10 English phrases that mean an entirely different thing in Nigeria

by Staff writer

If you are Nigerian or know about the country, then you should know that the Nigerian brand of English can be quite different from standard English.

In fact, there is a good reason the Nigerian pidgin is called “Broken English” by Nigerians.

Here are some English phrases that Nigerians say that only Nigerians can understand:

1. How far?

No, this phrase has nothing to do with distance when a Nigerian says it. “How far” is a popular Nigerian greeting that loosely translates to “How are you?”

2. You fall my hand

This is another popular phrase that is used when someone is disappointed by a person or something they have done. “You just fall my hand” actually means “I am disappointed in you.”

3. Don’t yab me

Okay, yab is really not a known word in standard English, but Nigerians use this word to mean “to make fun of”. “Don’t yab me” actually means “Don’t insult/make fun of/mock me”.

4. No worry

You might have guessed this one right — “No worry” actually means “Don’t worry”. But the twist is that most times that Nigerians use this phrase, they are far from being nice. “No worry, just dey go!” is a common way to express anger and letting the person know that they should leave you alone.

5. Should we fry egg for you?

Make no mistake, no actual eggs are involved when Nigerians blurt this out. Nigerians can be very impatient people and there is no better way to complain about someone unnecessarily wasting their time than asking them if they’d like an incentive of fried eggs before they can get things done. Talk about sarcasm!

6. No time to check time

Nigerians say this a lot and it’s usually to mean they cannot be bothered. Take it as the Nigerian way of saying “I don’t care!”

7. What’s my own

This is just like the one above. When a Nigerian says “What’s my own?”, what they really mean is that the topic being discussed is none of their f**cking business.

8. Mind yourself

You know that sign pasted on a glass door that reads “Mind the glass” — serving to caution you against the glass. Well…Nigerians telling you to “mind yourself” is similar to that sign. When you hear this, just know that you’ve been warned. Either you comport yourself accordingly or get it hot.

9. Are you okay?

When an English or American person say this, they usually mean that they care about you enough to want to know how you are feeling. When Nigerians say this, it is usually out of annoyance. The Nigerian “Are you okay” literally means “Are you sure everything is right in your head for you to say or do what you just did?”

10. I don’t blame you!

When other people say this, it’s usually to mean that they understand why someone did something or feels a particular way. In Nigeria, this phrase means an entirely different thing. You only need to look at the expression on the person that said this to understand.

Nigerians say “I don’t blame you…I blame myself” to mean that they, SADLY, take responsibility for allowing you to freely showcase your stupidity in their presence!


What other things Nigerians say do you find really interesting?
Share this post with your friends:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.