Okay, that was a clickbait-y title but hey! We weren’t lying.
We're all addicted to social media, and it's supposed to be where we thrive, laugh a lot, or live vicariously through others' experiences. Have you ever been lazily scrolling through social media and Instagram reels, when suddenly, ooooops! You run into some slang you are unfamiliar with.
We’ve got you! Let us fill you in on some African jargon that is simple to grasp and entertaining to use.
Here are some slangs that Ghanaians are found using:
Chale. While this originally means friend, you’ll often find your Ghanaian friend using it to express disappointment, surprise, happiness or perhaps, anger. You’ll find the emotion in their tone. Be the right judge of it.
Comot. Man, go away. No, we’re not telling you to go away. Go away is what the word means.
If a Ghanaian finds themselves in a problem that they can’t solve, you’ll find them saying, Yawa Dey. Yes, you’re right. It means “there’s a problem.”
Abeg. Take a guess. Of course, this is the word used to say “please.” It’s what you say when you desperately need someone to do something for you.
Dash me. Now you know what to say when you expect someone to come through with a gift!
Let’s move on to another country now... how about Kenya?
Confused? Want to express disapproval or confusion? Ai is your go-to expression.
Nini. Say what? Okay, let’s not confuse you. Nini is what you say when you forget what you were going to say. It’s really just a filler word. For instance, pass me the nini.
If you find someone saying sasa, it’s actually them wondering what you’re up to. Think of it as them asking you what’s up.
When you’re in Kenya and someone says karibu, it’s them welcoming you to their country! And when you need to thank them, just say asante sana.
It’s time to enlighten ourselves with some South African slang now!
Where something is great, say lekker.
If all you need to know is how’s it going, shorten it to howzit.
Shap shap - if you find your South African friend saying this, what they’re telling you is that everything is in shape and just the way it’s supposed to be.
If your friend’s hurt, you’ll find them exclaiming eish!
And when someone tells you I’m dossing, tell them goodnight. They’ve just told you they’re going to sleep.
How could we miss out on some Arabic and Egyptian dialects? Here you go!
If you’re wondering how someone is doing, say Izayak/Izayek (Spellings are different, depending on what gender you’re addressing).
Yalla is quite a versatile word. It can literally mean anything, The meanings change with tonality. It can go from ‘Come on do better, ‘let’s go hurry up’, or ‘go on that’s amazing!’ Context is everything.
And lastly, one of our favourites- Inshallah Kheir! It means god willing everything will be alright (and we know it will be!)
What are some interesting slangs that you know of? Let us know by engaging with us in the comment section of the blog. We’ll catch you with another interesting read next week.