Somali Clothing Vocabulary

I’ve been finishing up packing, so I’ve definitely got clothing (dharka) on my mind! So, I figure today is as good of a day as any to learn some clothing vocabulary in Somali.

Part 1: Translate-able Dharka Vocabulary

  1. shirt = shaati
  2. pants = surwaal
  3. jacket = jaakad
  4. socks = sharaabaad
  5. shoes = kabo
  6. hijab = xijaab
  7. skirt = goonno
  8. belt = suun
  9. necklace = silsilad
  10. bracelet = jijin
  11. shawl = shalmad
  12. bra = rajabeeto
  13. underwear = nigis
  14. earring = hilqado

Part 2: Non-Translateable Dharka Vocabulary

There are various items of clothing, well-known in Somali culture (even though not everyone wears them), which don’t really have an English equivalent. Instead, I’ve tried to write up brief definitions for each one.

  1. macawis = men’s traditional sarong, tied around the waist
  2. koofiyad = men’s hat, often embroidered
  3. guntiino = women’s traditional dress, a long cloth draped over the body
  4. gorgorad = women’s slip/underskirt, worn with a guntiino
  5. dirac = women’s kaftan-style dress
  6. shash = headscarf worn by women
  7. garbasaar = women’s shawl
  8. abaaya = women’s dress with long sleeves

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