An error has occurred. An error has occurred.
Page Options
You are here : Naija LifeยปLearning Broken English
Learning Broken English Minimize

Learning Broken English

Learning Broken English (commonly referred to as Pidgin English), has been a major milestone on my journey to understand Nigeria. When I traveled to Nigeria the first time, knowing only basic phrases, I found it much more difficult to blend in.

As it grows, this page will teach the basics of broken English. For those who wish to visit Nigeria and experience the beauty of places like Abuja or Victoria Island, this guide will help you understand local merchants, airport personnel and others you may encounter.

Fundamental Broken English Minimize

Abeg
[Ah-beg]

1.   Please
Ex: Abeg make we go store. (Let’s go to the store please.)

Abi
[Ah-bee]

1.   Or
Ex: You wan go store abi you wan go house? (Do you want to go to the store or do you want to go home?)

2.   Isn’t it
Ex: E hot abi? (It’s hot isn’t it?)

3.   Aren’t you
Ex: You go chop abi? (You’re going to eat aren’t you?)

Am
[Om]

1.   It
Ex: Put am for house (Put it in the house)

Chop
[Chop]

1.   To eat
Ex: You wan chop? (Do you want to eat?)

Comot
[Come-ot]

1.   Come out
Ex: Comot the house. (Come out of the house.)

Dem
[Dem]

1.   Them
Ex: I get plenty food for dem. (I have plenty food for them.)

2.   They
Ex: Dem dey come. (They are coming.)

Dey
[Day]

1.   are
Ex: Where you dey? (Where are you?)

2.   am
Ex: I dey hungry. (I am hungry.)

3.   at
Ex: I dey house. (I’m at home.)

Dis
[Dis]

1.   This
Ex: Wetin be dis? (What is this?)

Don
[Done]

1.   Have
Ex: I don finish am. (I have finished it.)
Ex: You don chop? (Have you eaten?)

Fit
[Feet]

1.   Can. Has the ability to do something.
Ex: I fit go store. (I can go to the store)

For Don
[Fo Done]

1.  Would have.
Ex: I for don tell im say make im no go. (I would have told him he shouldn't go.)

Get
[Get]

1.   Have
Ex: I get plenty food. (I have plenty food.)

Go
[Go]

1.   Will
I go see una soon. (I will see you all soon.)

Make I / Make We
[Make I / Make We]

1.   Let me / Let us
Ex: Make we go (Let’s go.)
Ex: Make I chop. (Let me eat.)

2. You Should
Ex: Make you chop. (You should eat.)

Na
[Nah]

1.   It’s (referring to a tangible item)
Ex: Na cup? (It is a cup?)

Okada
[Oh-kah-dah]

1.   Commercial motorcycle taxi for hire
Ex: Make you climb okada go store. (You should get on a motorcycle taxi to go to the store.)

Pikin (Peekeen)
[Pih-keen]

1.   Child / Baby
Ex: My pikin don chop. (My child has eaten.)

Siddon
[Sih-don]

1.   Sit down

Una
[Oo-nah]

1.   You all
Ex: How una dey? (How are you all?)
Ex: Una dey come abi? (You all are coming aren’t you?)

Wahala
[Wah-ha-lah]

1.   Problem
Ex: No wahala, I go move. (No problem, I’ll move)

2.   Trouble
Ex: Wahala dey come. (Trouble is coming.)

Wan
[Wan]

1.   Want
Ex: I wan go store. (I want to go to the store.)

Well Well
[Well well]

1.   Very well
Ex: I like dis soup well well. (I like this soup very well)

Wey
[Way]

1.   That
Ex: Anytin wey you wan chop e fine. (Anything that you want to eat is fine.)

Wetin
[Way-tin]

1.   What
Ex: Wetin be time? (What is the time?)

Yab
[Yahb]

1.   Make Fun of, tease

Yankee
[Yahn-key]

1.   Slang for America
        Ex. You dey come Yankee abi?. (You are coming to America right?)

Yua
[You-a]

1.   Your
Ex: I already get yua number. (I already have your number)

Common Phrases and Greetings Minimize
How Now? (How are you?)

How una dey? (How are you all doing?)

I dey o! (I am fine)

How far? (How have you been?)

E don te? (It's been a long time?)

Wetin you wan chop? (What do you want to eat?)

I dey hungry, make we go chop? (I'm hungry, let's go eat?)

Where de batroom? (Where is the bathroom?)

E no easy! (It isn't easy)

No be small tin. (It isn't a small thing)

No wahala e go go (No problem, it will go.)

E be like say (It sounds like / It looks like / It appears to be)

Other Important Things Minimize
Common Foods

Nigerian Soups

     Bitter Leaf Soup -
     Egusi Soup -
     Ogbono Soup -
     Okazi Soup -
     Okra Soup -
     Pepper Soup -

Jollof Rice
Shaki -
Suya -

Pounded Yam -
Garri -


Common Tribes/Languages

Igbo
Hausa
Yoruba
Urhobo
Fulani