Thursday, August 8, 2013

What is Mpanasuu

On the Kenyan social scene, ‘Mpanasuu’ is the sheng (Swahili slang) word for a beautiful lady. It is derived and ‘corrupted’ from the original Sheng word ‘msupuu’. As with every language Sheng is continuously evolving. However, Sheng appears to evolve much faster than traditional languages. Since 2005, the trend has been to reverse or rearrange the order of characters in a word to come up with a new word. Further examples of this trend include:

Original English, sheng or swahili word
New Sheng Derivative
Udaku (gossip)
ukuda
Maji (water)
Jima
Marry
Rima
Mjaka (luo)
Mkajaa
Msapere (kikuyu)
Mperesa
Enda (gone)
Ndae
Mtu (person)
Tumu

Matatu touts in Nairobi continue to play a deep role in shaping the language.

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