289 Most Popular Nigerian Slangs

There are many popular slangs in Nigeria. This is because Nigerian languages are replete and suffused with slangs, which have varieties of meaning. These slangs are acceptable for use in school, church, business environment and daily conversation. Typically, Nigerians relate with one another through the language of slangs. Foreigners may find it challenging to grasp the pronunciation or meaning of these popular Nigerian slangs, but worry not, we are here to help.

Why are slangs popular in Nigeria?

Here are the reasons why slangs are widely used through the length and breadth of the entire country.

The diversity of local languages

Most people believe Nigeria is home to only three languages — Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba. That is erroneous thinking. Nigeria has more than five hundred languages. As time goes on, these 500+ languages evolve to accommodate the lingua franca of Nigeria — English.  Slangs emanate from native speakers of these Nigerian languages, whenever they intend to express themselves using a pervasive blend of English and their language. This combination is what gives rise to slangs. For instance, ‘JARA’ has its origin from the Yoruba language, and it means ‘more’ or ‘addition’. Other numerous slangs have root in other Nigerian languages, which we will analyse below.

To Evoke a Sense of Belonging

Slang is a communal instrument. It is used in Nigeria to create mutual understanding and a sense of communality. What better way to feel part of a place unless you speak their language? One way to get assimilated into the Nigerian way of life is to learn the Nigerian slang and understand it.

Express emotion

Nigerians are very emotional people. One reason why slangs are popular in Nigeria is that they can be used to express emotion — vent frustration, disapproval, displeasure, exhilaration and excitement. Sometimes, dictionary English does not have the potency to add power to an expression, like slangs.

Popular slangs in Nigeria and what they mean

Here are some of the most popular slang used in Nigeria today

Fashi am – Ignore it

Peche – Relax

Amebo – Gossiper

Woza – Loud slap

Guck –  sleep, believe a lie

Gbe ja – Escape

Runs – Prostitution/ Harlotry

Baffs – Fine and expensive wears

To baff up – Be adorned in a costly and showy cloth

Bakassi/Ikebe – Butt or backside

ITK – Students that are too vested in academic activities. ITK stands for I Too Know

Aro – Interesting individual. (peculiar to OAU)

Akata – Foreigner or Caucasian

Jand – The United Kingdom

Yankee – The united states

Ajebutter – A spoiled child from a wealthy home.

Comot – Leave

Nack – Make contact with

Domot – Entrance/Vicinity

Kak – Have a sear

Kaka – Butt/Shite

Pam – Relax or have patience

Kele – A young maiden or a beautiful lady

E/Im – He/She/It

Am – Him/Her/It

Dem – Them/They

Troway – Something to be discarded/An item not needed

Mud – Die/Kill

Kpai – Die/Kill

Straff/Frap/Prak – Sexual intercourse

Hammer – Become prosperous

Awoof – Something gave for free

Wetin? – What?

Tey (tey tey) – Long time (ago)

Mugu/Maga/Maye – Fool

Fall hand – Disappoint

No dulling – Don’t prolong things

O’boy – friend

Abi – Right (as in “exactly, right?”)

Shey? – Is that right?

Like play like play – jokingly

Wozam slap – give him a slap

Eke don carry am – police have arrested him

Chop – eat

Wahalla – trouble

Sabi – to know

Waka – travel/go/walk away

Yahoo – Fraudster

419 – Another slang for fraud

Okada – Motorcycle

Black maria –  prison van

Shugaba – Expulsion

Gbana – Indian hemp (could be a Lagos only slang)

Agidi – Strong headed

Aristo (shortened from Aristocrat) – Promiscuous lady who chases married men.

Bang – Depending on the context, fail or sleep with the opposite sex.

Bakassi – Girls behind (bum/butt)

Blend – Join a confraternity

Bone face – to snub somebody

Bounce – to walk stylishly to get noticed

Denge – to poise

To browse on the street – to look for girls/boys e.g. Omo I wan go browse

Brush – Beat

Butty (also: ajebota) – Spoiled brat / Pampered Child

Cable – Leak a secret

Cane – Sleep with a girl

Chips – Small papers with answers to exam questions an individual takes into the examination halls to cheat or commit exam malpractice. The smaller, the better (microchips)

Cassava Flakes: Dry Garri chips, compared with Corn Flakes

Church Members – Fellow Cultist e.g. Fryo na (is) my church member

Confra – Confraternity

Cow Bell – Large Boobs

Double silver – used by cultist to denote a gun

Fashi – Forget

FFF – Friend for food

FFO – For food only

Giddy – Smooch

Government Child (Omo-Ijoba) – A Corper (NYSC), A Mad Man

Joneser – Failure

Jack Robinson – Rubbish

Juve (shortened from juvenile) – Young ladies

Kawa – (I am going) – Leave

Kolo – Mad

Kposh or fa gbo or blaze – Smoke Weed

Smallie – Girlfriend or Girl

Soji – Street Smart

Tush – A refined person

Wetin Dey? What’s Up?

Wetin dey shele? What’s the latest gist?

Wuz up?

Pepper don red – Person whose luck has changed and the person is more affluent.

You Fall my hand – you disappointed me

Dagbo or dub – copying someone’s work

Bust my skeroo – to blow one’s mind

Yan – talks, noisy discussions, or gist

Kolo – Crazy

Iyanga, Effizy or Shakara  – proud feeling, boisterous or pompous

Fabu – Lie

Gbege – Trouble

Demor – a show-off, act up, pretend to be something one is not

The shenkiz dem just dey matrix – the girls are stripping

Jones – lack intellect, not being smart in a certain situation

Shak up or Shayo  – get drunk or a drunk

To Jack – to study hard, a popular Nigerian students’ slang

Aproko – a gossip

Sort – bribe

To crash – to sleep

Aderonmu Abayomi popularly known by his stage name ” Basebaba ” who is the Nigerian Youngest Multi-Talented Pro Dj, Blogger, Songwriter, Web Designer, and He is the C.E.O & Founder Of Basebaba Global Media ( https://basebaba.com.ng )

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