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Last Updated: Friday 19th June 2020 @ 10:07 am
Igbo Idioms English
in Igbo Language
The Right Word in the Right Place
(Igbo Idioms English)
In every language there are certain expressions which are not
intented to be understood literally.
The more you read about Igbo Idioms english, the better you understand the culture of the people.
You're about to learn the rich cultural background and intimate knowledge of Igbo idioms english of
The English phrase "I'm fed up!", for example, has nothing whatsoever to
do with food.
Nor has the Igbo "Ihe i kwuru ejughi m afọ". The Igbo language is full of idiomatic expressions
of this nature.
Some of them have only a limited currency, by which is meant that they may not be popular among a large number
of people or for a very long time.
But others are widely known and well-established. The following examples fall into the latter category.
They represent only a small selection from enormous treasury, and it is recommended that the student should keep
a notebook and jot down examples that come to his or her notice:
- O siri ewu erighi ọkụkọ atụghi - Her food was badly cooked.
- Ọnụ erughi ya n'okwu - He is not qualified to express an opinion.
- Aga m abi gị aka - I shall thrash you.
- ọ bụụsụ - He keeps very much to himself, or he never takes sides.
- Ọ hịrị ọnụ saa aka - He showed signs of surprise.
- Nkịta kpune kpune - A crafty fellow
- Ọna-agba edere ebi aka n'ala - He is doing his best to disturb (us).
- Ọ tụrụ ha n'ọnụ - They were astonished
- O ji m n'akpịrị - I'm in a fix
- Ọ bụ edi - He is always sleepy
- Ibute egbe na mkpu-mkpu ahịhịa - Expecting to find something where it cannot be had.
- Ebighi ebi, anọghi anọ - Always quarrelling
- Ịka mmadụ obi ndanda - To concourage someone to attempt the impossible
- E si ebe gị eje olee? - Who do you think you are? (i.e. You're of no importance).
- - His way of speaking irritates (me)
- Uchichi mere ka nri fọdụ - Saved in the nick of time
- O tere ofe nwa atụrụ ji rawaa agba - An innocent person has suffered on his account
- Agụụ na-ahụ m ọnụ - I'm very hungry
- Ebelebe egbuo! - Well I never! Something extraordinary has happened. (Good or bad.)
- Leruo anya ala! - Be very carefull!
- Ka m taa gi aru nti! - A word in your ear!
- O na-ata aru na nti - It is not worth listerning to
- Okwu ya na-agho oko - His way of speaking irritates (me)
- Ma onye elu ma onye ala - Everybody
- Welite ukwu - Hurry up!
- O bu aturu - He is stupid
- O nwere ire abuo - He is a liar
- Okuko udu mmiri - A person who is physically weak
- O nwere afo oma - He is kind
- Nyuo anwu! - Do your worst
- O bu asa na mmiri - He swims like a fish