Posted by Tom Conley on October 24, 2003
I notice that the word "Jamboree" shows up in dictionary lists as having unknown origin. I'd like to venture a guess... and see what anyone thinks:
The origin must have originated with Robert Baden-Powell, who was the founder of the Boy Scouts. Baden-Powell lived in Kenya, East Africa. I recall hearing stories of how he admired the "native" Africans, and some of the Boy Scout traditions originated from African tribes.
Any way... the Swahili word for "hello" is "jambo". A "jamboree" is certainly a gathering of people all saying "hello" or "jambo" to each other.
Has anyone heard this before?