Honey Wine in Ethiopian Languages

Here is a list of Ethiopian languages and their words for "honey wine" and "honey." Note frequent similarities: Some are cognates, or words that evolved from a common ancestor, and some represent borrowing. More than one word may appear for a language because of the difficulty of transliterating the words into English, or because different linguists have recorded different words. Where linguists have identified a dialect with a different word, I have created a line for that data.

The presence of a word in a language doesn't necessarily mean the culture drinks honey wine. Some cultures make honey beer or other feremented drinks, and Moslem cultures tend not to drink it. I have noted those instances. The languages come from Ethnologue and the words from linguists. A symbol () indicates that I have not yet found the word for honey wine in that language. There are only five such gap in this list of 93 languages. I welcome additions.

Visit The Tej Page See honey wine names in African and non-African languages

Ethiopian Language

Honey Wine

Honey

Language
Family

Language Exonyms & Endonyms
(Alternative Names)

Honey Wine
Name Source

Aari

s'ajji ant'si Omotic

Ara, Aro, Shankilla [Dialects: Gozza, Bako, Biyo, Galila, Laydo, Seyki, Shangama, Sido, Wubahamer (Ubamer), Zeddo]

Richard Hayward
Afar

malb
gohoyu
(honey beer)

malb

Cushitic

Afaraf, Danakil, Denkel, `Afar Af, Adal [Dialects: Northern Afar, Central Afar, Aussa, Baadu (Ba`adu)]

Various linguists

Alaaba

daat'a
(Moslem culture, alcohol forbidden)

malabu

Cushitic

Alaaba, Halaba

Yvonne Treis

Amharic

t'ej
mar
Semitic None Amharic dictionaries
Anfillo

bita

jeyshey

Omotic

Southern Mao

Wolf Leslau

Anuak ogool,
ocatha
(honey beer)

maar kic

Nilotic
(Nilo-Saharan)

Anywak, Anyuak, Anywa, Yambo, Jambo, Yembo, Bar, Burjin, Miroy, Moojanga, Nuro [Dialects: Adoyo, Coro, Lul, Opno]

Mechthild Reh

Arbore

d'aadi

ked'ette

Cushitic

Arbora, Erbore, Irbore

Echi Gabbert

Argobba

t'ej
(Moslem culture, rarely consumed)

dus

Semitic

None [Dialects: Ankober, Shonke]

Abbebe Kifleyesus

Awngi

mishi

nyargi, tseyari

Cushitic

Awiya, Awi, Agaw, Agau, Agew, Agow, Awawar, Damot, Kwollanyoch

Robert Hetzron

Baiso

t'ejji

malab, malabeel

Cushitic

Bayso, Alkali

Richard Hayward

Bambassi

bit'

jeyshey

Omotic

Bambeshi, Siggoyo, Amam, Fadiro, Northern Mao, Didessa [Dialects: Kere, Bambassi]

Lionel Bender

Basketo

t'ej

ees Omotic

Basketto, Baskatta, Mesketo

Dirk Bustorf

Bench

es

es

Omotic

Gimira, Ghimarra, Gimarra, Dizu [Dialects: Bench (Bencho, Benesho), Mer (Mieru), She (Sce, Kaba)]

Christian Rapold

Berta

baas'a

gongso,
wonshoo
(Fadashi),
mosho
(Gobato)

Nilo-Saharan

Beni Shangul, Bertha, Barta, Burta, Wetawit, Jebelawi [Dialects: Shuru, Bake, Undu, Mayu, Wadashi, Fadashi, Dabuso, Gobato]

Ralph Siebert, Berta dictionary of the Benishangul-Gumuz Language Development Project

Bilin [in Eritrea]

mes/miys, mid
sxra

Cushitic

Bogo, Bogos, Bilayn, Balen, Beleni, Belen, Bilein, Bileno, North Agaw

David Appleyard

Birale
(nearly extinct)

koronko

sho'kaya

Unclassified
Afro-Asiatic

Ongota, Birelle, Ifa'ongota, Shanqilla

Harold Fleming

Bodi

gema,
gemade boorini

boor Surmic
(Nilo-Saharan)

Dialect of Me'en

Mulugeta Seyoum

Boro

bito

masa

Omotic

Bworo, Shinasha, Scinacia [Dialects: Amuru, Wembera, Gamila, Guba]

David Turton

Burji

boka/booka

diida

Cushitic

Bambala, Bembala, Daashi

Grover Hudson

Bussa

t'ayye

tanka

Cushitic

Dobase, D'oopace, D'opaasunte, Lohu, Mashile, Mashelle, Masholle, Mosiye, Musiye, Gobeze, Gowase, Goraze, Orase

87% lexical
similarity
w/ Gawwada
(seeking confirmation)

Chaha

dagye, dege

weya Semitic

Sebat Bet Gurage dialect

Wolf Leslau

Chai

gimy;
t'acc

ret'e Surmic
(Nilo-Saharan)

Cai, Caci

Jon Abbink;
Gerrit Dimmendaal

Chara

eesa

eesa

Omotic

Ciara

Lionel Bender

Daasanach

thaaniti, t'ej
(Made by nearby Kara people)

thaaniti

Cushitic

Dathanaik, Dathanaic, Dathanik, Gheleba, Geleba, Geleb, Gallab, Galuba, Dama, Marille, Merile, Morille, Reshiat, Russia, Shangilla

Toru Sagawa

Dime

tajj;
gabzi (local beer)

khuru

Omotic

Dima

Mulugeta Seyoum

Dirasha

t'ajjet tanket

tanket, tanga

Cushitic

Dhirasha, Diraasha, Dirayta, Gardulla, Ghidole, Gidole

Wondwosen Tesfaye

Dizi

t'ej

nsin

Omotic

Maji, Dizi-Maji, Sizi, Twoyu

Marvin Dean Beachy

Dorze

t'ej

'ees

Omotic

None

Rhoda Halperin

Ethiopian Language

Honey Wine

Honey

Language
Family

Language Exonyms & Endonyms
(Alternative Names)

Honey Wine
Name Source

Falashan

miz

saea

Cushitic

Dialect of Qimant

David Appleyard

Gafat (extinct)

s'aj

debs, debsa, mar

Semitic

None

Wolf Leslau

Galila

s'ajji kuri Omotic

Dialect of Aari

Richard Hayward
Gamo-Gofa-Dawro

t'ej
'ees (Gamo)

'ees, 'eesa Omotic

None [Dialects: Gamo (Gemu), Gofa (Goffa), Dawro (Dauro, Kullo, Cullo, Ometay). Subdialects of Dawro are Konta (Conta) and Kucha (Kusha, Koysha)]

Malcolm Fosberg,
Wolde Gossa Tadesse

Ganza

tam, dam

Omotic

Ganzo, Koma

Gawwada

t'ayye

sakmo

Cushitic

Gauwada, Gawata, Kawwad'a, Kawwada. [Dialects: Dihina (Tihina, Tihinte), Gergere (K'ark'arte), Gobeze, Gollango (Kollanko), Gorose (Gorrose, Korrose), Harso (Worase)]

Mauro Tosco

Gedeo

boka/booka,
t'ajje

malebo

Cushitic

Geddeo, Deresa, Derasa, Darasa, Derasanya, Darassa

Abebayehu Mesele,
Klaus Wedekind

Ge'ez

s'ajj,
mes/miys
ma'ar
Semitic

None

Ser'ata Gebr, Wolf Leslau

Gogot/Dobi

dag'a, t'ej weya Semitic Dialect of Kistane Wolf Leslau
Gumuz

ke'e'-ka'tsha

ka'tsha

Nilo-Saharan

Bega-Tse, Sigumza, Gumuzinya, Gumis, Gombo, Mendeya, Shankillinya, Shankilligna, Shanqilla, Debatsa, Debuga, Dehenda, Bega. [Dialects: Guba, Wenbera, Sirba, Agalo, Yaso, Mandura, Dibate, Metemma]

Colleen Ahland

Hadiyya

dik'aasa

marabo

Cushitic

Adiya, Adiye, Hadya, Adea, Hadia. [Dialects: Leemo, Soro]

Grover Hudson

Hamer-Banna

zia (Hamer)
ant'si (Banna)
alla (honey beer)

kurri Omotic

Hamar-Koke, Hammercoche, Amarcocche, Cocche, Beshada, Amer, Amar, Ammar, Kara, Kerre

Susanne Epple,
Jean Lydall

Harari

t'ajji
gohoy
(honey beer)
mar Semitic

Hararri, Adare, Adere, Aderinya, Adarinnya, Gey Sinan

Wolf Leslau

Hozo

bit' tam Omotic

Begi-Mao

Daniel Aberra

Inor

dag'a, t'ej weya Semitic

Ennemor [Dialects: Enegegny (Enner)]

Wolf Leslau

Kachama-Ganjule

'shida
(Kachama)
'shir
(Ganjule)
Omotic

Gats'ame, Get'eme, Gatame [Dialects: Ganjule (Ganjawle), Ganta, Kachama]

Kacipo-Balesi
(Baale)

gimay rete Surmic
(Nilo-Saharan)

Baale [Dialects: Balesi, Zilmamu (Silmamo, Zelmamu, Zulmamu, Tsilmano), Kacipo (Kachepo, Suri, Western Suri)]

Michael Bryant
Kafa

bito

eeyo Omotic

Kaficho, Kefa, Keffa, Caffino, Manjo [Dialects: Kafa, Bosha (Garo)] Related to Shekkacho

David Appleyard

Kambaata

daat'a

malabu

Cushitic

Kembata, Kemata, Kambara, Donga. [Dialects: Tambaro, Timbaro, Qabena]

Grover Hudson

Karo

ala, sia

kurro Omotic

Kerre, Cherre

Felix Girke

Kistane/Soddo

t'ej ginz Semitic

Soddo, Soddo Gurage, North Gurage [Dialects: Soddo (Aymallal, Aymellel, Kestane, Kistane), Dobi (Dobbi, Gogot)]

Wolf Leslau

Komo

biti dam Nilo-Saharan

Madiin, Koma

high lexical similarity to Kwama
(seeking confirmation)

Komso

taadita, tajjeeta takma Cushitic

Afaa Xonso, Konso, Conso, Gato, Af-Kareti, Karate, Kareti

Ongaye Oda

Koorete

t'eje, shida dana;
sh'dzhe;
caje
shida Omotic

Amarro, Badittu, Nuna, Koyra, Koore, Kwera

Binyam Sisay;
Rolf Theil;
R. Hayward

Kunfal

mishi nargi Cushitic

Kunfel, Kumfel

Teqebba Birru

Kwama

biti tam Nilo-Saharan

Takwama, Gwama, Goma, Gogwama, Koma of Asosa, North Koma, Nokanoka, Afan Mao, Amam, T'wa Kwama

Lionel Bender

Kwegu

tire j Surmic
(Nilo-Saharan)

Koegu, Kwegi, Bacha, Menja, Nidi. [Dialects: Yidinich (Yidinit, Yidi), Muguji]

Osamu Hieda

Ethiopian Language

Honey Wine

Honey

Language
Family

Language Exonyms & Endonyms
(Alternative Names)

Honey Wine
Name Source

Libido

dik'aasa (non-alcoholic, Moslem culture) marabo Cushitic

Maraqo, Marako

Joachim Crass
Majang

ogool

eted' Surmic
(Nilo-Saharan)

Mesengo, Masongo, Masango, Majanjiro, Tama, Ojanjur, Ajo, Ato Majang, Ato Majanger-Onk

Peter Unseth

Maale

dago

'essi

Omotic

Male

Azeb Amha
Me'en

gima, bok

bor Surmic
(Nilo-Saharan)

Mekan, Mie'en, Mieken, Meqan, Men. [Dialects: Bodi (Podi), Tishena (Teshina, Teshenna)]

Jon Abbink

Melo

'ess, 'eesa

'eess Omotic

Malo

Takeshi Fujimoto

Mesqan

dag'a, t'ej weya Semitic

Masqan, Meskan

Wolf Leslau
Muher

dagye, dege

weya Semitic

Sebat Bet Gurage dialect

Wolf Leslau

Murle

letec, retshe Surmic
(Nilo-Saharan)

Murele, Merule, Mourle, Murule, Beir, Ajibba [Dialects: Olam (Ngalam, Bangalam)]

Mursi

gimma rete, retshe Surmic
(Nilo-Saharan)

Murzi, Murzu, Merdu, Meritu, Dama

David Turton

Nayi

'eesa Omotic

Na'o, Nao

Nuer

koang twaar
("honey wine")
(Moslem culture,
not consumed)
twaar Nilotic
(Nilo-Saharan)

Naath [Dialects: Eastern Nuer (Ji, Kany, Jikany, Door, Abigar)]

John Luk Jok

Nyangatom

a-tede akimyet
a awo
Nilotic
(Nilo-Saharan)

Inyangatom, Donyiro, Dongiro, Idongiro

Serge Torney

Opuuo

biti tam Nilo-Saharan

Opo-Shita, Opo, Opuo, Cita, Ciita, Shita, Shiita, Ansita, Kina, Kwina, Langa

Closely related to Komo and Kwama
(seeking confirmation)

Oromo

[West Central; Eastern (Hararghe region); and Borana-Arsi-Guji (southern region)]

daad'ii

damma

Cushitic

Afan Oromo, Oromiffa, Oromoo, Galla. [Dialects: Mecha (Maccha, Wellaga, Wallaga, Wollega), Raya, Wello (Wollo), Tulema (Tulama, Shoa, Shewa)]

Oromo
dictionary

Oyda

shida Omotic

None

Qabena

tajjita

malabu

Cushitic

Kabenna, K'abeena, Wombisanta, Wanbasana [Dialect of Kambaata]

Wolf Leslau

Qimant

miz sayeya Cushitic

Kimanteney, Western Agaw. [Dialects: Dembiya, Hwarasa (Qwara, Qwarina, Kara), Kayla, Semyen, Achpar, Kwolasa (Kwolacha), Falashan, Kalia

Hans-Jrgen Sasse

Ethiopian Language

Honey Wine

Honey

Language
Family

Language Exonyms & Endonyms
(Alternative Names)

Honey Wine
Name Source

Saho

mees, bathce
malab (honey beer)

baska

Cushitic

Sao, Shaho, Shoho, Shiho [Dialects: Irob]

Moreno Vergari

Sebat Bet Gurage
("Seven Houses
of Gurage")

t'ej weya

Semitic

Gurage, Guraginya [Six dialects: Chaha (Cheha), Ezha (Eza, Izha), Gumer (Gwemarra), Gura, Gyeto, Muher]

Sharon Rose

Seze

bit' 'ishi Omotic

Sezo

Lionel Bender

Shabo

'oo,
[tajan (beer)]
soi Nilo-Saharan

Shako, Mekeyer, Mikeyir, Mikair

Daniel Aberra
Shekkacho

bito

eeyo Omotic

Moca, Mocha, Shakacho, Shekka

Wolf Leslau

Sheko

taka

'eesa Omotic

Shekka, Tschako, Shako, Shak [Dialects: Dorsha, Bulla (Daan, Dan, Daanyir)]

Elisabeth Anne
Hildebrand

Sidama

malawo/malabo, t'ajje

malawo, malabo

Cushitic

Sidmo 'Af, Sidaminya

Grover Hudson

Silt'e

tajji tegay Semitic

East Gurage, Selti, Silti [Dialects: Enneqor (Inneqor), Ulbarag (Urbareg), Wolane (Walane)]

Sharon Rose
Somali

khamri malabeed ("honey wine") [Moslem culture, not consumed]

malab

Cushitic

None

Mauro Tosco

Tigr

mes/miys
ma'ar
Semitic

None

Wolf Leslau

Tigrinya

mes/miys
ma'ar
Semitic

None

Tigrinya dictionary
Tirma

gimy;
t'acc

ret'e Surmic
(Nilo-Saharan)

Tirima, Terema, Terna, Dirma, Cirma, Tirmaga, Tirmagi

Jon Abbink;
Gerrit Dimmendaal

Tsamai

xoronko zamu Cushitic

Ts'amay, S'amai, Tamaha, Tsamako, Tsamakko, Bago S'aamakk-Ulo, Kuile, Kule, Cule

Graziano Sava

Turkana

epurot a aowu/aoo aowu/aoo Nilotic
(Nilo-Saharan)

None

Anthony Barrett

Uduk

t'ej,
asum ayin
("honey beer")
ayin Nilo-Saharan

Twampa, Kwanim Pa, Burun, Kebeirka, Othan, Korara, Kumus

Wendy James

Wolane

t'ajay tegay Semitic

Dialect of Silt'e

Wolf Leslau
Wolayta

'essa

'essa Omotic

Wellamo, Welamo, Wollamo, Wallamo, Walamo, Ualamo, Uollamo, Wolataita, Borodda, Uba, Ometo [Dialects: Zala, Dorze, Melo]

Azeb Amha

Xamtanga

miz sara Cushitic

Khamtanga, Simt'anga, Agawinya, Xamta, Xamir, Khamir

David Appleyard

Yemsa

sa sa, dm Omotic

Yem, Yemma, Janjero, Janjerinya, Janjor, Yangaro, Zinjero [Dialects: Fuga, Toba]

Hans and Gabi Schaumberger
Zergulla

c'ajj

'shida Omotic

Zaysse

Azeb Amha

Zway

sexr, t'eje tge Semitic

Zay, Lak'i, Laqi, Gelilla

Wolf Leslau

Ethiopian Language

Honey Wine

Honey

Language
Family

Language Exonyms & Endonyms
(Alternative Names)

Honey Wine
Name Source

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