Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One of a group of people of African ancestry inhabiting the Sea Islands and coastal areas of South Carolina, Georgia, and northern Florida.
  • n. The creolized language of the Gullahs, based on English but including vocabulary elements and grammatical features from several African languages and spoken in isolated communities from Georgetown in eastern South Carolina to northern Florida.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Pertaining to the language and culture of a group of islands off the coast of the Carolinas and Georgia in the United States.
  • proper n. A creole of English and various African languages spoken on a group of islands off the southern coast of the United States.

Etymologies

Perhaps alteration of Angola or from Gola, a people of Sierra Leone and Liberia.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • (The term Gullah itself is either a shortened form of Angola or a form of Gola, the name of a tribe in Liberia.)

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol III No 2

  • Middle Passage in the Caribbean colonies, those Africans on the sea coast islands off of Georgia and South Carolina, the Gullah -- [changing pronunciation] -- we say in English Gullah; those of us in the black community say Geechee -- those people brought into the black religious experience, a flavor that other seasoned Africans could not bring.

    National Press Club Address

  • I remember learning about this dialect called Gullah in South Carolina and Geechee in Georgia when I took intro linguistics at Tulane.

    Archive 2005-12-01

  • - His Geechee accent also known as Gullah, rooted among some African-Americans from the southeastern U.S. coast made him self-conscious as a poor child from Pin Point, Georgia.

    BusinessWeek.com -- Top News

  • Legree recalled the Gullah tradition at the second of three forums intended to gather community input for the new St. Helena Library at Penn Center.

    Island Packet: Home

  • The Gullah are a distinct, heritage-minded group of African-Americans living in South Carolina and Georgia's Lowcountry coastal regions, the area where the menu finds its inspiration.

    StarTribune.com rss feed

  • He traced the dialect to a community of African-Americans called the Gullah, who lived in relative isolation on the Sea Islands off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia.

    NYT > Home Page

  • Employing an African intonation and featuring an absence of inflection (e replaces he, she, and it), this amalgam or pidgin called Gullah is spoken today with a rapid, crackling, musical delivery by perhaps 250,000 people.

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol III No 2

  • Conductor William Eddins found it impossible to prevent his orchestra drowning out the talented cast of youngish soloists, who did their best with the politically incorrect South Carolina "Gullah" dialect of the libretto.

    Edinburgh's Rich Performance

  • Some scholars even believe the term "Gullah" comes from Angola because so many slaves came from that country.

    CNN Transcript Feb 17, 2002

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.