Dictionary Entries Explained

Simple entries consist of a headword, the part of speech, and the meaning. The meaning is in English, and in many cases the Hausa is included as well. In this draft version of the dictionary, we are also showing as much other information as is available for each entry. Some of the additional elements that may be in an entry:

  • Singular or Plural form
  • Indication of the language it is borrowed from (e.g., Hausa, English)
  • Different meanings, marked with sense numbers
  • The scientific name, for plants and animals
  • The class marker used for the different senses of the word
  • Antonyms or synonyms. References to other words may include a homograph number (subscript) or a sense number (a digit after the word).
  • Figurative uses, including examples
  • Subentries, for phrases or derived forms built from this entry
  • Notes, including questions the compiler wants more information about

Hints for Finding Words in This Dictionary


  1. u̱t-Hun (Dukkawa) is a noun class language. The following class markers are used with nouns and verbs: o-, u̱r-, ye̱ge̱-, u̱s-, u̱t-, m-. The marker n- is used with prepositions. When trying to locate words in this dictionary, remove any class marker that would be attached to the word.

  3. The verb forms change often in vowel quality in different tenses. To find an entry for a verb, try to think of the form of that word in a negative sentence.

  5. If you are struggling to find a word in the dictionary, consider these factors:
    1. Vowel length — some vowels appear to be longer than others. For example:
      • kan means “cry”
      • kaan means “pick”
    2. Vowels that are very close in sound —
      • o can be confused with o̱
      • e can be confused with e̱
      • Sometimes o̱ and a are hard to distinguish
    3. Check for the use of the ' (glottal) at the beginning and middle of words. For example:
      ja’as and ‘wu̱n (u̱r-’wu̱n)
    4. Consider we might not have the word in the dictionary yet! Please let us know!