10 + sexy Igbo phrases you can use…with sample usages

05 Aug

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, alone with some others have made Igbo catch phrases not only pop but hip!

You may be one of those who wants 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 catch phrases 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 mean 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 that 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 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 between 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 incredulousness 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 didnt 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 has found itself 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 😀


Posted by on August 5, 2014 in General


Tags: , , ,

11 responses to “10 + sexy Igbo phrases you can use…with sample usages

  1. Noel Ihebuzor

    August 5, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    Reblogged this on visionvoiceandviews and commented:
    chai, chei, choi! A winner any day!

  2. Anonymous

    August 5, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    All of those plenty Igbo words Nana always uses nko?

    • anagail

      August 5, 2014 at 6:40 pm

      She tweets in a mixture of English and Igbo not just catchphrases

  3. tharev

    August 6, 2014 at 12:08 pm


    • anagail

      August 6, 2014 at 12:31 pm

      Thanks for dropping by. If you have something you’d like to be posted I wouldn’t mind putting it up.

      • tharev

        August 6, 2014 at 12:42 pm

        How do I contact u? Better still,I have a secret blog I keep my stash of memoirs….you can just copy and paste from there and many of my other works are on can easily just reblog from there too)

        I stopped blogging for a while but I’m still a colimnist for of a lagos city hustler LCH) and of a jobless graduate). Currently I run a wedding website( which I’m hoping you’d contribute on soon) and a fashion line(

        So feel free to use the material with full credit to me tho….maybe my handle(@4Qhen) and email if need me.

        Feel free to check out
        Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone, powered by Easyblaze

  4. StupendousGrace

    August 8, 2014 at 8:07 am

    Thanks for this…enjoyed reading and now I know what those phrases mean. 🙂
    I love the randomness of your blog by the way, nice posts.

    • anagail

      August 8, 2014 at 12:26 pm

      Glad you liked it.

  5. Johnson Owolabi

    November 30, 2016 at 4:26 am

    Please,what is the meaning of this igbo sl
    angry. Its usage .The description.

    • anagail

      November 30, 2016 at 9:02 pm

      Sorry, do you mean what is “angry” in Igbo? I think it is “iwe”. So you can say “iwe ne we ya” meaning S/he is angry.


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: