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Do’s and Don’ts of Ghanaian English

Ghana’s official language may be English, but be prepared for looks of utter shock if you take certain words here in Ghana for their American meanings!

Here’s a handy guide of Do’s and Don’ts for a few Ghanaian phrases to keep you out of jail.

1.) “Flash me.”

DON’T: Yank up your shirt, wiggling your bare chest and screaming, “Throw me some Mardi Gras beads, baby!”

DO: Call the person on their cell phone.

2.) “Give me a dash.”

DON’T: Sprint away from the person at top speed, hollering: “Eat my dust, tortoise!”

DO: Give the person a tip for their services. (Or, if they actually did nothing to merit appreciation pay and are just trying to get money, don’t give them anything!)

3.) “Do you have a rubber?”

DON’T: Throw a pile of Durex condoms on the person, saying, “You’ve made the right choice to use a STD and birth control method!”

DO: Politely hand the person a plastic bag for their belongings.

4.) A phrase that sounds a lot like: “Ma boner”

DON’T: Take the phrase for what it sounds like in American English and slap the person in the face.

DO: Know that the person is kindly informing you in the Ewe language that they will be over soon to meet you.

5.) “TSSSSSSSS!” (powerful hissing noise)

DON’T: Leap onto a table to hide from oncoming snakes. Also, don’t accuse the person of trying to scare you through cobra impersonations.

DO: Understand that the man or woman is asking you to please come closer to them to discuss something.

Isn’t the evolution of language in different countries a wonderful thing? Stay tuned for more updates!

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