Wolof Vocabulary relating to Insects

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NB Many Senegalese villagers have difficulty recognising insects from an enlarged drawing,
and there is also considerable individual variation as to what name is attached to what insect.

jiit ji

scorpion / scorpion

jargoñ gi

spider / araignée

gunóor bi

beetle / coléoptère

weñ wi

fly / mouche

yoo wi

mosquito / moustique

lëpp-lëpp bi

butterfly / papillon

yamb wi

bee / abeille

njulli-kaata bi

wasp / guêpe
Sceliphron spirifex

nguri bi

mud wasp

soccent bi

grasshopper / sauterelle

njéeréer bi

locust / locuste
Schistocerca gregaria

mbóot mi

cockroach / cafard


dragonfly / libellule

gasax wi

maggot / asticot

sax wi

larva, caterpillar, worm /
ver, chenille, larva

weteñ wi

tick / tique

max mi

termite / termite

fel wi

flea / puce

Types of ants:

There is no general word in Wolof for ant. Each species of ant has its own individual name.

sanqaleen wi small sugar ant
mellentaan wi small black ants which stings (harvester ant/ fourmi moissonneuse)
mëy common red sugar ant (with wings)
xun-xunóor bi common red sugar ant (fourni-cadavre)
xorondoom wi black bull ant (red harvester ant)
kepp-kooy bi bull ant

Other insects:

jatandeem type of wasp
xuyéntaan firefly/luciole
wallax-njaan (Matt 23:24 gnat)
max (Lk 12:33)

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