke pAr to help 
in sorrow. 

e ou e on tinkling of anklets. 

91, Ol hip bone. 

ol* to pound dura. 

oltar altar. 

on* alright; yes; well!. 

ot- to pound dura. 

3th to be undecided eiju othl jia mo 
what are you undecided for. 


paal* to come to surface. 
pac newly; new. 

pac- to grunt. 

pace medium good, used with food 

pai egg white; moon. 
pai dap woman who has just given 

birth to child, called this for 

year or more. 
paidieth cow which has little calf. 
pak, cuke pak thin to stay 1 day 

and 2 nights. 
pak- to be absent. 
pak pakni dandruff. 
paki, pakini merchant. 
pal* to pray. 
ci palu greeting. 
pal kwoth church service. 
pam, pamni stone; rock; mountain. 
pan volunteer crop of dura; also 

reoccurrence of yaws. 
pankeje day before yesterday. 
pankeje dodien day before day before 

panomkA slope but not very high. 
pap to prepare or spread as table for 

par to mourn; to sympathize; to 

lean against. 
par, pare, parke similar; same as; on 

an equal. 
pareni imitating. 

pari k A to jump because frightened. 
pat to pat; fan used to separate chaff 

from dura. 
path banana. 
patto husk; 
pau to bleed profusely; profusely; to 

jump because frightened ce wa 

pau he jumped because fright- 
teke pau pau fear; alarm; to twitch. 

payc mut 

— 39 

path path 

pay€ mut when not yet married 

a year. 
pay pay splash. 
pAl* to leave alone. 
p Al to ask for counsel; to pierce 

pAm leaves fallen to ground; leaves 

of tree which they eat if very 

p At to sharpen. 
pAt grass tray to shake pounded 

dura in; bran. 
pAt cukA, pAt cukni bottom of foot. 
pAt tet, pAt tetni metacarpal. 
pAte pAt, CI au pAtc pAt earth is full of 

pAth spirit, usually evil; evil eye; 

to hasten; to hurry; to stop; 

to arrest. 
pec- to seize; to raid. 
peet collar bone. 

pek amount; share; end; number; 
pek yaa horizon. [limit. 

pek rwitkA term of pregnancy. 
pek runikA life. 
mi th 1 1 pek everlasting; eternal. 
pel cunning; n. cunning; deceitful; 

pel pel, pel pell rabbit; sandfly. 
ram mi pel pel, brilliant person: 

deceiver; nei tl pel pel (pi.). 
pen* to fall. 

penh* to forbid; to withhold. 
pet, peet small, black fish. 
pet- to burn; n. January (when 

grass is burned). 
pi, poss. pin I water, always used in 

plural form only. 
pic to twirl; to spin; (bi mac) to 

start fire. 

pick when grass is moved by fish so 

you know they are there and 

can spear them. 
pick- to stable. 
pien wasp; poisonous green snake 

(black spotted). 
pier, pier sty or ulcer in eye. 
pier, pien fish trap, 
pik to adorn; funnel. 
pil rolling pin; stone used to grind 

dura on; d 3 pil small stone used 

as grinder. 
pim to hit with hand; to hit with 

spear and cannot release spear. 
pith to grow up; growth. 
pith, pilthni maternity belt. 
piu sweet milk; fresh. 
piwit, piwi(t)ni slingshot. 
piar, plan scar. 
pi I) to listen intently; to be silent; 

no grass; bare ground, 
piny* down; ground. 
CI piny kAp no wind; calm, 
pith to splice. 
poan, poss. pun rice stalk; headpad 

made of ricestalks. 
poc to wipe; to sweep with hand, 
ce pok e pok entirely finished with 

pon to gather lots of fruit, 
po lit rain during dry season. 
pal to be ashamed ci ran pol a person 

was ashamed. 
pol pol winner. 
pot to leave because afraid; to break; 

to blow. 
potekA to put on. 
poth smooth; (e te) very smooth; to 

poth poth level; smooth. 

poth € poth 

— 40 

ram mi bee iwac 

poth € poth to be entirely finished 

with food. 
pual rested; to give food to newly 

married woman. 
puat side meat; fat of meat. 
puath small cow. 
puath, puoth, poss. puothni lung. 
puc to be ashamed; shame; cike 

puoc they are not ashamed. 
puk to pour into another pan. 
puP, pul', poss. pwol pool. 
pul potato; small hole in ground in 

which head rests while tribal 

marks are cut. 
pulke to float. 
pum wai) cheek bone and forehead 

pun, certain kind of fish. 
pun I bead girdle worn by men. 
puom to pick one here and one there. 
puon to gather cotton; to pick out 

puok to be finished. 
puol unlucky. 

ram mi puol puol fast runner. 
puote excelling; surpassing. 
puot made him afraid; to play 

instrument; to beat drum. 
puot to jump away; to slip away; to 

puot puot small animal. 
puot rar to cast off. 
puotc angry, puoteni nei toto we are 

angry at those people. 
puoth gift, used with food only; to 

bless; n. blessing. 
puoth thok tongue-tied; cannot 

enunciate clearly. 
pur skull; hoe; mark or track; to 


pur JAr, pur JAri shoulder blade. 
puth to cover; to smell badly; to 

give many descendants; small 

piece of animal skin, 
puth to pull apart; to pick; flesh on 

lower part of thigh. 
puth puth bad; very dirty; foul 

puth to fasten. 

puk, poss. pukA cow manure ashes. 
pulukA row boat. 
pun, punni, poss. punA or punkA 

triangular piece of sheepskin as 

woman's loincloth, worn in 

pwar to swell up; to boil; to rise; to 

ferment; cloud; sky. 
pwar, pwor waterbuck. 
pwony*, pwany body. 
pwony- to praise with song. 
pwok* to bathe. 
pwol swamp. 
pwolc to be healthy; to steal food; 

to be light of weight; to be 

mi pwol pwol- light of weight. 
pwolkA sound (adj.). 
pwol pwony jok exceedingly safe and 

pwot, to swell; put is one form. 
pwoth to husk; to shuck. 
pwoth tet clean hands. 

ral noise. 

ram, ran, pi. rem person. 

rami person who. 

ram mi bac slovenly person. 

ram mi bee Iwac thief. 

ram mi cak 

41 — 


ram mi cok stingy person. 

ram mi cum cum lovable person. 

ram midit, nei tidit adult. 

ram mi ket, nei ti ket, ji ketA 

ram mi kwil, nei ti kwil thief. 

ram mi kwiny bully. 

ram mi ce dwor lokelorj abhorrer. 

ram mi luake, ji lueke helpmeet; 
helper; partner. 

ram mi mith mith one who eats lots. 

ram mi muc cheerful giver. 

ram mi Ia nup, nei ti Ia nup messen- 

ram mi pel pel clever person; artist; 

ram mi raij one who shoots well. 

ram mi riarj rial) rich person. 

ram mi nij ni) one who hurries. 

ram mi rio very fat man. 

ram mi roth one who seemingly does 
underhand work; bully. 

ram mi thek worshipper. 

ram mi ca yen, nei ti ca yen prisoner. 

ram mi yuoi] drunkard. 

ran buth guide. 

ran gorkA, ji gorkA pupil; student. 

ran JAl, jl j Al visitor; traveler. 

ran lat, jl lat worker; employee. 

ran moijA, jl moijA, jl moijk A visitor; 

ranh close by; yet to come; still 
outside; wants to come bl yAn 
ranh dwil (I want to come in the 

ran, temporal region. 

rai) flash of lightning; light. 

wa rarj to make a shadow. 

raij one who shoots well. 

rar abroad; away; outside; limitless. 

rathe very small fish that little boys 

rau thirst. 

rAk, rAke nyal when two men want 
same girl. 

rAl tendon; vein; ligament; artery. 

rAl cwoth guinea worm. 

rAl dual) tendon of Achilles. 

rAl wuom bridge of nose. 

rAm long-legged insect. 

rAl) scar where skin has not gotten 
black again. 

rAp rAp membrane; tallow; covering 
of lung. 

rAth to hasten; to come and go 

rec, rec, poss. rac, fish. 

rec pacifier; to pacify; to make 

rec cua when first child a boy. 

rec nyal when first child a girl. 

reco inside. 

rei* in. 

reu* two. 

reet* to tear. 

rek poss. reek* enclosure. 

rek- rwac to interrupt conversation. 

rel white ants that like wood and 
grass, too. 

rel hillock; different; no resem- 

remde his soldiers. 

rep to add to; to give repeatedly; to 
increase; n. increase; worm. 

rep rep sheer; thin; soft (material). 

ret to pass through; to go ahead. 

ret, retni, poss. reet orphan. 

ret, reet razor blade. 

ret- part to go one path, part an- 
other, meeting later. 

ret ke tok 

— 42 — 


ret ke tok to laugh heartily. 

rial) abundance; plenty; rich; 

enough; to abound. 
riaij rial) shiny; rich, 
riar to perish; fool: unclean: sense- 
riar cai) almost sunset. 
riat torch, 
riau to scatter as to go to different 

homes: to dazzle: to light up. 
riAl. ri All half dollar; two shillings. 
riAl- to let come to ground slowly 

to clear away; to prepare. 
riAl bek, riAl bekni bird with red bill, 

larger than maribou. 
ric age or class: peacemaker: to 

rie to twist; to roll: to return. 
riec to be curly (ca ro riec) it twisted 

rieke, riakA he is busy; I am busy. 
mi riel color. 
rielni undone. 
riem blood; child one month old or 

riem gwac- abortion; to abort. 
rieny meningitis. 
riep to hurry. 
riet to be silent (ce bl riet) he will 

not rule (or talk). 
riet, rietnl law; order; rule. 
rio coarse part of dura; bran, 
rit to turn. 

loc rit to repent, ci loc rit he repented. 
be rill to leave regular path and go by 

riu name of tree; to turn part away; 

to hurt inside; to blink as 

blinded by sun; breadth; (yaa) 

north; (yaa) south. 

riak crested crane. 

riak altar. 

riak work; business; false trust; 

concern ; to be concerned about ; 

to work; to be busy. 
rial) k A sandy place. 
rik, nkni n. row. 
ril to run or pierce into flesh. 
riny to straighten out; to extend. 
ril) meat; to hurry. 
ril) duo l) meat without bones. 
riijl n. running. 
rini nhiAl flight. 
rip very tall; very big; to refuse to 

do assigned work. 
rip certain insect; bug. 
rip, riup finger or toe nails; claws. 
rir poisonous snake, red and brown; 

restless ; to fly away (used with 

birds only). 
nth to make a shadow. 
ro, ruth hippopotamus. 
ro ro certain kind of ant. 
roan bath famine. 
roc to swallow; to devour; fishspear 

with hook to catch fish. 
rok cell; segment. 
rok cow with spreading horns, tips 

almost meeting. 
rol, rul, poss. rol* country. 
rol throat; alimentary tract ; pimples. 
rol childless woman; sterile woman, 

will not adopt child unless 

Rol Bunyni Abbysinia. 
Rol Ker Dinka Land. 
Rol Rip Egypt. 
rol rol in haphazard way; when food 

is not cooked well teke rol rol. 
rom to hold; to care for; to guard. 

rom gat 

43 — 


rom gat guardian. 

rom locdu cheer up. 

rop to string beads. 

ro, ro* self. 

roath, roth ear of corn. 

rok, ruk kidney. 

rok to entangle. 

rok, poss. ruok grass rope. 

rok, rokni grasshopper. 

rol withered; dried up. 

rorj, rorj seed; pit. 

rorj to squeeze in; to fit in. 

ror big lizard. 

ror child not yet weaned. 

roth whirlwind; cyclone; axilla. 

roth to plaster with mud. 

ram mi roth, nei-ti roth idiot. 

rol when tribal mark scars will be 

big someday bike rol. 
rual flock; herd. 
ruam, rum seroot fly. 
mam, poss. ruamni big sheep. 
man opening at back of nose. 
ruany, rony cane stalk. 
mat to snore. 
mau- to jump high in dancing; to 

ruAl syphilis. 

rub A quarter dollar; shilling. 
ruec, cikc ro ruec they crowded 

against themselves; to crowd 

against; (wic-) to forget. 
ruck to put on. 
met to shine in ci car) waijdA ruct the 

sun shone in my eye. 
ruct to take armlets and anklets off. 
ruit to drink milk. 
ruk to tie grass across path so one 

will trip over it; to splice but 

connecting place shows. 

ruk, ruk double tooth. 

rum to meet (always takes pi. 

subject); to splice. 
rumcidwar, rumcidwan porcupine. 
rum ka(k)ni boundary line, 
rum puth, rum puthni ibis; sacred 

rui] to give to all; to distribute to all. 
ruony to point out with tongue; to 

feel way in dark; to protrude 

thru opening. 
ruot when cow wont let milk down. 
ruok to pay fine for illegitimate 

child, (4 cows are paid and then 

father may claim child). 
ruok ruok noise of boiling. 
ruon. rui). piny c ruoi) run. earth is 

ruoth to fight; to bite and throw its 

body; to spear; (ruth is one 

rup, rwop, poss. rwop* forest. 
rup rup working or walking hard or 

rur mirage. 
rut to cry; n. cry. 
rut brave. 

rut jec gas rumbling in bowels. 
rwac* word; to speak; speech; to 

talk; talk. 
rwac kwen betrothal. 
rwac parkA parable. 
rwath* young ox. 
rwath thak mi puath small steer. 
rwei* spittle; saliva. 
rwei kak phlegm. 
rweth to drink milk. 
rwil Nile perch, white fish, delicious. 
rwil spring; planting season; first 





rwit* to be pregnant. 

rwith certain kind of fish. 

rwit k A pregnancy. 

rwon* run year. 

rwot* boy's name. 

ryei, ryath poss. ryai, ryathni* boat. 

ryei nath dugout canoe. 

ryei nhial aeroplane. 


ta am. 

tac, tec ant. 

teke tai wrinkled. 

tai wee wrinkles. 

tak spleen. 

tak to braid; pain and swelling in 

tak A tike, teke I have, you have, 

he has. 
tame pany immediately. 
tanye- to rub dry. 
tar), turj long stick. 
tap tobacco; unfertile ground. 
tap tl nuor nuor fine tobacco which 

they pound. 
tar bottom; under; (wi(c)dli) hold 

head back; foundation. 
tar bAp white bead worn by men. 
taripe tariffe. 
tat, tatnl hipbones. 
tayou- big lake. 
tAk Saviour. 
tAk muol, tak muall kneecap; 

tAl, tel calf of leg. 
tAt on purpose kan yith ke tAt (I did 

not spear on purpose. 
tAt Shullik. 

tAth to mold; to form; big spear; 

mold; form. 
te are; is; to abide; to stay. 
ten to be finished ci retni dial wa ten 

the razor blades are all finished. 
ten I nhial very far away in sky. 
teno many days ahead. 
teny to ache, used with earache. 
teny sun shining after rain. 
tea* to hide; to deceive. 
teeth* to be happy; (Iwac) happiness. 
tek, tekni silver or lead bracelets. 
tek tek to have none left at all. 
tel when grass moves showing there 

is something in it; to wag. 
tern to bring part of them; to kill 

fish; to cut; to separate (wA 

tern); to fish at river early 

a. m.; n. cut. 
tenh* to start out on return trip. 
tel) papyrus; crack of lightning; to 

pound to get dust out: to dust: 

to shake: to free himself: to 

scramble away. 
tel] to execute this rite which is 

called thiai). 
ter, jl teer enemy. 
ter to distend as balloon blown up 
tet to dig. [as ce ter. 

tet, tetni hand. 
tetAr certain kind of fish. 
teth* to start; to fall. 
tier to fish with fishing spear only; 

to stomp in water so fish will 

think there are other fish there 

and come. 
tiel white-eared cob; miserly. 
tiel jealous; jealousy used with 

women only; cyek mi teke tiel, 

wife who has jealousy. 

WA tiel 



WA tiel to have plenty; enough; 

ce WA tiel he had plenty. 
tiel) earthquake. 
tiep wooden shield (not ambatch) 

carried in dance. 
tier to remember ci wicdA tier, 
tiet, poss. tietkA understanding: 

wisdom: sorcerer; (lat) sorcery. 
tieth to pour a little on — . 
tieth e cuet very hot; red hot. 
tik cloudy. 
tik, poss. tikA- chin. 
tlk tik or tek tek ticking of clock. 
tik, tiak beads. 

til A clear; to see thru clear water. 
tim to revere: to be homesick for: 

to honor. 
tim to remember. 
tiol twaar sugar. 
tiak yolk of egg. 
tial, til earring. 
tiam to be famished; to starve; 

tiap, poss. tipkA shade; shadow. 
tiar to come and find it already 

in progress (used with dance 

tiat pulp or fiber. 
tiath to break (as dishes). 
tiath- to itch. 
tie spirit (of heart); crystalline lens; 

(waij) pupil of eye; sight. 
tiec to pull; buildings; (jok) to 

shrink; close to ground; to 

draw up closer. 
tlek finely pounded dura. 
tlep tlep fertile as fertile ground. 
tlk, poss. teekA life. 
t iked I a me chin whiskers. 
til, til person who knows Nuer well. 

CI nhial dAm e tim tim tosprinkle 

tin pi. of in- the. 
tl nor) piny somersault. 
tin win those of the past; long ago. 
tl nyin go very fine; very good. 
tl nyin ijwan* many; abundance. 
tl nyin tieni many little. 
tltl these. 
tlth raw. 
tok, poss. tokA jabiru; bird that 

stays 'rar' in desert or uninha- 
bited place. 
CI to I ll greeting (secondary). 
torn- to put mouth to water to 

torn torn broad bladed grass growing 

along river; noise of fish as rec 

teke torn torn, 
tony, poss. tuny pipe. 
tor white ants that eat wood only; 

toe certain kind of white dura ; to lie 

mi toe green; (yil) green and yellow; 

(mi yil toe) blue. 
to l) manure pile used as smudge in 

barn; to be born dead; to die; 

to pierce grass into ear as CA 

jlthdA tor) I pierced my ear. 
toij, till) wood to burn; sticks; 

handle of spear; fuel. 
tor) manytApni, tun, manytApni corns- 
toi) ewer mushroom. [talk. 

tor) rul trachea. 
toroi), toror) tonsil. 
tot planting season; from May to 

September; croak of frog. 
mitot, titot; tl torn; tl nyin tieni 

small; little. 


— 46 

twith, twithni 

toto, those; tlti those at a distance. 
tuac to put to bed as to put child to 

bed; to not butt in; value. 
tual to blister; n. blister. 
tUAl, tuAh lotus (or is it thual (V)). 
tuany certain kind of fish. 
tuat grass used to make rope. 
tuc to pop out; to spring out; el pi 

tuc spring of water (literally 

water sprang out). 
tuk to order out; to discharge (one 

form is tuok); to finish. 
tuk tuk to pop; to have popping 

sound as teke tuk tuk. 
tuk tukni popcorn. 
tul to break (used with wood); does 

not mean to shatter. 
tul to pick dura by the handsful or 

to gather dura heads by hand. 
tul- to make; to cut wood certain 

size; to gather as tuli many- 
tap ni; you gather corn. 
turn to butt into. 
turn turn Adam's apple; trachea. 
tuny to smoke out ca nyith tuny ke 

mac I smoked mosquitoes out 

with fire. 
tun. perfect place (th lie mi jyek thin); 

false fear; cob; vacant as no 

one here. 
tut), tuoi] horn of animal. 
tuij baijto false fear. 
tuij club. 
tuoc to count. 
tuom to disperse; to turn back to 

back; to pierce but not thru 

tuok to start. 
tuol smoke; CA tuol I hunted and 


tuoij part. 

tup to be very rich; sufficient; to 

have plenty. 
tur sandstorm; dust; to scare up 

lots of animals. 
turuk, turukni light colored 

tut, poss. twot male; ox. 
tut deel ram. 
tut gar name of Nuer omnipresent 

tuth to protect blade of spear; to 

join together as bike yua WA 

tuth will join grass skirt to- 
tutluet brother of the fox. 
tut man palck, tut man palckni 

rooster; cock. 
twaar* bees. 
twac, twacni, poss. twackA skin of 

animal; loincloth of skin. 
twac kwac* leopard skin. 
twai twai spinal cord. 
twak mud. 
twai) wee top of head where hair 

twany to make pressure, 
twar* dates; honey; syrup; to chant; 

to sing dance song. 
twAt, twAni wild goose. 
twer to scrape burnt or dried food 

out of kettle; to curette (one 

form is twir). 
ce twer e twer entirely finished with 

twiny to pinch. 

twil to blister; to break promise, 
twith A sorcery; the work of medicine 

man as lat twith A. 
twith, twithni drumstick. 


— 47 — 


twoc, poss. twickA box made of mud. 
twom, turn, poss. tumkA hypodermic 

or intravenous injection. 
twoi), tui) egg. 
twok, kwakA dish. 
twok- to sing child to sleep; to 

praise; to comfort child. 
twol to reoccur as ce le nyok it 

reoccurred or el botde twol the 

sore reoccurred. 
twot fontenal. 
twoth to polish. 


tha clock; watch. 

thac mist; vine; moisture; dew; 
headpad; Nuer pillow for wo- 
men; also pillow for newly 
gar-ed boys. 

thactt, thacitni sudani washtub. 

thadup hand dipping irrigation 

thagiA waterwheel for irrigation. 

thailo Shiloh. 

thai nyany to be magnified. 

thak ox; cooking pot; v. to carry in 

thaklai) metal dish; finger bowl. 

thai to heat; to cook. 

thalcAl) middle of morning. 

than part of; some. 

tharjwarj crosseyed. 

mi thar last year. 

ml thar ke je year before last. 

mi thar ke rwil last spring. 

tharAl, tharAli camel. 

thar bAp big, white bead. 

thar lee root of tooth. 

that- to put food on fire; to cook. 

ThAmuel Samuel. 

thAn certain kind of fish. 

thAp below level of surface. 

thee to splash; to dip out; much 

afraid; to tremble ce dwal A CI 

jecde WA thee he feared so his 

abdomen trembled. 
thek to worship; holiness; hallowed; 

holy; v. to menstruate. 
them basket to measure dura in. 
ther to whittle; to sharpen; to bless; 

man whose wife is pregnant; 

enmity; pregnant woman. 
thi- to strain: to filter. 
thiAm, thim sneeze; v. thiAm- to 

thiarj afternoon; v. to fill; antelope; 

name of rite used to appease 

god when woman is impregnated 

when child is still nursing; full. 
thiap to examine; to touch. 
thiau ke mer to cry tears; te war) ke 

thiau thiau tearful. 
thiec, thieeni question. 
thiec- to ask. 

thiet grass used to make grass skirt. 
thiel temple of head. 
thier grass used to make doors. 
thik, thiAkni door. 
thim to cut off pieces; ca rirj thim 

I cut meat in pieces. 
thio thio always winking eyelids; 

thiol fat of meat. 
thiarj ciirj nath hartebeast. 
thill I k wire; wireless station. 
thin, thin female breast. 
thin there is, (contraction of at hi n). 
thindik corncob. 


— 48 — 

thyake eliq 

thip to limp; to change one's mind; 

to distribute; to relinguish; to 

divide among; to give one's life 

for another. 
thir, thier pillar of house; rafters. 
thok, thuk valve; message; letter; 

thok, thuk language. 
thok jak, thok jakni blanket. 
thok JUOC harelip. 
thok kAl gate; gateway. 
thok kwe old but still good. 
thok Iwac pit of stomach. 
thok nhiAl; thok piny upper lip; 

lower lip. 
thok thin, thuk thinni nipple. 
thok war) swamp. 
thok wan mouth or bank of river, 
thol snake. 
thoi), poss. thurjkA place where dura 

is pounded. 
thoij to murder; to heap up. 
thol to collect; to summon; sound of 

hard wind in spring. 
thor to mix; to sharpen; to dilute 

thou same as wild dates. 
thol warm. 

thol to bend and bend. 
thol- to sit in sunshine outside; to be 

thol- to put it on as tholl mith wic 

tebAl, put food on table. 
ce ro thol as old person, whose 

strength is gone. 
thoij, thon. wildcat. 
thor brittle; crumbly; swampy 

thot to be silent. 
thot to pass gas. 

-thu -in-law; bAlie thu unseasoned; 

thuac large earthern vessel to store 

dura in. 
thuak finished (used with food), 
thuany certain deep sea animal. 
thuai) dimples. 
thuc to hoe part of field and leave 

part not hoed. 
thuc manytApni ear of corn, 
thuk to destroy; to be fulfilled; to be 

thuke thin. 

thu I klir bends of river. 
thun jor to never reach, 
thuny to push. 
thuij to jump out and away; murder; 

already; dead; to receive fines 

for murder cases. 
thuokklen their beginning. 
thuom small crowd; organ; musical 

thuol to search; to spy. 
thuop poss. thuopA yeast; bricks. 
thural, thurall pants; trousers. 
thure to sound in order to find hidden 

door; to destroy. 
thut- one class of Nuers, possibly 

75 — 80 years old now. 
thut to tow; to tug; to stretch; to 

pull harpoon back. 
thut, thutni nail. 
thut kul certain constellation of 

thuk, thuk Iwac, thuk indit aorta. 
thwaar* to float: dates: honey. 
thwom sterile woman. 
thwok* truth. 
thyake* close by: easy. 
thyake el in. brimful. 


— 49 


thyekc* heavy. 

thyeke eliqo very strong. 


uy in order that; since; because. 

uorje open. 

uth big basket like bushel basket. 


wa exclamation. 

waale this year. 

waao* to burn. 

waat, waatni whip (like blacknake 

wac wet; to be wet. 
pi ti wac wac acid. 
wacc tart; sour. 
wac rac part of fish. 
wai-, wath relative. 
waide bottom. 
wain wine. 
wak to pluck: to ache: to call 

loudly; clatter: to balk: to 

throb: to cry out. 
wal or dAf) wal ten. 
wal wicde kel eleven. 
wal wicde reu twelve. 
wal wicde dyok thirteen. 
wal wicde ijwan fourteen. 
wal wicde dhyec fifteen. 
wal wicde bakel sixteen. 
wal wicde baro seventeen. 
wal wicde badak eighteen. 
wal wicde baijwan nineteen. 
walllen tenth. 
wal wicde kellien eleventh. 
wal, wall puddles. 

4 Huffman, Nuer-English 

wal medicine; charm; amulet. 
wal dhicU opiate; sedative. 
wal ml kop kop incense; perfume. 
wal nuirkA medicine as charm to 

restore life. 
wal mi qwanyke perfume; incense. 
wal dwar or wal doar laxative. 
wale today. 

ni wale in a very short time. 
wan to surround: to steal: to be 

very dirty: to wither so they 

die; fox; thief; new grass that 

has just come up. 
wany when sky is cloudy; clouds 

wany to move; to replace; to 

exchange; rope or belt around 

waist; armlet. 
wany piny to roll over on ground. 
waij, nym eye. 
waij wrath: swamp: grain; waij 

I wac anger. 
waij kwurA, wan, kwun wrist. 
waij cwa, waij cwani joints of body. 
warjdA idiom meaning my body. 
waij pumkA riverbank; waij pumkA 

kwicimi opposite river bank. 
wai) cuopkA ankle bone. 
cue lar I ml waij to affirm emphati- 
loc wai) to be wrathy ci locdA wai) 

my heart was wrathy. 
cwa wai) cheekbone. 
war night; wardar, ci war dit (the 

night is big) midnight. 
war lip about supper time ci war lip 

the night waited. 
wan shoes. 

war war little morsels. 
wat to take dirt out of hole. 

tc wat wat 

50 — 


tc wat wat illegible like 'chicken 

wat to push into; to take out; to 

search thru. 
watAk certain kind of white dura. 
wath horsefly; one who always 

wants to fight; inlet in river; 

landing place for boats; tall 

grass; watering place at river; 

gnat; riverbank. 
wath pus came out. as oe wath pus 

came out. 
wau wauni glossy ibis. 
waudc grass in cow's stomach. 
WA went; bAn WA we two will go; 

bAne WA I and all of you will go; 

n. going. 
WAdin title of respect used by older 

person toward younger man: 

same as gatdA (my son). 
WAl fruit: garden products: to be 

WAl to be disturbed (el pi ro WAl) 

(water moved itself); to be 

moved; to chew cud. 
WAn you and I go; wane (pi.), you 

(pi.) and I go. 
WAr certain vegetable; grass that is 

WAr manure. 
WAr- to search. 
weA girls to be dancing before men 

Clkc we A they danced before 

the men. 
wee village with cattle but no fields : 

town: city. 
wc to answer: to say: to exclaim: to 

get: to call out. 
Wea* go, 2nd. pers. pi. imper. of 


wcl to be finished CA ro wel it was 

wer* to sow: to scatter. 

wernyin, wernyinni window. 

Wet to beckon. 

weth disease, somewhat like syphilis 
but of different origin. 

wet wet to go to fight ce te wet wet 
he went to fight. 

wi to warn; to call all the people. 

wic on; above. 

wic, wieni, poss. wee village. 

wic, wath, poss. wee, wathni head. 

wi(c)-ruec to forget. 

wi(c) car to think. 

wic dwil, wath dwilli roof. 

wic JArA clavicle. 

wic mwon grave. 

wic wukA, wath wani shoulder. 

wie to cry; n. warning. 

will Nuer god. 

Wll to play; to deny; to be distrust- 
ful ; to circle around ; to encircle ; 
to go around ; to make repeated 
trips; to fear each other wile ro. 

wile nath to fool people as sound of 

win to go around (not on regular 

winith where. 

wir, wea, wa to go. 

Win long horned (cattle) yok tl Win. 

Wit to sharpen. 

With, wi(th)eni club with big head. 

wituorj on edge of crowd. 

woe to put out; to empty out. 

WOC dhol to make the tribal marks. 

ci riem woe to abort. 

wor chase; race; to chase; to race; 
sore on heel, possibly bruised 


— 51 

yec yec 

originally, gwath ml ca yieth, 

cc k bee place which I pierced, 

it hurt again, 
ou noise of boat coming; chug 

chug; echo. 
wok baldheaded; to fade as ci bid c 

wok the color is faded. 
wok, wok upper arm. 
wop to sprain. 
WOt generosity. 
WOth misfortune will come; to be 

spilt; blood flowed to ground, 

ci riem woth. 
wuc to break out in heat, 
wul* to lean against; to open path. 
wum, wuum, poss. wuom nose. 
wum juoc cleft palate. 
wum kcluqkA neck of squash; class 

name given boys whose tribal 

marks were cut in 1925 (also 

called cai yatni). 
wum kiir head of gourd, 
wun to distend. 
wuony to disagree; to argue; to 

wuok to loosen by working it back 

and forth. 
wuoth to locate open place for 

entrance; to tiptoe; to quake. 
wut, wum poss. wutkA man. 
wut poss. wot* ostrich. 
wut generous. 
wut mi bee miser. 
wut kur warrior. 

wuth to cut; to make small opening. 
wun dark clouds; cloudy. 


yai exclamation of disgust. 

yak to discard; to throw away; to 

upset; to run the washing 

yak, yaak hyena. 
yak- to sift; to shake dura to get 

fine out. 
yaktoi certain very thin fish. 
yal to tangle up; to jumble up. 
yal to exclaim; to refuse cc yal, he 

yal, to be crosseyed; ci waijke yal, 

his eyes crossed. 
yal yal to roll the eyes as tekc yal yal. 
ro Ic yal to go to bad place. 
yal dwil eaves of house. 
yam to walk where there is no road; 

failing sight. 
yaij, yok, poss. yande, cow. 
yai) mi mAr dark red cow. 
yar mad; to refuse: worn out: sterile 

(used with people only). 
yar- leckc teke yar- spaces between. 
yat- to soil as rat soils clothes. 
yat rough as yat jok rough back; 

butter; married womans dress 

made of sheepskin a two 

piece suit (see yet), 
yath yath region between hipbones 

and ribs. 
yath stroke; grass used for tying; 

tender grass ; to keep hitting or 

pricking repeatedly. 
yath high jumping fish. 
yath to snatch away, yuth is one 

form; to kneel as ce mal- yath 

piny, he knelt on ground. 
01 ro yAl to want exact information. 
yAm yAtn scratchy. 
yAt, yet finger; toe. 
yec yec expression of surprise or 



— 52 — 


yeny to extinguish. 

yeny to dry dishes; to wipe. 

yek, poss. yikA grass mat. 

yd to chase. 

yem to strike at; cu ken e yem they 

hit it. 
yen to bandage; to dress a wound; 

to tie: to imprison. 
yene you and, as jin yene Dei), you 

and Del), 
yet married woman's dress, yet- 
triangular piece of sheep skin 

worn in back, pun- triangular 

piece of sheepskin worn in front. 
yeth ciiq newly made village. 
yeth to go on; to be unacquainted 

with path; to move; to remove; 

to arrive, 
yeth A rough. 
yic to be dumbfounded; to be 

bewildered; to be dizzy, 
yien to stop; to herd; shepherd. 
yik Nuer altar. 
yio certain kind of red dura; fish 

with three horns. 
yiu asthma. 
yi, ye you (pi.). 
yiAth to sacrifice. 
yie spirit; (e bee) to breath heavily: 

to sigh yie ijok; breath; air. 
yiec, yieeni to sweep: broom. 
yier, yien garner. 
yier- to grease. 
yik to destroy; to be empty handed; 

to go aimlessly. 
yik pual to be ashamed to eat in 

front of sweetheart. 
yik yik rattle for child; te yik yik 

has rattling (sound). 
mi yil light green; blue. 

yil yil twirling. 

yil to spear at fish and miss; leaf of 

lotus, may be eaten: yil nhial 

yilblth certain class of Nuers of long 

ago, all dead now. 
mi yil wal purple. 
yir, yiri, poss. yier river, 
yir to anoint; much pain or suffering. 
yit game played with mud balls. 
waij yitkA, yit mud balls to play 

game with. 
yit- to throb or to sting. 
yith pneumonia. 

yith, yo, poss. yoni money; metal. 
yitklen head of dura minus grains. 
yo spear and fishing spear; wea- 
yo dwop toll tax. 
yoc to drag. 
yor- to throw. 
yoij cry of crow; madman; to be 

yoi) yoij mad; crazy; cike nij yoi) 

yoi) they ran like mad or crazy. 
yot to shoot; to strike; to throw at; 

to hit; to pull trigger. 
yot- to make dry skin (on body) 

come off. 
yot yot membrane. 
yot yot, yot yotni page of book. 
yoth to yearn for; to be eager for. 
yua short grass skirt. 
yuac to drag out; to tow; to caress 

and praise; to pull out. 
yuai to feel with hand. 
yuak to move as leaves move in 

wind, teke yuak. 
yual to yell; to exclaim. 
yuanke branches of tree. 


— 53 


yuc to go to gather wood. 

yum, yumni, poss. yumkA dish made 

of gourd, 
yum mathA cup. 
yum ryei nhial aluminum. 
yuop to favor. 

yuop- ro to guard self from evil. 
yuot topknot of bird, 
yuot to kill. 

yuothcikcrwacdcyuoth to interrupt; 
cike rwacde yuoth they in- 
terrupted his words. 

yure to take hold. 

yut, yutni certain small, short bird. 

yuth to pull; to anticipate words; 
to gasp. 

yup- to puff; to pant. 

ywak beard. 

Notes on Grammar. 

Formation of plural. 
By adding suffix -m to singular form. 

miak miakni insect 

nen nenni mirror 

nyeu nyeuni cat 

nyik nyikni the fellow wife 

Nouns ending in k may form the plural by adding the suffix -ni 









the fellow wife 

By adding the suffix 1. 



earthern pot 







kAr kAr 

kAr kAN 





(The suffix I seems to be used only with nouns ending in r or I as far 
as I have found examples.) 
By change in intonation. 


luc v 

cattle stake 










kwoc v 


instep of foot 

By change of vowel. 












bell made from doleib nut 




By lengthening 

the vowel. 
















— 55 — 

By substituting u for wo. 

kwoth kuth god 

kwor kur hundred 

dwop dup path 

twom turn hypodermic injection 

dwoi) dun. shell of ostrich egg. 

Nouns whose singular form ends in t, may drop the final t before adding 
the suffix -ni to form the plural. 

mut muni spear 

gumut gumuni owl 

kwut kwuni suitor 

ijwct ijweni bachelor 

dit dim roofer 

Some nouns form their plurals irregularly. 

yai) y 3 ^ cow 

twok kwakA dish 

yith yo money or metal 

wai) nin eye 

cyck man wife 


Gender is often indicated by stating whether the thing mentioned is male 
or female. 

tut male ljuot female 

wuni men man women 

dhol boy nyal girl 

The word tut may be placed before the word to indicate gender as tut dccl 
male sheep, or they may say del athin, e jcn quot meaning there is a sheep, 
it is a female. 

The prefixes nya- and nyan- always indicate feminine gender. 

River banks, the earth and the sky are all considered masculine if one 
it to judge from the riddles they ask as mar tut tidit dai) reu (guess two big 
males) is answered by riverbanks or the earth and sky. 

The moon is often called nyapai which would indicate feminine gender. 


Nouns ending in k, add the suffix -A for the singular form and -ni for the 
plural when used as object of a preposition. 

— 56 — 

The suffix -ill, added to the singular form of the noun, is used to form all 
cases in the plural. 

kak kakA ka(k)ni field 

guk gukA gu(k)ni pocket 

cuk cukA cukni foot 

kok kokA ko(k)ni grave 

Nouns whose vowel is € form these cases as object of a preposition by 
lengthening the €. 

del deel sheep (singular) 

det deet sheep (plural) 

ret reet razor blade 

eel ceel certain fish 

Some nouns whose vowel is u, form these cases in the singular number 
by substituting wo for u, the plural cases being formed by adding the suffix 
-ni to the singular form of the noun. 

rup rwop rupni forest 

mun mwon ground 

tut twot tutnl male 

Many nouns may be governed by these rules but there are many, the 
rules governing which, I have not yet found. 


Declension of Personal Pronouns 

First person 

Nominative y*n I kon we 

Possessive -dA, -Ia, -kA my -dAn, -Un, -kon our 
Objective y A me ^0 us 

-kA and -kon in the possessive indicate a plural noun. 

Second person 

Nominative jin you yen 

Possessive -du, -lu, -ku your -dun, -lun, -kun 
Objective jl you ye 

-ku and -kun in the possessive case indicate a plural noun. 

Third person 

Nom. jen he, she, it ken they 

Poss. -de, -le, -ke his, hers, its -dien, -lien, -klen their 
Obj. je him, her, it ke them 

-ke and -klen in the possessive case indicate a plural noun. 

— 57 — 

The possessive forms -Ia, -lu and -le in the singular and -Un, -lun and 
-lien in the plural are used when the final consonant of the noun they 
follow is I. 

-dA and -I a indicate that both the possessor and the possessed are singular. 
-kA indicates that the possessor is singular and the possessed plural. 
-dAn and -I An indicate that the possessors are plural and the possessed 

-kon indicates that both possessors and possessed are plural. 
No gender is recognized in the pronouns, the same form being used for all. 
The personal pronoun may be used as a suffix to the root form of a verb as 

First person -A gurA I want 

Second person -I gun you want 

Third person -€ gure he wants 


First person -kon, -ko gurkon, gurko we want 
Secons person -e gure you want 

Third person -ke gurke they want 

In these cases, no other subject need be expressed unless desired. 

Relative pronouns. 

mi often introduces a relative clause. If ml is the subject of the relative 
clause, it is followed by CI or bl. 

c jcn thokde citke rip mi bi nyith kc yok rei gwop leini, (it is its mouth 

resembling a needle which the mosquito pushes in the animal's skin.) 
ml is often used with a time clause of future condition. 

mi jin bi yai) jik, noni je. 

(If you find a cow, bring her.) 
mi condition meaning "if". 

mi dwul lapm dial citeke dwil erne, kwoan dial bike liu, 

(If all rice houses resembled this house, all the rats would die.) 
me introduces time clause of completed action. 

me ci lony ben, Debid ce iju lei? 

(When the lion came, what did David do?) 


The comparative form of adjectives is formed by adding the suffix -ni 
to the positive form. The superlative is formed by using the phrase 
"surpassing them in (quality mentioned)". 

58 — 









surpassing them in goodness 



he is bigger than all of them. 


lenye kc ke goie 

ditni jen ke kcndial 
Adjectives usually follow the nouns they modify as — 
dwil inbor e dwil midit. 
House the white is house a big. 
The white house is a big house. 
in- (singular) and tin- (plural) are prefixes used to designate some 
particular quality as — 

yai) inbor the white cow 
yok tinbor the white cattle. 
in and tin usually follow the noun and preceed the adjective they 
they designate. 

ml (singular) and tl (plural) are prefixes used when nothing definite is 
designated as 

yai) mibor a white cow 
yok tlbor white cattle 
They occupy the same position in the sentence as in and tin. 


Regular form of conjugation. 
gur- to want 

Present tente 
I want gurkon, gurneini 

1st. person gur- a 


person gur- 
person gur- 



you want gur- e 

he, she, it, wants gur- kc 

we want, 
you want 
they want 


The 1st. person plural gur nei ni is often contracted to gureni. 

1st. person CA gur I wanted 
2nd. person ci gur 
3d. person cc gur 

Past tense 

cako gur 

ci yen (e) gur 

cike gur 

we wanted 

Future tense 
1st. person bA gur I will want bako gur 

2nd. person bl gur be gur 

3d. person be gur bike gur 

we will want 

— 59 — 

The object of the verb is usually placed between the two words which 

form the verb as 

ca je gur mccpan 
bA je gur irun 

cal- to call 

luak- to help 
lak- to wash 

I wanted him yesterday. 
I will want him tomorrow. 

qac to know 
ger to row 
gor to write 

and many other verbs are conjugated in this same way. 

Conjugation of irregular verbs. 

bir come 
Present tense 

I come, I am coming 
you come, you are coming 
he, she, it, is coming 

we are coming 
you come, you are coming 
they come 

jen € is often used in the 3d. person singular when person is nearby. 
Literally, it means "he is". 




bA, yAn abceni 



bir, jin abceni 


T)l 1 


jen abeeni 




kon abeeni 



bea, yen abeeni 



ken abeeni 

Past tense 




CA ben I came 



ci ben 



ce ben 




cako ben, ci kon ben, ci nei ben 



ci yen ben 



cike ben 

Future tense 




bl Y An ben I will come 



bi j in ben 



bl jen ben 

we came 

— 60 — 


1st. person bako ben, bl nei ben we will come 
2nd. person bl yen ben 
3d. person bike ben 

2nd. person singular bir 

2nd. person plural bca (used when people are nearby). 
2nd. person plural bia (used when people are at a little distance). 

Conjugation of e to be 

Present tense 

1st. person e yAn or y An e I am 

2nd. person e jin or jin e you are 

3d. person e jen or jen e he, she, it, is 


1st. person kon e we are 

2nd. person yen e you are 

3d. person ken e they are 

Past tense 

1st. person y An e WAneme meedan I was here awhile ago 
2nd. person jin e WAneme meedan you were here awhile ago 
3d. person jen e WAneme meedan he, she, it, was here awhile ago 


1st. person kon e WAneme meedan we were here awhile ago 
2nd. person yen e WAneme meedan you were here awhile ago. 
3d. person ken e WAneme meedan they were here awhile ago 
Some word expressing past time is used as meedan in this case. 

Future case 




bl yah e 

I will be 



bl jin c 

you will be 



bl jen e 

he, she, it, will be 




bl kon e 

we will be 



bl yen e 

you will be 



bi ken e 

they will be 

— 61 — 

Some word expressing future time is usually used as 
Bi kon e wAneme irun 
we will be here tomorrow. 

Verbs — Formation of Negative forms. 

The negative form often to European ears resembles the regular form of 
verb, the only difference being in intonation. 

Cl'ke' WA X they went cf ke' wa' they did not go 

CA' wa' I went CA V wa' I did not go 

ca' gur v I wanted ca x gur v I did not want. 

In other cases, kan and ken (not) and their various forms are used. 

Negative Form of Conjugation. 

Present or future tense. 

1st. person CA bi ben I am not coming, or I will not come. 

2nd. person CI bl ben you are not coming, or you will not come. 

3d. person ce bl ben he, she, it, is not coming, or will not come 

1st. person kon cane bl ben, kanko ben we will not come, or 

have not come 

2nd. person yen CA bl ben you will not come 

3d. person ken cike bl ben they will not come 

Past tense 


1st. person yAn kan ben I did not come 

2nd. person jin ken I ben you did not come 

3d. person jen kene ben he, she, it, did not come 


1st. person kon kanko ben we did not come 

2nd. person yen kene ben you did not come 

3d. person ken kenke ben they did not come 


The possessive form of the noun is used to indicate when the noun is 
the object of the preposition "of" as 

wic wot head of ostrich 

— 62 — 

This same form of noun is used when the noun is the object of anv 
preposition but in most cases the preposition is expressed. 



jath rwop 

tree of forest 

ke kwi rwop 

for forest 

kA rwop 

to forest 

rei rwop 

in forest 

ke rwop 

from forest 



bel kak a 

dura of field 

ke kwi kakA 

for field 

kA kakA 

to field 

rei kakA 

in field 

ke kakA 

from field 

cc wa kA dwil gorkA. 

He went to schoolhouse. 

The preposition may be omitted while the noun takes the form required 

Jen e (rei) dwil gorkA. 

He is (in) schoolhouse or 


is in the schoolhouse. 

Formation of Sentences. 

The object of the verb often preceeds the verb. 

Ci wan rwacdien hn. 

The fox heard their words. 

wan is the subject. 

CI III) is the vexb. 

rwacdien is the object. 
As in the above sentence, when CI introduces a sentence, the first noun 
following is the subject, the second noun is the object and both preceed 
the verb. 

In sentences where ce is part of the verb form, the subject is always 
expressed first, being separated from the object by ce, the verb being last. 

wan ce rwacdien III). 
The adjective usually follows the noun it modifies as 

Nyai) ce yarj inbor cam 

crocodile cow the white ate. 

crocodile ate the white cow. 
The verb may be omitted as 

mecdan thlle ticl meaning "long ago no jealousy." 

— 63 — 

ku and kule are used in narrative for rhythm only and always preceed 
the verb. 

Cu wan ku wa rei yikA. 

fox went in grass mat. 

Ce y a kulc, juk „wir nhiam". 

He me said, "go ahead". 
mo is used for emphasis. 

C jen thwok mi bA larA ji mo. 

Is it truth which I will tell you. 

It is truth which I will tell you. 
-0 as suffix to a verb means interrogation. 

Jin ci rwacdien hqo? 

You their words heard ? 

Did you hear their words. 
-0 as suffix to noun means first to one and then to another. 

Ce wa kA ramo, cc wa kA ramo. 

He went to a person, he went to a person. 

He went to one person and then another. 
In a series of names, use ke for "and" except for the final "and", use mani. 

Pec ke Dhiel ke Nyaq kc Dak mani Gaac. 

Pec and Dhiel and Nyaq and Dak and Gaac. 

(In this instance, the ke takes the place of a comma.) 
Sentences are short, new sentences being used instead of using many 

Ci kun le ben. Cue thik thiap. 

The rat came again. It examined the door. 

Cue jik a bum etet. Cue pAl. 

It found it very hard (or tight). It left. 
A fact is often stated negatively, modifying it by the next sentence. 

Ci gatdA liu. 

My child died. 

Ci dwothni yie mi durj tit. 

Is left spirit a very little or a very little life is left. 



PL Huffman, Ray 

8576 Nuer-English dictionary