I should start with this: these words are not disrespectful or insulting when they stand alone. In fact, most of them are terms of respect and endearment. However, everything changes when Nigerians use them in certain contexts. 

Anyway, let’s hit it:

1. “Oga

Oga means boss. But it also does a good job of rudely calling someone to order. For added effect, start your sentence with “with due respect.” 

Example: Oga, please respect yourself.

2. “Alaye

I think it’s weird that “Alaye” is used as a term of endearment at all. It sounds aggressive in every context. So, it’s very easy to use in a disrespectful way.

Example: “Alaye, calm down. You’re doing too much.”

3. “Ogbeni

Ogbeni means a gentleman — something you should reserve for anyone worthy of being called a Mr. However, it’s pretty much a gender-neutral term these days. And it is what you should use when you want to (disrespectfully, of course) tell someone to do something. 

Example: “Ogbeni, wash the plates.”

4. “Uncle”

If being passive-aggressive is your thing, you should like this one. You won’t even have to try too hard. Use it when your poor subject has done something incredibly stupid. Look at them with pity in your eyes and gently say something in the lines of “Uncle, but I thought you had sense.”

5. “Chief”

Typically, chief is something you call someone you have loads of respect for. But in this case, it is what you should use when someone has disappointed you.

Example: “You didn’t do well oh, chief.”

6. “My Friend

This is Nigerian parents’ favourite to say when they are seconds away from giving in to anger. You don’t even have to think too much about it — the irritation in their voice will tell you everything you need to know.

Example:“Go to your room, my friend!”


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