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Popular Nigerian Slangs

Nigeria is a country brimming with multi-cultural personalities. The three main popular tribes in Nigeria are the Igbo, Yourba and the Hausa. Pidgin English is a form of language which transcends tribes in Nigeria and it typically evolves when two or more groups of people who speak different languages need to communicate but don't share a common language.

That common language helps different tribes communicate with each other better but it has also given birth to some of the most nuanced slangs in Nigeria. 

Here are five slangs that will be handy before making your way down to Lagos or Abuja International airport:


  • How far - Probably the most popular slang used for greeting in Nigeria. It means "How is everything?" or "How is it going?". It is a simple, informal greeting that's best used with people you regularly associate with. It can also be a method of breaking the ice between strangers. Perhaps this might be a way to break the ice between you and your Uber Driver once you land at the airport.
  • Naso - It is one of my favourite slangs, and it can be used when you are agreeing with another person's point. It can also be used cheekily to make fun of someone when they are trying to make a point that you don't really agree with but you play along anyways.
  • Japa - One of the most popular slangs on Nigerian twitter in the last few years, this Yoruba word means “to flee, escape or run”, but it’s what you’ll find every migrating Nigerian using to describe the process of leaving home for greener pastures.
  • Komot - This literally means leave and it's usually used in conjunction with the words here or there. If you hear someone saying this word to you, it means they don't want you around them.
  • E don cast - This Nigerian slang has been popularised by Burna Boy in the last year by his hit song Last Last, and now the whole world knows what it means. Well if you didn't know, it means to be exposed for something. For example if you claim to have a skill you have listed on your resume and you are tested on it in the interview in front of your potential future employers. If you waffle about because you have absolutely no idea what you are saying. It means you don cast! ( you have been exposed!).
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