Submitted by George on 1/11/05 at 11:50 AM. ( georoof@aol.com )

I had a question during that "African quiz", but that became such a coffee klatch, I don't suspect anything intelligent to be posted there now.

Here's the question: I have always pronounced the nyala as "EN-yala", but recently I ran into a customer with high pockets and higer ego who informed me that it was pronounced "NY-ala". As I don't speak any of the indigenous African languages, and still pronounce pecan as "PEE-can" and crappie as "KRAP-ee". I'd like to hear some clarification to the nyala.

P.S. It AIN'T "pee-CON" any more than it's "CROP-ee" so don't get me started on how to speak AMERICAN.

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squeze your nose when you pronounce nyala

This response submitted by gantry on 1/11/05 at 12:12 PM. ( )

here a pee can is something you keep in the back of the boat fer unloading your bladder, I prefer the wide mouth mason jars myself when I am fishing fer croppie

if you want to hear how to say nyala properly cut and paste the following



This response submitted by cur on 1/11/05 at 12:21 PM. ( )

I am not an expert on African languages, but I suspect that "En" is an article which indicates either animal or antelope. En-kon-koni is Zulu for Wildebeast and En-yal-a is Zulu for the Nyala. Been there, did that. Nigh-al-a is some fancy New Yorker's way of mucking up the language.

When I shot by first Nyala, my tracker, Ja-mese said, "damn, Bill, that is one beeg En-yal-a.

Yer friend doesn't know of which he speaks.

Krop ie no matters how ya spell it,

This response submitted by gantry's skool of American vernaculary on 1/11/05 at 12:31 PM. ( )

where we will learn ya how to speak American our style, Right Cur!

the fish in ? is pronounced Krop ie



This response submitted by Alex on 1/11/05 at 12:56 PM. ( )

notmebwana ?


This response submitted by cur on 1/11/05 at 1:10 PM. ( )

Is Swahili for White dude....D'wana is same for White woman......I figure that, "Notmebwana".....means "git lost white man", or I didn't do it......click click

Gantry, you probably can't afford a pot

This response submitted by George on 1/11/05 at 1:16 PM. ( )

Nor the window to throw it out. I'm sorry our British ancestors left you with severe dislexia in being unable to decipher the "Aye" sound from the "ah" sound but our cars don't have boots or bonnets and our johns aren't loo's so stop pretending you ain't a hillbilly like the rest of us. You can speak American here. We understand it.

By the way, ask Cecil for his DICTIONARY and see the preferred pronounciations of both pecan and crappie. REGARDLESS of what the Kentucky legislature thinks.

George go to Webster's for the answer..

This response submitted by tomdes on 1/11/05 at 1:59 PM. ( mapletax@twcny.rr.com )

When I'm 'hooked on phonetics' I goto www.webster.com and do a 'hear it now' on the word, like NEEEE-ALA...

Now I am not sure

This response submitted by cur on 1/11/05 at 2:27 PM. ( )

What that amounted to, but I don't think is was George Roof who posted that last tidbit. For your information, Elmer DOES have a window.

AND, for your information, smart person, the Kentucky legislature changed the spelling too, so if the word is spelled crOppie, it is pronounced Crop-ie. Those semantics are silly, elitist indicators of intelligence, anyway. Half the population of Massachussets sounds like Elmer Fudd, and that is no indicator of stupidity - except when it comes to catching Wascally Wabbits. Crappie, or croppie are niether incorrect. That little slab-sided fish has more than 110 local names across North America, and, to local folks, their assignment and pronounciation is "correct".

Linguists often indicate that some "hillbilly" dialects are very similar to pure Elizbethian vernacular, having remained un-changed for years. So whether you build a Fire or a Fiear in your Farplace, it is not up to any American to signify that one is correct and the other wrong. Say aluminum for me, or laboratory, or lavoratory.

America is a diverse nation, rich in cultural tongues. Dictionaries state that the word, Cuba is pronounced KU-ba......but JFK couldn't help but call it "CUber".....did that make him an idiot? Hell no, it didn't, no more than pronouncing the word croppie as it is spelled. No one ever called a crappie a croppie, but then again, no one ever called a croppie crappy. In fact, most Kentuckians referred to the crappie as a "Newlight", God knows why.

The fish is also known as a calico bass, paper-mouth, speckled perch, speckled trout, white perch, among other names. They are neither perch, nor trout, nor bass, but only an idiot would stand next to a kid in Northern Louisiana and try to explain why his "white perch" was actually a crappie.

Most Americans have a habit of butchering the English Language - maybe not as much as the colonists of Australia or South Africa have, or even the British over the last century, but butcher it we do. Where proper English is concerned, NO American can cast the first stone.

Bottom line is that I have no clue what called for that slam against Mr. Gantry. I know the man, and he ain't broke, nor stupid, nor anything that your thread would indicate you very well might be, "George". Remember, rudeness is never a substitute for logic.

More on Nyala

This response submitted by cur on 1/11/05 at 3:44 PM. ( )

Websters is not always the answer, particularily where other than English words are the source. Nyala may be indicated as Nigh-Ala in the English Dictionary, but that is not the Bantu pronounciation of the word as it originated. Whether in Swahili or Zulu, the animal is called an En-Yal-a, and that is good enough for me. An academician is only as good as his or her armchair, and unless they are aware of the origin and native use of the word, mistakes can happen.

One doesn't speak Japanese by pronouncing the words as they may appear to be phoneticized in english, one bends english to phoneticize the word as spoken by the Japanese. And so it is with Nyala. The Webster's pronounciation is wrong, and that don't make it correct simply because it is printed on those pages.

I am not one for heavy web browsing, but I spent a minute or three sourcing the word just to make sure that those stupid Swahili speaking peoples knew what they were saying. Here's a few results:

The Mountain Nyala (pronounced "n'YAH-la") is a kudu-like antelope, weighing up to 660 lbs. It is found in highland forest and heathland.
Donald W. Molyneux

(sic) First let us talk about the name of this tree. It is named after the Nyala, pronounced n-yala, not ny-ala. So what's a Nyala? The Nyala is a kind of antelope - (Tragelaphus angasi) - that has a very limited distribution in southeast Africa. It is an exceedingly beautiful creature, and it often frequents large rivers in savannah areas. The Nyala Tree itself grows on the banks of such rivers, and the nyala often eats its leaves as well as fruit that drop on the ground. Because of this association, the tree has been named after the antelope.

British Broadcasting Corporation Article re: Nyala Tree October 2004


Tragelaphus angasii [Gray, 1849].

Citation: In Angas, Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond., 1848:89 [1849].

Type locality: South Africa, Natal, Zululand, St. Lucia Bay.

The taxonomic record (above) is taken from Wilson and Reeder (1993). The nyala is placed in the subgenus Tragelaphus [De Blainville, 1816] (Nowak, 1991). There are no subspecies, nor are there any synonyms (Wilson and Reeder, 1993).

The nyala is the most sexually dimorphic of all the spiral-horned antelope, and was first described in 1849 by Gray. 'Nyala' (pronounced as "n'YAH-la") is the Swahili name for this antelope.

The ultimate Ungulate, Fact sheet Source World mammal base.

There are words, and then again, there are words. The correct pronounciation of any foreign word is that used by the originators, and not as modified to apply to another language.

Geeze, George Roof

This response submitted by cur on 1/11/05 at 5:18 PM. ( )

If I had known that really was you that posted that pot and window statement, I could have saved a lot of time and words. I would have just agreed with you...LOL

Elmer, I was just poking fun BTW

This response submitted by George on 1/11/05 at 5:33 PM. ( )

Bill already called and gave me hell, but I figured you knew I was jerking your chain in a fun way. You're one of the FEW people on here that gives a straight up, no BS answer, so I thought I'd just throw our proud southern heritage in there to piss the Yankees off. LOL. Didn't mean to offend you.

Cur you're killing me...

This response submitted by tomdes on 1/11/05 at 5:34 PM. ( mapletax@twcny.rr.com )

I feel like I'm back in college sitting in class when I read your replies. Taking in all the other dialects from around the world, no one is going to get this one right. Webster's I noticed didn't have the southern pronunciation or the Boston, Long Giland (that's what it sounds like when they say island). It only has the true pronunciation from our upstate NY region, like ME, and if it's in Webster's then it MUST be right. Besides, I've talked to Bill Yox and he sounds just like me. So we can't be wrong, so there!


This response submitted by George on 1/11/05 at 5:43 PM. ( )

I've done a whole lot of writing over the years and once decided to take on the grandiose academia at Websters for a faux pas on language. The nice letterhead on the reply didn't let me down as I was told quite pointedly that dictionaries NEVER attempt to portray "proper" connotations, but rather "current frequent usage". A word must appear at least FIVE TIMES in a major periodical in order to be considered for inclusion. How do you think "proactive" came into being (active is the correct word) as "homophobe", "blingbling", and even Cecil's hallowed "neocon". That why "farther" and "further"/ "anxious" and eager" are defined as the same though they aren't and "irregardless" is almost as dumb as "unthaw". "Alright" is alwrong, but it's accepted. "Hiroshima" has 4 syllables but current usage lists only 3 incorrectly. Because an item or word is in the dictionary is never a badge of freedom to assume it's correct.

well Mr. Well Heeled heres a quarter call somebody who cares

This response submitted by Mr. Gantry on 1/11/05 at 5:44 PM. ( )

Mr. Gantry is over 50.... his last W-2 was in '92, the pot and winders are paid fer and 17 years ahead of schedule to boot ..... in fact Mr. Gantry's owns two pots, pot #2 ain't much BUT Mr. Gantry lets someone who is less fortunate than Mr. Gantry live in it rent free...WHY because he can... and your post and problem being what........if you have more money and a bigger pot with Anderson Winders Mr. Gantry is happy for you ....... your dissertation that "our" British ancestors is presumptuous on your part....along with your expertise about dislexia(sic) (dyslexia) which affects how one perceives things with their VISION, not AUDIO perception as per your "decipher the "Aye" sound".
I am glad of my heritage, I do speak "American" whatever in the hell that is. As far as rednecks are concerned your pompus asinus wouldn't hold a candle to my many attributes of Foxworthyisms.
As far as contacting Cecil for his DICTIONARY and see the "preferred pronounciations(sic) of both pecan and crappie,(I prefer Ketchup vs. catsup with mine) unless he's offering some fried up, or a slice with vanilla ice cream on it, I could care less what his Hoosierism dictionary says, haha
you can't pi$$$$ off Gantry cause he don't CARE if the sun don't shine, on himself, YOU or anybody else.....Laissez les bons temps rouler, et tu George!

Yah I know George..

This response submitted by tomdes on 1/11/05 at 6:26 PM. ( mapletax@twcny.rr.com )

I heard a guy say 'irregardless' today and I just shook my head, but it is in the dictionary with an '*'. My wife's a speech pathologist so I don't get away with nothing.. It's a bummer for somewhat of a country boy, I sometimes slip and get them words wrong. "Tom it's those words"! I can hear her say it now. I like creating words, that throws her off, I always say, "hey they have start somewhere". Well we could go on with the English lesson all night, but I have a walleye to detail, so night folks...


This response submitted by cur on 1/11/05 at 6:45 PM. ( )

My wife was a pathological liar....and she knew how to cut you with words.....I guess she was a verbal pahtologist.......She was always correcting my simple KY butt. We ended up going our own ways. SHE got a DI-vorce..........Me? I DEE-vorced the lady....LOL

Damn Elmer

This response submitted by George on 1/11/05 at 10:52 PM. ( )

Don't take me of the Christmast card list quite yet. I'll promise to behave but being almost 60, I can't make brash promises. I keep forgettin' them. Now can I borrow one of your pots?

And you're right about the misspelled words

This response submitted by George on 1/11/05 at 11:28 PM. ( )

I keep telling you, it's these dumb rented fingers. I type at about 120 words a minute and my brain runs at about 60. I seldom proof read what I've written and my fingers hit that stupid "Tab" "space bar" almost automatically after that last period. I DO know better.

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