10 Things Nigerians Say And What They Actually Mean

October 29, 2020

If you speak fluent Nigerian, you’ll understand that not everything a Nigerian says means exactly what you’ve heard. We’ve broken down some of the most popular Nigerian phrases and what they actually mean.

1. What they say: With all due respect…

What they actually mean: I am about to absolutely destroy you with the next few words that come out of my mouth, therefore I need to say this as a cushion for your feelings.

2. What they say: God forgive me o…

What they actually mean: I’m gossiping and I want to say something very terrible about this person but I also don’t want to be seen as a terrible person, therefore, I must ask for the forgiveness of God before I say it.

3. What they say: See as you look presentable today.

What they actually mean: You’ve looked raggedy as hell every day before today. Today is the first day you look like an actual, respectable human being.

4. What they say: You’re smart oh!

What they actually mean: All my life, I’ve always thought you were really, super stupid just by looking at you. You have done something to prove me wrong.

5. What they say: (After you drop an idea) Wow. That’s actually a good idea 

What they actually mean: I expect nothing but stupid things out of your mouth and this genuinely good idea has shocked me to my core. I might listen to the next thing you have to say.

6. What they say: To cut the long story short

What they actually mean: I didn’t cut the long story short. I actually told you the full story. And now I’m concluding.

7. What they say: It’s not your fault

What they actually mean: It is actually your fault, but I blame myself for trusting an idiot like you to do something without fucking it up.

8. What they say: I don’t blame you

What they actually mean: You are a terrible person but I blame someone else for not dealing with you before you became this horrible. (Most times, they mean the person’s parents)

9. What they say: I’m coming

What they actually mean: I am in fact, not coming. I am going out.

10. What they say: I’m not there o…

What they actually mean: We have all done something very terrible, and some sort of punishment is a possible consequence. Therefore, by the proclamation of these words, I hereby absolve myself of all blame and wipe out all traces connecting me back to aforementioned terrible thing.

David Odunlami

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