In my search for a well researched, credible list of Swahili slang words, I found an impressive resource created by Uta Reuster-Jahn and Roland Kießling published through Johannes Gutenberg University’s Department of Anthropology and African Studies. With extensive field research, they put together a very thorough Swahili slang dictionary (over 1,100 entries!). You can find their dictionary and read their full and fascinating analysis of Swahili slang here: Lugha ya Mitaani In Tanzania
I found a simplified and categorized list of slang words and definitions based on that paper on the now defunct Mwanasimba web site. Before the site went down, I extracted all of the slang content and formatted it into a spreadsheet for easy reference. The spreadsheet contains separate sheets for each category of words.
The original paper was published in 2006, so this is missing some of the latest slang, but it’s extensive enough that most of the words are still in use.
Warning: As you should expect from a comprehensive, uncensored slang dictionary, many of the words and definitions are vulgar and some contain derogatory terms and graphic descriptions of sexual acts, drug use, and crime.
- Swahili Slang.xlsx (55 KB, Excel)