Do you need Nigerian nicknames and slangs to call someone?
Nigeria is the most populated country in Africa with a population of over 200 million people. Therefore, it should be no surprise to come across at least one Nigerian during the course of your lifetime.
Whether they’re your friends, business partners, boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse, it will serve you well to learn a few Nigerian nicknames.
Many Nigerian nicknames have their roots in the indigenous languages of the over 200 ethnic groups located within the country. Most of these nicknames are in the Igbo, Yoruba, and Hausa, the country’s three major tribes but we have also included a few other tribes.
Irrespective of why you are looking for a Nigerian nickname, we have plenty of Nigerian nicknames that will make you feel like a true insider.
Table of Contents
- Popular Nicknames Used by Nigerians
- Nigerian Nicknames for Couples
- Nigerian Nicknames for Parents
- Nigerian Nicknames for Grandparents
- Nigerian Nicknames for Places
- Nigerian Nicknames for Common Items
Popular Nicknames Used by Nigerians
Nigerians use a lot of slangs and nicknames for one another, these nicknames are not only in the indigenous languages of the people but sometimes they are also in English but have different meanings. This list contains popular nicknames that can be used for friends, parents and some older people:
- Aboki (ABO-KI) – Meaning “my friend” this nickname is used to refer to northerners.
- Agbalagba (AG-BA-LA-GBA) – This Yoruba nickname is used usually to hail people of high financial status and in some cases older people.
- Agbero – This Yoruba nickname is used to refer to street urchins. Although, its correct meaning is for members of the National road transport union workers.
- Ajebutter (AJE-BUTTER) – This nickname is used for people of the upper class.
- Alabi Yellow – A popular Yoruba actor; it is used as a nickname used by Yoruba’s for a light-skinned people. Similar to Oyinbo.
- Amebo – This nickname is popularly used for gossips sometimes as a joke, other times as a way to tell them off.
- Asewo/Ashawo – It means Slut.
- Attaché – This is a friend who remains your friend simply for the benefits they enjoy receiving from you.
- Baba Kukuru (Cuckoo-roo) – Yoruba term. It means “Short man.”
- Baba Nla – Yoruba term. It is similar to the term “Big Boss.”
- Badoo – It means “Bad Guy.” It is used as a nickname for someone who is cool.
- Big Boy/Man/Woman – This nickname is often used to refer to anyone who is financially ok.
- Blackie – If you’re dark-skinned, then you probably would be called blackie this nickname is however not as popular in most parts of Nigeria and it is very rare.
- Bobo (BO-BO) – This nickname is often used to refer to a chubby child.
- Boss – This nickname is used among male friends to hail one another.
- Butty – When a Nigerian calls you butty, it means you must belong to the upper class and or act like one.
- Capo – A nickname used to refer to cult leaders.
- Chairman – When a Nigerian calls your chairman; it means they hold you in high regard. This nickname is used by Nigerians to hail friends and acquaintances.
- Chargie – This nickname has also gained popularity among Nigerian youths, often time used to refer to female partners.
- Daddy – Similar to mummy, Nigerians also use daddy to refer to a father and attach the names of their children to it such as Daddy Bola, Daddy Ngozi.
- Efiko/Efiwe – A popular nickname for a brilliant guy.
- Hood – Home, hometown, area of residence.
- Fela – The afrobeat legend. A slim person could be called Fela because was slim. But the most popular usage is for a slim person that smokes a lot. Similar to using “Bob Marley” as a nickname.
- FFO – “For Food Only” this nickname is right for anyone who eats a lot.
- NFA – It means “No Future Ambition.”
- Pako – It means “hardened.”
- Street – Its closest translation would be “Street Smart”
- G-boy – people who engage in cyber fraud are called G-boys by Nigerians.
- IJGB – “I Just Got Back” is a Nigerian nickname for Nigerian returnees from overseas who most times only for the holidays.
- Igwe – It means King, in Igbo language.
- Ole – It means thief. Depending on pronunciation, it could also mean lazy in Yoruba.
- Barawo – It means thief.
- ITK – “I too know” this nickname is used for overly serious students and those who like to act like they know it all.
- Kele (KE-LE) – Meaning “girls” this nickname is used to refer to the female gender.
- Madam – Female bosses are called madam in Nigeria, in some cases “oga madam”.
- Maga/ Maye – This doesn’t mean “Make America Great Again,” rather it is the word used for victims of internet scams. It has evolved to become a nickname for anyone who was scammed.
- Mallam (Maal-am) – It is an honorific title given to Islamic scholars but it is commonly used by Southerners to refer to Northerners.
- Marlian – A nickname for fans of popular Nigerian artiste Naira Marley. If you’re a Marlian then you are a member of the NBG (No Belt Gang).
- Mummy – Although an English word for mother, Nigerians also use mummy when referring to a mother and usually attach the name of their children behind. For instance, Mummy Bola, Mummy Ngozi.
- Mumu – It is a mean nickname used to indicate someone isn’t smart or was outsmarted in a situation.
- Mutu mina (MUTU-MINA) – Meaning “my guy” this nickname is used among friends to hail each other.
- Oga – This nickname is often used by Nigerians to refer to their bosses.
- Ogbeni – A Yoruba nickname used to refer to a person.
- Olosho/Hoeloshfelao – It means Slut.
- Olowo (OH–LOW-WOE) – It means a rich person.
- Omoge (HUM-OR-GAY) – Meaning “young lady” a Yoruba nickname for a young woman.
- Omo-mo – More popular in Benin, it implies “bourgeoisie,” “pampered.”
- Omo Mummy – “Omo Mummy,” translates to “mummy’s boy.”
- Ore (OR-RARE) – Meaning “my friend” this Yoruba nickname is also used by friends to refer to each other.
- Oyinbo – This nickname is used to refer to foreigners especially white people, it is in no way condescending, and instead, it’s simply a sign of familiarity.
- Pale (PA-LE) – A nickname for father.
- Popsy / Momsy – Nicknames used by youths to refer to their parents.
- Sisi (C-C) – It means Lady.
- Slay Queen/Slay Mama – English equivalent would be “Barbie.”
- Smallie – Used to refer to people who are smaller in size and height.
- Smellos – Smellos are generally people who fail to keep up with trends. Who in Nigerian terms “are still sleeping on a bicycle”?
- Tallie – Nigerians use this nickname to refer to very tall people. This is, however, is just a form of endearment, not body shaming in any way.
- Tush – This is a nickname used as a description of a refined person.
- Yellow Pawpaw – This is an affectionate name for really light-skinned Nigerians.
Nigerian Nicknames for Couples
Depending on their tribes, couples in Nigeria often refer to themselves using nicknames in their indigenous languages. So, if you’re looking for a romantic nickname for your Nigerian partner, here are some cute Nigerian nicknames for boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, and wife:
English Romantic Nicknames used By Nigerians
- Dear/My Dear
Yoruba Pet Names for Lovers
Here are some sweet Yoruba names to call your girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, wife, or crush:
- Ife mi: Ife mi means “my love” in the Yoruba language.
Usage: A Gender-neutral Yoruba pet name that can be used for a loved one; boyfriend, girlfriend, or daughter.
- Ayanfe: Ayanfe means “Beloved” in the Yoruba language.
Usage: Ayanfe is a Gender-neutral Yoruba pet name used by couples; boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, or crush.
- Ololufe (OLO-LU-FE): Ololufe means “my love” in the Yoruba language.
Usage: Ololufe is a Gender-neutral Yoruba pet name that can be used for a lover; boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, or crush.
- Iyawo: Iyawo means “wife” in the Yoruba language.
Usage: Iyawo is a feminine Yoruba pet name used for a girlfriend, wife, crush, or even daughter.
- Aya mi: Aya mi means “my wife” in the Yoruba language.
Usage: Aya Mi has the same meaning as Iyawo. Aya mi is a feminine Yoruba pet name used for a girlfriend, wife, crush, or even daughter.
- Oko Mi (Oko-MI): Oko Mi means “My Husband” in the Yoruba language.
Usage: Oko Mi, a masculine term, can be used as a Yoruba nickname for a husband, boyfriend, crush, or even Son.
- Olowo Ori Mi (OLO-WO-ORI-MI): Olowo Ori Mi means “Payer of my bride price” in the Yoruba language.
Usage: Olowo Ori Mi is a masculine term because Men pay the bride price. Olowo Ori Mi is a Yoruba pet nickname that a lady can call a guy she adores; her husband, boyfriend, crush, or son.
- Alade Ori mi (AL-ADE-ORI-MI): Alade Ori Mi, the Yoruba term of endearment, roughly translates to “owner of my crown.” It is best translated to mean “my King/My Queen.”
Usage: Alade Ori mi is a Gender-neutral Yoruba pet name that can be used for a loved one; boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, son, or daughter.
- Ewa: Ewa means “beautiful” in the Yoruba language.
Usage: Ewa is a feminine Yoruba pet name that can be used for a loved one; boyfriend, girlfriend, or daughter.
- Onitemi (O-NI-TE-MI): Onitemi means “Mine” in the Yoruba language.
Usage: A Gender-neutral Yoruba pet name that can be used for a loved one; boyfriend, girlfriend, or daughter.
- Ododo mi (ODO-DO-MI): Ododo mi means “my flower” in the Yoruba language.
Usage: Ododo mi is a Yoruba pet nickname used by husbands to refer to how precious their wives are to them.
Igbo Pet Names
Here are some sweet Igbo names to call your lover:
- Adanma (HARDER-N-MA) – It is similar to calling a lady your “Beautiful princess.”
- Dim oma (DIM-OMAH) – Meaning “my good husband”, this Igbo nickname is used by wives to describe their loving husband.
- Usom (USO-M) – Meaning “my sweetie” this Igbo nickname is a form of endearments used by husbands to refer to their wives.
- Ola edo’m (OLA- EDO-M) – Meaning “my gold”, husbands often use this Igbo nickname to describe how precious their wives are to them.
- Onyenkem (ONYE-NKEM) – Meaning “my own” this Igbo nickname is used as a form of endearment by husbands to their wives.
- Nwa nwa (NWA-NWA) – Meaning “baby daddy”, wives use this Igbo nickname as a form of endearment to refer to the father of their children.
- Obi uto”m (OBI-TO-M) – Meaning “my happiness” this Igbo nickname is used by couples to describe how happy they make each other.
- Obim (OBI-M) – Meaning “my heart “, Obim is used in the Igbo language by couples to show how much they care about their partner.
Hausa Pet Names
Here are some romantic Hause names:
- Zuciyata (ZU-CI-YA-TA) – Meaning “my heart” this Hausa nickname reminds couples of who their hearts belong to.
- Kambi na (KAMBI-NA) – Meaning “my crown” this Hausa nickname describes wives as the crow of their husbands.
- Mai Gida (MAI-GI-DA) – Meaning “house head” is often used as an endearing term for husbands in Hausa households.
- Masoyina (MA-SOY-INAH) – Meaning “My love” this nickname is used by Hausa couples as a declaration of their love for each other.
- Sonraina (SON-RAY-NA) – Meaning “love of my life” this Hausa nickname is simply a declaration of a couple’s love.
- Ta wa (TA-WA) – Meaning “mine” this nickname is used among Hausa couples as a reminder that they belong to one another.
Other Nigerian Pet Names
Here are some other romantic Nigerian pet names:
- Adibo (ADI-BOH) – Meaning “paragon of beauty” you can use this Egbema Ijaw nickname for your beautiful wife.
- Awaan mmi (NW-AN-MI) – Meaning “my wife” husbands use this name to refer to their wives in Ibibio.
- Dooshima (DO-SHE-MA) – Meaning “love” couple use this Tiv nickname interchangeably to remind themselves of their love for one another.
- Ebe mmi (EBE-MI) – Meaning “my husband” wives use this name to refer to their husbands in Ibibio.
- Egbewei (EGBE-WEI) – Meaning “worthy one” use this Egbema Ijaw nickname to remind your partner of how much they mean to you.
- Eniere (ENI-EREH) – Meaning “my wife” is an Egbema Ijaw nickname for a wife.
- Enizei (ENI-ZEI) – Meaning “my husband” is an Egbema Ijaw nickname for a husband.
- Ima Ima (EMAH-EMAH) – Meaning “my love” couples refer to themselves using this name in the Ibibio language.
- Tor – Meaning “king” this Tiv nickname is a form of affection used by wives to refer to their husbands.
- Tordue (TORH-DU) – Meaning “king” this Tiv nickname show just how much a wife regards her husband.
Nigerian Nicknames for Parents
In Nigerian culture, someone doesn’t have to be your biological parent to answer a parent’s name. Older people, as a sign of respect, are also referred to in the same way as one would one’s parents.
Here are some popular names Nigerian call their parents or parent-figures:
- Ada – This name is usually used to refer to the oldest female in an Igbo lineage.
- Baaba (BA-A-BA) – A nickname used by the Fulani people of Northern Nigeria to refer to one’s father.
- Baba (BA-BA) – This is a popular nickname for father and has Yoruba origins used in many parts of western Nigeria. Usually, the names are attached to the names of one’s child, for instance; Baba Tola (which means Tola’s father).
- Baba Oko Mi (BA-BA-OKO-MI) – This is an affectionate nickname used among the Yoruba’s to refer to their father-in-law or the elders in their spouse’s family.
- Baba Wa (BA-BA-WA) – A nickname among the Yoruba’s for an elderly man. It means “Our Father.”
- Dau – The Egbema people of Ijaw Nigeria use this name to refer to fathers.
- Di Okpara (DI-OK-PARA) – This is a name used to refer to the oldest male in an Igbo lineage.
- Eka – An Efik name of endearment for mother.
- Esiraado (ESI-RAA-DO) – A nickname for a parent-in-law in Fulfulde (Fulani). The plural form being Esiraabe.
- Ete – An Efik name of endearment for father.
- Ezinne (EZIN-NNE) – A nickname for a woman considered to be a good mother to her children among the Igbos of Eastern Nigeria.
- Iya (E-YA) – This is a popular nickname for mother and has Yoruba origins used in many parts of western Nigeria. Usually, the names are attached to the names of one’s child, for instance; Iya Tola (which means Tola’s mother).
- Iya Oko Mi (IYA-OKO-MI) – In Nigerian culture, your mother-in-law is often taken as your own mother and this is an affectionate nickname used among the Yoruba’s.
- Iya Ile (EYA-LE) – An endearing nickname for the eldest wife in a Yoruba household.
- Iya wa (EYA-WA) – A nickname among the Yoruba’s for an elderly woman in one’s family who might not be one’s mother but considered a mother to all.
- Ngo – A Tiv name for mother.
- Nna – Used among the Igbos to refer to a father, for instance, Nna m (means My father) and Nna Chike (which means Chike’s father).
- Nna Di (NNA-DI) – An Igbo name of endearment for one’s Father-in-law.
- Nne – An Igbo nickname for a mother, for example, Nne m (means My Mother) and Nne Dozie (which means Dozie’s mother).
- Ogo Nwanyi (OGO-NWAN-YI) – An Igbo name of endearment for one’s Mother-in-law.
- Papa – A popular term used to refer to a father.
- Pale (PAL-HARE) – A slang used for Dad.
- Male (MAL-HARE)– A slang used for Mom.
- Suruka (SU-RU-KA) – The Hausa nickname for mother-in-law.
- Suruki (SU-RU-KI) – The Hausa nickname for father-in-law.
- Tere – A Tiv name for father.
- Terem Kem (TERE-M-KEM) – A Tiv name for father-in-law.
- Uba – A nickname for father among the Hausa people of Northern Nigeria.
- Wari Okosu Ere (WARI-OKO-SU-ERE) – This name used to refer to the oldest female in a lineage among the Egbema people of Ijaw Nigeria.
- Wari Okosu Wei (WARI-OKO-SU-WEI) – A name used to refer to the oldest male in a lineage among the Egbema people of Ijaw Nigeria.
- Yin – The Egbema people of Ijaw Nigeria use this name to refer to mothers.
- Yumma (YU-MMMA) – A nickname used by the Fulani people of Northern Nigeria to refer to one’s mother.
Nigerian Nicknames for Grandparents
Nigerians have separate names they use in referring to their grandparents. These nicknames vary depending on the tribe and language spoken. Here are a few Nigerian nicknames for parents:
- Baba Agba (BA-BA-AG-BA) – A name for a Grandfather used among the Yoruba”s.
- Eka Eka (EKA-EKA) – This is used by the Efik people to refer to Grandmother.
- Ete Ete (ETE-ETE) – This Efik name is used to refer to Grandfather.
- Iya Agba (E-YA-AG-BA) – A name for a Grandmother used among the Yoruba”s.
- Kakan (KA-KA-N) – A name of endearment used to refer to one’s Grandfather amongst the Hausas of Northern Nigeria.
- Kakanta (KA-KA-N-TA) – A name of endearment used to refer to one’s Grandmother amongst the Hausas of Northern Nigeria.
- Mama – In some households, they find it easier to call Grandmothers mama.
- Ngotamen (NGO-TA-MEN) – Used by the Tiv people to refer to Grandmother.
- Nna Nna (NNA-NNA) – This name is fondly used to refer to one’s patriarchal Grandfather as a term of endearment among the Igbos of Eastern Nigeria.
- Nna Nne (NNA-NNE) – This name is fondly used to refer to one’s matriarchal Grandfather as a term of endearment among the Igbos of Eastern Nigeria.
- Nne Nna (NNE-NNA) – This name is fondly used to refer to one’s patriarchal Grandmother as a term of endearment among the Igbos of Eastern Nigeria.
- Nne Nne (NNE-NNE) –This name is fondly used to refer to one’s patriarchal Grandfather as a term of endearment among the Igbos of Eastern Nigeria
- Opu Dan (OP-U-DAN) – This name is used by the Egbema people of Ijaw Nigeria to refer to Grandfathers.
- Opu Yin (OP-U-YIN) – This name is used by the Egbema people of Ijaw Nigeria to refer to Grandmothers.
- Pati (PA-TI) – This Fulfude name is used by the Fulani people of northern Nigeria to refer to Grandfather.
- Soro (SO-RO) – This Fulfude name is used by the Fulani people of northern Nigeria to refer to Grandfather.
- Tertamen (TER-TAY-MEN) – Used by the Tiv people to refer to Grandfather.
Nigerian Nicknames for Places
The term “New Yorker” refers to someone from New York. What are the terms and nicknames Nigerians use for places or location-related Nigerian nicknames?
- Naija – The unofficial nickname for Nigeria. Omo Naija (Son of Nigeria), Naija Boy (Nigerian Kid), etc means are derived from this term.
- IB – Nickname for Ibadan; largest city in Nigeria.
- LAG – Nickname for Lagos state; the commercial capital of Nigeria.
- Las Gidi –Nickname for Lagos state.
- Gidi –Also, a nickname for Lagos state.
- ABK –Popular nickname used for Abeokuta, a city in Ogun state.
- ABJ –The unofficial nickname of the capital city of Nigeria.
- KD – Short form of Kaduna state.
- PH –Common term used to describe Port Harcourt city.
- Lagosian – A nickname used for people who are from Lagos state or someone who resides in Lagos.
- Yankee – USA
- Jand – UK/ anywhere outside Africa.
- Southy – South Africa
- Chinko – Chinese/Asian.
- Japa – “Leaving the country” or in more literal terms, “escaping the country.” It is usually used when people leave Nigeria without an intention to return.
Nigerian Nicknames for Common Items
If you ever find yourself in Nigeria or in conversation with a Nigeria, you might find out they use these different words for common items. Here are the most popular terms Nigerians daily:
- Tissue – Toilet Paper.
- Coke – Soda.
- Minerals – Soda.
- Motor – A vehicle.
- Plane – Aircraft.
- Mechanic – An Auto technician that fixes mechanical faults in vehicles.
- Panel Beater – An Auto technician that fixes auto body damage and dents in vehicles.
- Rewire – An Auto technician that fixes electrical damage in cars.
- Hotel – A hotel.
- Toilet – Restroom.
- Lift – Elevator.
- Cabu Cabu – Rarely used, it means Taxi. Taxi has become a more popular term.
- Sweet – Candy.
- Milo/Bournvita – Cocoa Tea. Some people use it as a term for tea.
- Fridge – Refrigerator
- Maggi – Bouillon cube
- Indomie – Noodles
- Supermarket – Grocery store
- Biro – Pen.
- Eatery – Restaurant.
- Olopa – Yoruba term for the police.
- Popo – Slang for Police
- Gateman – Security Personnel.
- Businessman – Entrepreneur/trader.
- Chemist – Pharmacy/Pharmacist.
- AC – Air conditioner
- Yellow Fever – Traffic Police
- Yahoo – Refers to internet fraud but you’d find it being used for young people with questionable sources of income.
- Okada – Commercial motorcycle
- Keke – Bicycle, tricycle.
- Danfo – Commercial Bus.
- BRT – Mass transit buses.
This article is targeted to help you with understanding Nigerian nicknames and how they are used. We’ll definitely love to hear other Nigerian nicknames you know so please leave a comment with the nicknames. Also, comment to let us know which of these nicknames are your favorite.