Idiosyncratic usage

Farming is often referred to as digging, and fields under cultivation, even large ones, may be referred to as gardens.

When giving directions, the following expressions are common: to slope means driving in a particular direction (not necessarily downhill); to branch means turning left or right.

A building labeled hotel in a small town is likely to be a restaurant.

save-dee is someone who has found God, often referred to in other English-speaking countries as being saved.

The word lost is used to mean that you haven’t seen the person in a long time. One would say “Eeeh, but you are lost.”

Children whose fathers are brothers are considered siblings in most African societies. The English word cousin conflates them with the children of a maternal uncle or those of aunts, who in a patrilineal society belong to a different clan. Thus the terms cousin brother or cousin sister, used to identify the “close” cousins.

Excerpts from the Wikipedia entry on Ugandan English. Hat tip to Jason Stearns.

If I had time, I would add that someone does not “pick you up” from the airport (or wherever), but rather they simply “pick you”. And if you ask them to “pick you up”, there is a chance that they will arrive in a pickup truck and look askance at you when you exit with carry-on luggage only.

I’m not so surprised at the existence of the article but the depth. There are some committed enthusiasts here.

One of my favorite exercises is translating a survey into the vernacular. You learn a lot. I could write volumes on Liberian English, which no one has done so far.