You can’t talk about Nigerian slang without talking about Nigerian music. Right from time, Nigerian artists have intentionally or unintentionally coined new words or provided a platform for niche slang to make their way into regular pop culture. Zule Zoo did it with Kerewa, 2Baba did it with Nothing Dey Happen, and Olamide did it with Baddo and Who You Epp?
With new music dropping every day, the shelf-life of slang has reduced. So befpre the current crop of popular slangs fade away, let’s find out the artists responsible for them.
1. E Choke
Yes, Shakespeare wrote about two annoying lovers who drank sniper. But did he come up with one of the most iconic slangs of all time? No. Once you like something, the first thing that comes to mind is E Choke. It could be a song or a bomb ass outfit; omo, anything can choke you these days. If you’re feeling like a baddie, follow it with E restrict airflow or Who dey breet? Once again, Davido >>>>>>>Shakespeare.
2. Ma Fo
Naira Marley made this slang popular with his 2019 song of the same name. Yoruba people will tell you Ma Fo means “don’t break it”, but marlians will look you in the eye and tell you it means “Don’t be intimidated or afraid”, and honestly, I’ll go with the latter.
No one knows what it means, but it’s provocative, and it gets the people going! If you know the meaning of Zazoo, please step forward and teach me. Portable, how far? Let’s run these extra moral lessons.
This list has so many people attached that it’s crazy. From the Naira Marley song of the same name that features Zlatan and Lil Kesh to the other Rexxie version that features Zlatan (again) and Ladipoe, collaborations with this word, omo, o por.
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Making a massive comeback on features with Wizkid on Fake Love, Tiwa Savage on Lova Lova and Davido on Aza, 2018 was undoubtedly the return of Duncan Mighty. While all these songs slapped, Aza featuring the DMW was the one that introduced us to this slang. Apparently, saying the word account is too much work for us these days, so we had to shorten it.
6. E Be Tins
You’ve probably said E be tins once or twice and sighed right after if you live in Nigeria. Even though this was already common, it took Dremo making a song about it for the slang to actually stick. Truly and truly, e really be tins on the streets these days.
You must hear someone shouting Gege anywhere you see people dancing. While its origin is debatable, it sounds like the short form of another slang, Mayorkun’s “This bread no be Agege.” If it is, then Mayrokun needs to get his flower for introducing us to this sick hype sound.
Davido strikes again! Gen Zs have been rinsing Watimagbo and who can blame them. Dropping this gem on High with Adekunle Gold, Davido reminds us that he’s not our mate, and we should’ve heard about his doings by now. But for those who aren’t familiar, they’ll soon find out.
9. Gbe body e
Nigerians love a good motivational slang, and Gbe body e provides peak motivation. Made popular by Zlatan on Killin Dem with Burna Boy, this slang provides ginger that goes beyond dancing or having fun. When life hits, it’s necessary to gbe body no matter what.
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