Some pidgin sayings and their translations
by Gaga Ekeh
- See am as e siddon. No face! Everywhere tinted!
Translation: Observe as the subject sits. One cannot but notice the
frown occupying the face. Neither can one ignore those dark glasses.
- As im enta for man eye, I jus tux. Because why? Na so so baffs im
Translation: As the subject proceeded to occupy my peripheral vision,
I had to bow in respect. Why, you ask? The subject was dressed
- Abeg giam!
(Usually during a fight).
Translation: Allow his face to slap your fist so as to dissuade him
from pursuing this frivolous conflict.
- Eba without!
(Usually at a "bukateria")
Respectable madam and owner of this eating establishment, I encourage
you not to endow my plate with meat lest I am unable to service such
debts as I may acquire should such a measure be put in practice. As
such, I ask you to put more Eba, the amount of which should suffice to
provide the illusion that I am affluent enough to afford the corresponding
cost of meat. Yours faithfully.
- Ol boy! Of which now?
Translation: It has been brought to our notice that you are now in
a position to end the drought of stout lager that has so devastated
this area. We would like to inquire what you intend to pursue as a
course of action. Allow us to add that all deliberations
should have our general interest at heart.
- Ehen? So make I comot nyash begin cry?
Translation: The statements you just made do not constitute concrete
evidence and as such do not justify or warrant any specific
action by me for or against any of the parties involved in this
- As man land, man eye brush vest. Man begin knack tori.
Translation: As I "cascaded" down the stairs, my eyes happened upon a
young member of the opposite sex dressed in a manner as would be illegal
in 17 American states (including Alaska). I calmly walked up to the
subject and proceeded to relay a series of lies guaranteed to stand
me in good stead.
by Elliot Ibie
- Why your body dey shake like leaf now, abeg thermocool!
(Said to a visibly upset person)
Translation: It is apparent to anyone within a fifty mile radius that
you are about to experience an emotional implosion which will entail
loss of control of all bodily functions. I implore you to seek out
the nearest body of cold water and immerse yourself in it.
Other translation: Please calm down.
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