Glossary
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Glossary The words contained in this glossary are arranged according to the English alphabet rather than the Ewe alphabet. In an Ewe dictionary the nominal prefixes (such as a-, e-, and o- do not count, so words such as amEzOtO and amEgOmesese would be found under the letter m. In addition, words such as NlO, NOli, and NutO would not be contained in the n section but under the separate letter N (pronounced ng). However, this glossary is designed for an English-speaking audience , so the alphabetical arrangement follows English rather than Ewe. aDibaku: chickenpox afa: a system of divination, similar to the Yoruba Ifa aFedonu: ancestral home (aFedome: in the ancestral home) agbagbaDoDo: balancing; carrying something on the head without touching or supporting it; also, a vestibular sense or a sense of balance, equilibrium from the inner ear aklama: a personal guardian spirit amE: person or human being amEk OtO: ancestral sponsor; agent of a person’s birth amEgOmesese: understanding human beings; understanding what a person stands for, what he is doing, etc. amEgashi: a diviner, usually female (sometimes spelled amegasi) amEme: an inner person; a person inside of a person; the deeper, inner part of a human being amenO: the placenta, or the afterbirth amEmume: one who is close to you or one who is “about you”; a close relative amEmumee wOanu amE: a phrase that means “those close to you can harm you the most” amlima: magical powers 281 amutiwo: oranges asra: malaria atikeDuDu: eating the medicine atikewOla: herbalist, or “root doctor” atsibla: a cushion women tie on their lower back awoameFia: Paramount Chief of Anlo-Ewe azOlime and azOlinu: style of walking; manner of life, course of life, deportment azOlizOzO: walking, marching, moving, gait; also kinesthesia or a movement sense blekete: a religious sect or religious order (sometimes transliterated as Brekete) bokO: a diviner, usually male Do agba: balance (the imperative) dOlele: “catching” or “seizing” sickness; falling ill dOmeDui: stomach ache dOtsoaFe: common, everyday-type sickness k ekplE: a corn meal mixed with palm oil k igbeDi: literally “birth dirt”; the vernix coating on a neonate’s skin k ikuik ikui: a condition in which the children of one woman consistently die k itsinya: conscience, or literally “matters spoken or voiced in one’s heart” k oDuamEtO: a person whose agency is dealing in (signified here as “eating”) magical charms k Ok Ome: the character of a person, natural qualities, or those traits that come along with the person “in birth” k oka: the Ewe term for juju or sorcery; some scholars translate zoka as “charm,” but here it is glossed as “transformative arts” eFe tabgO flu: literally “his head is blurred” but meaning that he is insane enu: literally “mouth” but referring to a sickness caused by animosity etogatOwo: people with magnified hearing or a large ear; people who can hear things that ordinary people cannot hear eVe: clay or chalk formed into small oblong shapes and often ingested fiasiDi: according to some, a girl or woman dedicated to a trO ga FoDi mawo: prohibitions on wealth acquired through immoral or illegal means; commandment to not steal or make “dirty money” gbaVi: measles gbedala: herbalist, or “root doctor” gbemela: a wild animal or a creature from the bush gbesasa: performing magic actions by speaking, incantations gbOgbO (plural: gbOgbOwo): spirit, breath; breathing, blowing gbOgbOmedO: spiritual sickness; literally means “a spirit in the sickness” gOmesese: intuiting, insight, intelligence gudO: a puffiness or bloated condition associated with enu hlOwo: clan kOkuvu: a religious sect or religious order kpe: cough kpeta: dysentery kpOliga: a personal god connected with one’s destiny 282 Glossary kpO nyuie: “look well”; watch out lamesese: health, strength legba: guardian of thresholds, a spirit or deity, a clay figure often placed at a threshold luvo: shadow or soul mamawo: grandmothers; female ancestors mavu mku o: “your eyes are not open”; you are being naive mawu-segbo-lisa: God; Supreme Being meDu dze o: “you don’t eat salt,” meaning you don’t know your own language, history, and culture mOfiala (plural: mOfialawo): one who leads or shows the road, leader, teacher, guide; forefinger, index mkuetOtOwo: people who can see beyond what ordinary human beings can see; people with a third eye mkugbagba: blindness, injuring the eye mkuno: a blind person mlO: to fold into oneself, to curl up into a ball, to roll up mOli (plural: mOliwo): soul, spirit of a deceased person, ghost nu: thing, object; often used as an indefinite...


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