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10 Popular Nigerian Street Words



Nigeria is the most populous black nation which also has numerous languages including ‘street words’.

Asides the official English language, pidgin English as well as Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba among others are used by the natives to communicate with one another.

These are not alone to navigate through this part of the world as words are coined from its street from time to time.

These words have their origins in the local languages as well as the pidgin English which is another street lingua.

Here are 10 Popular Nigerian Street Words and their meaning;

  1. Sapa: This is one of the latest word add to the Nigerian street vocabulary. This is used to certify high level of brokenness i.e. when there’s no money.
  2. Oja: This is coined from Yoruba language. Although ‘Oja’ primarily means market. It is used to connote illegal drugs such as codeine, cocaine, etc.
  3. Japa: Another one from Yoruba language. This can be translated as ‘flee’. It is used to connote ‘running away’ especially out of the country or out of the grip of an enemy.
  4. Alobam: This is from Igbo language. This street word is popularized by rapper, Phyno, in one of his hit songs. Alobam means ‘friend’.
  5. Ji Masun: Ji Masun is a Yoruba word meaning ‘be awake, don’t sleep’. It is used to connote being at alert or staying awake. It has almost the same meaning as the pidgin word ‘don’t dull’.
  6. Kupu: This is coined from Igbo. ‘Kupu’ can mean ‘forget’. It is used to stress word while talking. ‘Nwanne kupu’ can be translated as ‘my guy, forget’.
  7. Sakamanje: This is a word popularized by one of Nigeria’s indigenous rapper, Seriki. It is used to connote ‘cunningness’ in someone. When you try to lie to the other person, this can be used to connote your action.
  8. Twale: This is a popular street word used to make salutations. It is used to hail one who is superior to the other.
  9. Ojo: This three-letter words could have numerous meaning in Yoruba. As a street word, it is used to refer to a Police officer/cop.
  10. E choke: This is one of the latest Nigerian street words. Coined by pop star, Davido, this has been a popular word on social media which also has a Twitter emoji to it. ‘E choke’ means difficulty in breathing’ as a result of great things achieved by someone.

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