Listen, Nigerians are super creative people. From our music to movies, comedies and sensational social media memes and slangs, Nigerians can never run out of creativity. See ehn, Nigerians are so creative that Mary Beth Leonard described us as “an incredible source of ingenuity and creativity.” It’s plenty; we know. Creativity runs in our blood.
Beyond memes and GIFs on social media, Nigerians are also known for inventing yearly slangs and puns which they use throughout the year. Sometimes, these slangs find their way into the new year. Other times, they die a natural death when another slang is invented. Remember when you couldn’t say 3 sentences without saying mafo or inside life? Or when turnioniown was a thing? But look at you now, when was the last time you used those slangs?
This year has its share of slangs, both new and old ones that are still popular. Most of these slangs are used on social media and are mostly extracted from comedies, skits, songs and movies. We bet as a Nigerian, you must have used any of them on this list. If you haven’t, you need to recheck your citizenship; you’re probably from a country in Antarctica.
So, here we go:
If you think back to the start of the day, you would realise that you’ve said omo at least five times. In fact, we know the many ways you people express omo. Check this out.
Opor is so popular among Nigerians that it even has a translation: it’s plenty. Nigerians use this when they feel something is in excess, or they’ve seen something at a level they haven’t before. Imagine this: you’re at a party proudly spraying your 500 notes and someone comes from nowhere and starts spraying 100 dollars note, what’s the first thing you’d mutter? Opor!
Wahala for those who don’t know how to use wahala in a sentence. This year, we are sure wahala is one of the most used slangs. You’d hear it in expressions like, “I am not ready for all these December wahala”, or as a response to someone who’s troubling you too much.
We bet some Nigerians might have forgotten this. Thanks to Osita Iheme, popularly known as Aki, or the king of memes, who made the iconic reaction in one of the movies he appeared in. Nigerians express eewe when there are situations that are too tough to handle. Imagine you trying to complete a task and your boss keeps sending you emails upon emails with more tasks. Eweee!
Let’s show you one way Nigerians use this slang:
Yesterday, one very funny guy approached me at the Oshodi bus terminal and was like “SOPE OTILOR” jokingly I replied “OTILOR” 😊
When I got home i couldn’t find my phone 😭
— *P L A Y B O Y* (@emrys_kixx) October 13, 2022
You can also use this if you want to resign from your job in style. Like this Gen-Z here, instead of the usual “letter of resignation. Dear sir/ma…” just send an email to your manager and write “oya sope otilo”. Ensure you would not need their help or a reference letter from them in future, because if you do, OYO is your case.
Las las, na everybody go chop breakfast
Thanks to Burna Boy for giving the slang popularity, now Nigerians have another way to announce their relationship breakup, and their many other rejections.
Help help me, e dey carry me dey go where I no know
You know when something has a direction and at the same time does not have a direction? That’s how Nigerians express that type of thing. When a situation, person or thing is turnionown and they no longer understand it or feel helpless, they say something is driving them to where dem no know.
When someone is feeding Nigerians with lies and they know it, they simply say, “lori iro”. See, you can’t give us bobo and get away with it.
Shey you dey whine me ni?
I pay 10k enter zoo,you tell me say make I no hug lion. Shey you Dey whine me ni😒 pic.twitter.com/za9C3PTkAP
— The Peaky Pen 🌺🦋 (@Peaky_Pen) November 15, 2022
Nigerians are a whole vibe, you’d agree. Is there any slang used this year that we have omitted from this list, oya share with us.