You probably haven’t heard of the word dajaba, and that’s fine. It’s not used very often in the English language, but it does exist, and it means something. Its meaning may be confusing to those who have never heard it before, so here is an explanation of what the word dajaba means and how you can use it properly. And no, dajaba isn’t slang or a made-up word – it’s real! If you want to learn more about this obscure word, just keep reading…
The etymology of the world dajaba
In 2011, dajaba was added to an online Portuguese-English dictionary. The word, which appears to be derived from Arabic, is defined as the face a person makes when laughing. The online community seemed to embrace dajaba immediately, with bloggers creating accounts on Twitter and Instagram dedicated to pictures and videos of people making dajaba.net Currently, there are nearly 40 accounts on Instagram (dajabagram) and four on Twitter (@Daja_Ba) dedicated to sharing both professional and amateur user-generated content featuring dajabas.
The origin of the word
Today we still use daja (or dya) as an adjective meaning in English big, but not as a noun. And that’s why we cannot speak about its origin or meaning. However, there is one theory according to which dja (in vernacular) means water underground. Hence, dajaba might mean exactly that: it can be possible to translate it from Afrikaans into English with some alterations as subterranean water vein/body or simply as an underground body of water. It sounds very impressive and colorful, doesn’t it? If you like such interesting words as much as I do, then you should also check out other African languages. Some of them are quite exotic and fascinating! In addition, if you want to know more about their meanings than just look at them on paper – try learning them by heart! You will surely find it useful someday! For example, did you know that enjuba means to sing in Kiswahili? Or that kujichagulia comes from Luganda and means self-determination? Well, now you do!
The word dajaba is used mainly in South Africa. This language was formed based on two official languages of South Africa: English and Afrikaans. The word was created for people who don’t have enough money to pay for something so they borrow things instead.
The word dajaba has its origin in a bit of Haitian Voodoo and Afro-Caribbean tradition. According to Wikipedia, it is another name for Baron Samedi. Baron Samedi is a Loa (spirit) often depicted as a funeral director (or an undertaker) in Haiti. He is said to be the guardian and guide of souls in Guinee –the spirit world–but he will also lead them astray with his jokes if you do not respect him. This God is feared by some but loved by others, mostly because he looks after them when they are about to die. It is said that Baron Samedi was once a human, who sold his soul to Satan in order to gain wealth and power. When he died, Satan would not let him into hell so he became a loa instead.
In Santeria (an Afro-Cuban religion), Dajabá is one of two spirits born at midnight on New Year’s Eve. In Palo Mayombe (another Cuban religion), DaJabá is considered one of three brothers representing death; along with Maferefun Omo Nkisi (Father Spirit) and Maferefun Olokun (Mother Spirit). All three brothers are seen as having been given their respective powers by Chango, who represents fire and thunder among other things.
Frequently Asked Questions
Dajaba is a new-age word that’s gaining popularity for various reasons. Some people are attracted to it because it’s not spelled or pronounced in a normal way and thus makes it easy to remember. For example, when we say diamond, no one has any trouble remembering how to spell or pronounce it. However, we could substitute daibaamond; while they both rhyme and mean diamond, most people will quickly forget how to spell or pronounce them. We tend to remember things that are strange and/or different from what we normally see. As such, many argue that dajaba was made up on purpose for self-marketing purposes. That said, there are others who claim that it means something special and unique to each person. The debate over its meaning continues today. If you want to know more about dajaba, ask your friends if they have heard of it or look online for resources written by experts who can tell you more about its origins and meaning. You may even find out that you like saying dajaba so much that you incorporate it into your daily life!