Xhosa 101

Xhosa Word List

The purpose of this list is to give a rough idea of the Xhosa language. The words listed below are not the most common words, but a broad sampling of words. See the Word Lists page for more details.

English

Xhosa
I

ndi-, mna
you *(sing)*

u-, wena
he

u-, yena
we

si-, thina
you *(pl)*

ni-, nina
they

ba-, bona
this

lo, aba, le, eli, la, esi, ezi, olu, obu, oku
that

lowa, abaya, leya, eliya, lawa, esiya, eziya, oluya, obuya, okuya
here

apha
there

apho
who

ngubani
what

-ni, ntoni
where

phi?
when

ni
how

njani, kanjani *(adv)*
not

khange, a-, -nga-
all

-onke
many

-ninzi
some

-nye
few

-balwa
other

-mbi, -nye
one

isinye, eyona
two

-bini
three

-thathu
four

-ne
five

-hlanu
big

-khulu
long

-de
wide

-banzi
thick

-nzinzilili
heavy

-nzima
small

-mncinane, -ncinci
short

-futshane
narrow

-mxinwa
thin

-bhityile
woman

inkosikazi
man

indoda, umlisela *(young man)*
human

umntu
child

umntwana, usana
wife

umfazi
husband

umyeni
mother

umama
father

ubawo, utata
animal

isilwane
fish

intlanzi
bird

intaka
dog

inja
louse

intwala
snake

inyoka
worm

umsundulu
tree

umthi
forest

ihlathi
stick

induku, uluthi
fruit

isiqhamo
seed

imbewu
leaf

igqabi
root

ingcambu
bark *(tree)*

ixolo
flower

intyantyambo
grass

ingca
rope

intambo
skin

isikhumba
meat

inyama
blood

igazi
bone

ihleza, ithambo
fat *(n.)*

amafutha
egg

iqanda
horn

uphondo
tail

umsila
feather

usiba
hair

inwele
head

intloko
ear

indlebe
eye

iliso
nose

impumlo
mouth

umlomo
tooth

izinyo
tongue

ulwimi
fingernail

uzipho
foot

unyawo
leg

umlenze
knee

idolo
hand

isandla
wing

iphiko
belly

isisu
guts

ithumbu
neck

intamo, umqala *(throat)*
back

umhlana
breast

ibele *(breast)*, isifuba *(chest)*
heart

intliziyo
liver

isibindi
to drink

ukusela, -sela, -phunga
to eat

-tya
to bite

-luma
to suck

-munca
to spit

-the
to vomit

-hlanza
to blow

-bhudla, -vuthuza
to breathe

-phefumla
to laugh

-hleka
to see

-bona, -buka
to hear

-va
to know

-azi
to think

-cinga
to smell

-nuka
to fear

-oyika
to sleep

-lala
to live

-phila
to die

-fa
to kill

-bulala
to fight

lwa
to hunt

-zingela
to hit

-betha
to cut

-sika
to split

-krazuka, -tyanda
to stab

-gwaza, -hlaba
to scratch

-phanda
to dig

-grumba
to swim

-dada
to fly

-bhabha
to walk

-hamba
to come

-za
to lie *(bed)*

-xoka
to sit

-hlala
to stand

-ma
to turn

-jika
to fall

-wa
to give

-pha
to hold

-bamba
to squeeze

-bandezela, -foca
to rub

-dyobha, – gudla
to wash

-coca, -hlamba
to wipe

-sula
to pull

-dontsa, -tsala
to push

-dudula
to throw

-gibisa, -jula, -phosa
to tie

-bopha
to sew

-thunga
to count

-bala
to say

-thi, -tsho
to sing

-cula
to play

-dlala
to float

-bhabhazela
to freeze

-nquma *(congeal)*, -tshaza *(be frostbitten)*
to swell

-dumba
sun

ilanga
moon

inyanga
star

inkwenkwezi
water

amanzi
rain

imvula
river

umlambo
lake

ichibi
sea

ulwandle
salt

ityuwa
stone

ilitye
sand

isanti
dust

uthuli
earth

umthonyama, ihlabathi
cloud

ilifu
fog

inkungu
sky

izulu
wind

umoya
snow

ikhephu
ice

umkhenkce
fire

umlilo
ash

uthuthu
to burn

-vutha
road

indlela
mountain

intaba
red

-bomvu
green

-luhlaza
yellow

-lubhelu, -mthuba, -tyheli
white

-mhlophe
black

-mnyama
night

ubusuku
day

umhla, imini, usuku
year

umnyaka
warm

-fudumeleyo
cold

-banda
full

-gcwele
new

-tsha
old

-dala
good

-mnandi
bad

-bi
rotten

-bolile
dirty

-nkone, -mdaka
straight

-ngqala
round

-mbumbulu
sharp *(knife)*

-bukhali, -tsolo
blunt *(knife)*

-buthuntu
wet

-manzi, -nqum
dry

-omelela, -oma
correct

-nyanisile
near

-kufuphi
far

-kude
right

-nene
left

-nxele
with

na, ne, no, kunye
and

kwaye
if

ukuba
because

kaloku, ngokuba
name

igama

View other word lists here