Friday, July 31, 2009

End of the wicked

A few days ago, Helen Ukpabio's nutcases invaded a conference on the child-witch phenomenon and roughed up those in the audience. Watch the video to see her people at work. Click here to sign an online petition to close her operation down.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

That bloody cable

The BBC has more on the SAT-3 nightmare that has plunged West Africa into no-band hell.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sat-3 wahala

We are back to life with no internet - reminding me of my life pre-1994 when I first had bandwidth at home. I am typing this from a cybercafe which takes minutes to open one web page. As ever in Nigeria, it is one step forwards ten steps backwards.. Apparently the Sat-3 cable has been cut. Our ISP, suburban, has sent engineers to Ghana to see if we can connect over there, as they try to repair whatever cut there is. I'm not sure whether the cut is between Abuja and Lagos, or between the branch suburban uses from Ibadan to the Benin Republic. Nigeria often requires that you look under the bonnet to see what is currently not working. How many people in the UK have any idea about which undersea cable their ISP uses and what happens if there is a break in the cable?


Friday, July 24, 2009

On the tumultuous

Who knows what pressures (implicit or otherwise) have come to bear on Barack Obama, for him to forego the word 'stupid' that he had earlier used to describe the conduct of that police officer as he confronted Skip Gates in his own house?

The debate among the global commentariat on the Cambridge imbroglio has been pretty heated but also quite balanced, with good points made on both sides. That police officers should be treated with respect, regardless of the colour of those they are questioning, and that they should be contacted if a neighbour spots a potential intruder (black or white), are both in the abstract unobjectionable points. That a home-owner becomes intemperate, nay tumultuous, when viewed with the continued suspicion Gates was even after showing his Harvard card in his own home, is only natural. That white people can often subconsciously turn the black male body (even the black male body of a neighbour) into the archetype of criminality (as Brits do with anyone wearing a hood) shows how deeply permeated the stain of race is into the grain of American society. That playing the race card can create a self-fulfilling prophesy is undeniable, but that this negative feedback loop is always intersected by the discursive violence of white folks - talking away the churning experience of black folks who are simply trying to get ahead in a world that is symbolically and existentially stacked against them in the most subtle and unsubtle ways on a daily basis - is also equally undeniable.

More generally, the various discursive responses to social conflict situations come pre-coded by the legacy dynamics of power. Whatever we say by way of reflective response is always after-the-fact and conditioned by the ways in which power reproduces itself through the body and our bodies. In America, race remains the dirty little secret, as class does in the UK. No matter what talk of a post-racial America, or a more meritocratic Britain, the habitus of a contorted social nexus endures. We sit across from each other, divided by the scars and wounds of history.

There is hope. Rather than see Gatesgate as giving the lie to the idea that the post-racial is upon us, Obama's linguistic correction shows that a balanced perspective is still possible. The policeman may have been blinkered by an unconscious racial bias which stopped him from accepting as fact the evidence before him; at the same time as in a parallel universe, the esteemed Harvard scholar might have behaved a little less dramatically.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Five Forces comes to Lagos...

“I sense an opportunity for Nigeria…. this is where I want to be.”

Michael Porter, Civic Centre, Lagos, 23rd July 2009.

The renowned guru of competitive strategy (and Andy-Warhol-in-a-suit-alike), Professor Michael ‘five forces’ Porter, was in Lagos today to give a presentation on Public-Private Partnerships, hosted by Business Day and sponsored by MTN.

Porter has returned to Nigeria only a few weeks after his first ever visit in April. The breakfast event was the hot ticket in town today, and at US$1,000 per seat, only for the financially achieved or life’s charmers (guess which category this blogger falls into). The Vice-President was represented by Shamsuddeen Usman, the oga of the National Planning Commission. The governors of Lagos and Edo State were there in person and the governor of Rivers State was represented. The leaders of the Lagos business community were also in full force – Atedo Peterside, Pascale Dozier, Ahmed Farouk, Bismark Rewane and blah blah.

When Gov. Fashola walked up to give his opening address, he was given a warm and sustained applause. Undoubtedly, he is a popular governor. His speech made all the right noises too, with an emphasis on building an infrastructure for an emerging megacity by embracing the can-do of the private sector. The only slightly odd thing was he stated Lagos’ population as 8 million, which is hard to believe. The commonly quoted figure is either 15 or 17 million. Also a bit odd is that he didn't mention power at all when he was discussing the need for infrastructure in Lagos.

Porter’s presentation itself made a lot of sense. He stressed the need for Nigeria to move away from a resource-trap economy towards a productive economy. There was spontaneous applause after he said the opening statement quoted above. The question of how an economy determined by the resource curse is transformed into a diversified productive economy is however all about drive, determination and realistic planning. There was sheepish self-recognising laughter when Porter talked about how an 'inheritance economy' (aka one living on the endownments of natural resources) tends to fuel dividing-the-pie squabbles and corruption. Certainly however there seems to be a good deal of seriousness brought to the table by those moving things forward. Frank Aigbogun, publisher of Business Day, is to be congratulated for making today’s event happen.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The 4th WAAD conference

is coming up early next month in Abuja. Here for details. The conference theme is "Education, Gender & Sustainable Development in the Age of Globalization". Nawal El Saadawi and Molara Ogundipe will be among the illustrious speakers.


FT feature in the Financial Times earlier this week

Download the PDF here.


Babawilly’s Pidgin English – Words and Phrases

Print out and use as a reference guide for when listening to Wazobia FM or NEXT TV news Tues and Thurs:


A whole.. Used when a man of substance is belittled e.g See how mobile police trash the guy, a whole managing director for dat matter
Abeg: Please.
Abi?: Is it not?
Abi na wetin!: What is it?
ABU: Amadu Bello University.
Acada: 1. Intellectual 2. University student 3. Book worm.
Acata: 1. USA or UK 2.Someone who lives in those places.
Acting big man: Deputy exercising power in the absence of the boss.
Adire: Dyed cloth.
Adonkia: contraction for I don’t care attitude
Afang: Efik soup made from Afang leaves, beef, dried fish, crayfish, palm oil, and periwinkle.
Afraid catch me: I was scared.
Afta: After
Afta much:Inebriated after much alcohol.
Agaracha: Woman of easy virtue.
Agbada: Large traditional garment usually worn by men over a shirt.
Agbepo: Night soil man. (See - Onioburu).
Agbero: Labourer who carries heavy goods for a fee.
Agip: Any Government In Power. Derisory term for person who changes alliances as goverments come and go.
Agument: Argument.
Ah-ah: For goodness sake.
Aircon: Abbreviation for air conditioner.
Ajasco: Dancing with fanciful footwork. Also called Ajasco Toronto.
Ajebota: One used to butter; rich spoilt kid. See Ajepako.
Ajepako: Literally means -one used to eating wood i.e. uses a wooden chewing stick as toothbrush.
Akamu: Pap made from corn. See Ogi.
Akara: Bean cake made from fried ground black-eyed beans.
Akara school: Nursery school.
Akata: 1. Recent arrival from abroad (especially UK or USA) into Nigeria
2. Nigerian nickname for an African American
Alaba: Abbreviation for Alaba International Market, Lagos. Famed for the sale of electrical goods.
Alan Pozza: Poser.
Alau: Allow.
Alau him: Give him a break.
All na: It is all a .e.g All na wayo.
All night: Night vigil.
All Weda: Shoes worn all the time, come rain come sunshine.
Along!: Shouted when hailing taxi cabs in some states in Nigeria.
Am: Used in place of 'him' or 'her' in sentence e.g. 'Warn am O!'
Amala: Dough like meal made from yam flour and hot water. Usually served with Ewedu soup.
Amebo: 1. Gossip 2. Name of a character in a Nigerian soap opera (The village headmaster), with a penchant for gossiping.
Amerika: America.
Amugbo: One habitually smoking Indian Hemp. (Marijuana)
And Co: Wearing the same clothes or fabric with someone else especially married couple.
Andrew: One wishing to emigrate out of Nigeria. Term originates from government sponsored advert in which the main character - Andrew threatens to ‘check out’ of the country due to various hardships.
Angola: Prison. Also Angola.
Animal and Sontin: Elephant and Castle (in Southeast London).
Anoda: Another.
Ansa: Answer.
Any attempt!: Don't even think about it!
Anyhow: 1. Shoddy 2. Inappropriate
Akpere: 1. Basket 2. Bad goalkeeper in soccer match.
Apoti: Yoruba word for small stool
Appear: 1. Arrive unexpected usually to something good such as a meal. Host will then say 'you waka well o'. 2. Arrive uninvited.
Apketeshi: 1.Illicit gin. 2.Native gin. Also called Kai Kai, Ogogoro, Push me-push you, Sapele water and Burukutu.
Apkroko: Gossip. See Amebo.
Apku: Cassava flour. See Fufu
Apollo: Conjunctivitis. (an epidemic swept Nigeria around the time of the Apollo 11 moon landing hence the name)
Arrange yua sef: 1. Make your own arrangements 2. Everyman to himself.
Arrangee: 1.Soiree. 2. Exclusive 3.Preplanned set up.
Area boys: Unemployed street-wise youth loitering in the neighbourhood. Also called 'Alaye boys' in Lagos.
Area girls: Female Anopheles mosquitoes.
Ariya: Good time.
Aro: 1.Abbreviation for large psychiatric hospital in western Nigeria. 2. Lunatic.
Aromental: 1. Lunatic 2. Eccentric personality. (See Mentalo).
As: How it e.g. 'Tell am as e take happun'.
As for: That's the way it is.
Ashewo: Prostitute. See Agharacha.
Askology: Sarcastic reply to irritant question. Also- Askor.
Aso oke: Tradition Yoruba fabric worn on special occasions. Means Upper class cloth.
At-all: Not at all. Also- At-all ah-tall.
Atachee: 1. Hanger on 2. Social climber forcing themselves on the in-crowd
Attachment: Small stool placed along the aisle of luxurious buses for passengers who can't afford proper seats.
Aunty: Any older female. Used when first name terms not appropriate.
Awa: Our.
Awoko: Burning the midnight oil.
Awoof: Freebie. Without charge. See FOC.
Away: Foreign especially Europe and America.
Away Baffs: Imported clothes from Europe and America; especially designer labels. See Sputs, kack and Sputeez.


Baba: Father (Yoruba)
Baba Jiga: Derisory name for a person suffering from Jiga infestation. Also Baba sore.
Babawilly: Internet pen name of the author of this dictionary.
Babar: Verb. Hair cut
Babariga: Large traditional robe worn by man. See Agbada.
Babo!: WOW! Also Ibabo!
Babi: 1.Baby 2. Pretty girl.
Babi pancake: Girl fond of make-up.
Back: Carry a baby tied to the back with lappa
Backyard: Bottom. See Yarnsh.
Bad bad: 1. Severely e.g Di man wey moto jam wound bad bad. 2. Absolutely e.g She fain bad bad.
Bad-belle: 1 Malice. 2 Player hater.
Baffs: Trendy clothes. See Away Baffs Bakassi: 1. Name of Igbo vigilante group. 2. Bottom. See Yarnsh.
Bale: Eat greedily.
Baler: One who eats greedily. See Long throat.
Bam: In good condition. See Kampke.
Banga: Palm tree fruit.
Banga soup: Soup made from Palm tree fruit.
Barawo: Thief
Basia: Large aluminium metal basin.
Bata: Shoe.
Battalion: Large family. See Papa Battalion.
Baze: Woo a girl. See Spin.
Beat am die: Beat to the point of death.
Been to: Well travelled.
Beg beg: One always begging.
Begin go: On your bike mate. See Hanlele.
Belle: 1. Stomach 2. Abdomen 3. Mind 4. Heart
Belle full: Satiety. See Gauge and Load.
Belle-sweet: Happiness.
Belle-turn me: 1. Diarrhoea 2. Abdominal colic. 3. Nausea.
Bend-bend: Illegal. See Corner-corner, 419 , Jibiti, Wuru wuru and Mago mago.
Bend down boutique: Second hand clothes. Usually spread on a mat at the roadside. See Okrika wake up.
Bending corner: Sharp corner of a road
Betta: 1. Good times e.g. 'Betta don come'. 2. Improvement e.g. things don betta.
Betta dey for Okra soup: 1. There's something good in store. 2. Good times are here.
Betta follow: Good fortune
Bi: Be.
Bi as e get: See Get as e bi.
Biam Bia: Beard .Also- Byah-byah.
Bico: Please.
Bicos: Because
Bicos why?: The reason is
Bifor: Before.
Bifor-bifor: Long time ago.
Bifor nko?: What did you expect?
Big grammar: Long and difficult English words. See Blow Oyinbo.
Big eye: 1 Ambitious 2. Greedy
Big man: 1. Rich and well connected man 2.Man in position of authority. See Oga.
Bingo: 1. Dog 2. Cooked dog meat. See Four-o-four. 3. Common dog name in Nigeria.
Black soap: Traditional soap made from Palm oil. Also called Ose Dudu in Yoruba.
Bleach: Use of skin lightening creams. Also Bleaching.
Block: 1. Defecate 2. Meet up with someone.
Blokkus: Scrotum.
Blow: 1 Punch 2 Speak with arrogance e.g. sofri-sofri blow Oyinbo.
Blow oyinbo: Use of long English words especially with a foreign accent.
Blom-blow: 1. Balloons 2. Condoms
Bo: For Pete's sake e.g. Comot bo! See Ojare and Jare.
Bobbi: Breasts.
Bobo: Trendy guy.
Bobo: Misinform.
Bodi: Body.
Bodi dey inside cloth: I am surviving.
Bodi do me: Premonition.
Bodi no bi firewood: The body has its limitations.
Boi: Boy.
Boju-boju: Yoruba word for ‘cover your eyes. 1.Hide and seek 2. Pay eye service e.g. Dis Boju-boju friend go stab you for back o! 3. Deception
Bole kaja: Yoruba for come down and let's fight and used for over crowded commuter bus in Lagos. See Molue.
Bold face: To bluff one's way through a situation.
Boli: Roast plantain.
Bom-boy: Baby boy.
Boma boi: Thug. Derived from Burma boy. Term probably originates from Nigerians who served under the British in Burma during WW2.
Bone: 1. Frown 2. Disagree e.g. e don bone for am!
Bones: Sun glasses. See Everything tinted and Shaded up.
Bonga Fish: A kind of blackened dried fish used to prepare local soups
Booze man: Drunkard.
Borkotor: Cooked cow's foot.
Borku: Very plenty. See Nyanfu-nyanfu, Full ground remain and Plenti plenti.
Born throway: Not in touch with one's cultural heritage.
Borrow-borrow: One always borrowing from friends.
Borrow-borrow make me fine: One well dressed up in borrowed clothes. Also Borrowed Baffs.
Bosaut: 1. Burst out 2. Come out 3. Explode.
Bottom Box : Treasured attire worn only on important occasions. e.g Dat yua dress na real bottom box o!
Bottom-pot: Dregs at the bottom of the pot.
Bottom Power: Undue favouritism toward's a female lover e.g Na bottom power she use get dat job o!
Bou-bou: Large voluminous dress worn by women.
Bow: 1. Surprised e.g. Man bow! 2. Applaud or be impressed e.g. everybodi bow when I land wit away baffs.
Boy's quarters: Small bungalow behind main house where hired domestic staff or extended family reside.
Boyi-boy: Houseboy.
Branch: Detour during pre arranged trip.
Bread: Naira (money)
Break Kola: Ritual breaking of the Kola nut at the beginning of a ceremony.
Brekoyan: Yoruba slang for Brassiere.
Broda: Brother.
Broda-broda: Nepotism. See Fren-fren and Who know man.
Broke: 1. Break e.g Na you broke di plate.2. Speak with big English words e.g Abeg sofri broke the grammar now.
Brokun: 1. Broken English 2. Pidgin English.
Brokun plate: Breakable plates especially China.
Brush: Hit someone hard.
Buba: Traditional blouse.
Bubble: 1 Dance 2 Party.
Bukka: Roadside restaurant.Also- MamaPut and Food is ready.
Bulala: Horse whip. See koboko.
Bulgary proof: Iron bars built into windows for security
Bullet: Grammatical error especially in spoken English. Also Ibon.
Bunch: Embarrass.
Burukutu: Illicit homemade gin. See Apketeshi.
Bush man: Unsophisticated man. (derisive usage)
Bush meat: Game.
Bust: 1 Write off 2 Ignore. See Fashie.
Butta my bread: Answered prayer. E.g God don butta my bread.
Butter: Another name for Ajebota. Also Omobota
Buredi: Bread.
By air: 1. Reckless driving. 2. Speedily arriving at one's destination i.e. travelling as quickly as an aircraft. See Okada.
Byah byah: Bushy beard.


Caff: Cafeteria. Used mainly on University campuses.
Call: To be beckoned by unseen forces. Juju is usually implied e.g. dem dey call you?
Cantab: Run full circle and over take fellow athlete in long distance race.
Carbon copy: Dead ringer for someone else e.g See im face. Na real carbon copy of im papa.
Carbu-carbu: Unregistered taxi cab operating illegally. Not painted in official taxi colours.
Carry am for head: 1.Take up too much responsibility for something. 2. To become obsessed with something e.g See how e carry politics for head.
Carry dey do: Behave badly.
Carry go: Used playfully to mean -Get away or Get out of here.
Carry woman: verb 1. Womaniser e.g. you too carry woman.
Catch: 1. Enough salt in food. e.g. salt no catch dis soup at all. 2. Intoxication e.g. Ogogoro don catch am. 3. Excited e.g. Bodi dey catch am.
Cease light: Power failure. See Nepa.
Chai!: Good grief
Characteristics of Tombo: Sang to the tune of Michael Jackson's You wanna be starting something. (See Tombo)
Chance: 1 Take advantage of. 2 Intimidate 3 Cheat e.g. abeg no chance me jo!
Changer: Hifi
Charge: Loose one's temper.
Chassis: Brand new car
Chei!: Goodness! See Chai.
Chickito: Young pretty girl.
Chin: 1. Frowning 2. Angry. Also - Chinning.
Chin-chin: Fried bits of pastry served as appetiser. See Small chop.
Chineke!: Oh my God!
Chipay: Cheap. See Chepeleke.
Chipeleke: 1. Cheap 2. Cheap article.
Chop: 1. Food 2. Income 3. Bribe 4. Embezzle money e.g Dat Oga chop belle-full bifor e retire.
Chop bottle: Eat glass. Part of pre fight preamble during which various threats and questions are asked to measure of toughness of the opponent e.g. you dey chop bottle?
Chop bullet: Get shot.
Chop life: Enjoy life.
Chop money: Monthly or weekly house keeping allowance.
Chop mouth: Kissing.
Chop-remain: Leftovers of meal.
Christmas goat: Used for one was sweats excessively e.g. which one you dey sweat laik Christmas goat. i.e. the goat sweats for its life as Christmas draws near.
Chuk: 1. Prick 2. Stab e.g Why you chuk me naif?
Chuk body put: 1. Squeeze into tight corner. 2. Getting involved with other peoples buisness.
Chuku-chuku: Thorny.
Ciga: Cigarette
Clear: 1. Leave e.g Make you clear commot. 2. Malicious sliding tackle during football game e.g See as them dey clear leg, abi na fight? 3. Finish large meal e.g Di guy clear the Eba finis o!
Close eye: Grin and bear it e.g close eye drink dat medicine ojare.
Close marking: Following spouse to every social event for fear of husband or wife snatchers.
Cock-shoe: Court shoe. Any low cut ladies' shoe not bearing laces.
Coke and Fanta: Derisory term used to describe the mottled complexion one who uses skin bleaching products.
Colo: Loose ones mind e.g. Dat guy don dey Colo.
Come chop: Small party. See Arrangee.
Comot: 1 Come out 2 Get away! E.g. comot for here jo! 3 Excuse me e.g. comot road make I pass.
Comot for road: 1. Make way 2. Get away!
Compin: Company.
Compound: Fenced off house, bungalow or groups of huts.
Condemn: Spoilt beyond repair e.g. see how she juss condemn the moto.
Condition make crayfish bend: Saying used when one is forced to do the unthinkable due to prevailing financial circumstances.
Confido: 1 Confidence 2 Self confidence.
Confra: University Campus Fraternity. See Cult Guy.
Congo-meat: Cooked snail
Coolee: 1 Relaxed 2 Cool 3 Chill.
Coolu-down: Simmer down.
Coolu temper: 1. Control your temper! 2. Title of song by Nigerian saxophonist Lagbaja.
Corner-corner: Illegal.
Corofo: Army recruit.
Coror: 1. Dark corner 2. Crevice.
Corporate begging: High class begging e.g. A rich man or business with cash flow problems begging for loans.
Correct: Very good. e.g Di bobo na correct guy.
Correct Correct: Extremely good.
Cortex: Nail varnish.
Cortina: Type of school sandals.
Count: Afford e.g You fit count Twenty thousand as you stand so?
Country paper: 1 Passport 2 Right of abode in foreign country.
Court!: Rallying cry for everyone in a public building to rise and leave. Usually done to embarrass speaker or performer on university campuses.
Cover beer: Aluminium beer bottle cover.
Cost: Expensive. Also Too cost.
Crape: Defraud completely e.g. e crape all my money or E don crape my head pata-pata. 2 Finish (food) completely. See Level.
Crash helmet: Prominent forehead. Also Opun.
Craw-craw: Skin ailment especially rashes.
Craze: Crazy.
Cross leg: Idleness. e.g see as e cross leg dey wait awoof.
Cruise: Use excessively.
Cry blood: Threat. E.g. you go cry blood today today.
Cry-cry: Cry baby.
Cry dey call you: Threat to a child before a smacking. See Trouble dey call you.
Cross no gutter: Tight and long skirt i.e. it would be difficult to skip across gutter.
CU: 1. Christian Union 2. Born again Christian.
Cubes: Sugar cubes
Cult guy: One belonging to secret societies, nocturnal fraternities or clubs especially in higher institutions.
Cuni: Contraction of cunning. Also Cunny or Cuni-cuni. See Wayo
Cuni man die cuni man bury am: It takes one to know one.
Cut: Share of the loot. Usually involves a bribe.
Cut and sew: Bespoke tailor. See Mobile tailor.


Dabaru: Spoil.
Dada: Dread locks. Also called Bob Marley.
Damn: To rudely cut short someone who is speaking . Also Idanminashon.
Dance blues: Slow dance with couple in each other's arms. Also Hold tight.
Danfo: VW Combi bus.
Dash: 1. Gift 2. Bribe.
Dat: That.
Dat na question?: Rebuff to a silly question.
Dat one na grammar: That is not practical.
Deck: 1. Dress very well e.g Di bobo deck o, ah-ah. 2. Punch to the ground e.g Man go deck you o! 3.To sit down relaxed. E.g See e deck for chair laik na im get am.
Decks: Fine clothes. Also Deckeez. See Baffs.
Declare: 1. Pay for a round of drinks. 2. Buy new item e.g. Di guy don declare new jeep o! Also Declaration and Declare shows.
Dem: 1. Them. 2. They.
Dem-dem: A group of people with an affiliation such as students or soldiers.
Dem no born you reach: Threat or dare meaning "Don’t even think about it".
Dem no send me message: I will not get involved.
Dem send you?: Have you been sent to torment me?
Denge: Strike a fine pose.
Dey: 1. Is e.g. wetin dey happun 2. Location e.g. where you dey 3. Stance in the matter e.g. which one you dey sef. 4. In existence 5. Spectacular e.g. dat car dey well-well.
Dey go: Keep on going.
Dey laik Dele: ( Dele is a Yoruba name) 1. I am barely surviving e.g Man juss Dey laik Dele. 2. Being idle e.g You juss dey there laik Dele . Also - Standing like Standard Bank, Looking like Lucozade and Dey like you no dey.
Dey there now: 1 Keep on in self deceit 2 It is there at present.
Deshine: Public humiliation.
Die for: In love with.
Di: The.
Di thing wey mai eye see, mi mouth no fit talk am: Words fail me.
Dia: 1.Their 2. Dear or expensive eg Dat moto too dia.
Different eye: Individual variations on interpreting what is seen.
Different different: Assorted e.g Na different different kain fish dey inside dat soup.
Dig am out: Fight e.g We two go dig am out.
Diopka: Elderly wise one.
Direct entry: (Obsolete as A-Levels no more in place in Nigeria) Gaining admission into University after A-Level examination. JAMB examination not done in this case. See JAMB.
Dis: This.
Dishi: Embarrass. See Deshine.
Do: Participate e.g. I no do again. 2. Afflicting one's health e.g. Wetin dey do am?
Do anyhow: Unruly.
Do betta: Show us the colour of your money. See Shake bodi.
Do quick: Hurry up!.
Do river: Well done. Joke using the word ‘river’ as opposed to ‘well’.
Do well: Well done e.g you do well.
Dodo: Fried plantain
Dodge: 1. Avoiding someone 2. Escape e.g. man juss dodge comot.
Doing laik dis: Acting this way e.g. Why are you doing laik dis now?
Don: 1. Has e.g. e don come. 2. Has it? E.g. e don come? 3. Have e.g. I don tell am (present tense) 4. Have e.g. I don been tell am (Past tense).
Don run: Has ran away.
Donatus: (Derisory) One in habit of giving their services to others for free. Derived from- donate.
Done: Cooked e.g. yua own done?
Dormot: 1 Door mat 2 Area in front of main door to house.
Dorti-dorti: Garbage.
Dorti slap: dirty slap Hard slap across the face.
Doz bin: Garbage can.
Drain duck: Cleaners employed by Lagos state government to clean un block public gutters.
Draiv: 1. Drive 2.Chase away.
Draiva: Driver.
Draw: Slimy e.g Di Okra soup draw well well.
Draw bodi take: 1. Withdraw 2. Make hasty exit. 3. Avoiding getting drawn into a dicey situation.
Draw my throat: 1 Stimulate my appetite 2 Entice me.
Draw rain: Make an empty boast. Also Rake and Shakara.
Draw soup: Slimy soup usually containing Okra.
Dress: 1. Any kind of clothing. 2. Move your butt.
Drink garri: 1.In trouble e.g. you go drink garri today.2. Meal of garri and water. See Soak garri.
Drop: 1. A taxi journey e.g Oga, na fifty Naira per drop. 2. To alight from a bus. 3. Pay up 4. Monetary bribe.
Dros: Voluminous underwear.
Dry: 1 Slim person.
Dub: 1. Make extra copy of music tape 2. Copy neighbour's work during examination.
Dudu: Dark skinned person.
Dundi: Fool.


E: 1. He 2. She.
E Dey hard It is a rarity e.g E dey hard make Saturday night meet am for house.
E don do: It is enough.
Eagles: See Super Eagles.
Eba: Meal made with garri and hot water. Usually eaten with soup with bare fingers of right hand. See Garri.
Econs: (Abbreviation of economy) Stingy. See Tight hand.
Edikang Ikong: Traditional Efik soup made with beef, stock fish, snails, crayfish, periwinkle, peppers, pumpkin leaves and onions. Usually served with pounded yam or Fufu. Folklore has it that when an Efik maiden prepares this dish for a man she steals his heart away.
Effa: Ever.
Efritin: Everything.
Egbe: Fool.
Ego: Money.
Egunje: 1. Bribe or 2. Kick back..
Eh?: 1. What? 2. What!
Eh-eh: 1. No 2. Not at all.
Eh-yah:1. Sorry 2. What a pity 3. How touching
Ehen?: So what?
Ehen: Is that so.
Ejika ni shop: Tailor walking on the street with his portable sewing machine on his shoulder. Ejika ni is Yoruba for "shoulder is". See Obioma.
Enjoi: Enjoy.
Eko: Lagos
Eniwe: Anyway.
Enta: Enter.
Enta road: 1. Get out of control. 2. Drive car into the streets.
Enta market: 1 Go crazy.
Enta trouble: Get into trouble.
Esusu: Thrift society where members contribute a monthly sum into a pot and then take turns in collecting the total sum. Also-Moni of by turn - by turn.
Essenco: Abbreviation for term 'essential commodities' i.e. Milk, Sugar, and Salt.
Everyday everyday: Daily
Everywhere tinted: Wearing really dark sun glasses. See Bones and Shaded up.
Ewa: Beans.
Ewa Agoyin: 1. A kind of beans 2. Street hawkers who sell cooked beans.
Expo: 1. Leaked examination question paper. 2. Contraction of exposed
Eye glass: Spectacles.
Eye go come down: Come back to reality.


Fabu: 1. Unlikely tale. 2. Tall Tale
Fa fa fa foul!: 1. That is totally objectionable.
Face to face: Rooms rented to families which all open onto a long corridor. Also Room and parlour.
Face yua front: Face forward.
Fada: Father.
Fain: See Fine.
Fain-fain: Completely.
Fain for face: Pretty face.
Faif: Five.
Fait: Fight.
Falcons: Nigerian national female football team.
Fap: Steal. Also Tap or Tapping.
Fashie: 1. Ignore 2. Forget.
Fawul: Fowl.
Faya: Fire.
Feferity: 1. Showing off 2. Pretending to be classy.
Felele: 1. Light plastic football. 2. Neighborhood in Ibadan
Fence: Exclude.
Festac: (Acronym for Festival of Arts and culture) Name of large estate in Lagos originally built to house participants of the arts festival and later sold to members of the public.
Fiam: At lightening speed e.g See as the car overtake us fiam.
Fillage: Village.
Fine fine: Extremely well.
Firee cinema: 1. Public fight especially one in which clothes are torn off. 2. Free public spectacle 3. See through clothes.
Find me something: Give me a bribe.
Find my mouth: To extract a comment.
Find my trouble: Get on one's nerves.
Fine: 1. Beautiful person or object 2. Alright.
Fine boy connection: Handsome lad.
Fi si: See Jara.
Fit: Possess ability to carry out task.
Fly: 1. Jump across a fence e.g the tief fly di fence fiam. 2. Jump across open drainage gutter.
Fly your polo: Wear shirt with collar turned up. Also- Fly your shirt.
FOC: Free of charge.
Follow fight: Fight with.
Follow-follow: One easily lead.
Follow laugh: Laugh with.
Follow play: 1. Play with. 2. Joke with e.g. I bi yua age wey you wan dey follow mi play?
Fone: Derived from Phonetics. To speak in a foreign accent e.g. why you dey blow fone?
Food is ready: 1. Buka 2 Wording of sign placed in front of Buka 3. Food is being served.
Fool pass garri : Extremely foolish
Footron: Derived from Citroen. One who has no car and goes everywhere on foot. See Legedes Benz and Trekeez.
For: 1. From. E.g. Comot for road. 2. At e.g. Na for Tombo bar I see di booze man.
Forbid: Have an aversion to certain foods e.g. I dey forbid goat meat on Sundays. Usually related to Juju.
For life: No chance in a million! See lai-lai
For where?: Impossible See Whosai
Form fool: Fool around.
Foto: Photograph.
Four-o-four: 1. Peugeot 404 2. Cooked dog meat i.e. the dogcatcher needs to be fast to make the kill
Four one nine: 1. Advance fee fraud 2. Cheating 3. Deception.
Four to six: Children's birthday party. Usually lasts from 4pm to 6pm.
Fren: Friend.
Fren-fren: Favouritism.
Front: Presence e.g Who born am to talk dat nonsense for mai front
Frovlem: Problem.
Fufu: Dough like meal made from hot water and either cassava or plaintain flour. Usually served with soup
Fun won ton: Meaning - Give dem finish. 1. To make a memorable entrance. 2. Dress very well.
Full ground remain: Excess e.g. See how food full ground remain for the party. Shoo!


Gaining calories: Couple in tight embrace. Also-Gaining electrons.
Gallop: Pot holes in road.
Garium Sulphate: Garri. [pseudo chemical composition of Gari]
Garri: Dried cassava flour.
Garuwa: Aluminium container for fetching water. Garuwa is used as a metaphor for private business e.g. everybodi carry im Garuwa meaning mind your own business.
Gather: 1. Own a lot of an item 2. Hoarde.3. To be muscular e.g. See how the man gather. You no bow? 4. Beat up. e.g. See as e gather di man.
Gauge: Bellyful.
Gbagam: Loud clapper of bells.
Gbagbati: Excessive display.
Gbagbe!: Dismissive. Means Forget that one!.
Gbaladun: Enjoyment.
Gbana: Marijuana. See Igbo.
Gba summer: Enjoy.
Gba winter: 1. Suffer 2. Loneliness
Gbanjo: Cheap market sale.
Gbedu: 1. Rhythmic Afro beat sound 2. Loud sound system.
Gbegiri soup: Yoruba soup made from ground beans, red capsicum, onions, tomatoes and palm oil. Served with Amala, Pounded Yam or Eko.
Gbomogbomo: Child snatcher usually for fetish.
Gbosa: Loud explosion.
Gboyen: Fine girl.
Gen: Electricity generator. Also Standby Gen and Plant.
Gen-gen: 1. Exciting 2. On the edge.
Gerrout: Get out of here.
Geisha: Brand of sardines in tomato sauce.
Get: 1. To have or own e.g. I get shirt like dat. 2. To understand e.g. I don get wetin you dey yarn.
Get as e bi: There's something odd about it.
Get belle: Get pregnant. See Pregnapoline.
Get bodi: Overweight.
Get gist: Important information to tell e.g. I get gist for you.
Get head: 1. Sensible 2. Genuine e.g that deal no get head at all
Get mouth: 1 Talkative 2 Acid tongue. 3 Gift of the garb.
Get road: 1. Right of way while driving e.g. Na mi get road but e come shunt me. 2. Delusions of grandeur e.g. See poor man dey waka as if na im get road.
Get sense: Intelligence e.g. So you think say na you get sense pass?
Gettaway you: Get out.
Ghana must go: Large woven red or blue plastic carrier bag which was used by Ghanaians when they fled Nigeria during a mass deportation exercise.
Giam: Give it to him or her.
Giddying: Kissing.
Gidi: Lagos. Also Las Gidi.
Gif: Give.
Gi mi: Give it to me.
Giraffe: Examination malpractice were the neck is stretched to spy neighbour's work.
Girls follow me: Hair cut with horizontal parting on back of head.
Gism: GSM phone.
Gist: 1. conversation 2. Idle chat
Give chance: 1. Excuse me! 2. Get lost!
Give dem finish: Big entrance.
Give raps: See Spin.
Go: 1. Will 2. Indicating intent. (In present tense) e.g. I go beat you O!
Go come: See you when you get back.
Go come no dey: No dilly dally.
Go here go there: 1. Indecisive. 2. Neither here nor there.
Gonosheen: Gonorrhoea.
Go slow: Traffic jam
God forbid: God will not allow that to happen.
God forbid bad thing: God will not allow that to happen. Also God forbid.
Gorimapka: Derived from name of soap character with clean- head. Clean shaven head. See Moro-moro.
Got gist: Hear through the grapevine. Also Gotten gist and Them say.
Grab: Muscular.
Grabeez: Big muscles.
Gra-gra: 1. Commotion 2. Hustle 3. Overactive 4. Aggressive
Gree-gree: See Gra-gra.
Gree: Agree.
Gree yua own: 1. Takes a fancy to you e.g. di bobo gree yua own o! 2. Agree with you.
Ground no level: I don’t have enough money.
Gulder: Brand of Nigerian beer.
Guud: Good.
Guguru: Pop corn.
Guy: Man about town.
Guy name: Trendy nickname.
Guy way: Acting cool.
Gwaince: To eat.


Haba!: Good grief!
Hail: Cheer someone.
Hala: 1. Raise ones voice 2. Scream.
Half field: When the ball remains in the weaker team's half of the field during soccer match.
Handsup: Put your hands above your head.
Hanlele: Start marching.
Harmattan: 1. Dry and dusty winds blowing Southwards from the Sahara occurring during the dry season. 2. Financial hardship.
Haus: House.
Haysobay!: 1. Wake up call to action 2. Rallying cry. Used to psyche up people who then respond by shouting Hey! Might have originated from the shouts of workers and their foremen during railway construction in Nigeria. The foreman would have shouted Chaps (or Hey) obey.
Head: On your account. Eg Why you wan dey chop credit for mai head?.
Head no correct: 1. Mad 2. Eccentric e.g Why you dress laik yua head no correct. See Craze. Hear: 1. Understand a language 2. Obey instruction. 3. Comprehend what is being said.
Hear di smell: Smell the aroma.
Hear word: Obey instruction. e.g. you no dey hear word
Heart cut: Frightened e.g. My heart juss cut.
Heavy men: Tough guy.
Helele: Exceptional.
Highway manager: Public cleaner of major roads in Lagos.
Hiss: sound emitted while sucking ones teeth. Duration is proportional to emotional state ay the time
Hold belle: Prevent hunger e.g Abeg take dis chin-chin hold belle till the yam cook.
Hold this one for hand: 1.Take 2.Take this monetary gift.
Hold-up: Traffic jam.
Home delivery: Girl sent off to meet husband for first time following arranged marriage.
Home training: Well brought up. E.g. e no get home training meaning she wasn't brought up well.
Home trouble: A personal disaster blamed on a family member using Juju to cause problems.
Hor!: See Shoo!
Hot drink: Alcoholic beverages.
House: 1. Room 2. Anywhere inside a house.
How bodi?: How are you?
How dey go dey go?: 1. How are things with you? 2. How are things going?
How e bi?: How is it?
How far? : See How bodi?
How for do?: How are we going to do it?
How I go come do?: What am I supposed to do?
How manage?: How did it happen?
How now?: See How bodi?
How pepper ?: How are you financially?
Hungri: 1. Hunger 2. Strong desire for something e.g. New moto dey hungri me. 3. Poor e.g. Look im Byah byah laik hungri man own.
Hungry man: Poor man. see slso Weather man and Suffer man.
Hyper-jack: Read too much.


I beg: See Abeg.
I dey fear you o!: I am afraid of you. Also- You dey fear me o.
I don die: I'm finished!
I never see!: Oh, I never!
I no get yua time: I have no time for you
I think?: Is it not so?
Iacon: Air conditioner.
Iapot: Air port.
Ibeji: Twins.
Ikebe: Bottom. See Yarnsh.
Ikpekere: Fried unripe plantain chips. See Dodo.
Igbo: 1. Language spoken by the Igbo people of Eastern Nigeria 2. Indian hemp.
Iyama!: 1. That’s gross! 2. Filthy! 3. Yuck!
Innocenti: 1. Guiltless. 2. Chastity. See Jeje.
Inside inside: Deep in the interior.
Isiewu: Igbo soup made from goat's head (including the mashed brain), vegetables, palm oil and potash. Served as a starter.
Isu: 1. Yam. 2. Prominent Calf Muscles
ITK: I too know. One who thinks they know everything.
Ivinin: Evening.
Iwe Ilu: Right of abode in a country. See Country paper.


Ja: Run away.
Jab: 1. Profession 2.Place of work.
Jack: Read seriously especially for examination.
Jaga-jaga: Haphazard
Jaki: 1. Very hard worker 2. Worker being taken advantage of.
Jaku-jaku: Carelessly put together.
Jagbajantis: Nonsense
Jaguda: Crook.
Jam: 1. Collision, especially cars. 2. Meet up see also Block.
Jam bodi: Rough bodily contact.
Jamb: Joint Admission and Matriculation Board. Body in charge of University entrance in Nigeria who organise a yearly entrance examination.
Jambite: Freshman in Nigerian university.
Jambito: See Jambite.
Jambress: Female freshman in Nigerian universities.
Jandon: London.
Jankara: 1. Market in Lagos 2. Fake products.
Janglova: 1.Merry-go-round. 2. Playground swing
Jara: Extra helping. Also Fi si.
Jare: See Ojare.
Jazz: Nonsense. e.g Ol' boy why you dey talk Jazz laik dat?
Jedi Jedi: Piles.
Jeje: 1.Gentle. 2. Polite. 3. Up standing individual.
Jejeli: Adverb of Jeje meaning Gently.
Jibiti: Fraudster. See 419.
Jiga: Parasitic worm infestation on legs or foot such as Guinea worm. See Baba Jiga.
Jim-jim: Over zealous.
Jin jin jin: Party.
Jinta: Crook.
JJC: Johnny juss come. Slang to denote a Nigerian who has just returned from abroad especially after a long absence.
Jo: Please; Yoruba word.
Jogba: 1.Trickery 2. Gambling. Urhobo word.
Join: Board a bus.
Joke na joke: This is no longer funny! Also - If na joke stop am!
Jollof: Paella like dish of rice made with tomatoes, peppers and spices. A Nigerian party dish.
Joint: 1. Watering hole where food and drinks are sold.
Judge: Say ones side of the story in a dispute.
Jugunu: Rough neck.
Juju: Black magic.
Jump up pee: See Koko ise trousa
June 12: 1. Date election result was annulled in Nigeria. 2. Fraud 3. Election malpractice.
Jungle city: Ajejunle. A rough part of Lagos.
Juss: Just.
Juss dey patch am: Just surviving


K-leg: 1. Knock-knees 2. Unexpected Complications in a situation 3. Unexpected problems e.g. K-leg don enta di matter.
Kabu-kabu: See carbu-carbu.
Kack: Dress well. See Sput, Spoot, Baffs and Give dem finis.
Kai-kai: Home made gin. See Apketeshi.
Kain: Kind of.
Keke Marwa: Yoruba for ‘Bicycle of Marwa‘. Name given to 3 wheeled vehicle used as Taxi in Lagos. They appeared during the tenure of Gorvenor Marwa.
Kakaraka: Strong and stiff. E.g. the stork fish bodi strong Kakaraka laik say dem never cook am.
Kalakuta: House of the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti, which was burnt down by soldiers.
Kalo-kalo: 1. One armed bandit. 2. Amusement arcade game machines.
Kampala: 1. Kind of African print fabric thought to have originated in the city of the same name the capital of Uganda. Also called Ankara. 2. Jail house.
Kampke: 1.Complete 2. Completely at ease.
Kanda: 1. Peelings 2. Hide 3. Skin.
Kari: Carry.
Kashi: Gambling especially with cards.
Kata-kata: Commotion.
Kaun: Potash.
Keep Lagos clean: Large bell bottomed trousers that drags on the floor. See Labu
Kekere: Small; Yoruba word.
Khaki bois: The army.
Khaki no bi leather: Phrase meaning 1. Things are getting very tough. 2. Threat to someone telling him that - More trouble than bargained for is on the way.
Kia-kia bus: Quick-quick buses; Yoruba word. Danfo buses known for always being in a hurry.
Kick moto: Turn car engine on.
Ki lo de: What is wrong? Yoruba phrase.
Ki lon' haps : Whazuuppp??
Kill and divide: Make a killing and divide the spoils. Usually refers to corruption among public officers.
Know book : 1. Literate 2. Intelligent. also see Sabi book.
Kobo: Nigerian coin. 100 kobo= 1 Naira.
Kobo-leg: Bow leg.
Ko ko e se: Trouser that barely reaches ankle. Also Jump up pee.
Kol: Call.
Kondishon: Condition.
Korodoome: Large vessel for storing water.
Koro-koro: 1. Very clear vision e.g. na for mai two eye korokoro I see am hapun 2. Clear daylight e.g na daytime Korokoro.
Kudi: Money.
Kuk: 1. Cook. 2. To be given protective charms by witch doctor e.g Babalawo don kuk am well well.
Kuku: Word placed in sentence for emphasis e.g. I no Kuku sabi am, meaning I really don't know him. Also Kukuma.
Kulikuli: Small fried balls of peanut paste.
Kunu: Refreshing Nigerian drink made from Sorghum or Millet. Drunk in Northern Nigeria.
Kwik: Quick


Labu: Bell bottomed trousers.
Lahila Hilalau! : Oh gosh!
Lai: Lie.
Lai lai: Not in a million years. Also Lai lai to lai lai.
Lait: 1. Light 2. Electricity e.g. NEPA don commot lait again.
Lakuli!: Oh my word!
Lama: Cow.
Land: Arrive e.g. e don land
Land you slap: Threat meaning I will slap you face e.g I go land you slap o! Also Wipe and Tear you slap.
Lanko: Guinness stout drink. Also called Odeku.
Lap: Carry someone on your laps during ride in a car or bus.
Las Gidi: Lagos.
Lasu: Lagos State University.
Last year tori: Old news.
Launch: Use newly brought item for first time.
Learn work: Do apprentice.
Lef: Leave.
Leg no dey comot: Someone who seems to always be present e.g. dat bobo leg no dey comot church.
Leg no dey house: One who goes out too much. Also Waka about and Waka waka
Leg no dey stay one place: 1. Restless 2. Constantly moving about.
Legedis Benz: Derived from Mercedes Benz. Denotes one without a car who 'legs it' everywhere.
Legle: Sit spread eagled
Leg-xus: (Derived from Lexus). Someone who walks everywhere because they don't own a car. also see Footron.
Leke leke: Type of bird. Cattle Egret
Lepa Shandy: Slim (skinny) girl
Let my people go: Result that is barely above the pass mark in examination.
Level: Eat and finish a substantial amount of food. E.g. See as e level di eba.
Like play like play: Before you knew it. Also - No do no do.
Light: Electricity power supply.
Listen well well: Pay good attention.
Load:Eat too much E.g. E juss load poundi finis come dey ask for eba.
LOC: Local organising committee. Usually formed to run a major sporting event.
Local champion: A provincial super star.
Lokito: Uninformed and not travelled.
Lookery: Looking at things one's eyes are not supposed to see.
Long leg: Well connected. e.g. na long leg e use enta dat school
Long throat: Greed. Also Lagga throat.
Love in Tokyo: Excessive public show of affection by couple.


Machine: Motor cycle. See Okada
Mach: Trample upon. Also Mash.
Madam Kofo: 1. Character in Nigerian soap opera Second Chance famed for wearing large head scarves. 2. Lady with large head-scarf.
Made in England: Eat food and lick plate clean till Logo at the bottom of plate is visible.
Made in China: See Made in England.
Magani: Native aphrodisiac.
Maggi: Maggi cubes. Brand of seasoning cubes for cooking containing herbs and spices.
Mago-mago: Ilegal deal.
Magun: Spell put on woman said to kill her partner if involved in adulterous relationship.
Mai: My. e.g Commot mai front
Make: 1. Made e.g. Wetin make am sick. 2. Should I? E.g. Wetin make I do? 3. Let me e.g. Make I warn you o! 4. Parade one's self e.g. E juss dey make up and down.
Make eye: Wink.
Make mouth: Boast.
Make yeye: 1. Make fun 2. Crack jokes 3. Misbehave.
Mek: Make.
Make I hear word: Shut up.
Make I see road: Get out of my face.
Malu: Cow. Also Lama.
Mama dash: Hand me down clothes from a lady.
Mama-put:Road side food seller so called because customers frequently beg for extra helpings by saying 'Mama abeg
put more now'.
Mammy wagon: Wooden construction on the chassis of a lorry for carry passengers.
Mammy water: Mermaid.
Man: 1 Myself.
Man picken: 1. Me.
Man no die, man no rotten: 1. I am barely surviving.
Manage: Make do with second best.
Many leg: Complications e.g. Dat business don get Many leg.
Markit: 1. Merchandise
Mash: Trample upon. See Mach
Mate: 1. Age group. 2. Same social class. e.g. which day we become mate?
Matric: Matriculation into university.
Matric gown: Matriculation gown.
Mayguard: Night watch man.
Meanwilli: Mean while.
Mede-mede: 1. Salads 2. Foreign cuisine.
Medicine: 1. Juju 2. Tablets. Also called Melesin and medi.
Megida: Big man. Also Oga.
Mentalo: See Aromental.
Me shio nu: Shut up; Igbo word.
Mescaform: Mess up e.g Ol’boy, why you kon dey mescaform now?
Mesej: Message.
Mess: Fart. See Pollute.
Micro stuff: Small print information.
Miliki: Enjoyment.
Minerals: Soft drinks
Mind tell me: Intuition.
Mister man: Hey you!
Mobile: Abbreviation for Mobile Police force which is a rapid response anti-riot arm of the police. Also called Kill and go (derogatory).
Mobile tailor: Tailor who slings sewing machine on shoulder and roams the streets in search of clients. Also Obioma.
Moda: Mother.
Moin moin: Steamed cake of ground black eyed beans containing pepper, bits of fish or corned beef. Also spelt Moyin moyin.
Monkey coat: Fanciful waistcoat.
Money for hand: No credit.
Money make iron float: 1. The iron float refers to large ships and the phrase means it cost money to do anything outstanding. 2. Money can do a lot.
Money miss road: Nouveau riche throwing money around.
Money yab man: Condition where desires can't be accomplished due to financial constraints.
Moni: Money.
Monkey dey work babon dey chop: The workers don’t partake of the harvest despite their hard work.
Molue: Rickety bright yellow bus used for transportation in Lagos.
Moro-moro: Clean-shaven head. Also Gorimapka.
Morning food: Breakfast.
Morocco: Indian hemp. See Igbo.
Mono mono: Lightening.
More-more: In addition.
Moto: Car.
Mouth organ: Cob of roasted or boiled corn.
Move: Brisk trade.
Move stuff: Show off one's academic prowess. Also Vibrate
Mugun: Fool.
Mumu: See Mugun.
Murd: 1. Die e.g. Di Baba don murd o! 2. Murder e.g. Wo, if you touch mi I go murd you o!
Muritala: Slang for twenty Naira note which bears the photograph of the late Nigerian Head of state; General Muritala Mohammed. Also called Muri.
My own don betta: My good fortune has arrived.


Na: It is.
Na dat time: That is the time.
Nada: Nothing
Na fight?: 1. Rebuff to someone being unduly aggressive. 2. Is it by force?
Na go bi dat?: Are you going ?
Na im: It is.
Naif: Knife
Nait: Night
Na one: Exclusive or distinctive item. Eg That Bobo Opon na one.
Na kwensh: See Na die.
Na so: 1. That is true. 2. That is how e.g. Na so e come dabaru everything.
Na so? : 1. Is that how it is now? 2. Is that true?
Na so I see am o!: That's the way it is.
Na una sabi: That’s your business not mine.
Na wa : It is wonderful. Also Na wah.
Na wetin?: 1. What is it this time? 2. So what?
Na you bico: You the man please!
Na you o!: You are the man! Also Na you we dey look o!
Na you we dey look o: We look up to you.
Na yua eye bi dis?: Long time no see.
Naija: 1. Pertaining to Nigeria 2. Nigerian citizen e.g. Naija no go change.
Nak: 1. Tell 2. Hit e.g. Why you nak me for bodi laik dat now? 3. Eat 4. What someone is wearing e.g. See the shoe wey e nak.
Natin: Nothing.
Natin spoil: 1. No sweat 2. Hey, no worries.
Native doctor: 1. Juju practitioner 2. Herbalist.
NEPA: National Electric Power Authority. Also Never Expect Power Always.
Next tomorrow: Day after tomorrow.
NFA: National Football Association. Also No future ambition.
NFAite: Student lacking in ambition.
Ngwo ngwo: Soup made from goat intestines, heart, liver, vegetables, onions and pepper. Served as a starter.
Nigerian factor : Excuse used to explain away failures in Nigerian organisations or government
Nko?: 1. So what?
No: 1. Did not e.g I giam chop e No chop. 2. Will not.
No bi?: Is it not?
No be me and you: Just count me out of that
No bi person: Persona non-grata E.g Dat one no bi person.
No bi classmate: Not in the same category.
No bi small: A lot. E.g. E get money no bi small.
No bi today: It didn’t start today. e.g No bi today that man begin tief.
No dey: 1. Not at home. 2. Not available.
No dey stay one place: 1. Can’t stay still. 2. Adventurous.
No dey take eye see: Can’t see without touching e.g Dat guy no dey take eye see woman.
No do no do: Before I could say Jack Robinson.
No face: No time.
No how no how: One way or the other. Also - No do no do.
No go: 1. Will not.
No know: 1. Not aware.
No know im sef: 1. Ignorant or clueless person 2. One with exaggerated ideas about their true station in life.
No let: Do not allow e.g. No let am come here again.
No money for pocket: Financially broke.
No size in London: Very large size E.g. Im leg na no size in London.
No wan hear: Refusing instruction or advice.
Not to: It is not.
Notice me: One desperately carving attention.
Now: Placed at end of question for emphasis E.g Wetin dey do you now?
NTA: 1. Nigerian Television Authority 2. Gossip.
Number six: Intelligence.
Nyanfu-nyanfu: Plenty. See Borku and Plenti plenti.
Nyanga: Showing off. Also Nyanga Tolotolo.
Nyarsh: Bottom. Also Backyard.
NYSC: National Youth Service Corps. One-year compulsory national service undergone by all Nigerian graduates. After an initial 4 week military style training camp the graduates are posted throughout Nigeria to fill various posts. Also Now Your Suffering Commences.


O!: Placed at the end of sentences for emphasis and effect E.g. I go broke bottle for yua head O!
Oba: Traditional ruler. Also Olu, Ovie and Sultan.
Obey the wind: Skinny, Very underweight individual.
Obioma: See Mobile tailor.
Obito: 1. All night wake.
Objectiv: Multiple choice examination.
Obobo canda: Light skinned person.(Derogatory).
Obodo: Homestead.
Obokun: 1. Cat fish 2. Mercedes Benz limousine
Obrokotor: Obese person.
October rush: Frantic chasing of female freshmen (Jambitoes) in Nigerian universities by senior male students.
Oda: Other.
Odeku: Large bottle of Guinness stout.
Odu: Shady business.
Odudoof: (Derisory) Overweight individual.
Ofofo: Yoruba word for Gossip.
Oga: Person in charge. Also Oga pata pata.
Ogbele o!: Goodness gracious! See Ye pa!
Ogboju: Bluff your way through. See Bold face.
Ogbologbo: Old hand
Ogbono: Soup made from ground Ogbono seeds, crayfish, beef, dried fish, okra, spinach and pepper.
Ogi: Pap made from corn. Also Akamu.
Ogogoro: See Apketeshi.
Ojare: Said at the end of sentences for emphasis. E.g Comot for road Ojare!
Oje marina: Big lie.
Ojoro: Cheating.
Ojuju: Masquerade.
Okada: 1. Name of Nigerian Airline. 2. Motor cycle taxi. See By air.
Okirikpotor: 1. Eczema. 2. Dermatitis.
Okpetu: 1. Trouble 2.It has happened!
Okporoko: Stork fish.
Okrika wake up: Second hand clothes. Also Gorgio Amadi.
Ol'boy: Yo my man.
Ole: Theif. Also Teif.
Olodo: Dunce.
Olofofo: Gossip ( Yoruba word). Also Tatafo and Amebo
Olopa: Police officer.
Omi ni polish: Patent leather shoes.
Omo: 1. Child 2. My friend 3. Popular detergent powder.
Omo ale trousa: Literally means Prisoner's trousers i.e. Trousers that barely reach the ankles. See Jump up pee. Also called Michael Jaskin.
Omolanke: Labourer for hire who carries goods in a large custom made wooden wheelbarrow.
Omoge: Fine girl. Also Chinani, Chickito, Gboyen, Si si and Babi.
Omota: Ruffian or rude boy.
One day one day: One of these days. Used as a warning for those involved in dodgy acts e.g One day one day monkey go go market e no go come back meaning everyday foe the thief one day for the owner.
One kain: Odd E.g Dat guy dress one kain.
One thousand and four: Popular block of flats in Lagos Island.
Onioburu: Night soil man. Also Agbepo.
Opaks: Worthless.
Opari: It is finished.
Opeke: Good looking girl. See Omoge.
Open eye: 1. Wise up. 2. Become sexually active.
Open mouth: 1. Talk e.g Abeg no open mouth laik dat.2. Astonishment e.g Ol' boy, the way dem spray money nyanfu nyanfu for dat party, Omo na so I open mouth.
Open ya sense: Use your intelligence.
Operation: Armed robbery.
Operation sweep: ( Defunct) Special police anti-crime task force.
Opkor: Juju.
Opon: Yoruba word for prominent forehead. Also Crash helmet.
Oppressor!: Owner of big car.
Orenj: Orange.
Osa straight: Molue. Literally means Straight into the lagoon. Called so because of accidents involving Molue Buses plunging into the lagoon in Lagos.
Otopiapia: Rat poison.
Over-graduate: Postgraduate student. (As opposed to undergraduate).
Overs: Overseas.
Over stone: Disallowed goal when stones are used for goal posts and the ball goes directly above the stone.
Ovie: King.
Owambe: Yoruba word meaning it is there, denoting a lavish party with live music.
Owo: Urhobo soup made from palm oil, dried meat and fish, crayfish, potash, pepper, cassava starch and Egidije. Also called Oil soup.
Oyinbo: 1. Caucasian 2. English 3. Big English words.
Oyoyo: 1. Good times 2. Jollification.. See Ariya


Paale: Old man.
Paddy: Good friend.
Pafuka: 1. Give up the ghost 2. Collapse
Pain: Physical deformity e.g Una sabi dat guy now, di one wey leg dey pain.
Pali: See Paddy.
Pammi: Palm wine taped from tree top.
Pammy: See Pammi
Pan cake: Make-up.
Panda: Cheap gold plated jewellery.
Pangba: Astonishing e.g. Dat man Byah byah na Pangba.
Pangolo: Tin can.
Panla: Dried stork fish. Also Opkoroko.
Para: Abbreviation of Parasite. 1. Free loader e.g See as e dey Para all my food. 2. Unwelcome guest out to get something.
Papa: 1. Dad 2. Granddad 3. Old man.
Papa battalion: Man with many children.
Papa dash: Hand me downs from a man.
Papa dozen: See Papa battalion.
Papa-lolo: Dandy old man.
Parapo: Kinsman.
Parsha: Partiality. See Fren fren.
Pass: 1. More than or bigger than e.g. E big pass am. 2. Beyond me e.g. Dat one pass me o! 3. Obsolete e.g. Dat style don reign pass. 4. Relating to a bygone era e.g. Dat time don pass.
Pata: Underwear.
Pata pata: Completely.
Patch am: Managing.
Pay smol smol: Pay for goods in instalments.
Pepper: 1.Trouble e.g. You go see pepper.
Pepper don reach: I am alright financially
Pepper eye: 1. Jealousy 2. Sour grapes.
Perm: 1. Commit to memory 2. Woo a girl.
Persin: Person.
Petty trader: Road side vendor of assorted cheap articles.
Phichemba: Physics, Chemistry and Biology.
Pick pin: Punishment where one stoops on one leg to touch the ground with one finger and maintains the position. (Popular in boarding houses).
Pick race: Sprint off.
Picken: Child.
Picken wey say im mama no go see, im sef no go sleep: Admonition to disobedient child - "You think you are giving me trouble but it’s you who will suffer most."
Pipo: People.
Piss for bodi: 1.Incontinence of urine 2. Paralysed by fear
Pkomo: See Ponmo.
Pkaje: Share of fraud money. See Cut.
Pkokiripko: Rackety.
Pkopo garri: Dried Tapioca usually eaten with salt and ground nuts.
Pompoo: Navel.
Plant: Electricity generating plant. Also Gen or Standby Gen.
Play: 1. Trick e.g. No play mi wayo jo.
Plenti plenti: Abundant.
Pollute: Fart. Also Mess.
Pololo: Prostitute. See Ashewo.
Ponmo: Boiled animal hide. Also Pkomo, Show-boy and Rain coat.
Popular jingo: Man about town.
Popular side: 1. Cheap seats 2. Standing only tickets in stadium.
Populo: 1. Cheap seats. 2. Cheap or very common article.
Port: Port Harcourt. Town in Rivers state, Nigeria. Also called the Garden city.
Poto-poto: Mud.
Poundi: Pounded yam.
Pozza: Poser. See Alan Pozza.
Pregnapoline: Pregnant lady. See Get belle.
Presido: President.
Press: 1. Demonic oppression especially in bed at night 2. Ironing of clothes. 3. To be dominated during soccer game.
Price: 1. Haggle over price with market trader. 2. Inquire as to the cost of items for sale.
Proper proper: Very well.
Provisions: Tinned beverages.
Puff puff: Fried balls of flour.
Pull your ears: Get ready to run off.
Pump: Public or outdoor tap.
Pure water: 1. Bottled water sold by street vendors in Nigeria 2. A very common commodity. e.g Dat car dey everywhere laik pure water
Push me push you: See Apketeshi.
Put: Appoint to position.
Put am for ground: Floor with a punch.
Put eye: Look at something with longing.
Put fire: 1. Stir up strife 2. Depress the accelerator pedal. (speed up) 3. Incite/goad two quarrelling parties into a fight.
Put mi for trouble: Get me into trouble.
Put leg for road: Start going.


Quaya: Choir.
Quayet: Quiet.
Quanta: 1.Collide 2. Fight 3. Clash
Quarter pass four: Squint.
Quench: 1. Switch off e.g. quench dat light. 2. Die e.g. Di man don quench. Also Yamutu.
Queer-queer: Useless. See Ye-ye.
Quick: Used to comment on 1. Punctuality e.g. Since im promotion e no dey quick return from work 2. Rarity e.g Rain no dey quick fall this time of year


Ra-re: Trendy guy.
Rain beat you: Drenched in the rain.
Rain coat: See Ponmo
Raise hand: Salute e.g. I raise hand for you o!
Rake: Empty boasting.
Ranka dede: Hausa greeting.
R.R.S: Rapid Response Squad. ( An arm of the police Force).
Reach: 1. Arrive e.g. Which day you reach? 2. Afford e.g. Na dat one my hand (pocket) reach.
Reach ground: Completely.
Reach mai place: Pay me a visit. e.g. you come town no even reach mai place.
Ready made: Off the peg (rack) and ready to wear.
Reign: In vogue e.g Na dat trousa dey reign now o.
Reign pass: Out of fashion.
Remain small: 1. Nearly 2. Almost.
Remember me: Remind me.
Remember the day yua mama born you: Threat e.g. I go beat you sotey you go remember the day yua mama born you. Means the beating will cause you to relive your birth.
Remi:(Derived from Remnant). Left overs. Also Chop remain.
Return match: Returning faulty electrical goods to point of purchase especially at Alaba International market.
Rhyme: Go well together e.g Dat yua trousa no rhyme di shirt.
Richard Lander: One who uncannily times his visits to your house to coincide with meal times.
Rimuv: Remove.
Rockeez: Party.
Rofo rofo: Rough.
Room and parlour: One room apartment rented out to families with shared toilet facilities. The room is usually divided with a curtain into the sleeping area (room) and the sitting area (Parlour). Mats are placed under the bed to be fished out at night for the kids to sleep.
Rush: 1. Struggling for a place on a bus e.g. Na when I dey rush for Molue na im pick pocket teif mai money. 2. Flow. e.g. The pump dey rush well well.


Sabi: Know.
Sabi book: See Know book.
Sacrifice: Bribe to Police at road junctions.
Sagalo: Overhead kick in Football game.
Saka: Know too much (sarcastic) e.g Na you saka.
Sake of say: The reason is.
Sake of what?: Why should that be?
Salenza: Exhaust pipe if vehicle. Derived from Silencer.
Salot: 1. Salute 2. Greetings
Samba: 1. Bottom. 2. A generous rear end. See Yarnsh.
Samma: Hit e.g I go samma you slap o! See Mammar.
Sam-sam: 1. Never 2. Not in a million years. Also Lai-lai.
San sand: 1. Sand 2. Dirt.
Santana: also Apku. Named after the car which normally comes in white and handles smoothly like Apku.
Sapele water: Native gin. See Apketeshi.
Saraa: Sacrifice. (Yoruba word.)
Satellite: 1. Abbreviation for Satellite Town , Lagos. 2. Large head scarf worn by women dressed in traditional attire.
Sawa: Sour.
Say: Is it not that e.g Say na you be di Oga?
Say wetin: 1.Why? 2. What?
Scata: Scatter. Also Scata-scata.
School Father: Male mentor to junior student in Nigerian boarding school.
School Mother: Female mentor to a junior student in Nigerian boarding school.
Scope: 1. To look at an object or person longingly 2. Tell a lie
Sebi?: Isn't it?
Sekon: Second.
See Blood!: Look at trouble!
See im place see mai place: We are close neighbours.
See Oba: See trouble; threat. E.g. If mai hand touch you you go See Oba.
See Pepper: See- See trouble.
See trouble!: What a fine mess!
Sef: 1. In particular e.g. You sef. 2. Placed at end of question when irritated or impatient e.g. Wetin sef?
Senior: 1. Elder 2. Someone in a higher class in secondary school.
Serve Juju: Worship idols.
Set: Hi-fi system. See Gbedu and System.
Set blow: Adopt a fighting stance.
Shack: 1. Drink alcohol. 2. Be intoxicated or mesmerised by anything e.g. The house wey e build juss dey shack am.
Shackeez: 1. Act of drinking. 2. Alcoholic drinks. Also Shak.
Shaded up: Wearing dark sun glasses.
Shakabula: Dane gun.
Shakara: 1. Showing off. 2. Boasting about the impossible. See Raking or Draw rain.
Shake bodi: 1. Spend some money 2. Pay the bill.
Shaki: Sheep or cattle cooked intestine.
Shako: Yoruba word meaning Show off.
Shalanga: Pit latrine.
Sharrup!: Shut up.
Sharp mouth: 1. Acid tongue 2. Gift of the garb.
Shenj: Change.
Shenlele-coolele: Chant usually sang by kids at each other before a fight in Warri.
Shey?: Yoruba word meaning- Is it not?
Shicoco: See Omoge.
Shift: Verb. Move out in convoy of cars.
Shimi: Slip worn under dress.
Shinani: See Omoge.
Shine: 1. Look well 2. Look glamorous.
Shine eye: 1. Keep your eyes open 2. Be on your guard
Shine shine: Glittering.
Shockazoba: Shock absorbers of vehicle.
Shoe maker: Shoe repairer.
Shomo: 1.You know 2. You understand? Also You sabi say.
Shoo!: 1. Wow!
Short knicker: Shorts.
Show: 1.Make life difficult for you e.g I go show you o!
Show boy: See Ponmo. Also Pkomo and Rain coat.
Show face: 1. Turn up. 2. Show up briefly at a function to avoid being accused of snubbing the host.
Show ma fefe: Pretending to be fragile and sophisticated. See- Sime sime.
Show them: Give them something to think about. Also Show dem Pepper and Show dem finis.
Sidon: Sit down.
Sidon look na dog name: Phrase used to tell someone off for being too passive.
Sidon there now: Sit there day dreaming (sarcastic).
Sight: See e.g. I juss sight di guy dey come.
Sima: Simmer down.
Sime sime: 1. Weak 2. Too gentle e.g Ol' boy, why you dey make Sime sime.
Si si: Young trendy girl.
Sista: Sister.
Six to six:ref. Apku. Phrase coined up because some claim a meal of Apku can keep hunger away for 12 hours.
Skenchi: Greedy.
Slacki: Slow thinking person.
Slap: Walking e.g As man no get car na so so slap man dey slap go everywhere.
Slipas: Slippers.
Small chop: Pre meal appetisers such as Chin Chin, Peanuts, Puff Puff and Kuli Kuli.
Smallie: Small statured individual.
Small-small: 1. Gently . Also Sofri sofri. 2. Little by little.
Small time: 1. Next thing you know. 2. Before you know it.
Smell: Get close to e.g. No rake how you enta Concord when you never smell Muritala before.
Smol: Small.
Soak away: Septic tank.
Soak garri: 1.Meal of Garri mixed with water 2. Financial hardship e.g. As dem never pay us e bi laik na garri we go dey soak.
Soakeez: Act of drinking garri.
So kin so: 1. Yoruba word meaning-come down so that I may come down used as an alternative name for Volkswagen beetle cars. 2. Two door vehicle where the front seat passenger needs to get out before the rear seat passenger can exit)
Soda: Wield together.
Soja: Soldier. Also Soja man.
Sokoto: Traditional trouser.
Sontin: Something.
Sontin dey do you: There is something wrong with you.
Sontin dey there: There's something special going on.
So so: 1. Something always being done e.g. Na so so drink e dey drink.
Sotey: For such a long time.
Soyoyo: Trendy.
Sound you: Slap you in the face.
Soup wey sweet na money kill am: Good things cost money.
Spark: Lose temper.
Spin: Woo a girl. Also Toast , Approach, Tune, Give raps and Baze.
Spoots: Designer or very nice clothes. See Sputs.
Spoil: Talk badly of someone behind their back. e.g I hear as you dey spoil me for dat party.
Spoil mai garri: Also Put san sand for mai garri, Spoil mai show or Spoil show for man.
Spray: Giving of monetary gifts to dancers and musicians at a party. The bank notes are usually placed on the foreheads of the recipients.
Spree spree: Speak with a foreign accent especially English one.
Sput: 1. Dressed to kill e.g Di guy Sput o! 2. Designer chlothes.Also Sputeez.
Square: 1. Pay up. e.g Ol’ boy square me dat moni wey you borrow now 2. Receive one’s salary.
Squatter: University campus term denoting a student living illegally in the halls of residence under the auspices of a 'Landlord'; the legal owner of the room. The squatter sleeps on a wafer thin mattress on the floor while the Landlord sleeps on the bed.
Squat-o-meter: Name given to a squatter's mattress on some campuses.
Stand dey look: 1. Not using one's initiative. 2. Being unduly passive.
Standard: 1. Very good 2. Perfect
Star: Brand of Nigerian beer.
Stay yua own: Keep to yourself.
Stock Fish: Chemically dried fish
Stone ground: 1. Fall heavily e.g See how e take bodi stone ground.
Stomok: Stomach.
Stranger: Visitor.
Stroke: Tease. See Yab.
Strong head: 1. Stubborn 2. Persistent.
Stud: Rough tackle during football game e.g No stud me o! 2. Hamper one's progress.
Suegbe: 1. Dunce 2.Slow person.
Suffer head: 1. One prone to recurrent hardships.2. Poor man.
Suffer man: Poor man.
Suppose fit: Should be able to.
Suppose to: Should.
Suya: Barbecued Beef or chicken served with special Nigeria spices.
Swear: 1. Cursed e.g dem swear for you? Meaning- are you cursed?
Sweet mouth: 1. Sweet tooth 2. Silver tongued
System: Hi-Fi System


Taba: Tobacco.
Taim: Time.
Tanda: 1. Stand 2. Loitering.
Taffia: Gossip.
Take: 1.How did you do it? e.g. How you take build house on yua salary?
Take breeze: Sit out in the fresh air.
Take eye see: Look without touching e.g why you no fit take eye see Gulder i.e Can’t you see a bottle of Gulder without wanting to drink it?
Take Garri from mai mouth: Interfere with my livelihood.
Take light: Power cut. See NEPA.
Take me shine: 1. Show me up 2. Look good at my expense
Take style: 1. In a round about sort of way e.g the tailor take style get the dress o! 2. Use of guile e.g the bobo wan take style thief mai money
Talk anoda thing: ( Dismissive) .Say something better.
Talk true: Singing a different tune. e.g when you hear Koboko for yua nyansh you go talk true.
Tap leather: Play football.
Tap soccer: See Tap leather.
Tapping: Stealing.
Tapping electrons: Caressing a Lady.
Tatafo: Gossip.
Taya: 1. Tired 2. Do something to exhaustion or full satisfaction. E.g. I don chop taya.
TDB: Till Daybreak
Te slow: 1. Doing things slowly. 2. Slow Down, what's the hurry!
Tear shot: Kick a hot shot during football ball.
Tey: 1. Take too long a time. E.g. You don too tey for dat toilet, abeg commot one time jo.
That one: 1. That person 2. That situation.
Them say: I heard it on the grape vine.
Them send you: Were you sent to torment me?
Thermacool: 1. Relax 2. Chill or Stay cool. See Coolee. 3. Brand name of refrigerator.
The thing bi say: The fact of the matter is.
The thing wey happun for fowl haus dey happun for chicken haus: What’s good enough for the goose is good enough for the gander.
Throway face: 1. Ignore. 2. Snub. 3. Avoid eye contact.
Throway salute: Big shout out to.
Tie am: Cast a spell on someone.
Tie neck: Street criminals known for grabbing neck chains forcefully from car occupants' necks.
Tie yua Sokoto: 1. Tighten your belt 2. Brace yourself.
Tief: Thief. See Ole.
Tight hand: Stingy.
Timber and calibre: Men of repute e.g. Those are men of Timber and calibre.
Time wey I small: When I was young.
Tineja: Teenager.
Ting: Thing.
Tinigboko: Extremely thin individual.
Tiro: Khol used as eye liner.
Tip: Dribble opponent during football game.
Titi: Young girl
Titrate: Urinate especially at road side or in a bush.
Toast: Woo a lady. Also Spin, Approach, Base and Tune.
Today na today: This problem must be fully resolved today
Tokunbo: (Yoruba word) 1. Second hand goods. 2. Child born overseas
Tolotolo: 1.Turkey. 2. Show of e.g E dey make Nyanga Tolo tolo.
Tombo: Palm wine. See Palmmy. Also Tombo Liquor.
Tommorow tommorow: Procastination.
To nonsense: To excess E.g E Grab muscles to nonsense.
Too dey: 1. Always doing something. E.g. You too dey snore.
Too get: 1. Have in abundance.
Tori: 1. Interesting or humorous story.
Tori get k-leg: The situation has become complicated.
Tori get many leg: See Tori get K-leg.
Toro: 1. Old Nigeria 3 pence coin with circular hole in it's middle. 2. Problem e.g. Dat one na yua Toro.
Toronto: Fake goods.
Tortoise car: Volkswagen ‘Bettle’. Also Volks.
Tory don wowo: The story or situation has turned ugly.
Totori: 1. Tickle 2. Excite
Traficate: Indicate while driving. (using the turn signal in your vehicle)
Travul: Travel.
Trekeez: Act of walking. See Legedis Benz, Foot wagen and Footron.
Tri: Three.
Triangular student: (University campus slang). Student with little time for anything other than studies. Goes from the hostels to the canteen then to lectures and back to the hostels thus completing the triangle.
Trouble dey call you: You are looking for trouble.
Trouble sleep Nyanga go wake am: 1. Aggravate a touchy issue/subject. i.e. You should have let sleeping dogs lie. 2. But for ones outsized ego, an issue would have been amicable resolved.
Trousa: Trouser.Also Trousees
True true: Most definitely.
True to God: I swear.
Try: 1. Did well. 2. Tried you best. 3. Sarcastic use when someone offends e.g. Ol' boy , you try as you come finish the last iced water for fridge.
Trying: Doing very well.
Tu: Two.
Tu tu: Two each.
Tuffia: God forbid!
Tuke tuke: Buses used for transport. See Danfo.
Tune: See Toast.
Tuwo Shinkafa: Hausa meal made from mashed boiled rice and served with soup.


Ukodo: Meal of yams, spices, fish and pepper soup boiled in the same pot.
U.I. University of Ibadan
Una: You people.
Una go marry una sef: Two people forced on each other by a Molue conductor who runs out of change and suddenly darts off leaving the two with a single bank note to share.
Una two: The two of you.
Uniben: University of Benin.
Unilag: University of Lagos.
Uniport: University of Port Harcourt.
Up stair: One storey building.
Uselu: 1. Area in Benin city where the Psychiatric hospital is located. 2. Mad man 3. Eccentric. See Aro.


Vamoosh: 1. Make hasty retreat.
Veks: Vex.
Venue: Location of party.
Vess: 1. Vex. 2. Provoke to anger.
Vex-comot: Storm off in anger.
Viagragra: 1.Viagra.2. Aphrodisiac.
Vibrate: 1. Exert one's self. 2. Show off one's grasps of a subject.
Village persin: Someone who hails fron one's tribe or village


Wad: Rich e.g Dat business man wad well-well.
Wadded: Rich e.g Di guy dey wadded no bi small.
Wado: Urhobo greeting e.g Internet surfers Wado.
Wahala: Trouble.
Waffi: Warri. Town in Delta State, Nigeria.
Wak: Eat.
Waka: 1. Walk.2. Frequent visits to a Juju practitioner e.g. Dat man sabi waka o!
Waka about: 1. One who is always on the road.
Waka-jugbe: One constantly loitering about.
Waka waka: See Waka about.
Waka pass : To act as extra in Nigerian movie. i.e. - to have a walk on role.
Walahi: I swear. Also Walai.
Wan: One.
Wan wan: One each.
Wash: Use a newly acquired item for the first time. If new car is bought washing includes prayer for safe travelling after which drinks are served.
Wash hand now: Come and join me in this meal.
Waszup guy: 1. Young up start. 2. One trying hard to be trendy.
Watch night : 1. Night vigil 2. Security guard. See Mayguard
Wata: Water.
Wata and garri make eba: Rude reply to a question beginning with ‘What’.
Wata pass garri: Things have reached breaking point.
Waya: 1. Wonderful 2. Tough like steel wire. 3. Pangs of hunger e.g. See how hungry waya man.
Wayo: Trickery.
Wa-zo-bia: 1. Contraction of the Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo (Major tribes in Nigeria) word for come here. 2. Used for anything pertaining to every tribe in Nigeria. 2. Unity and Federal character. 3. Things pertaining to Nigeria. See Naija.
We no see yua brake light: 1. We haven't seen you for ages. 2. You sped right past us without stopping to say hello
We two: The two of us.
Weak for bodi: In a state of shock e.g Dat news make us weak for bodi.
Wear: 1. Board a bus e.g I go wear bus reach Tinubu.
Wear same trousa: 1. We would fight e.g If you chop dat money we go wear di same trousa today.
Wee wee: Marijuana.
Weather man: Poor man. See Suffer man.
Well well: Very well. This kind of repetition is common in pidgin English and is used for increased emphasis. e.g. True true, Tey tey, quick quick, tear tear and chop chop.
Wetin: 1. What is? E.g Wetin bi yua name?
Wetin call: Private parts.
Wetin concern government: What is my business?
Wetin concern Agbero with over load: 1. That's not my business. 2. I don't care.
Wetin dey do you?: What’s wrong with you?
Wetin time talk: What is the time?
Wetin yua eye find go dia: 1. You should not be looking there. 2. Mind your own business.
Wetin yua time talk: What is the time?
Wey: Who e.g The Obioma wey sew mai trousa dey pass.
What's doing you?: What is wrong with you? Also Wetin dey do you?
What's your own?: What's your problem? also - Wetin be yua own now? And Na wetin?
Which day?: When? E.g Which day you begin go gym?
Which one: 1. Hello e.g Ol' boy which ones now. 2. What is e.g Which one be dis?
Which one you dey?: 1. What's wrong with you? 2. Whose side are you on anyway?
Which level?: Hello.
Whinch: Witch.
Whinchi: 1. Bedevil.
Who born?: Derisive. Used when someone claims to be able to do the unattainable. 1. You can not do it e.g. Who born monkey?
Who born monkey?: See Who born.
Who know man: 1. Nepotism. 2. Being well connected especially in government.
Who no know go know: Threat meaning - Whoever is claiming not to know will know without a shadow of doubt. Also Who no sabi go sabi.
Whosai!: 1. Never! 2. Impossible. Also For where!
Wipe: Slap across the face e.g If you talk am again I go wipe you now now. Also - Land you slap, Land you dorti slap, Sound you and Tear you slap.
Wit: With.
Without: Meal bought in Buka without meat due to financial hardships e.g Madam gi mi four Naira Eba plus Ogbono without. Also by force vegetarian.
Woman Lappa: Man easily controlled by his woman.
Won: One. see also - Wan.
Wor wor: Ugly.
Wuru-wuru: Underhanded methods. See Mago mago.


Xerox: 1. Plagiarism. 2. Examination malpractice of copying someone's work. Derived from Rank Xerox. Also - Dub.


Ya: Your.
Yab: 1. Make fun of. 2. Abuse
Yabbis: 1. Act of poking fun. 2. Joke at another's expense.
Yafu yafu: Plenty. See Nyanfu-nyanfu, Borku and Plenti plenti.
Yakata: 1. Heavily e.g. I juss fall Yakata.
Yallow: Light skinned person especially when using skin lightening creams. Also Yallow babi.
Yam: Large calf muscles.
Yama-yama: Nonsense!.
Yamiri: Cannibal.
Yamutu: 1. Die 2. Break down.
Yanga: 1. Pride. 2. Flamboyance. Also Nyanga.
Yarn: 1. Story 2. Tale 3. Speaking.
Yarnsh: Bottom. Also Backyard, Ikebe and Samba.
Yawa don gas: 1.Things have exploded.2. Trouble!
Yawa go gas: (Threat) Things will explode or get out of hand.
Yawn: Loneliness. See Gba Winter.
Yellow fever: 1. Traffic warden with bright orange khaki shirts. 2. Lady who bleaches skin lighter. (derogatory).
Yesterday talk: Obsolete news. See Last year tori.
Ye ye: 1. Useless. 2. Worthless.
Ye pa!: 1. Yikes!
Yonda: Far away. (Yonder)
You are on without Nepa: 1. You're the man. 2. You are too much.
You chop I chop: Mutual corruption.
You dey chop bottle?: Can you chew glass? This questions the manhood of opponents before street fights.
You dey fear me o: I am afraid of you.
You get two head?: So you think you are tough? Taunts used to incite opponent before street fight. Also- Shey yua Mama born you wey eh?
You go know yourself: Threat e.g I go so beat you eh, you go know yourself. Also- You go see Shege and You go see pepper.
You go see: (Threat) You will see. Also You go see blood.
You hear?: Do you understand?
You meet me well o: Type of greeting used when a visitor who stumbles on you at meal time.
You no get work?: Don’t you have something better to do?
You never chop?: 1. Haven’t you eaten? 2. Why are you acting so weak? e.g which one you dey waka laik say you never chop. Also - Abi you never chop?
You sabi now: You know how it is.
You're on o!: You are the man!
Your hand reach: 1. Afford e.g Na dat one my hand reach meaning That's what I can afford.
Your money don come: You have hit the jackpot.
Yua: Your.


Zeburudaya: Name of character in Nigerian soap Opera; The Masquerade famed for making up humorous words and phrases.
Zero one zero: (University slang) No breakfast , have lunch and no dinner due to financial hardships.
Zero zero one: Eat only dinner.
Zombie: Derogatory name for Soldiers originally used by Fela Anikulapko-Kuti.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

ɐuɐu ɐnƃɐɾ

˙ɹǝɥʇouɐ ǝuo ƃuısɐɥɔ uʍop pıls ɹǝʇɐʍ pǝlʞɔǝds ɟo sdoɹp ǝɥʇ sɹǝplnoɥs lnɟıʇnɐǝq puɐ sɯɹɐ ƃuol ɹǝɥ uo uıʞs ǝɥʇ ɯoɹɟ ˙pǝuǝʇɥƃıɐɹʇs sʞuıʞ ǝɥʇ sɐ uıɐd ǝɥʇ ɥʇıʍ pǝsuǝʇ sǝʎǝ ɹǝɥ puɐ ɔɹɐ snonsuǝs ɐ oʇuı pǝllǝʍs sʇsɐǝɹq ɹǝɥ puɐ 'sʞuıʞ ʎɹıʍ ǝɥʇ ɥƃnoɹɥʇ qɯoɔ ǝɥʇ uɐɹ puɐ ɯɹɐ ɹǝɥ pǝsıɐɹ ǝɥs

˙sǝǝuʞ ɹǝɥ uǝǝʍʇǝq uıʞs ǝɥʇ oʇuı ʇıq ɹoɹɹıɯ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʇ os sɥƃıɥʇ ɹǝɥ uǝǝʍʇǝq pǝɥɔunq ɥʇolɔ ǝɥʇ ɥʇıʍ ʇɐs ǝɥs puɐ 'ǝɹɐq ǝɹǝʍ sɹǝplnoɥs puɐ sɯɹɐ ɹǝɥ ˙sʇıdɯɹɐ ɹǝɥ ɹǝpun puɐ sʇsɐǝɹq ɹǝɥ ɹǝʌo ʇı punoʍ pɐɥ ǝɥs puɐ 'ssǝupǝʞɐu ɹǝɥ pǝlɐǝɔuoɔ---ʇuıɹd uoʇʇoɔ pǝɹǝʍolɟ ɐ---ɥʇolɔ ǝuo ʎluo ˙ɹıɐɥ ʇǝʍ ɹǝɥ ʇɐ ƃuızɐƃ 'sǝǝuʞ ǝɹɐq ɹǝɥ uǝǝʍʇǝq pǝddoɹd ɹoɹɹıɯ ɐ ɥʇıʍ looʇs ʍol ɐ uo ʇɐs ǝɥs 'uǝɯoʍ uɐɔıɹɟɐ ɟo ɹǝuuɐɯ ǝɥʇ uı 'puɐ 'ɥʇɐq ploɔ ɐ pɐɥ ʇsnɾ pɐɥ ɐnƃɐɾ


East Africa goes broadband...

...while West Africa is still in the starting blocks (actually, still in the changing room wondering what to wear) with useless always-cut SAT3, a phantom Glo1 (are Alcatel's contractors stuck under a sand dune?) and the two new entrants, WACS and Main1 still way off beyond the horizon (next year if we're lucky). East Africa has embraced broadband and sprinted off with it while West Africa dithers and looks around.

As the always excellent Kenya Entrepreneur blog notes, a global market for freelance services now opens up on the East Coast. The majority of those online in Nigeria still have to either troop to their local cybercafe and wait for the Yahoo boys to finish their caps-locking letters, or stare frustratedly at the screen as Starcomms/MTN etc's fake broadband narrow-pipes data to their laptop. IT outsourcing and other services that can now emerge via reliable and authentic broadband are up for grabs for enterprising Kenyan businesses (offering a good time zone and first-language English). At some point, the Nigerian government will wake up to a lost opportunity one hopes and start to see that broadband is a necessary utility for a modern nation, alongside power and water.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Pupil pleasure...

While on the lurve theme, school pupils in the UK have been advised to have regular sex to stay healthy by the NHS, with the slogan “an orgasm a day keeps the doctor away”. If you can't get sex, masturbation at least twice a week is also lubriciously recommended.

I like this innovative approach. Kids start having sex from the age of 12, or sometimes younger - that's the reality. Better to embrace what goes and offer advice on it than trying to sweep it under the carpet.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Marital bliss

Innovations in wedding cake design from the UK. Thanks RGA for the pic.


Nigerians in the UK

A British-based Nigerian friend the other suggested that there were at most 200,000 Nigerians living in the UK, based on his experience of how many Nigerians he meets as he goes about his business. This raises the question of how many Nigerians do actually live in the UK and where they live.

Of course, to begin answering the question, we must define terms: do we refer to people born in Nigeria of one or more Nigerian parents, or do we refer to people of Nigerian heritage (ie take into account second or even third gen Nigerians?)

If the latter, the figure is far higher than might be imagined. The British Foreign Office estimates that between 800,000 and 3,000,000 Nigerians live in the UK (ie up to 20% of the UK's population!).

The Office of National Statistics estimates a growth rate of just over 5% for the category of "black Africans" (many of whom are Nigerian). In any case, the Nigerian diaspora in the UK is far larger than that of the US and has already changed the balance of black cultural influence in the UK away from the Carribean towards Africa. However, as the Nigerian population in places like Peckham (a.k.a Yorubatown or Little Lagos) matures, it seems that the Nigerian cultural influence itself is slowly waning. Despite the Nigerian population growing across time in Peckham, the Yoruba language is not matching this growth rate and is in fact declining. As more Nigerians settle in the UK, the languages (and cultural regimes) from back home fade away from one generation to the next. While black British culture is increasingly Africanised, the cultural specifities become mixed and diluted.


Outside the Abuja bubble

Yesterday, we took a trip to Karu, one of the so-called "satellite towns" of Abuja, to mark the opening of a small children's community library project. As the party crammed into the library and excited children slipped in and out, I stood outside to observe the scene.

Here, just a few minutes drive from the grand opulence of Maitama and Asokoro, where mansions cost more than their equivalent in London or New York, you can see how the vast majority of Nigerians live. The streets are made of earth, the building materials inadequate, with no electricity and no tap water in sight. A life lived in public, with little opportunity either for privacy or advancement. Meanwhile, Nigeria still has over US$40 billion in foreign reserves...


Tolu Ogunlesi bags a CNN award

The rising star of the Nigerian literary scene, Tolu Ogunlesi, wins CNN Africa Journalist of the Year Arts and Culture award. Congrats Tolu!


Koko sexism

HiTV has so few subscribers that the latest reality TV show, KokoMansion, has not registered much impact on public consciousness. The format is a replica of the Flavor of Love reality tv series featuring Public Enemy's Flavor Flav. However, whereas the Flavor Flav show placed a heavy emphasis on sexual lure and curvaciousness revealed, the KokoMansion version predictably frames itself in conservative tones as the search for the "ideal Nigerian woman" with D'banj as the star in need of a romantic attachment. The show's website explains:

"Through specially designed tasks, these ladies' strengths, talents, tolerance-level, fashion sense, social etiquettes etc will be put to the ultimate test – where the viewing public will act as the grand jury in the eventual selection of which one of the 12 contestants should be considered as having the virtues worthy of an Ideal Nigerian Woman. With all the cultural values we hold high as Nigerians projected to the rest of the world. In a nutshell, this show is a celebration of the dynamism of the hard-working beautiful Nigerian woman –by sharing in her struggles, and celebrating her virtues."

The irony in all this is that the ideal Nigerian woman is portrayed as someone whose life must be defined by competition among her sex for a man, with marriage, and the grooming path towards it, as the pinnacle of life's achievement. As with the Flavor of Love, the emphasis on love and romance fails to mask the underlying celebration of patriarchy and polygamy. D'banj the koko-master is placed at the centre of the 12 'kokolettes' hopes and dreams. It would be hard to imagine a reversal of the format, with 12 men competing for the attentions of one woman. The show seeks to consolidate the idea that Nigerian women should only think of marriage and bettering their chances of being selected by the perfect Nigerian man.

It reminds of a boat trip to Ilashe I took recently. One of our party had brought a pretty young thing with him from the night before. He also invited four Unilag girls along, all heavily made up. As we tried to enjoy the beach and the vibe, he proceeded to weave between all five of his entourage, requesting that each become his 'special friend'. Life as one long hip-hop video. Patriarchy thrives on the economic vulnerability of young women, whose bodies become the currency that circulates across the field of desire. The KokoMansion is, in this respect, the very image of patriarchy and a celebration of the ideal that women's lives must be surveyed and controlled by men.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Customer service, naija-style


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Michael Jackson for road in Lag

Michael Jackson burial VCDs are selling like hot cakes in Lagos. Here is a selection. Thanks Ms GA for the snap.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Penis-theft on the rise again

Cases of penis theft are in the news again. In the print edition of the Weekly Trust today, the article has a picture of men beating a suspected penis snatcher (reproduced here). Note how they are careful not to have hand-to-body contact with the victim and are beating him with sticks and shoes.

The article is not a bad overview, and suggests that a) penis theft is a pyschological, not physical phenomenon - that is - that men do not really lose their penises. Again, the article suggests there is evidence to link waves of penis-theft with economic downturn. As elsewhere, when an economy starts to fail, foreigners are the first to be blamed - as with the imported refinery workers in the UK a few months back. Cases of penis-theft often involve foreigners being accused.

This reminds me of Dan Smith's contention that the witch phenomenon in Nigeria (most recently, the child-witch phenomenon in Akwa Ibom) can be linked to economic and environmental issues. With no readily-available explanatory mechanism within the terms of society, supernatural causes are conjured up. In the African worldview, chance has no role to play and there is no such thing as an accident: there must always be an explanation. Magic fills the void.

Frank Bures has written an excellent article on 'penile retraction' which locates the Nigerian variety in an historical/international pyschiatric context and the notion of it being a 'culture-bound' syndrome. As he notes, Africa doesn't have exclusive rights to such collective hysteria phenomena.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Nigeria, world's 15th most failed state

Nigeria is number 15 on the failed state list, according Foreign Policy magazine's latest ranking. It is up 4 places on last year's score. Obama's destination for tomorrow, Ghana, is ranked 124..


Politicians and their asses...


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