If you are one of those following the Nigerian music scene then you would have heard about Phyno. You would also know that Phyno raps mostly in Igbo. But before Phyno there was Nigga Raw who now chooses to be known as Mr. Raw. They, along with some others have made Igbo catchphrases not only pop but hip!
You may be one of those who want to plug into this hip culture but you just don’t know when and how to use these phrases. Especially, if you use social media you may find these phrases added as an exclamation or an interjection and you may wonder what to do about them. Well, fret no more, cos you’ll find right here 10+ hip Igbo catchphrases and how to use them.
Who hasn’t met this dear friend? “Odiegwu” is often used sarcastically when someone has said something that makes you shake your head in wonder. It means ‘wonderful’.
Hian, Hia and their cousin Hayyyyyyy!!!
This dude needs no introduction. You find him all over social media doing what he knows how to do best. This interjection is used when someone has said something absurd or abominable. Sometimes as in this example, it is accompanied by its older brother “Odiegwu”.
Unlike the more advanced cousins, “hayyyyy” is used when one has something unbelievable. It is like a call for others to gather and see same. The number of “ys” added is used to emphasize how mind-boggling what one has seen is.
Chai, Chei, Choi
This trinity means one and the same thing. This exclamation is used when you see something delightfully wonderful or as we say in Nigerian pidgin, something that is “sweeting you”. It can be seen as a direct translation of the English word “wow”.
This cutie here is used when you totally agree with what someone has said. It can be used to mean “exactly”
“A dim so on point like kpomkwem.” rapped Mr. Raw. Closely related to “gbam”, “kpomkwem” is the lesser-known but a more accurate interpretation of the English word “exactly”.However, it literally means “full stop” or “period”. You use this exclamation when you agree completely with something that someone else has said.
Negodu, Jus’ negodu
This expression translates to “Look at” or ‘just look at that”. It is used when you are drawing attention to something silly but it is used mostly among friends who are fooling around or calling attention to another’s “foolishness”.
This is a slang from Enugu State in Eastern Nigeria. It was made popular by Phyno. This word has found its way into some conversations on social media. It is used to refer to someone you feel close enough to as a friend or “fam”. As we say in Nigerian Pidgin “My personal person”. You can use it to reinforce that someone has said something you agree with just the way you would have said it.
Used when someone has said something incredible or unbelievable. It can be translated as “what?!” in many cases. This exclamation can have variants with additional Os to emphasis the incredulity of what has been said.
This word simply means “please” and it is used with a flourish when you feel someone is saying something you don’t want to hear. It is used to mean at the beginning or end of a statement as a supplication for help.
This word is used sarcastically/ironically someone is saying something untrue. It means “it is so” but is mostly used when the opposite is meant.
Well, those are the 10 most frequently used expressions you might find on social media. But what is puff puff without ‘fisi’. LOL. if you don’t know what that means, you need to catch up with some street lingo. So, here’s the “bonus” content section. Some more expressions you just could hear:
O ga eme gi voom naya
This phrase was also made popular by our very own Phyno. It is used when you want to tell someone that they will be totally overwhelmed or flabbergasted by something they were not expecting. A rough translation is seen in the expression “he didn’t experit”.
Simply means ‘come’ but it is a fun way to start a conversation with a friend. It is used when you want to catch the attention of the person you are addressing before the conversation starts.
This means “run away”. This expression is used to mean “be gone!” It comes in especially handy when someone who has no business in a conversation (either because they are too young to know what they are talking about, or far less knowledgeable) come to join in a conversation.
This expression shares a close affinity with “negodu”. In fact, they are variants of the same word and are used in the same way to mean “look at” when someone has done something silly or stupid. It is more prevalent in a sarcastic/ironic use.
This means I don’t know. It is also used somewhat sarcastically to mean “how am I supposed to know”. It is used when you have asked someone something they have no answer for. It can be used to mean “beats me”.
Are there other expressions you know which have made it into pop culture, or an expression you have heard which you would love to know its meaning or usage. Please share in the comments section 😀