• October 31, 2020

10 Popular Nigerians Slangs & Their Meanings

If you love any Nigerian language, especially pidgin or the slang or you want to learn more about them.

Here are ten popular Nigerian slangs:

  1. Ehen!

This exclamation has different interpretations, depending on the context in which it was used. It could mean “I get it”, “and so?” “yes”, “okay”, “continue”, “as i was saying”, “that reminds me”, etc.

  1. Jara

Jara is a noun derived from the Yoruba language and it means to add extra or give a freebie after something has already been bought or paid for, at the seller’s discretion. E.g. “Please add jara”. Jara is called Pasela or Bonsola in South Africa. It originates from Zulu Ibanselo – a gift

  1. Osha pra pra

This salutation is used when one is praising another, which is loosely translated to mean “you are dope!”. It is mostly used in the street to hail/greet a friend or acquaintance who is passing by. It may mean ‘u-sharp’ in South African ‘Zulunised-English’ – meaning, it’s okay or it’s good or yes.

  1. Ajebutter
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Ajebutter, ajebo, ‘bota’ or ‘botti’, simply refers to one who is born with a silver spoon. It can be loosely translated to mean “bourgeoisie”. E.g. “That babe is an ajebutter”.

This is close to the slang, COCONUT, in South Africa. In Mzanzi, it’s derogatory word for a black or Asian person who conforms to white culture at the expense of his or her ancestral culture. The idea being that, like a coconut, he or she is dark on the outside and white on the inside.

  1. Lepa/Orobo

Lepa is a noun that refers to a sexy slim woman. E.g. “That lepa babe is hot”. Orobo is loosely the opposite of lepa. It refers to a sexy plump/ thick woman. It can also be used as a derogatory remark.

  1. Ashewo/Olosho
    This noun is a slang for sex workers. It can also be a derogatory term. It is called Gentoo by the Cape Afrikaans in Cape Town, South Africa.

  2. Amebo/Tatafo
    This word is used to refer to a person who likes to gossip or spread gossip and cannot be trusted. It can also be used to refer to gossip itself. E.g. “You too like amebo” or “That girl is an amebo”.

  3. Abi/shey/ba

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Abi, shey or ba are slang that act sort of like punctuation. They are mostly used for confirmation after a statement, thereby turning it into a question. They are like the English “right?” E.g. “You are coming for my party, abi/shey/ba?”

  1. Over-sabi

This is a noun referring to someone who is a busy-body, or mocking someone who over-performs his/her intelligence/knowledge. E.g. “I did not ask you, over-sabi.”

  1. Kolo

This verb means to go crazy or mad. This can mean literally or metaphorically depending on the context. E.g. “He don kolo”.

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Femi Oshin

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