Things UMEME has added to our vocabulary

Every other day we come up with a new expletive to use when referring to the entity charged with keeping our homes and work-places lit. Be that as it may, the baby is being thrown out with the bath water. In all this, we never stop to thank heavens for the amazing words the current powerless situation has added to our vocabulary.


Pronunciation: /pawa-hp(ə)ing/


Move from house to house in search of power. The act is done by individuals when power leaves their home. Those with power are obliged by an unwritten law to blare from pricy speakers the song ‘I’ve got the power’ by Snap! so that their unlucky powerless friends can seek refuge .

Usage: Hey Nansikombi, I’m not home now. I’m out with friends, power-hopping

Origin: Early 21st century, of a former British colony origin; possibly from the root phrase ‘bar-hopping’ which means ‘to move from bar to bar while drinking every bit of bottled fermented fruit that available money can buy’.



Pronunciation: /pawa-n^p/


Sleep off the dark hours at home. Usually done from 06:00PM when power goes off to the next morning.

Usage: Richard, why are you so vibrant and super-charged?

Hey man, I power-napped last night.



Pronunciation: /fl^ir-ayan/


Hurriedly iron clothes for work or school before power goes off. Much as it can be done several hours in advance, the adrenaline-rush that comes from doing it five minutes before 06:00 AM, all the while looking at one’s watch, is cited as the leading cause of the act.

Usage: Bosco, I’m going to have to call you back. I’m flair-ironing right now






Pronunciation: /mun-eit/


Eat in the dark when power goes off. Common foods consumed this way include, but aren’t restricted to; sausages, pizza, sim sim balls, roast groundnuts, smoked fish, spaghetti, millet, rice and sometimes chicken.

Usage: Sorry boss, I know I owe you work but I cannot talk right now, I’m moon-eating. I promise I’ll call you back


Pronunciation: /baebuja/

Vulgar slang

  1. Expletive used, away from children, when power goes off


  1. An unfaithful phone battery that doesn’t last more than one-day yet power is on only once in three days.

Usage: I’m sorry Priscilla, it’s not that I don’t love you and can’t call you often enough; it is just that my battery is a babooja

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