• synonyms


  1. a member of a population of black Americans inhabiting the Sea Islands and the coastal regions of South Carolina, Georgia, and northeastern Florida.
  2. a creolized form of English spoken by the Gullahs, containing many words and grammatical features derived from African languages.
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Origin of Gullah

1730–40; of uncertain origin; variously identified with Angola or the Gola, a Liberian ethnic group
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for gullah

Historical Examples

  • (in her deep feeling and excitement she lapsed into Gullah).

    Slave Narratives Vol. XIV. South Carolina, Part 2

    Works Projects Administration

  • This is simply "gullah" negro talk intended to be unintelligible, and therefore impressive.

    Nights With Uncle Remus

    Joel Chandler Harris

  • Gullah Jack eluded the search of the police until July 5th, when he too was struck by the huge slave asp.

  • Gullah Jack was regarded as a sorcerer, and as such feared by the natives of Africa, who believe in witchcraft.

  • Ten days later Gullah Jack suffered death on the gallows also.

British Dictionary definitions for gullah


  1. plural -lahs or -lah a member of a Negroid people living on the Sea Islands or in the coastal regions of South Carolina, Georgia, and NE Florida
  2. the creolized English spoken by these people
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for gullah


"of or pertaining to blacks on the sea-islands of Georgia and South Carolina," 1739 (first attested as a male slave's proper name), of uncertain origin. Early 19c. folk etymology made it a shortening of Angola (homeland of many slaves) or traced it to a W. African tribal group called the Golas.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper