Yoruba slangs are very common all over Nigeria. Not only in South West Nigeria. Yoruba slangs usually have a very funny streak to them that makes them amusing even when you don’t know what they mean. Amazing uh? Yeah. I think Yoruba people are cool and so are their slang words. You are reading this article because you want a comprehensive list of some amazing Yoruba slangs right? Well, you’re onto the right page. In this article, we will look at a huge number of slangs in Yoruba language as well as their meanings/translations in English language.
Let me define what a slang is first, before I dive into listing Yoruba slangs.
A slang is a form of language used informally and is usually more common in speech rather than in writing by a particular group of people. Slangs are a combination of words and phrases. Slangs are highly informal and usually trend for a short period of time before they die down.
The same can be said of Yoruba slangs. They trend for a while, then they die down in trend. So, without much ado, let’s look at a good number of Yoruba slangs and their meanings.
1. O por
O por/opor rose in popularity so much because Afro-pop singers in the Nigerian entertainment industry. Folks like Naira Marley and Lil Kesh sang a track titled O por and since then, we have not heard the last of this slang in Nigeria. In case you’re curious as to what o por means, o por/opor means, “it is plenty” or “it is much” in Yoruba language. OPG is an abbreviation that means, “O por gan”. O por gan means, “It is very much”.
Ajebutter literally means, “we ate butter”. But is that the contextual meaning of Ajebutter? Nope. When used in context, Ajebutter means or is used to refer to a rich person that has experienced a richer and more westernized way of living. Ajebutters are also referred to as “posh” or “tush” people. Ajebutter could be a kid or an adult.
3. Ko por keh
Ko por keh means, “How is it not much?” The slang got popular in late 2018. And of course, it is a pure Yoruba slang. Ko por keh is correctly written as ko po ke. It does not have an “r” after “po”, neither does it have an “h” after “ke”. Ko por keh is funnily abbreviated as KPK. KPK simply means, “Ko por keh” or Ko po kankan. Ko po kankan means “It is not plenty at all”.
Abi has its origins in Yoruba language. When you want to say “am i right?” in Nigeria, most people say “abi?” Abi is actually a Yoruba word or slang that means “Right?” It just got extremely popular among all Nigerians of many tribes.
Okada is another Yoruba slang word that means, “motor bike”.
Gbana is a Yoruba word / slang. I mean, it sounds Yoruba. I stand to be corrected. Gbana means ‘Weed or Marijuana’. When someone has smoked something and has gotten ‘high’, they will say, “o ti fa gbana”. That means, “he/she has smoked weed.”
Some people will say, “you just go dey do agidi..” What does that slang Agidi mean? Agidi is a Yoruba slang that means, “stubborness”.
Some pople will say, “Inside Lagos ehn, you gats to soji!” Soji is a Yoruba word itself, it means, “wake up”.
Shayo is a Yoruba slang or word that means, “to get high on something”. That ‘something’ could be alcohol, weed, marijuana, igbo, or whatever.
Amebo is originally a Yoruba word that has turned to a slang that means, “someone that likes eavesdrop on other people’s businesses, and also likes to gossip”.
Gbosa is originally a Yoruba word that has turned to a slang that means, “to applaud someone or salute someone for something.” Gbosa could also mean “to punch or slap someone.”
Jara is originally a Yoruba word that has turned to a slang that means, “bonus or freebie”.
13. Mugu / Maga
Mugu and Maga are originally Yoruba words that have turned to slangs that mean, “someone that falls for pranks, duping, scams, or con-artists”. Basically a maga / mugu is a victim of a scam.
Ojoro is originally a Yoruba word that has turned to a slang that means, “Cheating or unfairness”.
15. O sha mo
O sha mo is a slang in Yoruba and Nigeria. You will hear Nigerian artistes commonly say O sha mo in their songs. O sha mo is a Yoruba slang that means, “You know now… ”
Yoruba people are notorious for exclamations and loud talking. This “ehen” is unique to Yorubas. When you suddenly remember something, you say ‘Ehen!’. Ehen could mean, “and so?”. It could mean, “continue to speak”, “as i was saying..” etc.
17. O sha pra pra
When something “sha” in Yoruba, it has two meanings. It could mean, “to wear out” or to “shine or glow”. So, O sha pra pra is a slang that has Yoruba origins. O sha pra pra means, “it is shining perfectly”. “Pra pra” is not a Yoruba phrase though.
18. Lepa / Orobo
Yes, your classic “lepa” or “orobo” are another set of words from Yoruba language turned to a Nigerian slang. Lepa / lepa shandi means, “a slim person”. While Orobo means, “a fat person’.
Olosho is originally a Yoruba word that has turned to a slang that means, “prostitute”.
Jare is a Yoruba slang that means, “please..”
Pele is originally a Yoruba word that has turned to a slang that means, “Sorry..”
So, those are 21 Yoruba slangs that have reigned in the past and their meanings. Some of them are still in vogue till this present day.
Also Check Out: 141 Useful Yoruba Words and Meanings