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All Nigerian Slangs And Their Meaning: A Definitive Guide

Nigerian Slangs And Their Meaning: A quick guide to understanding popular Nigerian expressions and phrases.

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All Nigerian Slangs And Their Meaning: A Definitive Guide

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Ready to sound like a local in Nigeria? You’re in the right place. Our guide to Nigerian slangs is like your cool, savvy friend who knows just the right words to use in every situation. Nigeria’s streets are buzzing with slangs that are as fun as they are meaningful, and we’re here to give you the inside scoop.

Whether you’re planning a trip, trying to impress your Nigerian friends, or just curious about the street lingo, we’ve got you covered. We’ll break down the most popular slangs, tell you exactly what they mean, and even show you how to use them. It’s like learning a new language, but way cooler and a lot more fun.

So, let’s dive in and start talking like a Nigerian pro. Trust us, by the end of this guide, you’ll be throwing around slangs like a local and loving every bit of it!

Nigerian Slangs And Their Meaning
All Nigerian Slangs And Their Meaning: A Definitive Guide 80

Why You Need to Know Nigerian Slang

Why You Need to Know Nigerian Slang
All Nigerian Slangs And Their Meaning: A Definitive Guide 81

Knowing Nigerian slang is key to truly experiencing the country’s vibrant culture. It’s not just about words; it’s about connecting with people, understanding jokes, and feeling at home in bustling markets or cozy cafes. It brings you closer to the heart of Nigeria, whether you’re enjoying a Nollywood movie or chatting with locals. Slang reflects the dynamic spirit of Nigeria, keeping you in tune with its evolving culture. In short, it’s your passport to an authentic Nigerian experience.

However, knowing a few Nigerian slang words can be helpful:

  1. Learn more about Nigerian culture.
  2. Talk more openly and express yourself better, especially in Nigeria.
  3. Avoid misunderstandings in conversation.
  4. Get better at speaking everyday Nigerian English.

Top Nigerian Slangs And Their Meaning

Top Nigerian Slangs And Their Meaning
All Nigerian Slangs And Their Meaning: A Definitive Guide 82

These Nigerian slang terms, which have been around for a while and have been impacted by demographic trends, the media, and current affairs, are sure to make you smile or perhaps even blush.

Nigerian Slangs List:

  1. Abi: Isn’t it? or Right?
  2. Jollof: A popular West African rice dish.
  3. Oga: Boss or someone in authority.
  4. No Wahala: No problem.
  5. Wetin: What.
  6. Chop: Eat or enjoy.
  7. Gist: Story or gossip.
  8. Nawa: Expression of surprise, similar to “Wow”.
  9. Yawa: Problem or trouble.
  10. Baffs: Stylish clothes.
  11. Kpomo: Cow skin, often used in dishes.
  12. Oyibo: A term for foreigners, especially white people.
  13. Palava: Trouble or problem.
  14. Sabi: Know or understand.
  15. Waka: Walk or go away.
  16. Yarns: Talk or conversation.
  17. Zobo: A popular Nigerian drink made from hibiscus leaves.
  18. Area Boys: Street-smart local youths.
  19. Belle: Stomach or pregnancy.
  20. Dash: Give or a gift.
  21. E go better: It will be better.
  22. Fashi: Forget it or ignore.
  23. Gbam: Exactly or correct.
  24. How far?: How are you? or What’s up?
  25. I dey: I am fine.
  26. Jara: Extra or bonus.
  27. K-leg: Problem or complication.
  28. Lepa: A slim person.
  29. Maga: A gullible person or victim of a scam.
  30. Naija: Nigeria.
  31. Omo: Child or sometimes used to refer to someone.
  32. Pikin: Child.
  33. Runz: Errands, often implying shady activities.
  34. Shakara: Show off.
  35. Tatafo: Gossip.
  36. Vex: Angry.
  37. Woza: Hit or beat.
  38. Ajebo: A pampered or well-to-do person.
  39. Bodi no be firewood: One is not invincible or tireless.
  40. Correct: Good or awesome.
  41. Dey: To be or exist in a place.
  42. Efizi: Show off.
  43. Fall hand: Disappoint.
  44. Garri: A popular West African food made from cassava.
  45. Hala: Call out or shout.
  46. Igbo: A major ethnic group in Nigeria; also, marijuana.
  47. Johnny Just Come (JJC): A newbie or newcomer.
  48. Katakata: Trouble or chaos.
  49. Levels: Status or class.
  50. Mumu: Fool or simpleton.
  51. Nyash: Buttocks.
  52. Okada: Motorcycle taxi.
  53. Pepper dem: Impress or show off.
  54. Roja: Cheat or swindler.
  55. Sufferhead: Someone who endures hardship.
  56. Toh: Okay or alright.
  57. Wahala: Trouble or problem.
  58. Yansh: Buttocks.
  59. Zanga: Ghetto or slum area.
  60. Agbaya: An irresponsible adult.
  61. Bobo: Boy or guy.
  62. Chikito: A young, attractive girl.
  63. Dada: Natural, nappy hair.
  64. Ehen: An expression of realization.
  65. Fam: Family or close friends.
  66. Gbege: Trouble or problem.
  67. Hammer: To succeed or make it big.
  68. Iyawo: Wife.
  69. Jankara: A cheap or low-quality market.
  70. Kolo: Crazy or insane.
  71. Lamba: Slang or coded language.
  72. Mama Put: A local food vendor.
  73. Nacking: Having sex.
  74. Olosho: A derogatory term for a prostitute.
  75. Pako: Someone who is uncouth or unsophisticated.
  76. Rack: To accumulate or gather.
  77. Sisi: Girl or young woman.
  78. Tori: Story or tale.
  79. Wuru wuru: Trickery or deceit.
  80. Yanga: Pride or show off.
  81. Zonk: To hit or knock out.
  82. Alaye: A street-smart person.
  83. Buga: Boast or show off.
  84. Chop-chop: Quickly or fast.
  85. Danfo: A yellow minibus for public transport.
  86. Ekelebe: Police or law enforcement.
  87. Flex: To enjoy oneself or hang out.
  88. Gidi: Real or authentic.
  89. Hustle: To work hard or struggle to make a living.
  90. Igwe: A term of respect, like ‘king’.
  91. Jasi: To act smart or savvy.
  92. Kpangolo: Junk or useless item.
  93. Lash: To have sex.
  94. Mogbo moya: I heard and came (usually to a party or gathering).
  95. Nack: To give or hit.
  96. Opor: Plenty or abundant.
  97. Paro: Lie or falsehood.
  98. Razz: Local or unsophisticated.
  99. Sort: To bribe or settle.
  100. Tush: Sophisticated or classy.
  101. Ajebutter: A person who is pampered or has lived a life of comfort.
  102. Bad Belle: Jealous or envious person.
  103. Craze: Madness or insanity.
  104. Denge Pose: To stand or pose in a confident manner.
  105. E go land: It will happen or come to pass.
  106. Fall my hand: To disappoint someone.
  107. Gbera: To leave or move quickly.
  108. H-factor: Pronunciation habit where ‘h’ sound is added to words.
  109. I concur: I agree.
  110. Jaguda: A thug or criminal.
  111. Koboko: A whip or cane.
  112. Landlord: A term for someone who is in charge or dominant.
  113. Maga Don Pay: Referring to a scam victim who has paid money.
  114. Next Tomorrow: The day after tomorrow.
  115. Ojuju: A masquerade or something scary.
  116. Padi: Friend or buddy.
  117. Rofo Rofo: Dirty or muddy.
  118. Send Me: Requesting a favor or assistance.
  119. Tight: Close or stingy.
  120. Wuru Wuru to the Answer: Evasive or not straightforward.
  121. Yab: To tease or make fun of.
  122. Zazu: A term indicating something is hot or trending.
  123. Alobam: A loyal friend or companion.
  124. Belleful: Satisfied or full from eating.
  125. Corner-Corner: Doing things in a secretive or dishonest way.
  126. Dodo: Fried plantain.
  127. Ehen na: An expression of agreement.
  128. Faya: Fire, used to express something amazing or intense.
  129. Ginger: To motivate or energize.
  130. Hotels: A humorous or sarcastic way to refer to prison.
  131. Izaga: A proverb or wise saying.
  132. Jolly: To enjoy oneself or have a good time.
  133. Kuli Kuli: A crunchy peanut snack.
  134. Lai Lai: Never or impossible.
  135. Mumu Button: A person’s weak spot.
  136. No lele: No problem or worries.
  137. Oyinbo Pepper: A light-skinned person.
  138. Pako Bridge: A makeshift or unreliable solution.
  139. Rush: To hurry or do something quickly.
  140. Shenk: To refuse or deny someone something.
  141. Tata: Goodbye or see you later.
  142. Wetin dey happen?: What’s happening? or What’s going on?
  143. Yeye: Foolish or silly.
  144. Zigzag: Not straightforward, dishonest.
  145. Akata: A term for African Americans.
  146. Bodi dey inside cloth: Feeling relaxed or comfortable.
  147. Carry Go: Proceed or continue.
  148. Double Wahala: Double trouble or problem.
  149. Ekaette: A stereotypical name for a maid or domestic worker.
  150. Famzing: Trying to be overly friendly or familiar.
  151. Go Slow: Traffic jam.
  152. I get am before: I used to have it or I was once affluent.
  153. Jara on top: An extra addition or bonus.
  154. Kpuff: A small, insignificant amount.
  155. Lamba Lolo: Nonsense or irrelevant talk.
  156. Mumu: A foolish person.
  157. Obodo Oyibo: The Western world or overseas.
  158. Pata Pata: Completely or totally.
  159. Sakamanje: Deceit or scam.
  160. Shine Your Eyes: Be alert or vigilant.
  161. Tear Rubber: Brand new or unused.
  162. Waka Waka: Someone who moves around a lot.
  163. Yeparipa: An expression of shock or surprise.
  164. Ziggy: To swindle or cheat.
  165. Awuf: Freebie or something obtained freely.
  166. Bend Down Select: Second-hand or used items.
  167. Chop Knuckle: A form of greeting or commendation.
  168. Dem go hear am: They will feel the consequences.
  169. Ekele: Gratitude or thanks.
  170. Fashi am: Ignore it or let it go.
  171. Gbe Body E: Get up and get moving.
  172. I no send: I don’t care.
  173. Jankariwo: Loud or noisy person.
  174. Kpekus: Slang for female genitalia.
  175. Lepa Shandy: A slim and attractive woman.
  176. Maza Maza: Quickly or immediately.
  177. Ode: Fool or simpleton.
  178. Pepeye: Duck, often used to describe someone gullible.
  179. See Finish: To become too familiar with someone.
  180. Sowo: Spending money.
  181. Troway Face: To ignore or pretend not to see.
  182. Wetin dey sup?: What’s up? or What’s happening?
  183. Yori Yori: Feeling good or in high spirits.
  184. Zukwanike: Calm down or take it easy.
  185. Amebo: A gossip or someone who likes spreading stories.
  186. Buga Small Small: Show off modestly.
  187. Chop Belleful: To eat to one’s satisfaction.
  188. Dey Your Dey: Mind your own business.
  189. Epp Me: Help me.
  190. Farabale: Calm down or take it easy.
  191. Gidi Gan: Very much or a lot.
  192. I tire: I am tired or fed up.
  193. Jeje: Gently or slowly.
  194. Katakata: Trouble or commotion.
  195. Long Throat: Greed or strong desire.
  196. Manya: Alcohol or drink.
  197. Oga at the top: The person in charge or a superior.
  198. Pataki: Important or significant.
  199. Shine Eye: To be watchful or alert.
  200. Siddon Look: To stay uninvolved or neutral.
All Nigerian Slangs Mindmap

Popular Nigerian Slangs And Their Meaning

Popular Nigerian Slangs And Their Meaning
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Every country, and even different parts within many countries, has its own style of slang. In Nigeria, we not only have slang that’s popular across the nation, but each state and region has its unique lingo.

Before we learn how to talk like we’re in Benin city or sounding like we are in Port Harcourt, let’s first explore what connects with folks from all corners of the country.

Nigerian slang is as diverse as the country itself, with each region adding its unique flavor to the mix. Here are over 50 popular Nigerian slangs and their meanings:

  1. “Wahala dey”: There’s trouble.
  2. “Chop knuckle”: Give me a fist bump.
  3. “Ginger”: Encourage or motivate.
  4. “Babalawo”: Traditional healer.
  5. “Japa”: Run away or escape.
  6. “Oga at the top”: Sarcastic term for authority figures.
  7. “K-leg”: Something’s not right.
  8. “Pepper dem gang”: Strong and assertive group.
  9. “Omo Naija”: Proud Nigerian.
  10. “Gbe body e”: Get ready or prepare.
  11. “Burst brain”: Extremely impressive or mind-blowing.
  12. “Ginger your swagger”: Show confidence.
  13. “Sabi-sabi”: Know-it-all.
  14. “Chop belleful”: Eat to your satisfaction.
  15. “No wahala”: No problem.
  16. “Wetin dey happen?”: What’s going on?
  17. “Yawa don gas”: Trouble has started.
  18. “I no fit shout”: I can’t argue.
  19. “Omo see gobe”: Something’s gone wrong.
  20. “Kolo”: Crazy or insane.
  21. “Ojoro”: Cheating or fraud.
  22. “Oshisco”: To leave or escape.
  23. “Tuale”: A form of greeting or respect.
  24. “Janded”: High-class or sophisticated.
  25. “Shine ya eye”: Be vigilant.
  26. “Broke box”: An old, beat-up car.
  27. “Chinko”: A person of Asian descent.
  28. “Abeg”: Please or excuse me.
  29. “Maga”: A gullible person.
  30. “Shakara”: Show off or act proud.
  31. “Ehen”: Expression of agreement.
  32. “Aproko”: A gossip or nosy person.
  33. “Naija no dey carry last”: Nigerians are always on top.
  34. “Kai”: Expression of surprise or shock.
  35. “Skelewu”: Dance energetically.
  36. “Sho mo age mi ni?”: Do you know my age?
  37. “Wahala for who no sabi”: Trouble for the uninformed.
  38. “Oya na”: Let’s go.
  39. “Banga”: Great or fantastic.
  40. “Pele”: I’m sorry.
  41. “Oya come chop knuckle”: Let’s celebrate together.
  42. “Abi na lie?”: Is it true?
  43. “Ginger me”: Motivate me.
  44. “E go better”: Things will improve.
  45. “Yanga”: Show off or brag.
  46. “Gbera”: Move aside.
  47. “See finish”: Excessive familiarity.
  48. “Kpomo”: Cow skin, often used in cooking.
  49. “E go be”: It will happen.
  50. “Kai, I don die”: I can’t believe it.

Football Slangs: The Language of the Beautiful Game

Football Slangs: The Language of the Beautiful Game
All Nigerian Slangs And Their Meaning: A Definitive Guide 84

Football, or soccer as it’s known in some parts of the world, holds a special place in the hearts of Nigerians. The passion for the sport has given rise to a unique set of slangs used during matches and discussions. Let’s kick things off with some popular football slangs:

  1. Ogede (Yoruba for “banana”): A curling shot.
  2. Sagalo: Slang for an overhead kick. Its origin is unclear but may be related to the former Brazilian player and coach Mario Zagalo.
  3. Pata (Yoruba for “underpant”): A term used in various slangs for nutmeg.
  4. Lace E (Yoruba): To hit a fierce grounder.
  5. Kolo: Same as “Toros”, another term for nutmeg.
  6. Lago: When someone tries to do a volley and misses it completely.
  7. Penarity: A colloquial term for penalty.
  8. Odiye: Own goal.
  9. NASA: Sending out a curling pass with the outside of the foot.
  10. Gba bi ma gba be: Feint dribble, pretending to go one way and accelerating in another direction.
  11. Chop oo!!: A slang used to ridicule a player who falls at the slightest touch.
  12. Tactical: In Nigeria, this covers various underhanded tactics like spiritualist consultancy, bribing referees, and intimidating the opposing team.
  13. Suleya: Hausa translation for nutmeg.
  14. Poku lowo e: A term known among Stores fans and Gunners supporters.
  15. Ogiri gbamila (Yoruba): Same as wall pass.
  16. Grounder or parallel shot: A fine straight shot that does not go high.
  17. GOAL IROLE (Yoruba): A late goal, scored in the dying minutes of the game.
  18. MARRY AM: To closely mark your opponent.
  19. TENE: Smooth dribbling with accurate short passing, similar to the Brazilian style.
  20. 68: A move where a player fools the opponent as if they are going to shoot but smoothly drags the ball with the inside of their foot.
  21. Wa-ngada (Igbo): For nutmegging.
  22. Jambodi (Pidgin): For a very bad player.
  23. Police game: An insult to a team known for constant volleying of the ball instead of ground passing.
  24. Morocco: To concede a corner kick intentionally when under pressure.
  25. L’offside (Yoruba & English): Telling your teammate to send the ball into an offside position while making an off-the-ball run.
  26. Any where belle face: A term for inept players who play the ball wherever they face, including towards their own goal.
  27. If you miss the ball, don’t miss the ball: A term for rough play.
  28. Lego: Let go, leave the ball for me.
  29. Man on You: Warning a player that an opponent is coming from behind.
  30. Diagonal: When a player makes a pass from a 75-degree angle to the player on the other side of the pitch.
  31. Angle 90: When a striker places a perfect shot that goes to the top corner of the post, usually from outside the box.
  32. I-T-K (I too Know): A term used to describe someone who acts overly knowledgeable.
  33. That ref dey do ojoro or magomago: The referee is cheating.
  34. Sere: Easily dribble a player.
  35. Shine Shine: Okocha-like dribbles.
  36. Ma lo moto: Pass on the run.
  37. AgbonaBasket: A term for a goal-prone goalkeeper.
  38. Otu: A lazy player.
  39. Baller: A pro player everyone wants on their team.
  40. Felele: A light, rubber ball perfect for street matches.
  41. Release: Passing the ball to a teammate.
  42. Guiding: Blocking an opponent from accessing the ball.
  43. Idea: Impressing viewers with an impressive pass.
  44. No bouncing: Not allowing the ball to hit the ground.
  45. Monkey post: A makeshift goalpost made of stones and objects.
  46. Man-on-you: When an opponent relentlessly targets you.

Pidgin Slangs And Meaning

Pidgin Slangs And Meaning
All Nigerian Slangs And Their Meaning: A Definitive Guide 85

When Nigerians aren’t speaking the Queen’s English or their local dialects, Pidgin is the go-to language for everyday conversations. It bridges linguistic gaps and brings people together. Here are some essential Pidgin slangs:

  1. How you dey?: “How are you?” With friends, you can also say “How na?” or “How far/body?”
  2. You too much: “You are far too kind,” “Thank you,” or “Good job!”
  3. I wan Chop or I dey H: “I want to eat” or “I am hungry.” To show extreme hunger, you can say “Hunger dey tear my belle” or “Hunger wan kill me.”
  4. Dis food sweet well, well: “This meal is delicious.” Another way to say this is “Dis food sweet no be small.”
  5. K-leg: Indicates a situation or topic is either suspicious or untrue.
  6. E be like film: Used to express incredulity, especially when reporting a scenario, movie, or circumstance.
  7. Abi?: “Right?” or “Isn’t it?”
  8. Na so/Na so?: “It is so” or “I concur/ is that so?”
  9. Notin Spoil: “All is well.”
  10. Gbam!: “Exactly” or “Precisely.” In more sophisticated circles, people use “Gbamsolutely.”
  11. Abeg: “Please.”
  12. I no get: “I have nothing to say to you” or “I don’t have [something] at home.”
  13. Go Slow: “Traffic Jam.”
  14. Comot: Can mean “go,” “leave,” or “get out!”
  15. Dey: The pidgin form of the verb ‘to be’. For example, “You too dey tear head!” means “you are too quarrelsome or short-tempered.”
  16. Wetin?: “What?” While “Wetin dey happen?” means “What is going on?”
  17. I Sabi: “I know” or “I understand.”
  18. Wahala: “Trouble.” “No wahala” can mean “Yes” or “No problem,” while “Wahala dey o” means there is a problem.
  19. God don butter my bread: “God has answered my prayers.”
  20. E choke: Coined by Davido, it means something is overwhelming or impressive.
  21. Ehen: Context-dependent, it can mean “and so?” “okay,” “say what?” or “I get it.”
  22. Naso: Used dismissively, it can mean “You’re lying, but I hear you,” “I agree with you,” or “I concur.”
  23. Komot: Get out of the way. Go away.
  24. Aza: Bank account. Benefactors may request your “aza” for a giveaway.
  25. Ment: Short for “mental,” used to question someone’s sanity.
  26. Knack: Literally means “to hit” but also means “to get laid.”
  27. Sapa: Describes a state of extreme poverty or brokenness.
  28. Japa: Yoruba for “to flee, escape, or run.”
  29. Gbege: Trouble, problem, and tribulations.

Nigerian Insults And Meaning

Nigerian Insults And Meaning
All Nigerian Slangs And Their Meaning: A Definitive Guide 86
  1. Mumu: Often used to describe someone as foolish or unintelligent.
  2. Anuofia: An Igbo insult, generally used to describe someone as an animal or non-human.
  3. Efulefu: Another Igbo term, similar to ‘mumu’, used to describe someone worthless or useless.
  4. Onye nzuzu: Igbo for someone who acts foolishly or stupidly.
  5. Moronnnnn or Bastardious: English slangs, ‘moron’ for someone perceived as very stupid, and ‘bastardious’ is a more offensive term.
  6. You dey craze: Literally means “you are crazy” in Pidgin English. It’s a common insult implying that someone is acting irrationally or stupidly.
  7. ODE: Yoruba for someone who is perceived as a fool or simpleton.
  8. Mugu: Often used to describe someone who is gullible or easily deceived.
  9. Aboki: In some contexts, especially in Lagos, it can mean ‘mumu’ or ‘maga’, indicating someone naive or easily fooled.
  10. Your Fada: A common insult in Warri, used in various contexts, sometimes humorously.
  11. Ikpu sibuo gi, obo ma runa paa e, arji ikpu tugbuo gi: These are more severe insults in Igbo, often considered very offensive.
  12. Ur ‘MaMa tt: A vulgar and offensive insult.
  13. Bolo: Describes someone slow and lacking street-smarts.
  14. Kolo: Questions an individual’s sanity, interchangeable with “ment.”
  15. Oversabi: An “I too know.” Someone who knows it all.
  16. Amebo: A chronic gossip.
  17. Wobia: A strong insult for a glutton.

Popular Yoruba Slangs And Meaning

Popular Yoruba Slangs And Meaning
All Nigerian Slangs And Their Meaning: A Definitive Guide 87
  1. Lori iro: This phrase is used when someone is telling lies that can rattle the dead.
  2. Mafo: Made popular by the singer, Naira Marley, this Yoruba slang is your go-to when you want to tell someone not to be intimidated, bothered, or rattled.
  3. Wa ti ma gbo (WTMG): Culled from Adekunle Gold’s hit record with singer, Davido. It means: “You must’ve heard.”
  4. Omo iya mi: Think of this Yoruba slang as the English variant of “My bro“. Often used between guys whose relationship has grown out of ordinary friendship.
  5. Idan: A young OG who has it all. He works hard and plays even harder, never saying no to an opportunity to make extra money. In essence, a streetwise brother.
  6. O lule: Made popular by president-elect, Bola Tinubu, this is your go-to Yoruba slang for someone who has suffered defeat.
  7. Sora fun obinrin: Literally means “Be wary of women.”
  8. Otilo: Made popular by dancer, Poco Lee, this Yoruba slang means “it has gone”.
  9. O tun ti zeh: Coined by singer, Portable. It is your go-to when expressing excitement after getting an unexpected gift or good news.
  10. O por: This slang means “it’s plenty”. Usually used when you’re impressed.
  11. Gbe mi de be (gbe mi trabaye): This popular Yoruba slang means to get high on alcohol or weed.
  12. Tule: Another slang made popular by Davido, it means to “release” or “let go”.
  13. Lori iro: Used when someone tells unbelievable lies.
  14. Mafo: Popularized by Naira Marley, it tells someone not to be intimidated.
  15. Wa ti ma gbo: Means “You must’ve heard,” popularized by Adekunle Gold and Davido.
  16. Omo iya mi: Similar to “My bro,” used among close male friends.
  17. Idan: Describes a young OG who works and plays hard.
  18. O lule: Used for someone who has suffered defeat.
  19. Sora fun obinrin: Literally, “Be wary of women.”
  20. Otilo: Means “it has gone,” popularized by dancer Poco Lee.
  21. O por: Means “it’s plenty,” often used when impressed.
  22. Gbe mi de be: Means to get high on alcohol or weed.
  23. Tule: Popularized by Davido, it means to “release” or “let go.”

Nigerian Gen Z Slangs: The Language of the Youth

Nigerian Gen Z Slangs: The Language of the Youth
All Nigerian Slangs And Their Meaning: A Definitive Guide 88

The younger generation in Nigeria has its own lexicon, full of trendy slangs that evolve rapidly. Here are some Gen Z slangs:

  • Clapback: A sharp response to someone’s provocation.
  • L: Short for “loss,” used when admitting failure.
  • W: Used to celebrate a win or success.
  • Salty: Describes someone who’s angry or jealous.
  • Opp: Strong dislike for someone; an instant rival.
  • Fam: The Gen Z equivalent of “Bro.”
  • God, abeg: A plea for divine intervention.
  • Bop: Refers to music that hits the right spot.
  • Flop: Denotes a failure or something that shouldn’t have happened.
  • We meuve: Means “life goes on.”
  • Clapback: A fitting response — usually one that stings thrice as hard — to someone who comes at you.
  • L: Short for “loss”. When you take your L, it means you’ve accepted your failure.
  • W: Just like L, W is a common Gen Z slang used when you win or succeed at something.
  • Salty: This isn’t just used to describe Lot’s wife or your cooking skills. “Salty” in Gen-Z lingo means an angry bird or a jealous fella.
  • Opp: You don’t like this person. It’s on sight whenever, wherever.
  • Fam: “Fam” is to the Gen Zs what “Bro” is to millennials.
  • God, abeg: You’re tired, and you need God to do something about it fast.
  • Bop: Music that hits the right spot.
  • Flop: A miss, a fail, a never-should’ve-happened.
  • We meuve: This slang means “life goes on.” Often used when trying to offer some motivation to yourself or others.
  • We outside: This is what Gen Zs say anytime they come out to party.
  • Baddie: She’s the moment; she’s mother. She’s the babe other babes aspire to be. An expensive maami.
  • Rent-free: Use this slang when something or someone can’t leave your mind. It stays there no matter how hard you try.
  • Periodt: End of discussion.
  • Trenches: The ghetto. For example, Mushin may be classified as trenches.
  • FOMO: Fear of missing out.
  • IYKYK: If you know you know.
  • JK: Just kidding.
  • GOAT: Greatest of all time.
  • HMU: Hit me up.
  • G2G: Good to go.
  • TBH: To be honest.
  • NGL: Not gonna lie.
  • WFH: Working from home.
  • WYD: What you doing?
  • WDYM: What do you mean?
  • IKR: I know right.
  • ISTG: I swear to God.
  • ATP: At this point.
  • TYSM: Thank you so much.
  • YKTV: You know the vibes. Use it instead of “you understand” whenever you find the opportunity.
  • WYA: Where you at?

Popular Igbo Slangs And Meaning

Popular Igbo Slangs And Meaning
All Nigerian Slangs And Their Meaning: A Definitive Guide 89

The Igbo language is known for its expressiveness, and Igbo slangs are no exception. Here are some popular Igbo slangs:

  • Odeshi: Means “It’s not leaking” and refers to people with supernatural powers.
  • Biko: Simply means “please” and is used when begging or requesting.
  • Onye isi okanga: Someone who sets trends.
  • Icha anya: A slang for getting stoned.
  • Nkita la’cha ike gi: Literally, “May dog lick your butt.”
  • Tuu: Means “nonsense.”
  • Asa: A compliment meaning “fine girl.”
  • Ote: Used to refer to something of quality or an original product.
  • Nna ehn: Similar to “Nawa o,” used interchangeably.
  • Odieshi: Literally means “it’s not leaking.” Used to refer to tough guys who never cry.
  • Anu nwelu obi: In one context, it means “a beast with a heart/conscience.” In another context, it’s more like “a brave/fearless beast” or “a hard-hearted animal.”
  • Nkwanta: Skirmish or a little shoving match.
  • Onye ngbu: An Anambra slang meaning a weakling.
  • Arubam: An Anambra slang meaning “my ‘G'” or “my Nigga.”
  • Nkolo: Anambra slang meaning “my hood” or “my end.”
  • Ofego aka: Means “he is gone.”
  • Opia nkpulu: Means gunslinger.
  • Umu mma: Means a bevy of beauties.
  • Wusa aru: Means relax or chill out.
  • Onye isi okanga: Means a trendsetter.
  • Nwanne mulu anya: Means to be alert.
  • Icha anya: Means to get stoned.
  • Onye okuku: Money spender.
  • Ikpa owa: To drive, especially expertly.
  • Ikpu Uzu: Bodybuilding, especially if it involves weight lifting.
  • Gbawa door: Means “get out,” literally meaning “kick down the door.”
  • Kupu: Same meaning as “Gbawa door.”
  • Ndi Asai: Mad people (Asai comes from asylum).
  • Ndi Eke: The police (literally “python people”).
  • Oringo: Means “fun.”
  • Ita mgbe/iñu mgbe: High school slang that means “playing truant” or “skipping classes.”
  • Iku olu: To stop one’s plans from succeeding.
  • Ito isi: Means “giving a girl oral” (literally sounds like “undoing braids”).

Popular Hausa Slangs And Meanings

Popular Hausa Slangs And Meanings
All Nigerian Slangs And Their Meaning: A Definitive Guide 90

The Hausa language and culture bring their own unique slangs to the Nigerian tapestry. Here are some popular Hausa slangs:

  • Gobe: Tomorrow, or used to express uncertainty.
  • Hawaye: Used when someone is acting proud.
  • Chop and clean mouth: Enjoy a meal and clean your mouth.
  • Yabasi: Means “problem” or “difficult situation.”
  • Pra pra: Perfectly done.
  • Cin duri: To get angry.
  • Shida: Trouble or problem.
  • Kai: An expression of shock or disbelief.
  • Sallam: Used when greeting.
  • Magana: Means “talk.”
  • Sannu: “Hello” – Emphasize the first syllable when saying this.
  • Na gode: “Thank you” – A universal phrase to express gratitude.
  • Eh / A’a: “Yes / No” – Simple and essential for basic communication.
  • Ina gidan wanka?: “Where is the bathroom?” – Useful in practical situations.
  • Kunna bar / Juya dama: “Turn left / right” – Helpful for giving directions.
  • Daina: “Stop” – Used to signal a stop.
  • Dadi: “Delicious” – A compliment for tasty food.
  • Ina jin yunwa: “I’m hungry” – Expressing the need for food.
  • Ruwa: “Water” – Essential for asking for water, especially in hot climates.
  • Nawa ne wannan?: “How much is this?” – Useful in marketplaces or shops.
  • Tsada sosai: “Too expensive” – Expressing that something is overpriced.
  • Kyau mutum / kyakkyawan yarinya: “Handsome / Beautiful” – Compliments for appearance.
  • Zai baka damar samun abin sha: “Let’s grab a drink” – A phrase for socializing.
  • Sunana: “My name is” – Introducing yourself.
  • Kira ya sanda: “Call the police” – Important in emergencies.
  • Gafara dai: “Excuse me” – Polite way to get attention or apologize.
  • Sai sannu: “Goodbye” – Farewell phrase.
  • Na fito daga…: “I’m from…” – Sharing your origin.
  • Ban sani ba: “I don’t know” – Expressing lack of knowledge.
  • Kana jin harshen turanci kuwa?: “Do you speak English?” – Useful for language clarification.

Nigeria Military Slangs And Meaning

Nigeria Military Slangs And Meaning
All Nigerian Slangs And Their Meaning: A Definitive Guide 91

The Nigerian military has its own lexicon, born out of discipline, camaraderie, and a unique way of life. Here are some military slangs:

  • Barracks: Military living quarters.
  • Oga: A superior officer.
  • Amebo: Someone who gossips within the barracks.
  • Spartacus: A humorous term for a soldier who loves physical training.
  • Jungle justice: Vigilante justice within the barracks.
  • Chop knuckle: A form of military greeting.
  • Ogaju: A soldier who’s overly strict and likes to boss others around.
  • Go slow: A military punishment, often involving physical exercises.
  • Bolekaja: A soldier who’s about to retire.
  • Push and start: A soldier who’s always looking for an opportunity to start a fight.

Port Harcourt Slangs And Their Meanings

Port Harcourt Slangs And Their Meanings
All Nigerian Slangs And Their Meaning: A Definitive Guide 92

Port Harcourt, known as the Garden City, has a vibrant culture with its own distinctive slangs. Here are some Port Harcourt slangs:

  • PH City: Short for Port Harcourt City.
  • Pako: Refers to a poor or uncouth person.
  • Swag: Refers to style and confidence.
  • Bonnet: A term for a car’s hood.
  • Waffi: Refers to Warri, a nearby city with a unique culture.
  • Una sabi road? Means “Do you know the way?”
  • How body? A greeting, similar to “How are you?”
  • Na so e be: Means “That’s how it is.”
  • Use your kafa: “Use your head,” or think clearly.
  • Wipe: Means “to beat up.” For example, “I don wipe that guy. He no too sabi.”
  • Cutout: Run, escape, or flee.
  • Duck: To hide something. Example: “Chiamaka, duck that phone. SARS dey come.”
  • Kpor well: Essentially means “go and sit down.” Often used during confrontations.
  • Root out: To bring out something, especially weapons.
  • AP: House. Example: “We gather for my papa AP oh.”
  • Bell: To call someone. Example: “I dey come, make I go bell my babe.”
  • White: Refers to N50 (fifty naira).
  • Manchi: Used to describe a close man to a cultist or someone from your cartel.
  • Bani/ Shenkes /Kpalas: Pretty babe.
  • Amana: AC (Air Conditioner). Example: “The amana wey dey my papa AP don get fault.”
  • Abobi: Guy.
  • Comot your body: Make way.
  • Cut put for my body: “Give me part of something. Money, especially.”
  • Capping careless: Talking nonsense or talking out of point.
  • Sea rough: Things are hard.
  • Weedah you na?: “Where are you now?”
  • E yakpa: Means there’s a lot of something, usually money.
  • Wotowoto: Refers to a complicated or messy situation.
  • Bag up: To accumulate or gather, often used in the context of money.
  • Pack well: A warning to someone to behave or align correctly.
  • Crocrodile drilling: A tough situation or a difficult task.
  • Who dey cap: Asking who is talking or who is making a claim.
  • U dey jonse?: “Are you joking?” or “Are you being serious?”
  • Maga: A gullible person or an easy target for a scam.
  • Alobam: A term of endearment for a trusted friend or associate.
  • Bernies: Slang for money.
  • Werey: Means “crazy” or “mad.”
  • Popsi: A casual term for “father” or an older man.
  • Who dey the unit: Asking who is present in a particular place or group.
  • Hoit o!: An exclamation, similar to “Hey!”
  • Aboi: An expression of surprise or shock.
  • How d e dey be?: “How is it going?” or “What’s happening?”
  • Where you anchore?: “Where are you located?” or “Where are you staying?”
  • Erema: A term for a beautiful woman.
  • My kala dey loaded: “I have money” or “I am financially prepared.”
  • Shayo: Refers to drinking, usually alcohol.
  • Broh: A casual term for “brother” or a male friend.
  • Dariowei: An exclamation of surprise or disbelief.
  • Yanfu yanfu: Refers to something done hastily or carelessly.
  • Sheriff: Someone in charge or a leader in a group.
  • Sanko: A dance move or style.
  • Ojo or ojormina: Refers to rain or rainy weather.
  • Warri: A city in Nigeria, sometimes used to refer to street smarts or toughness.
  • Aku: A term of endearment or greeting.
  • Kpatakpata: Means “completely” or “totally.”
  • Kukuma do am: “Just do it” or “Go ahead and do it.”
  • Mende mendes: Refers to small, insignificant things.
  • I dey ball-out: “I am having a good time” or “I am spending a lot.”
  • I jes fall in: “I just arrived.”
  • I go lap your unit: “I will visit your place.”
  • I dey tuama: “I am confused” or “I am perplexed.”
  • I dey salama for you: “I am greeting you” or “I am acknowledging you.”
  • Senibo: A title of respect, similar to “chief” or “leader.”
  • No lay lay or no tay tay: “No delay” or “Do it quickly.”
  • Shalanga: A term for a pit latrine or a dirty place.
  • Porous the bernie: To spend money freely or carelessly.
  • Your hand clap: “You have done well” or “Congratulations.”
  • You dun sound your hand: “You have made your mark” or “You have shown your capability.”
  • E loud: “It’s obvious” or “It’s clear.”
  • Set me the pass: “Give me the opportunity” or “Let me through.”
  • O por o: “It’s plenty” or “It’s a lot.

Nigerian Slangs for Money: The Language of Wealth

Nigerian Slangs for Money: The Language of Wealth
All Nigerian Slangs And Their Meaning: A Definitive Guide 93

Nigerians are known for their enterprising spirit, and the language of wealth reflects this ambition. Here are some slangs associated with money:

  • E go better: Expresses hope for a better financial future.
  • Aza: Refers to one’s bank account.
  • Semo and Eba: Slang for money.
  • Ema pada wa: Means “May we not be broke.”
  • Kudi: A general term for money.
  • Cabbage: Refers to paper money.
  • Jaye: To spend money lavishly.
  • Gbera: To make money.
  • Chop money: To spend money.
  • Ego: In Igbo, “ego” means money. It’s widely used across Nigeria, not just in Igbo-speaking regions.
  • Owo: This is the Yoruba word for money and is commonly used in Yoruba-speaking areas.
  • Kudi: In Hausa, “kudi” means money and is used predominantly in the northern parts of Nigeria.
  • Naira: Referring to the Nigerian currency itself, “naira” is often used in everyday conversation.
  • Gwop: A slang term for money, influenced by Western hip-hop culture.
  • Dough: Another borrowed term from Western slang, “dough” is also used to refer to money.
  • Pepper: This slang is used to signify money, stemming from the phrase “money is spicy” or the idea that having money adds spice to life.
  • Yakpa: A slang term for a large amount of money.
  • Raba: Used to refer to money, especially in the context of sharing or spending.
  • Jara: While it primarily means a bonus or something extra, it can also refer to extra money or tips.
  • Shikini Money: A term for a small amount of money.
  • Owo ni koko: A Yoruba phrase meaning “money is the main thing” or emphasizing the importance of money.
  • Garri: Sometimes used metaphorically to refer to money, drawing from the staple food, garri, as a symbol of sustenance.
  • Cheddar: Borrowed from Western slang, it’s also used to refer to money in Nigeria.
  • Bread: Similar to “dough,” this is another food-related slang for money.

So, the next time you find yourself in a conversation with a Nigerian or watching a football match, remember to sprinkle some of these slangs into your dialogue. You’ll not only impress your friends but also gain a deeper understanding of Nigeria’s unique culture and language.

“Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.” – Rita Mae Brown

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Source: MandyNews.com

I have a passion for blogging about what's trending in Hip-Hop, politics and entertainment. I'm a huge Hip-hop fan; my favorite artiste are Chris Brown, Jay'z & Beyonce. I also enjoy spending time with my team (#TeamWE), and working hard as hard work pays off.

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