I was sitting in bed last week, minding my own business, when something entered my left eye from no where. I did everything I could, shut it tight, flushed it with water but it was still peppering me. Then suddenly, even in my dilemma I figured my next blog post would be about words that are peculiar to Nigerians. Not slangs, but English words that we actually conjure up ourselves and use, that make sense to only us, words like peppering, when we actually mean stinging or itching. 

So here we go. If you can think up any please put it in the comments.


Up standing – I hear this mostly when someone is trying to tell another to get up. “Can first timers please be upstanding,” when it really should just be stand, because when you are standing you are already up. No?

Come and go – an action word to tell someone else to get moving or to reaffirm that you are about to leave. “Let me come and go jare”

Don’t Stand on my Head – Don’t stand in my way, pretty much.

Higher Institution – Instead of just saying University or Polytechnic. You should hear Yoruba mother’s when they say this. It’s funnier.

Not Sweet – As in “the movie is not sweet.” Other normal people say – the movie isn’t great or wasn’t interesting. No, not us. It’s either sweet or not sweet.

Cool down – When your blood is boiling too hot and you want to kill somebody they tell you to cool down. I totally get this, because, I mean, the efficacy and potency of pepper soup is different when it has cooled down. I mean somebody needs to blow you like soup, so yea cool down bros.

Exercise Book – You’ll mostly hear journal or note book everywhere else.



Go-Slow– This one is really just traffic but somebody cannot just call those horrible road blocks that happen in Lagos traffic. Doesn’t do the thing justice.

On the gen – To turn on something. Tap, switch, cooker, TV etc. You can “off” things too by the way.

Let’s hear word – Be quiet because you aren’t making plenty sense.

Next tomorrow – The day after tomorrow

Dress – You will mostly hear this in commercial buses, when people need others to move. God knows this is my worst one.

Leather – Ladies and gentle men, this means a carrier bag. A carrier bag. I’m done.


**Don’t forget to add any more you can think of in the comments.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. pagesbyike says:

    LOL! This was cute. We are a special bunch.
    “Further my education”; “Carry last”. “Return your hand!” Return your hand is a driving instruction term, which means “turn the steering back” LOL!


    1. eclectictope says:

      Hahaha @pagesbyike, Return your hand, how did I forget that . And further my education; gosh the way we even say it with so much pride.

  2. Bussyjay says:

    I have finished… (I’m done), it has finished (exhausted), I want to /come and be going (to leave), I have come (I’m here), I am hearing you (I’m listening), leave me alone (let me be),.. . etc

    1. eclectictope says:

      It has finished. I must confess I say this one a lot. Even for something as uncountable as electricity. LOL. Thanks a lot for reading @Bussyjay and for your feedback.

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