chale ghanaian pidgin
Image via TimeOut Accra

Your ultimate Guide to Ghanaian Pidgin

Love Ghanaian Pidgin, Here’s a pidginary to help you understand what the hell Ghanaians are saying online. These are phrases you’ll hear different young Ghanaians using. These terms are best understood depending on the context they’re used.


Do not spell this as Charlie. It is use to refer to anyone.

Sample Sentence

Charle, charle come here!


public transportation

Sample Sentence

My apple fell in the troski


name of the bus conductor in the troski

Sample Sentence

the driver and mate i came with were arrested for wrong parking.


This means to go out. Used differently – kmt for der – it means fuck off.

No Yawa

no problem


This is a typical Nigerian dilution of an English word, It means “I beg “


meaning rubbish or trash


this is typically used to refer to someone who has been outside the country, more specifically, outside Africa


meaning is gangster or s street boy/girl


this means to defraud someone/ trick someone


refers to cigar or in some cases weed


local name for food. It can also be used as a sign of exasperation


This is pronounced horng and means hungry.

Sample Sentence

Chale you chop? I dey hung roff. // Chale, have you eaten? I’m very hungry.


This is both a verb and a noun. It means to apply a fragrance (as a verb) and also perfume, fragrance (as a noun)


While we’re on the subject of smells, Toss in Ghanaian Pidgin means smell. To say someone stinks, you can just say, that guy dey toss. A synonym for this is Mell which as you can guess it’s just shortened from Smell. Ingenious right?


This is both noun and verb. It means clothes (as a noun) and to wear clothes (as a verb). It can also be used to describe a well dressed person.


This means to wear. Kick is also used in the same way, although it’s also used generally to refer to sneakers/shoes.


This means beautiful.


This means night and is derived from Ga, the native language of Accra.


This means near.


This means to open.


This means plenty.


This means right now.


This means trousers.


a sound to express shock or disbelief

Sample Sentence

Herh! If I catch you.

By Heart

this means recklessly.

Sample Sentence

He doesn’t think, he always act by heart/ he doesn’t think he always acts recklessly.


an exaggerating term, excluding something or someone; making it/them stand out

Sample Sentence

You don’t want anything here, as for you dier.


Not to be confused with the Joseph Kosinski directed sci-fi movie, or the Justin Sun cryptocurrency. Tron in Ghanaian pidgin mostly means hard or strong.


This is very likely derived from strong based on spelling and pronunciation. Think strong, trong, tron. Do you see it? Or are we reaching?

It can also be used to mean wicked. You’re wicked in most Ghanaian languages translates directly into your head is hard. For instance, in Ewe, you’d say “ta gbor s3s3” and in Twi, “woti ye din”.

Sample Sentence

The guy tron oooooo.


This means to understand.

Sample Sentence

She teaches very well, I always barb the work/ she teaches very well, I always understand the work.


This means to steal. Used as a noun and verb. It can also mean to ‘blow my mind’

Sample Sentence

The small boy bost my slippers/ the small boy stole my slippers. Your girlfriend really dey bost my mind/ your girlfriend really blows my mind away.


This means to remember or to recognize.

Sample Sentence

You dey kai where we go last time? // Do you remember where went the last time?


This means to resemble.


to visit

Sample Sentence

I go vee the woman/ I went to visit the woman


term for medicine


This means to be mad.

Sample Sentence

the girl make I vex/ the girl has made me angry

E Over Me

This means to be overwhelmed.

Sample Sentence

Chale this job dey over me. // Chale, this job is overwhelming.


This is pretty universal and not unique to Ghana. Dough means money. Much like Bread, Cheese and other slang terms used to describe money.