25 Popular Nigerian Slangs You Should Know In 2023

And if you're feeling extra confident, try using them all in one sentence like a true Nigerian pro.

Popular Nigerian Slangs
Busy streets of Lagos Island's commercial district [iStock]

Nigerian slangs are a fundamental aspect of Nigerian pop culture, and they’re loved by many Nigerians. Nigerians take pride in their unique language, and the Nigerian slang has been in existence for many years. Nigerian Pidgin is one of the most popular Nigerian slangs, and it’s widely spoken across the country. The Nigerian Pidgin is a creole language that combines English and various Nigerian languages. If you want to learn Nigerian slangs, Nigerian Pidgin is a great place to start.

Nigerian slangs are an essential part of the Nigerian culture, and it’s a language that many Nigerians understand and speak. Nigerian slang is spoken in different dialects across the country, and it’s a popular way of communication among Nigerians. If you’re looking to learn Nigerian slangs, it’s essential to understand the meanings of the different slangs. For instance, “Chop Breakfast” is a popular slang that means to be heartbroken. Also, “Ma Fo” is an exclamatory remark that is commonly used by Nigerians to express shock or surprise. Learning these slangs can help you connect better with Nigerians and appreciate the Nigerian culture.

Nigerian slang is a popular street language that has been in trend for many years. In 2021, Nigerian slangs have continued to be in trend, with new slangs emerging every year. The street slangs are an essential part of the Nigerian street culture and are widely used by many Nigerians, regardless of their social status. Some popular slangs wey trend for 2021 end pidgin include “Tule”, “Alobam” and “Wahala” which iss a Nigerian slang that means “trouble” or “problem”. These slangs are not limited to just Pidgin English; they can also be found in other Nigerian languages, such as Yoruba. For instance, “Jara” is a Yoruba word that has been incorporated into Nigerian Pidgin and is used to mean extra or bonus.

Nigerian slangs
Nigerian youths at Mainland Block Party [Pulse Nigeria]

In conclusion, Nigerian slangs are a useful way of understanding the Nigerian culture and connecting with Nigerians. They’re not just words; they represent the way of life and way of Nigerians. By learning Nigerian slangs, you can communicate more effectively with Nigerians and show your appreciation for their culture. Nigerian slang is not limited to Pidgin English; it can also be found in other Nigerian languages, such as Yoruba. So, if you’re looking to learn Nigerian slangs, start by understanding the meanings of popular slangs and incorporate them into your vocabulary.

In this post, we’ll be sharing 25 popular Nigerian slangs you should know.

Abeg – Please or Begging

Example: “Abeg, give me some of that jollof rice.”

Akant – Swindler or fraudster

Example: “Don’t fall for his tricks, he’s an akant.”

Aproko – Gossip or busybody

Example: “She’s always in people’s business, such an aproko.”

Ashawo – Prostitute

Example: “He got caught with an ashawo last night.”

Chai – An exclamation of surprise or disbelief

Example: “Chai! That exam was so hard.”

Chop – To eat

Example: “I’m hungry, make I go chop which means “I’m hungry, let me go and eat.”

Craze – Crazy or insane

Example: “That guy dey craze!” which means “That guy is crazy.”

Ehen – Okay or yes

Example: “Ehen, I’ll see you later.”

Fashi – Forget or ignore

Example: “Fashi that guy, he’s not worth your time.”

Gbese – Debt or financial troubles

Example: “He’s always in gbese, can’t manage his money.”

Gist – Gossip or news

Example: “What’s the gist? I haven’t been around.”

Jara – Extra or bonus

Example: “Just give me one more meat as jara.”

Jollof – Popular rice dish cooked in a spicy tomato sauce

Example: “That party had the best jollof rice ever!”

K-leg – Something that goes wrong or fails

Example: “The plan had a serious k-leg, it didn’t work out.”

Kpalava – Trouble or problem

Example: “I don’t want any kpalava, just do what you said you would.”

Kuku – Simply or just

Example: “Why are you stressing? Kuku do it.”

Las las – Eventually or finally

Example: “Las las, we all have to study for the exam.”

Maga – A victim or someone who’s easily deceived

Example: “He’s such a maga, always falling for scams.”

Naso – That’s how it is

Example: “I can’t change it, naso it is.”

Runs girl – A promiscuous woman who engages in transactional sex

Example: “She’s a runs girl, always with a different man.”

Alobam – My guy or my friend

Example: “Alobam, what’s up?”

Area – A neighborhood or community

Example: “I live in that area, it’s a great place to be.”

Bad belle – Someone who is jealous or envious

Example: “Don’t listen to that bad belle, they’re just trying to bring you down.”

Bobo – A young man or boyfriend

Example: “She’s going out with her bobo tonight.”

Chop knuckle – To give someone a high five

Example: ‘Chop knuckle bro, we did a great job on that project!’

Nigerian slangs are a unique and fun way to express oneself and connect with the local culture. Learning these slangs is a great way to immerse yourself in Nigerian pop culture and to connect with locals on a more personal level.

If you’re planning to visit Nigeria or you’re interested in Nigerian pop culture, make sure to add these popular Nigerian slangs to your vocabulary. With these slangs, you’ll be able to have a deeper appreciation of Nigerian culture and connect with locals on a more personal level.

Nigerian slangs are an important part of Nigerian culture and are used daily by Nigerians to express themselves. Learning these slangs will not only help you understand Nigerian pop culture, but it will also make it easier for you to connect with the locals. With over 250 ethnic groups in Nigeria, each with its own unique language, Nigerian Pidgin has become a unifying language in Nigeria, and it’s spoken across the country.

As you continue to learn more about Nigerian culture, you’ll discover that there are many Nigerian slangs that are widely used in conversations. Some of these slangs have even become so popular that they’re now used beyond Nigeria’s borders. If you’re planning to visit Nigeria or interact with Nigerians, it’s essential to learn these slangs.

Remember, Nigerian slangs are not just ordinary words but unique expressions that have a special meaning to Nigerians. For instance, the slang “tule” is a popular expression that originated from a viral video of a Nigerian singer, Davido. It means “come out” or “show yourself.” Another example is the slang “dis slang wey dey trend” which means “this slang is popular right now.”

Learning these slangs is a great way to immerse yourself in Nigerian culture and impress your Nigerian friends. So, why not start by adding some useful words like “ma fo” which means “shut up,” or “way of Nigerians” which refers to the Nigerian way of life?

Remember, Nigerian slangs are meant to be fun and playful, so don’t be afraid to use them in conversations with your Nigerian friends. They’ll appreciate your efforts to learn and use their slangs. Whether you “chop breakfast” (a popular slang for “getting dumped” which was made popular by Nigerian singer, Burna Boy) or giving an exclamatory remark like “chai!” to express surprise or shock, using Nigerian slangs is a great way to show your love for Nigeria and its people. So, go ahead and start practicing these 25 popular Nigerian slangs, and who knows, you might even become a pro in no time!

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