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renomarvinm
Community Member
Posts: 3,720
Registered: ‎08-24-2006

MYSTERY - What does the word UNGOWA mean?

OK, it's sometimes spelled UNGAWA, or UNGOWA, or something similar. Its been used in a Garfield cartoon, and I've heard it in really, really raunchy "Indian" stories (which I will NOT repeat here), and heard it other places. What does it mean?????
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Community Member
Posts: 221
Registered: ‎11-08-2002

MYSTERY - What does the word UNGOWA mean?

in reply to renomarvinm
Didn't the "natives" in the Tarzan movies shout Ungawa when they attacked the white explorers going through the jungle?
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Community Member
Posts: 1,974
Registered: ‎06-23-2006

MYSTERY - What does the word UNGOWA mean?

in reply to renomarvinm
Ungawa, Buwana-Buwana, Ungawa!!

"Stranded in the Jungle"

Great Googa-mooga...

Hiway

24/7 365/year:smileysad: & very tired!
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Hiway

I am PROOF :smileyhappy:
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Community Member
Posts: 395
Registered: ‎11-27-2007

MYSTERY - What does the word UNGOWA mean?

in reply to renomarvinm
http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/42/messages/402.html-->

"...Which reminds me of the native languages spoken in early Hollywood "jungle" pictures. Tarzan, and lots of others. The "natives" use the word "ungawa" quite often. The unverified story, as it's been told to me, is that "ungawa" was an inside joke among the studio staff writers who would go out to a bar on Gower Avenue for lunch. Having lunch "on Gower" became "ungawa."

Google ungawa for more.
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Community Member
Posts: 487
Registered: ‎01-16-2006

MYSTERY - What does the word UNGOWA mean?

in reply to renomarvinm
"Umgowa" is supposed to be a Swahili word for "go". However, it was probably invented by the MGM studio staff. I'm not sure about the "unverified story" (post 3), but Gower Street is a real place. "Umgowa" was probably invented c. 1932 for the Tarzan series of films.
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Community Member
Posts: 1,974
Registered: ‎06-23-2006

MYSTERY - What does the word UNGOWA mean?

in reply to renomarvinm
Maybe "Umgowa...knows"!!

LOL

Hiway

24/7 365/year:smileysad: & very tired!
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Hiway

I am PROOF :smileyhappy:
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renomarvinm
Community Member
Posts: 3,720
Registered: ‎08-24-2006

MYSTERY - What does the word UNGOWA mean?

in reply to renomarvinm
I suppose this would be a bad time to bring up the word "Kimosabe...."
Everything below this line is a signature:

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The Lemmings are NEVER alone ---
Where's my Asprin? -- Bob in Reno
Everything above this line is sponsored by Captain Zort!
I'm Captain Zort, and I don't know what he's talking about!!!!

-

(Bob in Eugene, WHERE IT RAINS A LOT!!!! Glug, Glug, Drip, Drip)
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Community Member
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎11-08-2005

MYSTERY - What does the word UNGOWA mean?

in reply to renomarvinm
I heard that word all the time in the old Tarzan movies featuring Johnny Weismiller. He would shout it at an elephant that he might be riding, or even at his chimp and sidekick friend, Cheetah. Generally, I think it meant "get a move on," at least in the movies. BTW, I love the electronically enhanced Tarzan yell in those old Tarzan movies that Weismiller made. If we could reproduce that in a cellphone ringtone, that would be great. And for those that don't know, Weismiller swam in the Olympics and was quite a specimen. Not a phony in any respect. Worth a look at his biography if you've never read about him. Unfortunately, he sucumbed to Alzheimer's Disease later in his life.
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Community Member
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎11-08-2005

MYSTERY - What does the word UNGOWA mean?

in reply to renomarvinm
Make that Johnny WEISSMULLER.......
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renomarvinm
Community Member
Posts: 3,720
Registered: ‎08-24-2006

MYSTERY - What does the word UNGOWA mean?

in reply to renomarvinm
Actually, "Ungowa," was part of a code word system used by Tarzan and Jane. First, you gotta understand, there are a LOT of diatary problems in the jungle, what with eating raw bananas, weird bugs, half-rotting fruit, and the occasional portion of half-cooked wildebeast respectfully offered to you by the local chief. Anyway,

GOWA means "my intestinal system is all blocked up. Get me the exlax?"

UNgowa is just the opposite! I won't describe the details here, but it means, "Where's the kaopectate?"

I know this information is accurate, because I got it from a very old, slightly drunk, out-of-work actor who once drove a catering truck for the studio when the Tarzan movies were made, or maybe a few years later - he wasn't sure.
Everything below this line is a signature:

-----------------------------------
The Lemmings are NEVER alone ---
Where's my Asprin? -- Bob in Reno
Everything above this line is sponsored by Captain Zort!
I'm Captain Zort, and I don't know what he's talking about!!!!

-

(Bob in Eugene, WHERE IT RAINS A LOT!!!! Glug, Glug, Drip, Drip)
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Community Member
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎05-27-2006

MYSTERY - What does the word UNGOWA mean?

in reply to renomarvinm
reno, you're a hoot! This line left blank because I want to
Me so Krazie!
Me so Krazie!
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renomarvinm
Community Member
Posts: 3,720
Registered: ‎08-24-2006

MYSTERY - What does the word UNGOWA mean?

in reply to renomarvinm
SPMS - Thanks! Warn your monkey about JANE! She's been lving in the jungle for WAY too long; no tupperware parties, no PTA meetings, no soap operas - getting a little goofy, if you ask me. Last week, she was seen waving an Uzi around, and talking to the coconuts. Bawana saihb, krega, bundalo!!!
Everything below this line is a signature:

-----------------------------------
The Lemmings are NEVER alone ---
Where's my Asprin? -- Bob in Reno
Everything above this line is sponsored by Captain Zort!
I'm Captain Zort, and I don't know what he's talking about!!!!

-

(Bob in Eugene, WHERE IT RAINS A LOT!!!! Glug, Glug, Drip, Drip)
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Community Member
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎12-13-2005

MYSTERY - What does the word UNGOWA mean?

in reply to renomarvinm
#2 Ungawa, Buwana-Buwana, Ungawa!!

"Don't go (un-go-a) Bwana, don't leave me ("Stranded in the Jungle")

#1 Didn't the "natives" in the Tarzan movies shout Ungawa when they attacked the white explorers going through the jungle?

see above: "Don't leave me Tarzan (to fight these white explorers on my own with my feeble spears against their semi-automatic elephant guns) --- don't leave me"
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renomarvinm
Community Member
Posts: 3,720
Registered: ‎08-24-2006

MYSTERY - What does the word UNGOWA mean?

in reply to renomarvinm
Hi notatroll!. Yeah, it probably means something like that. Getting out of the jungle has been one of mankind's main goals ever since we learned to walk on two feet. Geographically, it is a very hostile, unproductive, disease-laden environment. Today, the core problems of Africa all involve basic survival, and until THOSE are solved, nothing useful can happen. And the movie industry HAS produced some really weird African stuff.

Your semi-automatic elephant rifle isn't practical. First, to handle those ridiculiously large calibers, the weapon would have to be very, very heavy - far too heavy for one individual to carry around and use in a quick hurry - which is what is needed in the jungle. Most elephant rifles use either double-barrel or bolt action designs. I would not wish to fire even one of those, even at a tin can (I don't like killing anything). The Recoil is horrible! Like getting center-punched by Mohammad Ali!
Everything below this line is a signature:

-----------------------------------
The Lemmings are NEVER alone ---
Where's my Asprin? -- Bob in Reno
Everything above this line is sponsored by Captain Zort!
I'm Captain Zort, and I don't know what he's talking about!!!!

-

(Bob in Eugene, WHERE IT RAINS A LOT!!!! Glug, Glug, Drip, Drip)
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Community Member
Posts: 1,974
Registered: ‎06-23-2006

MYSTERY - What does the word UNGOWA mean?

in reply to renomarvinm
"Where's the kaopectate?"

Maybe Umgawa knows;-).

Hiway

24/7 365/year:smileysad: & very tired!
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Hiway

I am PROOF :smileyhappy:
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renomarvinm
Community Member
Posts: 3,720
Registered: ‎08-24-2006

MYSTERY - What does the word UNGOWA mean?

in reply to renomarvinm
UPDATE: Today I bumped into a chieftan of the UMBALLA Tribe. The Umballa are a small group of nomads who live in the sub-Sahara Africa, and happen to own a country full of oil fields. A very nice man, he was over here on a sabbatical, doing extensive anthropological research in night clubs in Hollywood, several interesting "ranches" in Nevada, and other places. So, I asked him what "Ungawa" meant.

He said, "No sir! No way am I going to use Language like THAT, even here!!! And there's no CURE for it, either! You get THAT in your harem, and BOOM, it's just all over the place!!!!. Do you know what a new Harem costs these days????
Everything below this line is a signature:

-----------------------------------
The Lemmings are NEVER alone ---
Where's my Asprin? -- Bob in Reno
Everything above this line is sponsored by Captain Zort!
I'm Captain Zort, and I don't know what he's talking about!!!!

-

(Bob in Eugene, WHERE IT RAINS A LOT!!!! Glug, Glug, Drip, Drip)
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Community Member
Posts: 1,974
Registered: ‎06-23-2006

MYSTERY - What does the word UNGOWA mean?

in reply to renomarvinm
Maybe Umgawa knows!!

Hiway

CURTILAGE is the word for 2006!! Use it at least once-a-day...
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Hiway

I am PROOF :smileyhappy:
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renomarvinm
Community Member
Posts: 3,720
Registered: ‎08-24-2006

MYSTERY - What does the word UNGOWA mean?

in reply to renomarvinm
Hi Hiway!!

Yes, and remember that Umgawa spelled backwards is
AWAGMU, which was a South African word meaning, "There's a Green Mamba in your sleeping bag..."
Everything below this line is a signature:

-----------------------------------
The Lemmings are NEVER alone ---
Where's my Asprin? -- Bob in Reno
Everything above this line is sponsored by Captain Zort!
I'm Captain Zort, and I don't know what he's talking about!!!!

-

(Bob in Eugene, WHERE IT RAINS A LOT!!!! Glug, Glug, Drip, Drip)
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Community Member
Posts: 1,974
Registered: ‎06-23-2006

MYSTERY - What does the word UNGOWA mean?

in reply to renomarvinm
LOL@Reno

:smileyhappy:

Hiway

CURTILAGE is the word for 2006!! Use it at least once-a-day...
<>
Hiway

I am PROOF :smileyhappy:
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Community Member
Posts: 885
Registered: ‎07-07-2005

MYSTERY - What does the word UNGOWA mean?

in reply to renomarvinm
In the simple land of the jungle, animals don’t have extended vocabularies. Lions roar, snakes hiss, elephants trumpet, dogs bark (so on and so forth ;-) In other words, “ungowa” means different things depending on how and where it’s said. It can be used to calm animals, or call them to battle. It can mean good or bad, hello or goodbye. It means whatever Tarzan wants it to mean, at any given moment (similar to the lanquage spoken by president bush ;-).
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