20 Most Common African Slangs You Should Know

You wanna learn some slang? And by that I mean some African Slangs: nothing vulgar, no cursing words, also. All you have to do is to get some baggy jeans, stunners and then groove on. With these slang words, you’ll definitely be at the top of your game when you land in any African country such as Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, Rwanda and the rest. Here is some Common African Slangs:

Nigerian Slangs

(1) Abi:  Abi is a frequently used slang word in Nigeria, which can be translated to mean “isn’t it.” So anytime you find yourself in the busy streets of Lagos and you want to try out an outfit. To get a comment, just put it on; then pose and utter some words like, “I think it looks great. Abi?”

(2) Wetin:  Wetin is a popular slang in Nigeria that simply means “what” or “what exactly are you saying? For example,

Obinna: Hey Chinedu, can you please take me to the market.

Chinedu: Wetin?

Obinna: Let’s go to the market.

Chinedu: Am not going. You go alone.

(3) Pikin:  Pikin in Nigerian slang that means a small child.

(4) Wahala:  Wahala is an African Slang from Nigeria that means ” worries’ or ” trouble.”

So if a Nigeria approaches you with greetings like, “whats up bro. How are you doing?”

Just answer; “no wahala.”

Ghanaian Slangs

(5) Tweea:  Tweea is a Ghanaian slang word for disapproval. Actually, this slang has been adopted in different parts of Africa, but it recently got banned from Ghanaian parliament. By the way, if the members of parliament in Ghana can slang, who are you not to do it? Get some groove on boet!

(6) Boko:  “Yow, how you doing dude?”

“am cool mayne, wassup?”

In African American that’s how it goes down when slang is involved. However, in Ghana, you don’t need to say “am cool.” Just say “boko’ and you’ll definitely get some street credit.

Rwandan Slangs

(7) Kebo:  In Rwandan slang, kebo means a nice ride. That said, don’t go looking for cables anytime someone says something like this in Rwandese, “Hey! Can you please get me my Kebo?”

(8) Agati:  Agati is another popular African slang word that has its roots from Rwanda. The slang simply means “weed” or “marijuana.” For example, “the writer of this article must be high on Agati. Abi’? Ha-ha

(9) Bolo:  Bolo is a word for anything valuable in Rwanda: money, jewellery or nice clothes. Personally, my bolo is my iPhone 5.

South African Slangs

(10) Boet:  Boet is a South African slang that literally translates to a male friend or brother. In American English, the word “Boet” can be compared with the word “dude.” So, if you’re African, instead of referring to your male friends as dudes, call them boets to promote an African slang.

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(11) Bokkie:  For those in love, bokkie is a South African slang to call your girlfriend or wife if you want to impress her. Even though the word “bokkie” can be literally translated to mean “doe” or “little buck,” it’s still a common word for endearment, which can be compared to “honey” or “sweetheart.” Now you can text your girlfriend and call her bokkie. It sounds nice; in fact, just try it.

(12) Boom:  Boom in South Africa can literally be translated to mean tree; but in the slang world, it’s a substitute for agati. Do you still remember what agati means?

(13) China or chine:  Chine is a slang for a friend. This slang actually originated from early British immigrants, and since then it has been popularly used among the youths in South Africa and some parts of Africa, as well.

(14) Choty goty:  Choty goty is also a South African slang that can act as an equivalent to “shawty.’ That said, let me not hear some wannabee rappers from Africa referring to chicks as shawty. And from today henceforth, chicks in Africa will be slanged as choty goty. Am I clear?

(15) Chrisco:  I first heard this slang from an American Christian movie. The slang sounded cool, and when I discovered that it actually originated from South Africa; I liked it even more. The slang stands for a Christian version of a disco. Do every time you go boogying in church, don’t be so “2000” by using some outdated slang like “church disco”. Instead, just say am going to a ”chrisco.”

(16) Dof:  Yea, dof is the word to use when you’re referring to a stupid person. For example, “you’re such a dof for thinking I could fall for you.”

Kenyan / Swahili Slangs

(17) Msupa:  Msupa is a Swahili slang that means a beautiful girl. If you understand a bit of Swahili just utter something like, “wewe ni msupa, ” and she’ll all be yours.

(18) Niaje:  Another Swahili slang for “how are you doing.”

(19) Poa:  If someone greets you using “niaje,” just say “poa” to respond. Actually, “poa” means cool.

(20) Beshte:  Beshte is another popular Swahili slang that means a friend. So if you’re tired of using Chine or China, just say beshte when you’re referring to a friend.

Now your next trip to Africa will not be boring if you could make use of these popular African slangs.

Emeka Chigozie
Emeka Chigozie
Emeka has a keen interest in tech, entertainment, and politics. He likes to stay up to date with global news when he is not thinking about future trends in tech.


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