Thanks to everyone who wrote in to confirm that yes, “Jamba” means “Fart” in Swahili.
From reader MM:
I am not a native of any East African country where residents speak Swahili. However, I can say that “Nani a me jamba?” were some of the first Swahili words I learned during my 3 month stint in Tanzania in 2003. The translation being: “Who farted?”
From reader IC (among many others):
This seems to be a credible source.
It means “to break wind loudly”, “fart,” “intestinal wind.”
Also, the Swahili word for non-poisonous juice is “utomvu”. Poisonous juice of the mutpa plant is “utupa”.
So perhaps … “Jamba Utomvu” would be Loud Fart Juice.
From reader MS:
Just googling â€œSwahili fartâ€ brings up a lot of hits with jamba.
Why is this one of the funniest sentences I’ve ever read?