>Kiss My Teeth or Sounds with Meanings in Africa

> Alleluia!

I had wanted to write about how as a process of me learning Twi I have now gotten to the non-verbal sounds used commonly here in Ghana. One sound in particular is very useful.

But how do I describe a sound on my blog? Recording it and posting a sound clip is out, ‘cos I don’t master it quite yet – its really difficult!

But then today, there (facebook) it was: In Writing. Now you might understand what I am talking about:

KMT = kiss my teeth aka tsuos aka tweeeeee(sound) aka the sound African people make when they are angry

It seems the sound I was talking about is called “kiss my teeth”: although my Ghanaian husband had not heard that name, but “tsuos” or “tweee” sounds about right. But I think “angry” doesn’t really cover it – its more close to extreme disappointment, grave nonsense and deep mistrust. Effectively used, it can even be a potent insult.

Often used about a (useless) person:
– As for that thief, *tsuos*

Or to correct a child:
– Did I not tell you to stop doing that five times already? Hm, *tweeeeee*

Or to stress an (upsetting) occurrence, as the Facebooker in question describes:
– they dont give plastic bags in that shop, nonsense i forced her to give it to me KMT

In the pic, my young friend is attempting the sound. – What? I have to stop playing with my toys and go shower? KMT!

According to comments on this post this is not an African sound per se, but also common in the West Indies, South America etc. I was also informed that Guyana Gyal posted on the same topic years ago here, she also added a useful manual on how to do it!

To suck you teeth, you got to pout you lips in a li’l pout, clench you top and bottom teeth close, close. Push the tip o’ you tongue against you teeth. Suck in air. Stchuuuuu….when you want to finish close you lips…uuup.

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