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Nigerian statesman wearing a kufi


Probably from Arabic كُوفِيَّة(kūfiyya, keffiyeh), perhaps via Swahili kofia (hat), though some sources suggest a connection to Yoruba fìlà (cap).


kufi (plural kufis)

  1. A type of brimless, rounded cap associated with various African nations or ethnicities.
    • 2008 March 2, George Vecsey, “The Primary Season Is Embracing Sports Images”, in New York Times[1]:
      Whenever Brown shows up, wearing his African kufi and confronting issues, I find myself nodding vigorously, for old-time’s sake.
  2. A type of close-fitting cap worn by some Muslims.
    • 2009, Nawar Shora, The Arab-American Handbook: A Guide to the Arab, Arab-American & Muslim Worlds[2], page 82:
      However, do not assume because the person appears to be conservative (e.g., a woman wearing a head scarf or a man wearing a skull cap or kufi) that the person does not shake hands.

See also[edit]




Borrowed through Vulgar Latin from Latin confīnis.


kufi m (indefinite plural kufinj, definite singular kufiri, definite plural kufinjtë)

  1. border, confines, limit

Derived terms[edit]