Swahili just like any other language is choke full of some slang words which could be in Swahili or a foreign language, particularly English. Having been away from home for quite a bit, I am in no way, shape or form an expert when it comes to the latest slang in the streets of Dar & Nairobi so I’ll just go with what I remember as someone suggested talking about slang words once in a while. Slang in Kenya is called ‘Sheng’ while in TZ it is called ‘lugha ya mtaani’= street language.
I’ll basically mix up Kenyan & Tanzanian slang and hopefully I won’t be telling you slang words used 10 years ago and you end up embarrassing yourself! So let’s just hope you are in good hands 😉 For this ‘first edition,’ so to speak, let’s talk money…
- Jero (pronounced ‘jelo‘)- TSH 500
- Buku (or buku moja)- TSH 1000
- (you can also say buku mbili, buku tatu…….etc)
- Mapene/ Mshiko/ Mkwanja– money (TZ)
- Chapaa/ Niado– money (KNY)
- Kobole/ Ngovo– KSH 5
- Ashuu– KSH 10
- Pound/ Mbao/ Blue– KSH 20
- Finje– KSH 50
- Soo/ Red– KSH 100
- (you can also say ‘soo moja’, ‘soo mbili’, ‘soo tatu’…etc)
- Thao/ G/ Ngiri/ K– KSH 1000
As my vocabulary is very limited in this area, feel free to share whatever you know via the comment section and I will be sure to update this post with it.