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5 Nigerian Slangs That Have Different meanings In Other Countries

Nigeria stands as a vibrant tapestry of culture and language, with over 500 languages spoken across its diverse landscape. In addition to its linguistic diversity, Nigeria boasts a rich tapestry of slang, adding colorful nuances to everyday conversations. These Nigerian slangs, often infused with humor and creativity, carry meanings unique to the country. However, what makes them even more intriguing is their ability to confound those from other nations, where the same terms may carry entirely different connotations.

 

Let’s delve into five Nigerian slangs that might leave outsiders scratching their heads:

 

  1. HOW FAR

 

In many corners of the globe, “How far” typically serves as a question about distance. However, in the lively streets of Nigeria, this phrase takes on a different persona altogether. Here, “How far” transcends its literal meaning; it’s a versatile expression used to inquire about well-being, check on the progress of a previous conversation, or simply greet someone in a casual manner.

  1. TRENCHES

 

While the dictionary defines “trenches” as narrow ditches or depressions, in Nigeria, it takes on a whole new life. When a Nigerian declares they’re “in the trenches,” they’re not talking about digging ditches. Instead, they’re referring to a life of financial struggle, often associated with poverty or a past marked by deprivation. “Trenches” can also evoke images of rural areas or a time when one didn’t have access to the finer things in life.

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  1. I AM COMING

 

In standard English, “I’m coming” implies physical movement towards the speaker. Yet, in Nigeria, this phrase carries a twist. When a Nigerian announces “I’m coming,” it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re on their way towards you. Instead, it could signal their intention to depart momentarily, with the promise of returning soon. It’s a linguistic quirk that adds layers of subtlety to everyday interactions

 

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  1. CHAIRMAN

 

In the lexicon of meetings and organizations, a “chairman” typically refers to someone presiding over proceedings. However, in the Nigerian context, “chairman” takes on a whole new dimension. Here, it can denote various relationships and levels of respect. From someone you turn to for favors, to a figure held in high regard, or even a romantic partner, the term “chairman” embodies a spectrum of meanings far beyond its traditional definition.

 

  1. BREAKFAST

 

Traditionally, “breakfast” signifies the first meal of the day. However, in the colorful vernacular of Nigeria, it has taken on a metaphorical twist. When a Nigerian speaks of being “served breakfast,” they’re not referring to scrambled eggs and toast. Instead, they’re describing the aftermath of a heartbreak. Depending on the severity of the emotional turmoil, the “breakfast” served can be either scalding hot or chillingly cold, reflecting the depth of pain experienced by the recipient.

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In a country as culturally rich and linguistically diverse as Nigeria, slang serves as a vibrant reflection of its people and their experiences. These five examples showcase how everyday phrases can take on entirely new meanings within the Nigerian context, often leaving outsiders bemused by their versatility and depth.

 

So, the next time you find yourself in Nigeria or engaging with Nigerians, keep an ear out for these colorful expressions. They not only add flavor to conversations but also offer a glimpse into the unique tapestry of Nigerian culture and language.

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Written by Realinfoteam

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