Everywhere you go in Nigerian, people speak one slang or the other, but the truth remains that not everybody understands those slangs. Most times, people infer their meaning using the facial expression of the speaker or the context in which the slangs were spoken.
If you are one of those who use facial expression and context to infer the meaning of slangs in Nigeria, this post is for you. Having compiled the top 10 trendy internet slang words in Nigeria in a previous post, here are my top 10 most popular Nigerian slangs of all time.
Twale is one of the most-popular Nigerian slangs of all time; it is used to show respect and total submission to elders and well-respected personalities in the society. People usually say twale, with their hands raised above their head, to signify respect.
- Pidgin “John, twale to you”
- English “John, I am greeting you.
- Bone/ Fashi
As we know bone, in Biology, refers to the hard skeletal substance in the body of an animal. But when you hear a Nigerian says bone, he or she might either be referring to the skeletal substance or be asking someone to let go of something. It is normally used during an argument or conversation where the speaker wants an issue to be forgotten.
- Pidgin “John, please bone that issue”.
- English “John, please forget about that issue”.
- Fall hand
This is another popularly used Nigeria slang that everyone, even kids, understands. In Pidgin English, it is used to express disappointment.
- Pidgin “You fall my hand”.
- English “You disappointed me”.
This word is mostly used by smokers in Nigeria. It is used by individuals who are not just cigarette smokers but those who smoke Indian hemp. Instead of using the word Indian hemp, they replace it with the word “gbana”.
- Pidgin “Make we go smoke gbana”.
- English “Let’s go and smoke Indian hemp”.
- Which level?
Which level is another one of the most-popular Nigerian slangs of all time; it is used to ask questions about what is going on somewhere or what is happening in someone’s life.
- Pidgin “Paul which level”?
- English “Paul what is happening”?
In Nigeria, instead of using the word abroad you often hear people say Yankee.
- Pidgin “John don travel go Yankee”
- English “John has traveled abroad”
Everyone knows what kpai is in Nigeria because of the action that comes with it. Kpai refers to death. It also means to kill someone or something.
- Pidgin “Mary don Kpai”
- English “Mary is dead”
When someone is uplifted from poverty and has made a huge amount of money to acquire some certain things in life, people use the word hammer to show that the person has made it big. The following example will let you understand better.
- Pidgin “Paul don hammer”
- English “Paul has made it”
A person who is mentally unstable or mad is described as kolo. So instead of using the word mad or mentally unstable, Nigerians use the word kolo.
- Pidgin “David don Kolo”.
- English “David has gone mad”.
Kawa is the last slang on this list of top 10 most-popular Nigeria slangs. People normally use it to ask someone to leave their presence or a particular place.
- Pidgin “John, please kawa”.
- English “John, please leave this place”.
The above are some of the most-popular and commonly used Nigeria slangs. All are mostly used when Nigerians are communicating in a modified form of the English language called Pidgin English.
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