Word of the Day

Wednesday, September 01, 1999

juju

\JOO-joo\ , noun;
1.
An object superstitiously believed to embody magical powers.
2.
The power associated with a juju.
Quotes:
[David] Robinson, sounding confident and sure, said that the time for juju and magic dust had passed. 'To be honest with you, I think it's beyond that', he said. 'It's very hard to come up with magic at the end'.
-- "Knicks Find There's No Place Like Home", New York Times, June 22, 1999
'You ever heard of juju?'
Skyler shook his head.
'Magic. You talk about this and it'll be the last talkin' you do. You'll just open your mouth and nothin' will come out'.
-- John Darnton, The Experiment
We are told, for example, of the Edo youngster, apparently both Christian and traditionally African in his beliefs, who was heard to mutter 'S.M.O.G.' over and over when he and his companions were threatened by 'bad juju'. When questioned he replied, ''Have you never heard of it? It stands for Save Me O God. When you are really in a hurry, it is quickest to use the initials'.
-- "The Spirits And The African Boy", New York Times, October 10, 1982
On any terminal she is using, a co-worker puts up a sign proclaiming, 'Bad karma go away, come again another day'. When she was pregnant, she said, she crashed her computer twice as often -- she attributes that to a double whammy of woo-woo juju.
-- "Can a Hard Drive Smell Fear?", New York Times, May 21, 1998
Origin:
Juju is of West African origin, akin to Hausa djudju, fetish, evil spirit.
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