– Damilola Olufemi
As the year 2021 is gradually coming to end, there is a need to highlight the top slangs said and used by Nigerians within the year. The year 2021 will not be completed without talking about events, happenings, and adventures that followed it.
From the beginning of the year till the end of it, they have been what Nigerians will talk about. No month passes by without a slang term that will trend all through the year.
These words gained momentum on the streets, in clubhouses, on social media and they were said and used by religious and professional individuals — jokingly or with seriousness. The words had no boundary nor limit of people who can use them.
Some of these words have been inscribed on WhatsApp stickers while some are already to make use of it on social media without respect for whoever it is said to — most especially Twitter, which is regarded as the “violence” headquarters by Nigerians.
Mention “violence”, a Twitter addict or someone conversant on the micro-blogging will always want to find where the controversy is.
In this piece, Damilola Olufemi spotlights ten trendy slang words used by Nigerians on social media and beyond.
Below is the list of top 10 slangs used by Nigerians in 2021.
To an average person, this is the usual meal eaten in the morning. They see it as an important part of the three square meals we eat every day. But to a street smart Nigerian, it is more than that.
Breakfast has turned to slang to mean relationship breakup. It all started after a short movie clip of Yoruba actor, Taiwo Hassan (Ogogo) saying “Gbogbo wa la ma je breakfast” — which means “We will all eat breakfast” — went viral.
He had meant everyone will surely come across something unavoidable in life. Nigerians took it, reshaped it, and tagged it with a relationship breakup. This is believed that everyone has at least once in their lifetime experienced a relationship breakup.
This slang deserves the number one seat on the list as breakups in relationships never cease to exist every day and month of the year.
“Breakfast” as slang is likely to go beyond the year 2021.
This is another popular slang that trended for a very long time in the year 2021. Sapa is used when one is broke, unable to get what they want at that particular time you need it. This was also turned to skits by skit makers and comedians. Some people have also hidden under this slang to avoid billing by either their loved ones, friends and family members. Once you hear, “Sapa hold me”, that tells you literally such person is broke mostly or could be avoiding expenses.
Lori iro is a yoruba word translated to mean a lie. This slang remained in the tongues of many Nigerians during the outgoing year. Lori iro emanated after the video of Gbadamosi Ismail, an Ibadan-based evangelist, went viral wherein he could be seen describing what relationships based on falsehood and fake promises are. Nigerians however elevated the phrase beyond the inability to fulfil relationship promises to likely promises from friends, office workers, government officials not feasible to be fulfilled.
SORA FUN OBIRIN
Just like Lori iro, Sora fun obirin comes from a video of a “preacher” as well. The video of the Akure evangelist went viral wherein he was seen preaching against indecent dressing in Church. In what seems like a vision seen to someone, he crossed to the side of the road and told a man in his car, “Sora fun obirin ooo. Olorun a wa pelu e” which means “Be careful of ladies. The Lord will be with you”. That slang became an anthem in the mouth of guys as a piece of advice to mostly those who admire women a lot or are casanovas.
“Ameno Dorime” is a French new age musical project titled Era and written by Eric Levi. The song, however, hit the Nigerian streets and within a few days became a notable slang among the country’s youth. It became a song played for big spenders in clubhouses. Due to the rate at which government does not pay civil servants as at when due, Nigerians are of the opinion that the song is not worth being played to them. Hence, the reason for the popular saying, “Dorime is not for civil servants.” Nigerian artistes also jumped on the song and released several versions of it — with the most trendy one that of Goya Menor featuring Nektunez. It is known as “You want to Bamba, you want to chill with the big boys”.
In December, Zazoo Zeh came into existence. It is the title of a song by Portable, a street guy who refers to himself as “Idamu Adugbo” (The streets trouble), featuring Poco Lee, a popular Nigerian dancer. The inclusion of popular rapper, Olamide Adedeji known as Olamide made the song trend and became generally accepted by most music lovers. Zazoo Zeh is believed to own the whole of December 2021.
This is used as a supplication to God, requesting for what you see or desire to have. God when is used mostly when pictures or visuals of lovers are shared on social platforms and others desire they find someone who they can replicate the picture or visual.
WHO DEY BREEETT /E CHOKE /TULE
Either of these words became generally acceptable like a culture in 2021. Both Who Dey breeett and E Choke were phrases emanated by Davido, the Nigerian musician. Who dey breeett simply means who is breathing. E choke implies to express shock or amusement on something surprising or shocking while Tule means to free, leave an individual.
KPK means Ko Por Ke while OPP is O Por Pa. They are coined by Naira Marley, the Nigerian singer. Either of the two is to complement a person’s looks or appearance. It could also mean to hail someone’s excellence or proficiency in something they have done or know how to do best.
Just like number 9 above, Japa and Mafo are also song titles by Naira Marley. Japa literally means to run away from, escape, withdraw, pullback from something or someone. Mafo, on the other hand, is a Yoruba word meaning don’t break. The deeper meaning of it is meant to be “do not be afraid or frightened”. It could also mean to be an assurance of supporting someone.