Thursday, July 14, 2005


Pidgin is defined as “a simplified form of speech that is usually a mixture of two or more languages, has a rudimentary grammar and vocabulary, is used for communication between groups speaking different languages, and is not spoken as a first or native language.” There are different forms of pidgin from Jamaica, to Hawaii, to Singapore, and even Ghana.

My first experience with Pidgin English would be in Singapore. Being in an international boarding school I did not get enough exposure to local Singaporeans. So my first hit was from the kitchen manager, Mr. Ho. He would say to my friend, “You take so much food waa. Thas why you so braady fat!” Then of course there was a group called the Copy Cat Clan I think. They were like Weird Al but totally Singlish. It was hilarious. We would stay up nights listening to that crap on Walkman. Why you so lie dat?

Hawaii also has more than its fair of Pidgin. During my first semester there I got on a bus heading out to a Green Day concert. It was pretty crowded and this local chick standing next to me kept staring at me. She was not huge fat but she looked like she could kick my ass pretty good. Even though she had a pretty face, she was built like a boxer. So she says to me, “You go to the Green Day concert?” in that real sing song way. And I say, “Yeah”. And she asks, “What time its go pow?” I was fucking BLUR! What the hell did that mean? So I said, “Uhhh, what?” And she repeated here self real loud this time. I was pretty intimidated so I stood there with my mouth half open. She asked, ‘Are you okay? I askin what time yo concert gon finish cuz”. I just said I’m not sure and stared at the floor the rest of the trip back.

Having grown up in Ghana we tended to speak Pidgin amongst friends and this banter was usually quite funny. Until today when I drive, I express my road rage in Pidgin. Personally, I was not allowed to use pidgin at home or in school but it always found its way to the play ground. Amongst friends we still speak in pidgin and constantly take the piss out of one another. On this blog you may sometimes see words you might not understand in the postings and more regularly in the comments. I asked some friends for input to put together a list of pidgin from Ghana.

Kwassya - Foolish (or is it stupid) Bobbies - Boobs (ha ha) Botos - Ass
Cottee - DickAshao - WhoreThotho - Vageena (aka vagina) Jack - Erection
Gnashing – Chilling
Flower – Girl
Nyanya - Air condition
Chenchema - Poor quality
Bush - many meanings, mainly...unrefined
Correts - That's Right
Chale - Orginally "charlie" - dude, man
Chop – Eat
Fitta – Engineer
U-Ass – America
Obroni – White person
Brofo – Abroad/Foreigner
Shege-lege – Awesome
Sekil – Round about.
Sweet me – Serves you right
Boga – Try hard/wanna be
Rap – Chat up sexually
Brodda – Brother
Chook - Tease

Thanks Ro and Amit.


mogs said...

Always wikid to hook up with some broddas and tear pidgin small be so?

But chale, where I de for Ghana top last year, mennas de bash latest slangs oh...heh...i be old school chale...

Here are some popular ones too...

Tear - one of the meanings - fock
Your modda - your mother
Your fadda - your father
Wab - mercedes benz
Morrow - tomorrow...

until morrow...laters

AmitD said...

how bout Rishi's most famous one... I go catch am where e go shissstssss!!!
Blow man - hero in a movie
Cho - eat... "what you want cho"
Setthe (Saytthhay) - you got tricked
soolya - when they pass the ball between your legs they say "soolya!!"
gboinnss! - when somebody asks you a question and you act bush and say "what?" they say gboiinnss!!!! to show you that you are bush and that you should say "Pardon?"

haha lovin it!

ival said...

Your face!!

Dont forget that one brah!!
Ro always says your face and I always say your head right after he says it. Means the same thing...just that one is from Ghana and one form Singapore.

mogs said...

thas right Lavi...

how could i forget that one?

tarun said...

u sabbi? - do u understand?

Anonymous said...

wat does waka shege mean?