Slangs you need to know to survive in Lagos

Slangs are words and phrases that are informal and  are  commonly used while speaking, Slangs are usually  common  to a particular group of people.

In every town there are slangs peculiar to the people who live there and you will hear locals or residents use these Slangs  on the streets or even in market places. Not having a knowledge of certain  slangs commonly used where you reside can make you misinterpret certain statement, get into trouble or even be totally clueless in a conversation .

In Lagos there are  some popular slangs that having a knowledge of can be helpful to you as you move around town and go about your daily business


Originally in Yoruba language Eja  means fish however in Lagos slang, Eja is  popularly referred to as marijuana, so it’s very important for you to know that it is not in every case that you hear the word that refers to the actual meaning. In many cases especially on the streets of Lagos you should be careful of the use of the word because it could be that when a person is handing to you Eja, she may actually be handing over to you marijuana.


Is a slang used in hailing people or showing approval or acceptance and most cases respect for a person. Is the word twale is commonly used among people in the streets locals of Lagos city or people who have lived long enough in the city to know the usage of the slang. Sometimes the twale  is accompanied by the use of the hands and legs. Usually the person saying twale  would raise both hands in the air and one leg in the air to show his respect or approval for the person whom he is saying it to.

3.Yaba left

It’s important for you to know that even though yabaleft refers to a location it has a deeper meaning. When people say you need to go to yabaleft it means you need to get your head checked or you need to go to the psychiatric hospital for check-up indirectly telling you that you are not behaving well or you are mentally ill.


It means a party organized to celebrate an accomplishment of wedding a birthday party or promotional party or anything it is simply a when you are told that you are invited to an Owambe it simply means you will be invited to a party. Lagos owambe idms usually Fun.To really have a feel of Lagos and create fun memories you should not say no to an Owambe Invitation.


Asoebi is  a uniform dress worn during locations to depict unity and support. They are  usually made of the same fabric same colour and I want by family members and also friends to show their support to the person who is celebrating.


It means to pay a person money . To ”Sort’ is  simply  paying for a persons goods or services rendered. Sometimes when you hear the word sort among people who live in Lagos  a person may just be asking for payment that is made you for his services or goods .in some cases it means you should give the person payment.


   It means problem, when you hear people say this word,They are  trying to say there’s trouble or there’s a problem.

8. Akube

This simply refers to second hand or fairly used items of clothes. Akube is therefore  a slang for first grade second hand wears .


This is a Lagos slang which means UK. When you hear a Lagosian  say  “I am going to Jand” the person is just trying to say she is going to the UK.

Therefore if you just arrived Lagos from the UK and someone is trying to introduce you you are most likely going to hear something like this person just came from jand.

10. Yapa

This is a common Lagos slang and it simply means plenty.

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Written by Bols Jacobs

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