One of the first thing you learn as a Nigerian child is to learn to analyse everything your mother say to decipher the actual message she is trying to pass. These are some instances where they say something, but mean absolutely something else.

1. “Let me keep this money for you” = “You don’t know it yet, but you’re not getting it back. Consider it as part payment for everything I’ve done for you.”

2. “Don’t worry about it, I will do it myself” = “I don’t want to do it myself. There will be trouble if you let me do it.”

3. “Go and wear your shoe, I will wait for you” = “You will see me when I get back. In the meantime, take care of the house.”

4. “We’re leaving this party in 5 minutes” = “I still have about 100 people to greet, but five minutes should be enough to do it.”

5. “Put it on my head” = “This is my best attempt at a retort. I hope you know that too and put this thing someplace else.”

6. “I didn’t kill my mother, so you can’t kill me” = “I know you can’t kill me, but my mother told me the same thing too. Just passing it on.”

7. “Sorry for yourself ” = “I like that you’re sorry, but I can’t let myself think that I’m too soft on you.”

8. “You have a headache because you’re always pressing your phone” = “I know that’s not true, but it sounded good in my head.”


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