Top 12 Nigerian Slangs in 2020

The year 2020 was indeed a turbulent one in general; many claim that all of the happenings in the year were unprecedented. However, this does not rule out the fact that there were people who counted their successes at the course of the year. In the midst of all the trouble, bad days, and of course, good days, there were a few slangs that became popularized. Some of which we will be talking about in this article.

1. ‘Be calming down’: This particular slang gained popularity in the midst of the Corona Virus Lockdown in Nigeria. A young boy who was being disciplined by his mother got dramatic, asking his mother to ‘calm down’. This caused his mother to do a video recording of his reactions, which she afterwards posted on social media. Trust our people on social media, it was a reposting something, and the boy soon gained fast recognition. Not just him, but his statement ‘calm down’. Ever since then, you’ll see a number of Nigerians using the slang ‘calm down’ wherever applicable. A worker could be mad at his coworker for something that transpired, not a serious one though, and you’ll see the colleague replying with ‘be calming down o’

2. ‘Soro soke’: This is another slang which ensued in the midst of the EndSARS Protest. It is believed that it was while the Lagos state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu was addressing EndSARS protesters that a voice from the crowd replied him saying ‘Soro soke were’ which suggests that the Governor wasn’t audible enough, and the individual in question wanted him to speak louder. The Governor however replied jokingly, asking him to jettison the ‘were’ and that he was going to speak up. Hitherto, Nigerians adopted the supposed slang which gained wide popularity. A group of persons could be in a meeting, and an individual could be speaking at the moment. The other people in the meeting could simply ask the individual to ‘soro soke’, perhaps he wasn’t audible enough, or in a bid to douse the tension in the meeting.

3. ‘Opoorr – KPK‘: This slang as usual gained wide acceptance on social media. It could be used in different situations. For instance, an individual who is perceived to be a ‘money bank’ by friends could get his/her picture posted online by such friends with the caption ‘talo sópe ko pó? Opoorrr yéyé; izz plenty in the air’. In the same vein, in the midst of friends, an individual who is known for dropping lambas (lies) could say something (another lamba), and the friends would reply with ‘Ko pó ké, iz plenty!’ Meaning that the person has been caught red handed.

4. ‘Ooinnn, You are doing well!’: You probably must have heard of a popular comedian “Mr Macaroni”. Mr Macaroni in his comedy skits is known for saying “Ooinn, you are doing well!”. At this, Nigerians adopted it to be a slang. Hence, if an individual does or says something which resonates with the other person, the other person could reply with ‘You are doing well!’

5. ‘E shock you?’: Used by Brother Shaggi in his comedy skits, the slang is now being used in different situations. An individual whose facial expression suggests that what he has seen or heard seems surprising to him/her could be asked by another individual at the scene, ‘E shock you?’.
Today, it is being used in adverts, T.V. Commercials, and by persons everywhere. You’ll even see it written on WhatsApp stickers carrying Brother Shaggi’s picture, etc.

6. ‘Mad o’: You’ll often hear ‘Mad o’ from people around you when they are caught by surprise. An individual could have come across a meme on social media, and because the content of that meme is funny, laughable or surprising, the individual who has seen the meme could make an outburst ‘Mad o’

7. ‘O wrong nau’:

“O wrong nau,”  is another  code-mixing catchphrase from Yoruba and English meaning “it is wrong.” It is usually used to rebuke a prior speaker or action done, but with added humour.

However, that’s not to say what you did or said is wrong. It could just be your interlocutor craving to crack you up.

For instance; why won’t you recognize IOI as the best OAU news outlet? O wrong nau!.

8. ‘Wahala be like bicycle’

‘Wahala be like bicycle’ is another popular Nigerian slang rocked in 2020. It literally means that problem is easy to start and sustain but hard to end. This catch phrase is especially popular on Twitter.ng due to its notoriety of online violence humorously called ‘dragging’.

It has had various variants including ‘wahala be like Uganda, easy to enter but hard to comot’, wahalex est bicyclex in NG French, etc. You can also add your own variant if you feel it is trendable.

9. ‘Control P’:
Control P is a recent slang in the Nigerian slang lexicon, ‘control P’ is a term used when someone is taking a situation too personally. For example, ‘na control P dey worry am’ means that the person being referred to is taking things too personally.

10. ‘Jack’

This slang is commonly used by students and shouldn’t be confused with the English name of the same spelling. Most students especially in a school like OAU use it when they want to whine a serious member of their class, some people use it as just an alternative to saying “read” though. For example ‘you wey don jack all the syllabus’ means ‘you that has read/ studied the whole syllabus’ Therefore, to jack means to study or revise effectively. Another example is ‘ I wan go jack for my exam’, that means ‘I’m going to study for my exam’

11. ‘Fall my hand’:
‘Fall my hand’ is another popular slang that is used when someone is disappointed by a person or something that happened. For example, ‘no fall my hand’ means ‘don’t disappoint me’ while ‘na so dem fall my hand for there means ‘that’s how I was disappointed over there’

12. ‘Tuulé Joorr’:

If you’re a Davido fan, you should be very conversant with this slang… Oya Tuulé, tuulé joorrr. Lol

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