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from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A popular dance of the 1960s, fueled by the success of the song "Wah-Watusi" by The Orlons in 1962. Secondary in popularity to dances such as the Twist.
  • v. To dance the watusi.


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • The Watusi was a solo dance that enjoyed brief popularity during the early 1960s. It was almost as popular as the Twist. In 1961, Puerto Rico jazz musician Ray Barretto had his first hit with a song called "El Watusi" and although he didn't invent the style, he came to be typecast as connected to the style.

    The Orlons, a vocal quartet from Philadelphia, had the biggest hit of their career as recording artists with their recording of "The Wah Watusi", which debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart on June 9, 1962 and remained on the Hot 100 for 14 weeks; it peaked at #2 and held the position for two weeks.

    Barretto's recording, "El Watusi", debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart on April 27, 1963 and remained on the Hot 100 for 9 weeks; it peaked at #17 for 9 weeks.

    Its name came from the Batutsi tribe of Rwanda.


    February 24, 2008