Saturday, September 16, 2023

Common Nigerian Pidgin words from Yoruba Language



Common Nigerian Pidgin words from Yoruba Language 

Naija - From 'Nàíjá' (A coinage) - How early Yoruba musicians and socialites in cities like Lagos and Ibadan fondly called Nigeria in the 70s, 80s, 90s. i.e K1 Ayinde, Omo Naija

Oga - From 'Ọ̀gá' - Boss, Master
Abi - From 'Àbí' - Interrogative, Conjuctive (Or)
Shebi - From 'Ṣebí' - Interrogative
Nko - From 'Ńkọ́' - Interrogative, How about?
Jo/Jor - From 'Jọ̀ọ́/Jọ̀wọ́' - Please, Appeal
Sha - From 'Ṣá' - Qualifier, Just, Anyhow

Koro - From 'Kọ̀rọ̀' - A corner, A shady alley
Lai Lai - From 'Laílaí/Láyé láyé' - Never or Perpetuity
Jeje - From 'Jẹ́jẹ́' - Calmly, Without disturbance
Ojoro - From 'Òjóró' - Cheating, Fraud
Se (Shey) - From 'Ṣé' - Interrogative
Gbedu - From 'Gbẹ̀du' - Ancestral drum, Musical beat

Gidigba - From 'Gìdìgbà' - Large, Solidly
Wuruwuru - From 'Wúruwùru' - Disorderly, Jumbled
Kuku - From 'Kúkú' - Decidedly, Finally, Anyways, Rather, An adverb
Omo - From 'Ọmọ' - Child, Baby, Has taken multiple contextual meanings
Gragra - From 'Gìrà gìrà' - Brashly, Hastily, Brazen
Patapata - From 'Pátá pátá' - All encompassing, Supreme, Completely, Altogether

Japa - From 'Jápa' - The perfect Escape, Flee, remove ones self from a situation
Were/Werey - From 'Wèrè' - A mental misfit, Insanity
Jare - From 'Jàre' - As you please, Other uses
Oyinbo - From 'Òyìnbó' - A white person, Western mannerisms

Oya - From 'Óyá' - Confirmatory. To Begin/Start; Also 'Quickly' when repeated 'Oya oya oya'
Dada - From 'Dàda' - Dreadlocks
Olopa - From 'Ọlọ́pá' - Police, Lit: Baton/stick handler

Tokunbo - From 'Tòkunbọ̀' - Imported good, Lit: From across the sea)
Boli/Bole - From 'Bọ̀lẹ̀' - Roasted plantain
Moi Moi - From 'Mọ́í Mọ́í' - A meal made from beans
Akara - From 'Àkàrà' - A Yoruba food made from beans

Ipekere - From 'Ipékeré' - Fried plantain slices
Eba - From 'Ẹ̀bà' - Meal made from garri and hot water
Dodo - From 'Dòdò' - Food made by frying plantain
Asun - From 'Àsun' - Spicy roasted meat from Ondo
Otilo - From Ó ti lo' - It's gone/over', Dismissed
Ni - From 'Ni' - Interrogative ending
Ikebe - From 'Iké' & 'Bèbè' - Hump/Arch & Backside respectively. A curvy rump

Pako - From 'Pákó' - A wooden plank
Shayo - From 'Ṣáyó' - To drink alcohol 
Osusu/Esusu - From 'Èsùsú' - Rotating savings/credit
Agbada - From 'Agbádá' - Yoruba three piece clothing 

Jedijedi - From 'Jẹ̀díjẹ̀dí' - Condition of diarrhea 
Dabaru - From 'Dàbàrú' - To Disorganize, Entangle
Yeye - From 'Yẹ̀yẹ́' - Make funof, Deride
Pali - From 'Pálí' - Certificate/Credential. Lit: 'Carton'
Igbo - From 'Igbó' - Marijuana, Indian hemp.
Gele - From 'Gélé' - Headtie, Headwrap 
Ode - From 'Ọ̀dẹ̀' - A fool. Used to tease by friends
Ogogoro - From 'Ògùrọ̀' (Duplication) - Alcoholic raffia

Korokoro - From 'KòróKòró' - Bare view (of someone)
Shakara - From 'Ṣakọ' 'rá' - Pride, haughty, being vain 
Shalaye - From 'Ṣàlàyé' - To explain
Koko - From 'Kókó' - Main point (being made)
A kor, Z ni - From 'Kọ́/Ni' - A Yoruba oxymoron wordplay used to dismiss

Pangolo - From 'Páńgolo' - Metal canister
Asoebi - From 'Aṣọ Ẹbí' - Uniform clothing, Lit: Family cloth
Asewo/Asawo - From 'Aṣẹ́wó' - Someone of easy virtue
Yakata - From 'Yàkàtà' - Astride, Wide apart, Lit: Part laps
Suegbe - From 'Sùẹ̀gbẹ̀' - Slothful, Not street smart
Buga - From 'Bùgá' - To brag, be boastful
Jaguda - From 'Jàgùdà' - A thief or rogue

Kondo - From 'Kóndó' - Club, Mace, Bludgeon
Shombo - From 'Ṣọ̀nbọ̀' - A Kind of pepper
Keke - From 'Kẹ̀kẹ́' - Originally bicycle (Also tricycle)
Oshey/Oshe - From 'Oṣé' - Endearing appreciation
Jagbajantis - Anglicization of 'Jágbajàgba' -Rubbish 
Olodo - From 'Olódo' - A dunce

Jaburata - From 'Jaburata' - Plentiful, Excessive
Yapa - From 'Yapa' - Plentiful, Excessive
Akata - From 'Akátá' - A black person that has acculturized abroad
Ajala - From 'Àjàlá' - Explorer, Waka about, Jetsetter
Atarodo - From 'Ata Rodo' - A Kind of pepper
Berekete - From 'Bẹ̀rẹ̀kẹ̀tẹ̀' - Plentiful, Large, Huge
Agbo - From 'Àgbo' - Medicinal concoction, Herbs
Akpere - From 'Apẹ̀rẹ̀' - Basket, Poor goalkeeper, Loquacious

Orishirishi - From 'Oríṣiríṣi - Assorted food, Eclectic (In discussion)
Kelebe - From 'Kẹ̀lẹ̀bẹ̀' - Phlegm, Mucur
Agbero - From 'Agbèròo' - Crowd collector. Other meanings
Agidi - From 'Agídí' - Strong headed, Obstinacy 
Fashi - From 'Fáṣí' - Let go of something
Bam - From 'Bámbám' - Wholly, Fully

The greatest local linguistic influence and content contribution to the vocabulary of Nigerian Pidgin/ English today is the Yoruba language. 

Some of these words have even been added to the English language dictionary e.g 'Danfo' and 'Tokunbo', together with those which have been in the English vocabulary for much longer, such as; 'Iroko', 'Chigger' from 'Jìgá', 'Agama' from 'Agẹma', 'Orisha' Etc.

At least if the English language will mess with the spoken Yoruba among some of us, then Yoruba words should also enter the English dictionary and remain there.

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