Lagosians are very fascinating people. They have different ways of communication, most of which can only be understood by the locals. If you are new in Lagos, you must learn the meaning of these slangs as they may come in handy. Some of these expressions are actually words of Yoruba origin that have been blended into everyday conversation.
Below Are Some Of The Popular Slangs In Lagos And Their Meanings.
This slang means a party, ceremony, function, etc. Owambe is a Yoruba word which loosely means ‘it’s there’. That means something wonderful or noteworthy is going on and you need to be there. Lagosians love the opportunity to flaunt the gorgeous aso-ebi and enjoy free meal.
That’s the name of the guy you see with his trouser hanging loosely around his waist as if he needs a belt. He might be brandishing a cane in one hand and holding a bottle of gin in the other hand. He probably has a deep baritone and his base is the bus-stop where he collects (or extort) money from commercial drivers. He probably has an NURTW ID but that doesn’t change who he is. He is an agbero and that’s what he does for a living. Please don’t call him that name though as you might be forced to see the stars in the afternoon.
Amongst traders of Igbo extraction in Lagos, this slang refers to goods or products that have little quality or have been previously used. Interestingly, many people have come to associate themselves with Akube products as its affordability attracts higher purchase.
4. Shine Your Eyes
Shine your eyes simply means, “Be very vigilant”. This is because Lagos is a crowded city and nearly everyone is in a hurry. You should be vigilant and conscious. By the you do not need to worry too much because Lagos is safe but ensure that you shine your eyes always.
In Lagos, saying Twale is accompanied by raising the two hands and raising a leg. It is used in the streets to accord some respect. In dangerous situations, shouting twale can take you out of a dangerous situation.
Askari is a slang for a policeman. That doesn’t mean when you see a policeman, you should call him that. It is rather usually used by people who probably want to warn that a police is around and so you need to be careful or disappear as the case may be.
Eja is a slang for marijuana and is a very common euphemism employed by smokers. Therefore, you need to think twice before accepting an offer of Eja in Lagos, as it may not be Titus that the person is offering you.
1o. Yaba Left
If someone asks you if you’ve been to Yaba left or you plan to go there, the person is actually talking about the psychiatric hospital. The slang means that you need to get your head checked, probably because of something you did or said!
This slang is used as a professional description of the person who repairs electronic appliances like television, radio, DVD, etc. Nobody cares what the real name is.
Aso-ebi is a Yoruba word that means ‘family cloth’ . It is a slang for cloth material that is made available to friends and families to use uniformly during a party.
Note that in Lagos, Area boys are the “kings of the street”. In difficult situations, speaking these slangs can actually save your life.
Edited By ODIRA ONYENSO