- Most Nigerian slangs come from popular catchphrases coined by top personalities in the country that have seamlessly integrated into our communication style
- Legit.ng highlighted the slangs that have ruled 2023 and how they took centre stage in conversations
Nigerians have found great value in the use of their own slang. Some of these buzzwords might have existed for a long time only to resurface, while others are being developed from recent societal events.
These catchphrases originate from political or entertainment scenes and are mostly spoken in Nigerian Pidgin English.
In this report, Legit.ng compiled the Nigerian slangs that dominated the communication culture in 2023 and what they mean.
On colos-used when questioning about a person's sanity:
This is an indirect way of asking if someone is right in their senses. This is commonly used for questioning a person's sanity. It's mostly used on social media to question someone's inexplicable behaviour.
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Let the poor breathe- incidentally originated by Bola Tinubu:
President Bola Tinubu popularised this slogan during the campaign by using it frequently.
This is a plea for the government or other powerful entities to consider the plight of the poor and powerless in making their decisions. It may also mean giving the masses access to an opulent lifestyle.
People also use it when they want to do something that will be seen as lavish and excessive, something they can treat themselves to.
Dey play - has been in existence since 2022:
Even though this was popular in 2022, from Sabinus's "Something hooge", the phrase "Dey play" has become one of the most used 2023 phrases in the country.
It made it into trend lists for 2023. It means to keep on wasting time and not take anything seriously.
"Dey play" is a saying that encourages individuals to work harder and take life less lightly, and it often appears in videos in which the owner brags about material possessions like a new house or car.
No evidence - one of Burna Boy's popular meme:
This came from Burna Boy's iconic meme, "You go explain tire, no evidence".
This simply means that one's explanation will not hold water if one cannot provide evidence to support their claims. It also indicates when you have not done the hard work needed to reap benefits.
Japa-has continued to hold water since 2022:
The word "Japa" means "to run quickly" in the Yoruba language, from which it was borrowed. It was popularised in 2022 and has become a trend in Nigerian society.
But when Nigerian youths say "Japa," they refer to the eagerness to leave the country for overseas in order to study, work, or for other reasons.
Burna Boy points out worldwide social media nuisance
The Multi-award-winning Nigerian musician publicly stated his distaste for Twitter users and generally tagged them as "mad."
In an interview on Henrie's hotline Kiss FM, the Last Last singer was asked what he would like to bring for discussion, and he immediately declared his hatred for all X (formerly known as Twitter) users.
He stated that he initially assumed the strange behaviour was peculiar to Nigerian users and might be different in other countries, but he later discovered that the same trend remained true in Kenya, South Africa, and the United States.
Burna Boy talks about having mentees in the music business
Legit.ng previously reported that Burna Boy captured the attention of netizens with one of his controversial, witty quotes.
The Last Last hit maker, amongst many things, is known to share his logical beliefs on life and humanity sporadically.
In a recent social media post, Burna delved into the topic of having proteges in the music industry and the betrayal that comes with it.