[Books & Culture, September-October 2005]
Ungawa! Tarzan's timber-rattling call defies transcription, so we'll fall back on this all-purpose locution to salute this fine new box set of MGM's six Tarzan films. Ungawa is the perfect choice whenever you can't think of the right thing to say. It appears to mean Come here, Go away, Look out, Jump, and There's a cobra behind you. Just think how a sharply enunciated "Ungawa!" could clear a Starbucks when you don't want to wait in line.
However, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan's inventor, did not write "Ungawa."