Slangs across Cultures: Emerging Trends in the Nigerian Social Media Space

Authors: Chikelu Ezenwafor-Afuecheta (Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nigeria)
Chibunma Bright Ajoku (Alvan Ikoku College of Education, Nigeria)
Ifeka Onyeocha (Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nigeria)
Speakers: Chikelu Ezenwafor-Afuecheta, Chibunma Bright Ajoku, Ifeka Onyeocha
Topic: Anthropological Linguistics
The GLOCAL AFALA 2023 Colloquium


The Nigerian society is both a multilingual and multicultural society. The communicative interaction within the Nigerian social media space is largely influenced by the diverse languages and cultures of the media users. This paper discusses the emerging slanging expressions used within the Nigerian social media space; particularly, the face book and twitter media platforms. The source of these slangs is traced to indigenous Nigerian languages such as Yoruba, Igbo, Ibibio, and the Nigerian Pidgin; slangs such as sapa, soro soke, die am, dachii,  e choke, mbok, no be juju be dat amongst  others appear quite common. Emphasis is laid on the figurative and idiomatic nature of these slangs, as well as the events that underlie their use, emergence and prominence. The data for this study are obtained from a corpus of Nigerian face book posts and twitter tweets. The slang theory proposed in Alan & Burridge (2006) is adopted in the classification if the identified slang expressions. The use of slang expressions in the Nigerian social media space is observed to cut across age, gender, and ethnicity.

Keywords: Nigeria, slang theory.