1580-90; compare Gullahnyam,Jamaican Englishnyaams,Srananjamsi < sources in one or more West African languages (compare Wolofnyam(nyam), Fulani nyami to eat, Twiεnãm flesh, ànyinam, ayam’kàw-dé kinds of yam; earlier E forms < Portugueseinhame or Spanish (i)ñame
1588, from Port. inhame or Sp. igname, from a W.African language (cf. Fulani nyami "to eat;" Twi anyinam "species of yam"); the word in Amer.Eng. and in Jamaican Eng. is probably directly borrowed from W.African sources.