From Proto-Bantu *dʊ̀dɪ́mì. Hinde (1904) records ulimi or rurimi as an equivalent of English tongue in “Jogowini dialect” of Kikuyu, listing also “Nganyawa dialect” (spoken then in Kitui District) of Kamba wimi and Swahili ulimi (pl. ndimi) as its equivalent[1].


As for Tonal Class, Armstrong (1940) classifies this term into mbori class which includes mbũri, ikinya (pl. makinya), itimũ, kĩhaato, maguta, mbembe, mũgeka, mũrata, nyaga, ũhoro, riitho, riũa, Kamau (man's name), etc.[2] Benson (1964) classifies this term into Class 3 with a disyllabic stem, together with kĩhaato, mbembe, kiugo, and so on. Yukawa (1981) classifies this term into a group including bũrũri (pl. mabũrũri), ikara, ikinya, itimũ, kanitha (pl. makanitha), kiugo, kĩhaato, maguta, mũgeka, mũkonyo, mũrata, mwana, mbembe, mbũri, nyaga, riitho, riũa, ũhoro (pl. mohoro), and so on.[3]
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rũrĩmĩ class 11 (plural nĩmĩ)

  1. tongue[2][4]



  1. ^ Hinde, Hildegarde (1904). Vocabularies of the Kamba and Kikuyu languages of East Africa, pp. 60–61. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Armstrong, Lilias E. (1940). The Phonetic and Tonal Structure of Kikuyu. Rep. 1967. (Also in 2018 by Routledge).
  3. ^ Yukawa, Yasutoshi (1981). "A Tentative Tonal Analysis of Kikuyu Nouns: A Study of Limuru Dialect." In Journal of Asian and African Studies, No. 22, 75–123.
  4. ^ Muiru, David N. (2007). Wĩrute Gĩgĩkũyũ: Marĩtwa Ma Gĩgĩkũyũ Mataũrĩtwo Na Gĩthũngũ, p. 34.
  • Benson, T.G. (1964). Kikuyu-English dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon Press.