"DEHN - YAH"
IPA: /dɛnja/ (pl. /dɛnjalu/)
girl child, daughter (noun, term of address)
This word is a compound of the Yammaninke word den and the ending yaa (a shortened form of yaxare or yaare, meaning 'woman') added to a term of address to make it feminine.
This word and its masculine equivalent (denke) are often used to address young people. It is generally considered polite when used to address someone younger than the speaker. However, when used to address someone of similar age or older than the speaker, it is considered disrespectful and condescending.
Real World Origins:
The word den comes from the shared Maninka and Bambara word of the same meaning and pronunciation. The Maninka and Bambara word for 'girl child' or 'daughter' is denmuso, a compound of den and the word for 'woman' muso.