With over 186 million inhabitants, 250 ethnic groups and more than 500 languages spoken, Nigeria is a true melting pot, creating a unique and fascinating culture that draws you in. Partly due to the massive variety of languages, English has arisen as the lingua franca of the country, with most Nigerians speaking English in addition to other languages. Nigeria has opted to give their English its own flavour however, and Pidgin English has emerged as a result. Pidgin English is not formally recognised by the country but serves as the most common language. Here is our guide to the 25 essential Pidgin phrases every visitor and Nigerian should know.
25 Pidgin English phrases
How Bodi/How You dey: a greeting, it means “how are you doing today?”
How far: This common phrase which means “How is everything?” and is a simple greeting used in casual settings.
Wétin dey?: “whatsup?/What’s going on?” informal way to greet someone. “Wétin” can also be used as a way of telling people off.
You do well: “thank you.”
No wahala: “No problem” or “yes”
I no no: “I don’t know”
I no sabi: “I don’t understand”
I dey fine: “I’m doing well”
Wétin dey happen?: What’s going on?
I no gree: “I don’t agree”
Abi: “isn’t it?”
Na so?: is that so?
Listen well well: “pay attention”
Nawa oh: “wow!” this phrase is used to express surprise.
You hear?: “do you understand?”
Where is the bathroom dey?: “Where is the bathroom?”
Make you turn left/right: “Turn left/right”
E don do: “Stop”
Comot for road: “make way”
Comot: “get out of here!”
Go slow: “traffic jam”
Food and drink
This food sweet well well: “delicious”
I wan chop: “I’m hungry”
Come chop: “come and eat”
Shopping and haggling
How much this one cost: “how much is this?”
E too cost abeg: “It’s too expensive”
You hear? These phrases offer a simple guide to navigating Nigeria and thriving like a local! We hope this quick guide to Nigerian Pidgin English has given you insight into the wonderful character of the Nigerian culture!
Mobus Properties Ltd. is a privately-held Ghanaian property investment, development and management company focusing on commercial and residential property development. The company has property portfolios in Ghana and Nigeria.