My Readers Speak: Jamba = Fart In Swahili

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 “Swahili fart” brings up a lot of hits with jamba.

Why is this one of the funniest sentences I’ve ever read?