MUST SEE! Popular Pidgin Words You Should Learn Before Visiting Nigeria • illuminaija

MUST SEE! Popular Pidgin Words You Should Learn Before Visiting Nigeria


MUST SEE! Popular Pidgin Words You Should Learn Before Visiting Nigeria

If you are visiting Nigeria for the first time, it will be very helpful to learn a few of their general language which is the ‘pidgin’.

After the English Language, the next language you’ll hear Nigerians speaking is the pidgin language which some say has its root from Warri, while some claim it is from Benin.

Whichever place this cool language originated from, be rest assured that 80% of the nationals speak this language and you’ll be able to interact with them with a little knowledge of it.  

Here are some of the most popular Pidgin words every Nigerian understands. You can add more pidgin words in the comments section.

How far?

This is probably the first word folks say to each other when they meet. How far means how are you?

You can also hear ‘how body?’ which is asking how are you doing, especially if you are ill.



This is used when someone is trying to snoop into another person’s matter.

Fine bobo/babe

This is used to appreciate the beauty of a man or woman. A fine bobo is a handsome man while a fine babe means a beautiful lady.


This is another word for a traffic jam.


Heehen is used as an exclamation and it can come in a different tone, depending on the context of the conversation. One can mean, ‘lest I forget’, another one can mean ‘really’, another can mean ‘is that so?’, and so on.


This means ‘eat’. I wan chao’ means ‘I want to eat’. ‘You don chao?’ means ‘have you eaten? 


This means ‘please’ and its usage also depends on the context. It can be in a serious tone or in another way where it means ‘i don’t believe’ or ‘i understand’.

Gbege / Kasala don burst

This means trouble. Anywhere this is mentioned, people run for their dear life because no one wants to witness gbege or kasala, whether big or small. These days, gbege can be interchanged with ‘wahala’ which is actually a Yoruba word but has the same meaning as gbege. 


This means leave. A Nigerian can say ‘vamos from here now’ meaning leave here now. It is the same when he says ‘comot here now’.


This sounds like the English word ‘water’ but is pronounced a little bit differently in the Nigerian pidgin language. Although, it retains its original meaning which is still ‘water’.


This is the pidgin word for ‘what’. When a Nigerian says ‘wetin you want?’ it simply means ‘what do you want?’


This is a Yoruba word but is very popular in Nigeria. Owambe simply means ‘party’ – birthday, wedding, funeral, anything kind of party at all and Saturdays are usually for owambes. 

If you are a party lover, you should attend an Owambe and never miss the party jollof rice. 



You definitely don’t want to see a Nigerian angry. Vex in Nigerian pidgin means ‘angry’. When a Nigerian says ‘I dey vex’ he means ‘I am angry’. 



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