#Slang101: Unraveling the Dope Meanings and Inner Beauty of 8 Nigerian Slangs


Nah Naija we dey and it’s completely inevitable not to run into or use one of these Naija slangs in our day-to-day yan (chat) with dem padi (friends). Why keep your chats with friends all buttoned-up when you can add some zing to make it as delightful as a plate of spicy Jollof rice sliding down your tummy? Why act foreign when in the real sense you are giran(streets)? In today’s episode of Trybe Naija, Trybe says “If you’re Gen-Z, don’t dull yourself, spice it all up with these indigenous slangs“. Shall we slide into the juicy details of this interesting topic?

1) Ajebutter


We often refer to those who are not accustomed to hardship or manual labour as “Ajebutter“. Some people even refer to them as “Agric” (another type of chicken breed). This is because street life is absurd to them. So, when Kasala bursts they often find it hard to manage the situation. Funnily, “Ajebutter” was a word used to describe an expensive butter that the average Nigerian could not afford. But in the Gen-Z world, “Ajebutter” has turned to Ajebutter Lori Street (Ajebutter on the street). They now know how the streets operate. Few are those who are oblivious.

2) Maga

Hey, guy man👋if anyone refers to you as “maga” run for your life🏃. But if you don’t want to run, come and be Trybe’s maga now😉.Here in Naija, we refer to “maga” as a gullible person who can easily be deceived or scammed. It’s a code word. Most people that are not from Nigeria don’t know its exact meaning. Well, I’d say that’s what makes 9ja a fun place to be.

3) JJC( Johnny Just Come)

Not everyone knows the cultures and traditions of a place. Especially if you’re there for the first time. Some people will even use that opportunity to scam you. You kuku don’t know anything. Imagine being in a place for the first time, then you try to board a bike from one junction to another junction. Once the bike man realizes you don’t know the place like this. Forget Abouriit ( about it) he’s going to take a large share out of your ignorance which will be to his advantage as you’ll be paying more than what you should pay🥲. When you’re new to a place or environment, certain behaviours give you out to those who are already socialized into the system. Once it’s noticed, they refer to you as Johnny Just Come🤪.

4) Sabi

Just like Ayra’s hit song ” Sability“, a part says “You know as e sabi girl dey do”. Knowledge they say is power. Dem no fit scam someone wey Sabi (someone who knows cannot be scammed). A Sabi person is someone who knows_ if you know, you know☺️. If someone refers to you as “Sabi” then you are the boss. It’s not negotiable🤤

5) Shine yah eye😳

In as much as you need to know (sabi), another prerequisite to living a fulfilled life in 9ja is shining your eyes like a torch in a tunnel. Any small snooze from you like this, they’ve collected Saturday and handed Sunday to you in camouflage. Padi mii “Shine yah eye!”😳. “Shine yah eye” in Nigeria means you have to be watchful and vigilant. Don’t let them sell you without your consent!

6) Ajepako

Not everyone is born with a silver spoon, that’s what makes life balanced. Ajepakos knows the doings of the streets, This set is not dull. They are always sharp. They strike at any alert. You give “gbas“, you collect “gbos“. Wotowoto is always available for he who seeks it. Ajepako is used for someone who is street-smart. You can never outsmart them on the street. Guess what? There’s a rebrand to the name_Tush Ajepako. A combination of Ajebutter and Ajepako. Whichever side you get to see depends on the circumstances. Dem too dey deliver, no doubt🤤

7) Gbe body e

In this zone, you cannot be slow. It’s a sin! Gbe body e (carry your body) and shake the snail off your body. Burna Boy attests to this in his song “Killin Dem” admonishing us to dance and move our bodies energetically. When someone says “Gbe body e”, let it signal to you that you’re required to dispense some enaji🔥, move your body energetically! Don’t be like fufu without soup, give some spice.

8) Long throat

Why do you want to be referred to as long-throat? Don’t be an “Adaku“. We all fall victim to this sometimes especially when it comes to food. We are always on alert. In a bid to look for ways to describe someone who has an insatiable desire for something, often food or material possessions. 9ja coined “long throat”. Funnily, it sits perfectly well into its description. There can’t be a better word I must say.

Let’s give props to the Naija tongue👏🥳, our secret sauce to navigating the maze of life! There should be no hiding or ”sorry-begging” for our mama’s linguistic legacy. It’s all about embracing our identity with swagger! So, to the girl in English class. How unna dey? It’s high time you bone up on my language as well.

The comment section is wide open👇, lovely readers. We’re eager to hear the Nigerian slang you’re familiar with.