Popular Nigerian Pidgin Slangs
Nigeria is a country with diverse tribes, cultures and language. As a Nigerian apart from English which is our Lingua franca, we also have our own native Nigerian language that is not peculiar to any tribe; we call it Pidgin English. As a true Nigerian you should understand Pidgin English clearly, but the ease with which you speak it further ranks your street level.
I will list 15 popular street slangs and their literal English meanings;
Aproko and Amebo can be used interchangeably but do not actually mean the same. Aproko is someone who poke noses into other people’s affairs and then shares the information or sometimes just keeps the information for future use. An Amebo is a gossip and derives joy in spreading rumors both confirmed and unconfirmed.
E don be/E don bizzle:
‘E don be’ and ‘E don bizzle’ have the same meaning, they are used when someone has fallen into a trap, has been caught in the act (it mustn’t be negative), has met his match during a debate, quarrel or fight, etc.
No wahala/No shaking:
Instead of saying ‘no problem’ an individual says ‘no wahala’ or ‘no shaking’ to show understanding or that all is cool.
In Nigeria this term is used to request for “extra” after buying something from the market especially. Jara and Fisi mean the same thing and can be used interchangeably.
The two terms are opposites of each other. A lekpa is a very slim lady or even man, sometimes too slim. Orobo on the other hand is used for a plump or overweight man or woman. It is usually used as an insult but in some cases can be used jokingly between friends.
Abeg means please when taken literally, it can also be used to shut someone up from continuing with a story or attitude depending on the tone or to plead for forgiveness. ‘Pele’ is used more by the Yoruba tribe and it means sorry, I understand, etc.
‘Wayo’ refers to a fraudulent act done by someone like manipulating a price, result or outcome while ‘ojoro’ refers to the act of someone trying to outsmart you, ojoro is can be used among friends during a game as it is not as extreme as ‘wayo’.
No vex/E don do
‘E don do’ means ‘it is enough’, ‘stop’ while ‘No vex’ means do not be angry, basically a plea from someone to placate your anger.
Both terms are used to express pity or surprise at someone’s behavior, attitude or a story. In Nigeria this term is heard in the market a lot or during political and religious debates!!!
This are haters, who do not want to see others progress; they often have negative things to say when they hear someone is progressing.
Over sabi/I too know (ITK):
This two mean the same thing, and is used for anyone that feels they know everything, and wants to put add their input into every conversation.
Ajepako refers to someone that grew up in the streets or that is street smart while ‘ajebutter’ refers to the rich or privileged kids; going to the best schools and being driven through and from school.
Yab means insult or making fun of a person. In Nigeria, friends yab each other all the time and it’s not a big deal.
Garagara in most cases is used when someone is showing off by his/her attitude or wants to be heard or seen much more than necessary. An alternative to ‘garagara’ is ‘notice me’
Na me be this
This term is used when someone feels he has been put down or taking for granted. It can also be used when someone receives something good and is in a state of shock or gratitude.