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 on the person, saying, “You’ve made the right choice to use a 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.
The author, Lillie Marshall, is 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 4.2 million readers have now visited this site. Lillie also runs TeachingTraveling.com and DrawingsOf.com. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media!