Curious George

A fountain of material and immaterial information - Things that I spend my days wondering about... and perhaps you have been too? Check out www.figenschou.net for more curious questions (and answers to them)

Friday, December 16, 2005

Baluba - a peculiar Origin

This is primarily going to be interresting for Norwegians, but just in case anyone else is curious, I'm posting this in English.
Many Norwegians use the word "Baluba" - it used to describe disarray and chaos.
The funny thing is that the word does not exist in any dictionary - neither Norwegian nor German, English, French.... and yet it is used both in oral speach as well as in the written word (newspapers and books alike).
The expression probably refers to the Baluba tribe in Zaire - as far as I can understand it is their history of fighting that has brought about this expression's origin.
But how it made its way to this remote portion of the world is beyond my understanding.
Does anyone outside of Norway know of this expression? Please comment or email me.
Recently when I raised this issue it was even guessed that the expressions is particularly used in Bergen - since my family is from Bergen, it is not impossible that I picked it up that way.... Another person at the table who grew up in Oslo had never heard of the expression.
If anyone has any thoughts on this I would love to hear it.

2 Comments:

  • At 2:16 AM, Anonymous irish_boy said…

    balubas:

    Used to sum-up a scene that could be descibed as rowdy or hectic.
    Used largely in Ireland, it is a term derived from Irish troops' unhappy encounters with the Baluba tribe during peace-keeping activities in the Congo during the 1960s.
    I went to the pub to watch the big match but couldnt even hear it, the place was balubas.


    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=balubas

    This word isn't common these days, but it is still used, my mother used it today and I decided to look up the etymology of it.

    I was pretty suprised! Funny though!

     
  • At 4:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i am a buluba

     

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