User talk:Wakuria/Kenyan English
Bhang/ bangi - marijuana
billion - as in the UK this officially means a million million. Nowadays the American usage (one billion is one thousand million) is almost exclusively used.
biscuit - same as tea biscuit
bonnet - hood of a car
brinjal - eggplant (from Portuguese berinjela, also used in Indian English) Known as biriganya in Kiswahili.
bundu – (slang) a wilderness region, remote from cities . Same as in
call - when someone says that they will "call" this typically means that they will make a telephonic call, not visit in person, phone and (less commonly) ring are also used.
candy floss - as in Britain this is used for
cotton candy chang’aa – cheap and illegal alcohol with an extremely high alcohol content. It is made from various ingredients which can include methanol, antifreeze, and has been known to cause blindness and death.
chang’aa den - illegal drinking establishment.
chemist - besides meaning a scientist specializing in chemistry the term is also used for a pharmacist and for a
drugstore (short for chemist shop in the latter case) chips - used for french fries
chop – intelligent person (probably outdated)
costume - besides meaning attire worn to a dress-up party/play it also refers to a bathing suit (short for "swimming costume" or "bathing costume"), sometime abbreviated cossie
crisps - potato crisps are what Americans refer to as
dam - used to mean a water reservoir
dhania - coriander known in the US as
cilantro doolah/ dwanzie – stupid person (probably outdated)
flat - as in Britain this is used for an apartment
Form -besides other meanings referred to a school grade for secondary school. Currently there are Forms 1-4. Followed by University.
football - typically refers to
globe - as formerly used in Britain, a light bulb.
housegirl(boy) or maid – domestic worker, usually female.
jam - a fruit preserve spread whether containing pieces of fruit or not, never called a jelly in South Africa similar to use in UK
jelly - when referring to food this always means what in American English is called 'jello', ie. a flavoured gelatine dessert never a fruit preserve spread
kamuti - witchcraft (from Kamba muti)
kiosk - refers to a small convenience store usually found in residential areas.
kombi - (slang) a minivan, esp. Volkswagen (from the Volkswagen 'Kombi' van)
lift - as in Britain this is used for an elevator; also used for a ride in another person's vehicle
loo – slang for toilet
main road - what is generally called a high street in Britain
maize – corn
matatu – minivans used for public transportation. They are both a substitute and supplement to public buses.
miti shamba – traditional medicine (herbal medicine)
mushkaki - a kebab on a stick
mutura - traditional sausage usually made with goat or mutton. (from
Parking boy - homeless boys found mostly in the cities. Also abbreviated to ‘parkies’ or chokora – coming from the Kiswahili phrase ‘chokora mapipa’ (scavenges in the rubbish bins). There a many girls found within these groups today hence chokora is more commonly used.
pound – in addition to it’s other uses, in Kenya slang for 20 shillings
rubber - as in Britain, a rubber eraser
samosa – Indian meat samosa, it is rare to find a vegetarian samosa Kenya
shamba boy - a male gardener (of any age). Another vestige of colonialism. The Kiswahili name : ‘mfanyi kazi’ i.e. ‘worker’ is more respectful.
shilling - currency, divided in to 100 cents.
shop - as a noun the same as American store
skive/ skiving - (slang) playing hooky, skipping school/class
spit - as a verb this is only used for the present tense unlike in America where it is also used for the past tense. The form spat is used for the past tense.
standard - besides other meanings referred to a school grade for primary school children. Currently there are Standards 1-8.
sweets - confectionery, candy (singular sweet used for an item of confectionery)
tackies - (slang) sneakers, trainers.
tea room, tearoom - has the same meaning as 'cafe', a corner shop or convenience store
thorn – (slang) ugly person (i.e. thorn in my eye) also thwack (probably outdated)
ugali - the staple food of Kenya made from maize meal. It is somewhat similar to American
grits, and is known as pap in South Africa up-country – refers to the rural areas from where most people have their homes. This is usually where their families are originally from and where their parents/grandparents still reside.
Zebra crossing – pedestrian cross walk.