The Imported Ghanaian

- part 2

Brush up on yer lingo

Oh, come on, if you had bothered to take notice of anything on the 'Akwaaba People' page, you would already know that Ghanaians never mean what they say, which is not the same as lying.

It just occured to me that you have no clues as to how to pronounce our Twi words and phrases. Sorry, but you are on your own, but hey, you're making an effort and that's what counts. More importantly, many of
us will have a good laugh as you butcher phrase after phrase. Being the type who rarely say what we mean,
we will smile and tell you you're doing well and on the way to becoming a fully fledged Ghanaian. We're lying of course, but at least it'll make you feel good.

Now, for those of you who are not ready to take the Twi leap just yet, how about some pidgeon English to ease you into things? . . . Don't worry, I promise you, the insults will come right after this. Scout's honour.

ghanaian English


Abeg: (I beg) Please

Aben wo aha: It's ready! The singer Daddy Lumba's 1999 album was called this and the photo had him pointing to his crotch. (Make of it what you will.)

Afro Moses: Shoes made from car tyes; Very Cheap

Akpeteshie: Locally brewed achohol; made from palm wine; aka: Apio, Ogogro, Hot

Apio: akpeteshie, or locally distilled rum

Apuskeleke : Tight fitting clothes; Girls that like to wear tight fitted clothes which displays their shape/curves.
Some Ghanaians use the words to describe the Britney Spears-inspired western clothing worn by many women in Accra, and others use it as a term of affection. Yelling "Hey, Abus!" seems to be the equivalent of "Hey, you look hot tonight.

Ashawo: Prostitute; another term is Two-two

Aswe: I Swear

Attache: Someone always following people when he/she hasn't been INVITED

Aunty: Any older female. Used when first name terms not appropriate

Azaaman: Dubious person - wo ye azaa paaaa! - You are dubious character (often said in a joking manner)


Bad belle: Jealousy

Belle: Stomach

Battle Commander: Bulky Mobile/Cell phone

Betweener: One who assists to win a woman's heart for another

Big-man: 1) Rich and well connected man 2) Man in position of authority

Bla: Bro; Brother; sign of respect for an elderly male

Bleddyfool: Bloody Fool

Boss - names for friends or when addressing someone

Bottom Power: Favouritism towards a female lover; Sleeping one´s way to success

Bread: Money

Burgur: (prononced BOU-GA) Ghanaian living Abroad.
This word originated from the word Hambuger, i.e. a resident of the German city Hamburg

Bushman: Illiterate, uncivilized person


Carbon copy - Exact copy or similar to something i.e "Eii Kwame! See im face. Na real carbon copy of im papa."

Chacha: Gambling

Chale: Friend, pal, buddy

Chale Wote: Rubber bathroom slippers. "Wote" in the Ga language means "let's go."

Chao: plenty

Choos: Food

Chop-money: Daily, Weekly or monthly house keeping allowance from Husband to wife

Chin-chin-ga: Kebab; Small pieces of grilled meat strung on a stick

Chisel: A cheat (a miser)

Chopbar: Local Restaurant

Chrife: Born again Christian

Cocaine Benz: Hummer Jeep

Coke and Fanta: A person who has bleaced their skin and still has dark spots on their skin

Colo: Old fashioned. Derived from the word Colonial

Comot: 1) Come out. 2) Get away! - Comot for here! 3) Excuse me - Comot road make I pass.

Correct: Very good. i.e Di bobo na correct guy, o ye fine paa


Doe: Money

Don't Touch Me: Cheap soap

Dope-fine: Good

Dotcom: (.com) email. Eg. Dot commi me . . . - mail me at . . .


Face-the-wall: Konkonte; Lapiwa; Locally made food from Cassava. For unknown reasons, people who eat it outside hide from passerbys by facing the wall

Feeli Feeli: Crystal Clear; live; with the naked eye. E.g. If he were to meet me feeli feeli it would not be pleasant

Flash: Calling somebody's mobile phone, without waiting for him/her to answer. i.e signalling using a mobile phone

Filla :Latest news


Gerraway: Go away

Ghana Must Go / GMG: Chequered nylon bags mostly used by traders when travelling. Name originated in Nigeria when during the 80s Nigeria expulsed Ghanaians from Nigeria. The nylon bags that many Ghanaians used to hurried leave are referred to as Ghana must go

Gnashing: Without a girlfriend

Gowayou: Go away you


HIPIC Junction: The junction near the Tetteh Quashie roundabout which leads to the private home of Ex-President Kufuor.

HIPIM/W: highly indebted poor man/woman

Hotman: someone under (intense) pressure


I Swear God: Shoes with the tips pointing upwards(as in facing God)

Ironboy: Up and coming youth who feels on top of the world. 2) Feeling too big in ones shoes


Jantra: Prostitute

JJC: Johnny Just Come; A villager in a city

John: Naive person

Jollof: Rice cooked with stew in the same bowl

Jot: Cigarette; Short girl

Joseph: Cat Meat

Joss: To give a wedgy; held in such a way as to have your underpants wedge in the butt crease. 2) To use something to hold up or hold together something else


Kaakaamotobi: Masquerader

Kai: implying disgust

Kalabule: Unethical Business Practice

Kankama: Backbiting, or discrediting somebody because of envy / jealousy

Kapuepue: Short Person

Kaya: see Wee; Porter

Kayayee: Female Porter

Ke Ba Shoo: an locally produced alcoholic beverage

Kelewele: A delicacy prepared from ripe plantain, well seasoned with ginger, chilli, cloves and fried in hot oil to give it a mouth-watering flavour. (Ghana's original fast food)
Kenkey: Fermented maize meal traditionally prepared by boiling balls of mixed portions of fermented cooked maize meal and raw maize dough wrapped in cornhusk. Another type called FANTI KENKEY, which is popular in the central and western regions of Ghana, is similarly prepared but wrapped in leaves cut from the plantain/banana tree. These are able to keep for a few days to a week. Can also be taken as pulp similar to oatmeal.

Keta School Boys: Small sized herrings

Knockout: Fire crackers

Koti: Police

Kowtow: Bowing and scrapping.

Kululu: see Kalabule

Kwaku brokeman: Roasted ripe plantain with groundnuts (another Ghanaian fast food)

Kwasea panin - Big fool

KVIP - public toilet (Don't even think of using them, it's an experience no one deserves)


LAFA: Locally Acquired Foreign Accent - it afflicts many Ghanaian - especially, when in the vicinity of Osu - when they come into contact with Obronis (white people.)

Langa-Langa: Cutlass

Lapour: too known

Look-me-look-London: Person with a squint in the eye

Lungulungu: Hidden, scary place


Massa: Master

Ma Tricki Wo: or Matrix 1)Locally made shoe 2) A guy who from a distance appears handsome but up close is no such thing

Maye Hot: I am in trouble (I make hot)

Megyina-abontin-na-me-kasa: Mobile phone

Morrow: Tomorrow

Mugu Yaro: Haircut

Mungo-Park: To wear shoes without socks


Ngozi: Fat person


Obi-ti-yie: A seat beside the driver of a bus/tro-tro

Obolo: Fat person

Obroni : A white person; A foreigner

Obroni waawu: Second Hand clothing. (literal translation: The whiteman is dead)

Ogogoro: see Akpeteshie

Opia: Short Person

Opooman: Cheat

Otto-Pfister: The fashion pulling shorts or trousers down to hang loosely around the buttocks

Oxford: Baggy trousers with high flap and curved pockets

Oyiwa: There you are


Padi: Friend

Panin de Panin: Pure water (water sold in plastic sachets)

Pikin: baby / child

Pimpinii: Fashionable pants/trousers worn high above the waist

Pocket Lawyer: refers to a person, who even though has no legal training, bullies friends with legal terminologies at the least provocation. Such a person leads local debates, serves as a information centre and confuses most listeners.


Quataah: nothing is left, finished or empty. Probably from the word quarter of one divided into four parts in mathematics.


Red Red: Fried plantain and beans

Remote Control: Juju; Black magic

Riffa: Marijuana


Sabi: To know - "I sabi" means I know

Sakora: (sometime pronounced as Saloka) Totally shaved head; baldhead

Sankofa: An Akan adinkra symbol meaning ‘looking back to move forward.’

Shito: Spices/hot pepper

Skin Pain: 1) Malice. 2) Player hater.

Sopi: Left over food: derived from the word Surplus

Sopiboys: (used in schools) Boys who rummage plates for left over food

Sound: A Slap. - Eg. I go ‘sound’ you

Spat: Sleep

Split: Leave, Escape, Go. Eg. I dey split - I'm leaving

Supi: Lesbianism

Susu: Voluntary informal saving schemes; It plays an important role in providing working capital for micro-enterprises in the informal sector

Swine: Despicable/Obnoxious person


Tatale: Flat chested woman

Trotro A crowded, but efficient and inexpensive, minibus used for short distance travel.
Origin - It evolved from the Ga language word "TRO" meaning three pence, that is, the penny coins that were in use in the colonial days of the Gold Coast, now Ghana. Those vehicles charged each passenger three pence per trip, hence it was dubbed 'Tro- tro'

Toli: Anecdote; Originally, a bold-faced lie. Now used also to mean a rumor or a humorous version of a real event.

Too-Known : A know-all; A braggart

Tok: An un-intelligent person / Fool

Touch: Crazy, Mad. Eg. "You dey touch" - "Are you crazy?" You dey craze!

Tunabu: Tight bottom or pointy trousers

Tweaaa: 'Oh, please!'


Vamuse: go away, run


Wabenzy: Mercedes Benz

Waakye: Black eye pea/beans and Rice with hot chilli saurce

Walantuwalansa: Odd jobs

Walk-alone: Without a girlfriend

Watonkyeni: A locally designed bus

Wee: Indian hemp/Marijuana

Wetin? : What i.e "Wetin you dey do?"

World War II: Re-sitting an exam.

Womando: Acts and omissions usually done by women if they want to be pampered.


Yankee: USA

YessaMassa: Yes Sir, Master

insults / other confrontational phrases

Ghanaians - being the sensitive so-and-sos that we are - need very little to feel offended. It doesn't take much for us to get our knickers in a royal twist though we love throwing insults at each other at the drop of a hat. Words that are considered mild elsewhere take serious meaning here, which means you can upset us with ease.



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