Ayo

What happens to Ayọ or Ayo. if the dot goes missing and it becomes simply Ayo ?

According to Ayọ in earlier interviews [1] [2] and most references on the internet (including early Wikipedia article for Ayo.) Ayo without a dot should mean onion in Yoruba.

However, a check in the available online dictionaries of the Yoruba language revealed that firstly the word for onion is àlùbösà (yorubadictionary.com) and secondly it seems the word Ayo (without a dot) doesn't exist at all.

On 27. August 2007 an anonymous user replaced on the Wikipedia page the text "Ayọ or Ayo. (with a dot below or behind – without it, it would mean ''onion'')" with "Ayọ or Ayo. (with a dot below or behind – without it, it would refer to a pitted board game popular among the Yorubas)" (see history page).

An Yoruba speaking editor (Demmy) at the Wikipedia in the Yoruba language confirmed that "Ayò (without the dot on o) does indeed mean game (any type of game; not just the pitted board game referred to by the anonymous). "Àlùbọ́sà" is the yoruba word for onion. Ayọ̀ (with the dotted o) of course mean joy or joyful.".

As the article Ayo: The Yoruba Game Board indicates Ayo without dot means a specific board game or board game in general in Yoruba. This BBC site explains the rules of the game.

In a recent interview at the SWR3 NEW POP FESTIVAL Ayọ mentions that a cousin of hers told her that Ayo does indeed not mean 'onion' in Yoruba.

And at this interview at the same festival she says about her name: „Ohne Punkt ist es der Name eines nigerianischen Brettspiels“. During an appearance on the German TV talk show "latenight" on 7.10.2007 she explains this also in more detail.

Sources
1. Interview on bonus DVD of the Deluxe Edition of her album Joyful