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Borrowed from Guyanese Creole English kangalang;[1][2] further etymology unknown.



kangalang (plural kangalangs)

  1. (Guyana) A ruffian; also, an unprincipled person.
    • 1984, Reynold A. Burrowes, The Wild Coast: An Account of Politics in Guyana, Cambridge, Mass.: Schenkman Pub. Co., →ISBN, pages 48–49:
      The NDP [National Democratic Party] represented the older generation of nationalists who considered the PPPs [People's Progressive Party] a bunch of "kangalangs" (rowdies) who were damaging the respectability they had fought for and built up over many years with the British.
    • 1995, Guyana Review, Georgetown, Guyana: Cosmopolitan Communications Corporation, ISSN 1021-6448, OCLC 1131656676, page 31:
      She is jobless, a burden to her mother, caught up in child-rearing and spends the rest of her time crying over the ‘kangalang’ who abandoned her and her child.
    • 1998, Hazel M. Woolford, “Women in Guyanese Politics, 1812–1964”, in Winston F. McGowan, James G. Rose, and David A[rthur] Granger, editors, Themes in African-Guyanese History, London; Hertford, Hertfordshire: Hansib Publications, published 2009, →ISBN, page 345:
      The editor of the Guiana Times described these women as a ‘Kangalang’ Party – consisting of domestics and market hucksters. Undoubtedly, the editor of this journal held the position that the Party's base was the working-class women, who in his opinion were not suitably qualified to assume leadership roles in the Government.
    • 2011 October 27, Helena Martin, “1957–58 Middle Road, La Penitence”, in Walk Wit’ Me ...: All Ova Guyana, Bloomington, Ind.: Balboa Press, Hay House, →ISBN, section 13 (The Backdam was Forbidden Territory), page 133:
      My brothers got away one day and followed the kangalangs (ruffians) to the backdam, but they made the mistake of coming home soaking wet after swimming in the canal.
    • 2017 December 16, Ken Danns, “Kangalangs in Parliament”, in Sunday Chronicle[2], number 105129, Georgetown, Guyana: Guyana National Newspapers, published 17 December 2017 (print edition), OCLC 19729997, archived from the original on 12 November 2019, page 9, column 1:
      The legislative arm of the Government of Guyana has seemingly been taken over by Kangalangs. Kangalangs are uncivil persons who have no regard for the norms of an institution, group or social gathering and act to deliberately create disarray in their environments, in such manner as to disrupt normal functioning.
    • 2020 October 20, Lincoln Lewis, “Freddie [Kissoon] is obsessed with black men and women [letter]”, in Sharmain Grainger, editor, Kaiteur News[3], Georgetown, Guyana: National Media & Publishing Company, archived from the original on 28 November 2020, page 6, column 4:
      Anything that needed investigation was the lies and distortions told by a kangalang like him, who have no regard for the integrity of the vote but wanted a specific outcome, at any cost.


  1. ^ Harold A. Bascom (2015), “KANGALANG”, in 101 Words that Tell You’re Guyanese, Loganville, Ga.: Laughing Palette, →ISBN, part I.
  2. ^ “Talk the Guyanese Creole Way”, in Sunday Times Magazine[1], [Georgetown, Guyana: Guyana Times Pub. Co.], 24 April 2016, page 2, column 4:
    Still in use is the Guyanese noun "kangalang" that [Richard] Allsopp describes as a "good-for-nothing, ne'er do well person", guaranteed to cause derisive laughter from everyone but the person being called such. According to Harold Bascom in his "101 words that tell you're a Guyanese" (2015), a "kangalang" is how Guyanese may describe "a male with a reputation of a streetfighter… a bad man". You can't miss the extreme variation in meaning there.