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20 Popular Pidgin Slangs Used In Nigeria And Their Meanings


There is no doubt Nigeria is a country with diverse tribes; these tribes have their own culture and do things that are exclusive to them.

it is also possible for a tribe in Nigeria to say something and get people outside the tribe looking lost.

There are slangs and codes used while conversing; these slangs are mainly known by people who live in the country or people who show interest in learning them.

As a result of the usage of these slangs, some of them have become so popular and are widely used by almost everybody in the country.

Pidgin is a language spoken by most Nigerians; it is the break-even language as most tribes are able to speak and understand it.

Pidgin is also known as broken English because English is the basis of the language. Although, Warri people feel it is exclusive to them, people from other regions in the country also speak the language.

In major cities like Lagos, Abuja and Portharcourt, it is very rare for one to move round without speaking pidgin or hearing some pidgin slangs.

Since we have given you a piece on some of the popular slangs used in Nigeria and what they mean, we would be checking out some of the pidgin slangs used in Nigeria and what they mean.

Find some of the pidgin slangs below:

1. Fall My Hand

This is a popular slang in Nigeria. When the speaker says no go fall my hand, he or she means she does not want to be disappointed. Nigerians often use this phrase when conversing with one another.

2. I Go Change Am For You

As funny as this pidgin slang sounds, it usually heard when the speaker is giving out words of warning. This is the speaker’s way of asking someone to be careful and not get him or her angry.

When you hear this phrase in Nigeria, do not think the speaker is talking about change; it could also be used in another context where the speaker is being lenient and is talking about replacing an object.

3. Pepper Don Red

This is another popular slangs Nigerian use while communicating. When this phrase is being used when talking about a person, it means the person’s luck has changed and the person is richer.

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4. Baff Up

When Nigerians use this slang, they are talking about someone being nicely dressed. Baff up could be substituted for Kak up which means the same thing. When this pidgin slang is heard, the speaker is commending the dress sense of a person.

5. Bust My Skeroo

When this pidgin slang is heard, the speaker is obviously a Warri person or someone affiliated to that part of the country. This means to blow one’s mind. The speaker is obviously amazed or wowed by something.

6. Yan

This means talk or gist. Sometimes the speaker could say wetin you dey yan? This means what are you talking about? It is a slang used by most Nigerians when pidgin is being spoken.

7. Crash

This is another popular pidgin slang used in Nigeria. Although the word itself is an English word, when it is being strung along with other pidgin words, it means to sleep. It is talking about the speaker’s tiredness and the need to rest or sleep.

8. You Dey Kolo

This means someone is crazy. This means whoever the speaker is referring to needs to have his or her head checked. It is a popular slang in Nigeria and people often use it while teasing themselves about a particular situation or thing.

9. Yanga or Effizy

This slang means to be boisterous or pompous. It is quite possible for someone who does not understand pidgin or the slangs used in Nigeria to be completely lost while he or she is being analyzed with this language.

As a result of the popularity of this slang, a Nigerian who reside in his home country would understand this.


10. Fabu

Oh boy no dey give me that kind fabu. This sentence is warning someone off lying. Fabu means lie; and as used in the example above, it means the speaker is aware of the gist being fake and is expressing his or her disbelief.

11. Gbege

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Gbege means trouble. It could be used along with some other words or said as is it is. it could be substituted with the word ‘gobe’ which means the same thing. Nigerians often use it while conversing.

12. Demor

This means to show off; some Nigerians indeed like to pose or demor with things that do not belong to them. This means to act up and pretend to be something one is not.

13. The Shenkiz Dem Just Dey Matrix

The word shenkiz or cury is used to refer to ladies or girls. This pidgin slang as expressed above means the girls are tripping. The speaker must have identified a group of girls who are interested in him or something he has.

14. Jones

Do not mistake this word for the name of a person even though it is in reality. When this is used as slang, it is talking about someone or a group of people not being smart in a particular situation.

Babe, you don jones. The speaker is talking about someone not seizing the opportunity where he or she ought to.

15. Shak Up

This slang means to be drunk or to consume a large amount of alcohol. The word could also be substituted for the word ‘shayo’ which means the same thing.

16. Jack

This slang is popularly used among students in Nigeria. It means to read.

17. Waka

Waka means to walk. Whatever follows this slang would now indicate how fast or slow the person being talked about is moving. When the word is being duplicated, it could mean aimless movement around the town.

18. All Join

When you hear this pidgin slang, it is talking about a collective item or group of things. It means everything is included.

19. Aproko

This is slang means to gossip. Anybody who is fond of talking about other people’s businesses and affairs is labelled as an aproko.

20. Sort

When this slang is being used while speaking pidgin it means to bribe someone. When police officers ask drivers to sort them while driving, they want to be bribed.

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