250+ Alternative Ways to Say Yes

21 Essential Pidgin Phrases You’ll Need in Nigeria

250+ Alternative Ways to Say Yes

Natasha Dzhola / © Culture Trip

Pidgin is an English-based creole language and Nigeria’s real lingua franca. English might be the official language, but in a country with well over 250 other local languages, Pidgin was developed to aid communication among people from different parts of the country, as well as between locals and Europeans.


Natasha Dzhola /  © Culture Trip

This common greeting means ‘How is everything?’. A marker of camaraderie between Nigerians, it is a simple, informal greeting that’s best used with people you know well, or in casual settings. The verb at the end is often dropped, so beware: if someone asks you How far?, they aren’t referring to your journey to meet them.

This is another highly informal greeting – one to try out with a taxi driver or market seller, for instance. If anything, this one is even more informal than how far. It can also be used aggressively in the sense of ‘what’s your problem?’. Dropping the dey and asking someone wétin only is a good way of telling them to back off. Back it up with your best scowl.

The good thing about pidgin is that it most of it is easy to get your head around. ”You do well” simply means “Thank you”. For example, in an informal setting with a friend, you can say ”My friend you do well”.

”No wahala” is the pidgin expression used for confirmation or approval. When someone says “No wahala”, it could mean “Yes” or “No problem”. When you want to say “No” then this word alone will do. “Wahala” on its own means ‘”trouble”, similar to the way the word bacchanal is used in the Caribbean. It can also refer to stress.


Natasha Dzhola /  © Culture Trip

Knowing how to ask where the bathroom is in pidgin is an obvious essential.

This is pretty easy, as it is all English — it’s just the manner in which it is spoken. Giving a Taxi directions in pidgin is always helpful – as long as you know where you’re going, of course.

”E don do” or “Stop” as a sign or an instruction is a word you cannot go without while travelling through Nigeria’s big cities.

At the restaurant / bar

Natasha Dzhola /  © Culture Trip

Perhaps you just had one of Nigeria’s tasty traditional dishes and you want to express your pleasure and congratulate the chef. ”This food sweet well well” is the best way to give thanks and impress your hosts.

A definite must-use phrase in a country renowned for its amazing food, ”I wan chop” means you’re hungry and want to eat.

Not to worry, if you’re dying of thirst anyone around you will know what you mean when you ask for water as it’s the same in pidgin English.

At the market

Natasha Dzhola /  © Culture Trip

Knowing an essential phrase this one will definitely help you strike a better bargain in Nigerian markets which can get a bit tricky for foreigners.

The prices of some things could be more expensive than you anticipated. A good bargain could come in handy here – ”E too cost abeg” is the pidgin language equivalent to expressing displeasure at the price of something.

The good news is that all numbers stay the same as in English.

Making friends

Natasha Dzhola /  © Culture Trip

”Shayo” can refer to beer, red wine, vodka or whatever else you might fancy on a night out in one Nigeria’s bars. “Make we go shayo” is definitely a great way to make new acquaintances and lasting friendships.

Paying compliments is one of the easiest ways to make friends. ”Bobo you too fine” means that a man is handsome, while ”Babe you too fine” would be used to compliment a woman.

For everything else

Natasha Dzhola /  © Culture Trip

Most often used as part of a request “please could you let me pass”. Abeg, can also be used to express incredulity. For instance if you were engaged in a good old haggling session and the trader gives you a ridiculous price, you can let them know how ridiculous you find the price by exclaiming, “ah beg o!” or “Abeg! No waste my time!”

This is a common phrase you’ll often here used by Nigerians in reference to the city’s gridlock. it’s a phrase worth knowing for when you’re running late for a meeting, ”Go slow” means “Traffic jam”.

If you need to pass across some very important information, ”Listen well well” should get someone’s attention.

Perhaps you’re inviting someone to a big event and you need to forewarn them about the dress code, ”Baff up” means “Dress nicely”.

There isn’t a direct translation to English. It functions as a call to action and depending on context, can mean ‘come on’ or ‘hurry up’, similar to “vamos“ in Spanish or “schnell” in German. It can also be used to cajole; “oya na” can mean something along the lines of “please reconsider”.

This is an expression of surprise. The ‘oh’ at the end is usually added to a lot of words and phrases, a kind of conversational tick to add emphasis.

This article was originally written by a Hub Writer Fareeda Abdulkareem.

Source: https://theculturetrip.com/africa/nigeria/articles/15-nigerian-pidgin-english-phrases-you-need-to-know/

250+ Ways to Curse in Creative Writing: A Word List

250+ Alternative Ways to Say Yes

The truth is …

It’s unrealistic to expect that a novel about truckers or construction workers would have them yelling “golly gee” or “shucks” when they’re angry. Cursing is an inescapable part of life. A well-placed cuss can relieve tension, express annoyance, or tune in an adversary.

Careful. You lose fans if you overdo.

Some readers are intimidated by even a single word of profanity. Your writing will appeal to a larger audience if you exercise the same care avoiding cursing that you do avoiding unnecessary adverbs.

But zero profanity is often unrealistic.

So how can you make your writing life without resorting to F-bombs or other expletives? You, the author, are a tightrope walker tiptoeing a shaky wire between reality and comedy.

Yes, comedy.

If you overdo the cursing, your work will come off the amusing tirade of an angry adolescent. Eliminate all but the occasional necessary swear word.

Swearing in made-up worlds is easy.

Think of the most despicable character or beast in your created world. Your villain could be described as a son of a [insert character or beast]. Or, if your world is ruled by women, you might change son to daughter.

Other possibilities could include spawn of a space sow, brood of a black star, or progeny of a wormhole.

If your fictional world is an alternate Earth, you could use terms such as son of a snake, son of a cur, or daughter of a slug.

Battlestar Galactica invented frak and felgercarb.

Firefly used gorram.

Other movies or series came out with words such as frell, poodoo, dren, Mik’ta, shazbot, drokk, and frag.

Profanity in “real-world” fiction can be just as simple.

To continue with the son of/daughter of expressions, stories based in the past might use son of a gun or daughter of the devil.

Scrutinize the following sentences for alternative ways to portray cursing.

– An explosion of expletives turned the air blue.

– Antiquated obscenities sprang from his lips.

– She filled the air with ripe invective.

– She spouted graphic one-syllable words of derision.

– He swore fluently.

– He flooded the office with articulate curses.

– He mouthed a feral blasphemy.

– Effusive imprecations flooded the room.

– A chorus of four-letter words exploded from her lips.

– She uttered a litany of curses too foul to repeat.

– Ripe speech was his specialty. He used it now. In spades.

– Her stream of cussing superfluities burned my ears.

– He spewed an entire dictionary of crude sailor’s words.

– His stevedore mouth exploded all over the bystanders.

Norman Mailer used fug in The Naked and the Dead. Was he any smarter or more innovative than you?

Dialogue can make the point without cursing.

“Shut the front door!”

“If I wanted your opinion, I’d have asked for it.”

“Who do you think you’re kidding?”

“Get here before I kill you.”

“You gotta be jokin’!”

“You’re more despicable than a meal-time telemarketer.”

“My last deposit in the toilet had more character than you.”

“I bet his mother stopped having kids after he was hatched.”

“Have you been told today?”

“Shut your pie hole.”

“You dirty _____.”

“Did anyone ever tell you you’re a …?”

“You rotten, good-for-nothing &%%#$#*@!!!”

Dialogue might offer implied alternatives.

“Were you swearing at me?”

“He looks madder than my girlfriend last time I left the toilet seat up.”

“He flipped me off. Can you believe it?”

“She gave me the bird. Then she called her divorce attorney.”

“She made an obscene gesture. With both hands.”

“He gave the speeder a single finger. Twice.”

Exclamation points can be your friend.

Sorry, Mark Twain. You’re probably cursing at me right now for what I’m about to say.

If you avoid exclamation points in your writing, readers will notice them when they do appear. A well-placed ! (just one) will show intensity of emotion.

Body language and actions can speak louder than swearing.

You could make your characters:

– Flare their nostrils

– Clench their teeth

– Slam doors

– Stomp from point A to point B

– Punch holes in walls

– Prance with hands on hips

– Shake their fists

– Go red in the face

– Get so mad they stutter

– Point fingers

– Stick out their tongues

– Jut their noses in the air

– Sneer, grimace, or smirk

– Frown, pout, or purse the lips

– Raise one or both fists

– Give a thumbs-down

– Raise the palm toward someone (“talk to the hand”)

– Grab the genitals

– Make a wanker gesture

– Moon someone

– Simulate a throat-slash with one finger

– Thumb the nose

Repetition dilutes impact.

Watch people in restaurants, at work, and on your commute. You might discover they don’t swear as often as you think they do.

No matter what method you choose to show your characters cursing, remember that any repetition, no matter how realistic, will dilute a word or phrase’s impact. Whether it’s scrutinized, cleared his throat, or your favorite profanity, more than occasional occurrences will annoy your readers.

Know your market when submitting to literary journals.

If your potential market offers free copies online, download and read them.

Study all guidelines. Pore through them again. And again.

Many of the alternatives provided here might be unacceptable for Christian markets. For example, some publishers might reject anything with the initials J C or phrases that incorporate gosh, gee, or darn — all of which are “politer” versions of Jesus Christ, God, and damn.

Check out this list.

Some of these are appropriate for young-adult or period fiction. Don’t dismiss anything at first glance.

Who knows? You might invent an expression that appears in a dictionary of the future.

A and B
a pox upon it, arse, balderdash, ballshirt, baloney, barf bag, barnacles, batask, beans, beeotch, bite me, blangdang, blankety-blank, blasted, blast it, bleeping, blimey [Aus.], bloody, bloomin’, blow, boogers, boy-o-boy, brat, brown sugar, bug off, bullspit, bum, bummer, bunk, bunkum

chaps, cheese and rice, cheeses, cheesitz, chit, confound it, crab cakes, crabs, crackers, crap, crapola, crappin’ crackers, crappity crickets, crikey [Aus.], cripes, crud, crumbs, cur

D and E
dad-gone thing, dad-gone-it, daggummit, dagnabit, damned, dang, darned, dingaling, dingdong, dipstick, d’oh, doggonit, donky dung, drat, dratted, dreck-head, dumptruck, earwax, eat slugs, eff, effing, egad

falderal, FAQ, farging, farging ice-hole, farkle, fart face, fiddle faddle, fiddlesticks, fie, fishsticks, flip, flippin’, flunkin’, flyin’ fudgesicle, for crying out loud, for freak’s sake, for Pete’s sake, for the lova Mike, frack, fragdaggle, frazzle-rackin’, freaking, fuddle duddle, fudge, fudge berries, fudge nuggets, futher mucker

gadzooks, garsh, gee whilrs, gee whiz, geez Louise, get stuffed, gobbledygook, golly, golly gee, good gravy, good grief, goodness, goodness gracious, gosh, goshdarnit, goshdashit, grasshole, guldurnit

hail no, hay, heck, H-E-double hockey sticks, H-E-double toothpicks, hellish, highfalutin’, hockey puck, hogwash, hokum, holy biscuits, holy crow, holy moly, holy shibblets, holy smokes, horse feathers, horse hockey, horse pucky

J to L
jeepers, jeepers creepers, jeez, Jiminy crickets, Judas Priest, jumpin’ frog turds, jumpin’ George, jumpin’ Jiminy, just flippin’ wonderful, kawabunga, kitty whiskers, leapin’ lizards, lint licker

M and N
malarkey, man, mongrel, monkey fingers, monkey flunker, mother blanker, mother of pearl, mothersmucker, mule pucky, my word, nag it, no way, nonsense, nuckin’ futs

O to R
oh bother, omigosh, pffft, phooey, pickle-puss, piddle, pig poop, pluck it, poo, poop, poopy, poppycock, rackafratz, raspberries, rassa-frazzin’, rat doo-doo, rats, rot

S and T
sack of dirt, sakes alive, shamalama, shat, shazzle, sheesh, sheet, shinola, shiz, shnikes, shoot, shucks, snap, snit, snitch, snot, steaming, stink, stinkin’, stuff it, stuff yourself, sucks, sufferin’ succotash, sugar, sunny beach, tommyrot, tool, troll, turd

W to Z
wazzock, weenie, what the?, what the duck?, what the frog?, what-the hey?, when pigs fly!, whilrs, whillikins, who-ha, wienerwurst, witch, wow, wu-wu, yikes, yuk foo, zounds

Source: https://kathysteinemann.com/Musings/cursing/