10 ways to say ‘hello’ to a Nigerian

It is amazing how easily the word “Hello” is disregarded, yet it is one of the most frequently used and meaningful word in our lives. The moment we pick up the phone, to the moment we meet someone for the first time and even when starting a conversation…it is the first words we use. It doesn’t matter how we say it or in what form or language we say it with, it generally helps us build courage and confidence in new environments.

You might know two or three ways to say “Hello” to someone, but in Nigeria there are actually dozens of different expressions. With a lot of local dialects and slangs, we present 10 ways to say Hello, Nigerian style:

news-boy-big
Kedu
This is the Igbo translation of “Hello”. It literally translates as “how are you”, and is by far the most commonly used greeting by the Igbo ethnicity. It is an informal greeting that can be used any time of day in any kind of situation.

Bawo ni!
If you have visited any Yoruba speaking area, you may have heard this phrase used repeatedly. It is the standard greeting which is used in the morning until about noon. It can be used in both formal and informal situations.

Kóyo
This is used in Benin and neighboring communities. It is a way  of saying “hello” or “how are you”.  It’s an informal greeting that can be used any time of day in any kind of situation. When you are not sure how to greet somebody, it is always appropriate to say “Kóyo ”.

17c4e_US-July-PMB

Mesiere
Mesiere is the Efik/Ibibio way of greeting. Many argue that the phrases “ Idem mfo? “ or “ Abadie” are better interpretations, but Mesiere is a more common greeting. It is an everyday, complimentary greeting used between all people.

Sannu!
This is the formal way to greet somebody and say: “hello”  in the Northern region dominated by locals from the Hausa tribe. It is a very common and respectful form of greeting wherever Hausa is spoken

Abole
A traditional Nigerian greeting used by the Idoma in Benue State area, Abole translates roughly as “How are you?” or simply “Hello”.

Grace-Property-Services-LLC_Handshake

Mavo
Literally translated as “how are you?”, Mavo is the way the Urhobo’s say “hello”. It can be used in formal situations, or in cases where you are more relaxed with acquaintances.

How far?
Usually pronounced “har fa”. “How far?” is the most common way to say “hello”  in Nigerian pidgin. It is obviously used in informal setting and more amongst family, friend and acquaintances. Even though it looks like a question, it doesn’t need to be answered, especially if the person carries on with the conversation anyways.

Hey
Although “hey” is commonly considered rude when used in reference with people who you do not  know well. It is also applied among friends, especially teenagers and millennials. It sounds casual and cool, but can sometimes be confusing.

I hail
This is commonly used in Warri pidgin. It is a very popular way of saying “hello” in the region. Other forms of hello in Warri pidgin include: “I greet your ministry”, “what’s the level?”, “how your side?”

Advertisements

Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s