Monday, August 20, 2007

Moon Tiger

So I was reading this novel called Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively (an excellent novel, by the way), and midway through it someone mentioned "Moon Tiger mosquito coils", and it suddenly dawned on me that they were talking about "Muntyga". Yes, the "Muntyga" your grandmother used to have alight all night in the living room to chase away those annoying mosquitoes.

I always thought "Muntyga" was a Wollof word. I did some research online after reading the book, and found out that "Moon Tiger" was actually the name of one of the companies that made mosquito coils. My explanation is that the coils made by this company were the first to be brought to The Gambia, and so the name stuck and became the generic name of the product. It made me wonder what other words got "imported" into the language this way.

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