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List of African Words for Beauty

Africa is a continent that is rich in culture, diversity, and beauty. From the stunning landscapes and slopes to the unique wildlife, Africa always amazes us with its treasures.

One of the most enchanting aspects of African culture is the use of language to express beauty.

Below are African words for beauty that signify the captivating nature of the continent’s linguistic and cultural landscape.

1. Qurux

“Qurux” is a Somali word often used to describe something beautiful, radiant, sparkling, or shining. It can be used to refer to a person, an object, or an idea.

The word can be traced back to the Somali nomadic culture, where beauty was highly valued and celebrated. During that time, physical appearance was not the only criteria for beauty, but also qualities such as kindness, intelligence, and creativity.

 Therefore, the word “qurux” conveys external beauty and inner qualities.

2. Mrembo

“Mrembo” means beautiful in Swahili. It is commonly used as a term of endearment for women and is often used to describe their physical appearance.

The word describes a woman who is not only physically attractive but also has a great personality. It can be used to refer to a woman who possesses a combination of inner and outer beauty.

 The word “Mrembo” can be traced back to the Bantu language, spoken in many African countries, including Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda.

The word “mrembo” is derived from the Bantu word “remba,” which means “to beautify oneself.”

3. Zuri

The Swahili word “zuri” originates from the Bantu language family, specifically the Swahili dialect spoken in East Africa. It translates to “good” or “beautiful” in English.

This word is commonly used in Swahili culture to express admiration or approval of something or someone’s appearance or quality.

Unlike “mrembo,” which can only be used to refer to women, “zuri” can be used to describe all beautiful aspects of life.

4. Lewa

The word “lewa” originates from the Yoruba language, among the numerous languages spoken in Nigeria. This term is significant as it denotes “beauty” or “charm.” It can also refer to anything visually appealing or pleasing to the eye.

The Yoruba culture greatly emphasizes beauty, and “lewa” perfectly captures this idea.

It is a term that embodies elegance and grace, and it has become widely recognized for its significance in Nigerian culture.

5. Jameela

The Swahili word “jameela” means “beautiful” in English. Its origin is deep-seated in Arabic, where “jamila” means “beautiful.”

Arabic has influenced Swahili as a language due to centuries of trade and cultural exchange along the East African coast.

Therefore, it is unsurprising that “jameela” found its way into Swahili vocabulary, which continues to be commonly used to describe physical beauty.

6. Konjo

“Konjo” is an Ethiopian word that means beautiful or handsome. Its origin can be traced back to the Amharic language, one of Ethiopia’s main languages.

The word is often used to describe people or things that are attractive.

In Ethiopian culture, physical beauty is highly valued, and “konjo” is frequently used as an endearment or complimenting term.

7. Umhle

“Umhle” is a word in the Xhosa language, primarily spoken in South Africa, which means “beautiful” in English.

 It can be used to describe someone or something that has beauty.

Its origin comes from the Xhosa culture and language, passed down through generations of indigenous people in South Africa.

8. Boddo

“Boddo” is a word in Fulani language that means “beauty.” Though its origin is unclear, it is a general symbol of physical beauty and goodness.

It is also used to describe the beauty of a person’s spirit, character, or actions.

In this sense, a kind, loving, caring, generous person with a good heart can be called “boddo.”

9. Ntle

The word “ntle” can be traced back to the Sotho people, mainly found in Lesotho, South Africa. It is derived from the dialects spoken by the Sotho people, who use it to describe their surroundings and the things they perceive as beautiful.

In Sesotho culture, the appreciation of beauty is evident in their art, dance, music, and poetry. It is also seen in how people dress and adorn themselves with traditional garments and jewelry.

10. Pragtige

The word “pragtige” in Afrikaans has its roots in the Dutch language, specifically from the term “prachtige,” which translates to “splendid” or “gorgeous” in English.

The term is frequently used to describe something that has an exceptional and awe-inspiring beauty or magnificence in its appearance.

It is often used to complement someone’s physical features or to portray a beautiful landscape.

Other African Words You Should Know:

Kenyalogue Contributor


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