Random : (Nigerian) Pidgin

Hey shugars shugars…..

*Group hugs*….

How unu dey? Wetin dey happen for ya side? How weather?

Typing these few lines I realized something …I’ve miss pidgin! I miss speaking pidgin! I know that sounds razz hahaha , buh na the truth.


See eh, I am a straight up poracourt gal….born, bred, buttered in Ph. Portharcourt isn’t exactly Warri the HQ of Naija Pidgin Language (IMO) but I think it still holds a fair 2nd position. Every other one na learner.

images (2)

Growing up my parents were the ‘correct’ English kind…there was zero communication in pidgin at home. The ‘eye’ alone my mum will give you will autocorrect your speech. If you are a Nigerian child, am very sure you know that eye…that eye that has different meanings per time/place. (I am very sure I will give my children that eye).  But outside the house , I got into ‘broken’ English mode. Especially when in the company of my cousins and hood friends. Till date, it feels weird gisting with cousins using ‘correct’ English.


I never knew this..

I attended a Feddy college which had so much of all them ajebos and effizy paroles.. Speaking ‘phuneh’ (is that the spelling?? ) was the in thing. But myself and my then friends were the #TeamPidgin. We weren’t ajebos, and we also werent kpakos…(just put us somewhere in the middle). No be say we no sabi speak English o (for that side , we dey try)…..but na pidgin you go always catch us dey use when we dey gist. Simple reason: e dey make the gist sweet pass!! Serious! See eh, e get some kind gist wey no dey sweet with ‘good’ English. The spice no dey enter well.

images (1)

I got into Uni, met some awesome babes who became friends and roomies and also naturally ‘flowed’ pidgin and were like-minded that it spiced up the conversation . I was home! Lol. I also got to meet people who laughed wella whenever I spoke, cos they felt I sounded funny and didn’t know how to speak it. It always amused me to hear people say that ,seeing as I thought myself a pidgin guru.

One of my mum’s grouse with pidgin was that it spoilt ones ‘good’ English. Of course I didn’t agree with her but later came to experience this. I had to consciously work on it and found a seemingly healthy balance. Tho, I loved pidgin, I used to read a lot of books especially novels. I had a vocabulary book(who had one of those?) , which I later abandoned.  That helped me. Lately, I haven’t been speaking it as much as I did previously.

Maybe one reason I kinda hold it dear is cos  I don’t know how to speak my native language and kinda see it as my L2. I know a few words and phrases in my dialect but can’t exactly hold a 5 mins conversation in it.

Can you tell that this post was not supposed to be about pidgin language but just took a mind of it’s own? (Maybe this is what ‘real’ writers mean when they say a story they are writing has a mind of its own and they don’t know how it will end). If you can’t , I jes told ya. *scrolls up,changes post title*

I came to learn something, ‘broken’ English isn’t all together bad and no matter how much I loved it, I needed to know when and how to balance its use. And I think that applies to some other vices of life. Finding a healthy balance.

Make I waka…e go be later.

But tell me, wetin be your thoughts about pidgin? On a scale of 1-10, how well you dey speak am? You go allow your children them speak am?

Love and light



PS  Still Wondering what Pidgin is? Check Here


39 thoughts on “Random : (Nigerian) Pidgin

  1. -5.
    I can’t speak pidgin to save my life. Not that I “form” or anything, it just doesn’t come out well. My brother even “warned” me to resist speaking it social situations in the pretence of “flowing with others”😭to “… save my face”! It’s that bad. Funny enough, my sis is the exact opposite. She does well more with pidgin. Waffi pidgin. Her friends are mostly Warri.. Ph.. Benin..

    1. I had a classmate too in secondary school who couldn’t also speak pidgin. This wasn’t forming. I found it so funny. Till i met her and a couple of others, I didn’t know there were people who couldn’t speak pidgin. It was so hilarious listening to her try.

  2. Hi Tamie,

    This post cracked me up. 😀

    I speak pidgin fairly fluently, you are so right, some gist sound half-baked when spoken in English but well-done and succulent when delivered in pidgin.

    Nothing wrong with kids learning pidgin, the more diverse their language skills the better. Pidgin speaking skills are particularly useful for bargaining in the market, too much Queen’s English and those traders will just turn one into a mugu.

    Enjoy the rest of the week.

    1. You got it, Nedu…well done and succulent.
      Exactly, sometimes the language is helpful..market, while consulting with some clients or patients, public transport etc

  3. My own be say na Benin pidgin sweet pass. This post sweet my belle like fried rice with better turkey and fried fish. E be like say I go do one or two pidgin post sef because as I dey type, I just dey smile.
    I bin no dey speak pidgin when I small because my papa na English teacher but when I enter Uniben, I come learn am well and e dey always sweet me to speak.

    1. Omo !! I dey feel you!
      Dis your comment dey sweet my belle wella.
      Benin pidgin sha dey try, I bin serve there, so I experience their own too.
      Wetin I love about their own eh na their accent… And the way them dey twist I for me..eg “me no like that kind thing”.
      Also the way dem dey quick to use My enemy when something bad happen to them.
      Person wey go clinic to see doctor go say “Dr, my enemy belle dey pain am”. Omo, I laff die the first time I hear am.

      I go like read your pidgin posts, I dey wait.

      1. You are sooo spot on! The my enemy part has me laughing so hard here. I really like the me instead of I, used to remind me of Jamaican patois.

  4. Correct babe wey sabi correct gist! I tuale for you o! U get maut die😀😀🙌🙌.
    The tin be say as my Oga dem nedoux talk. If you no sabi yarn correct pidgin for market, na yawa be that o, na double shi you go pay. But on top everything I dey dey feel you no be small for here.

    E be like say me sef go write one post for pidgin, I hope say I try speak better yarn.

    Baff wella for the remaining week. Ciao!

  5. I’ve been laughing on this post and the ease at which you flow with your pidgin
    I’m not fluent with pidgin at all and I feel embarrassed when I’m talking to some artisans with queens or proper English.
    Nice one dear !

    1. The naysayers should come and hear o…Nkem says i flow with my pidgin.

      Talking with artisans with Queens? Your pockets are well lined babe..

  6. Chai!! My pidgin dey try small small. I no fit to lie sha, he be like say make I no sabi another language. Anytime I dey hear any gist for pigin, the thing dey sweet me die!!!! Na to laugh scatter ground remain!


    Just showing off my skill *takes a bow* Lol. But my dad didn’t allow us speak any broken english because our ‘whole’ english will spoil. hahaha!! I kuku learnt from people at the end of the day.

    1. Hahahaha! Your pidgin try!
      I agree ,when person dey gist in pidgin e dey sweet well well. The sugar level for the gist dey too much.
      I think most parents don’t officially speak pidgin to their kids, they just end up picking it along the way.
      As I grew older and my parents would sometimes speak pidgin to me, I looked at them strangely cos it sounded so off. My dad can’t even speak more than 2lines at a stretch .

  7. Me and pidgin? We be paddy ooo! As in 5&6!
    Ahahaha. Mine is edo pidgin ….one slang word can express one’s view on a matter.

    My father did same to us as we grew up. Then we mostly spoke Benin and pidgin. HIA! If he catches you ehn?! You go hear am! Overtime we forgot our dialect and spoke only English. It was in higher institution I brushed up my pidgin, and when my cousins came to stay with us…meen, forget oo! We dey break the pidgin like no man business! Gist dey flow well! Ahahaha.

    1. #PidginPaddy
      Yeah , I think some parents don’t like their kids speaking it.
      Azzin eh with my cousins eh, the gist is on another level.

  8. My own pidgin; e dey try small small. One time, my padis dey laff me when I talk something for pidgin. Dem dey laff sotey me sef I no know when i join them. Some laff be like that.
    Anyway, I’ve found that I automatically switch to pidgin whenever I’m doing certain things or communicating with certain people. Just like people dey laff when i dey speak my native language, drm talk sey no be with that accent you dey speak Igbo, na so dem dey laugh when I dey speak pidgin. E dey do me one kain sometimes. But sake of say me I never get to position where i fit buy anything for dobbu price (Daddy, make I never feel say I don arrive like that), when I dey go market, na so so pidgin language I go yarn. The huzzle be serious one.
    Like Immanuel say, baff wella this period. Hehehe.

    1. I see am so say your pidgin dey try. My people dey also laugh me when I try to speak my language ..
      Lol @ dobbu price. Most times I dey drop proper English for house go market oh, cos e no dey too bargaining.

  9. Hahahaha I love this post, growing up pigin and my native language was a huge No. My mum sooooo hates pigin, back then if she even manages to speak to you in yoruba woe betides you if you dare reply in yoruba. It was crazy. However the funny way I learnt pigin was through my tons of Jamaican friends cus our pigin is like the way simpler version of the Jamaican Patios. Now ehen I deh rap d pigin like seh tomorrow no dey, Even my maale no fit do me anything again

  10. Seems i mostly hold conversations in english since I’m more comfortable with it but when I’m trying to be sarcastic or joke I’ll switch to pidgin. It just adds effect but only with people i flow with.

Leave a Reply to Nkem Okechukwu Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *