Ibo Grammar Lesson

Nigerians particularly those from the Ibo tribe at least in my experience have this way of saying nonsense as a phrase at the end of sentence or a sentence by itself as a means of showing their disdain or displeasure for something.

For example, he has a good job but he got caught stealing a t-shirt. Nonsense.

Or, she went to the airport without her passport expecting that they would let her fly. Nonsense.

Or in an discussion after the person you disagree with finishes speaking or presenting their argument. You reply: Nonsense… and then you proceed with your argument.

And even if the person is speaking in Ibo, the word nonsense is always said in English.


  1. assalamalaikum warahmatullah ya ukhti fil islam,
    i’m from nigeria and i just had to laugh reading this post mashaAllah!
    fi amanillah

  2. Wa salaam alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh,

    ๐Ÿ™‚ One of my co-workers mentioned that she loved the way Nigerians often used the word nonsense in disagreements. I think the humor is probably lost on those not familiar with its usage, the accent, and the pronunciation of it.

  3. i know! when i read it, i thought you just have to be nigerian or be around an igbo person alot to understand how funny this is… lol
    please feel free to e-mail me, i’d love to talk with you some more.
    fi amanillah
    bint adam

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