7 Words You’d Find In Both The Igbo And Yoruba Languages


Nigerians from different tribes have more in common than they think.

When someone says “One Nigeria”, many Nigerians internally scoff. Some even go as far as doing it on the outside. This is because Nigeria is full of many tribes who do not seem to have a lot in common.

But when you look closely, many Nigerian tribes have many things in common such as culture, food and even languages. The Yorubas and Igbos may seem to be as different as the sun and moon. But they have lots in common, especially in language. Here are 7 words you’d find in both Yoruba and Igbo languages, although they may have different meanings and pronunciations:


1.  Ile

Any Yoruba person will tell you that this word means “house”. In the Igbo language, this word means “tongue”.

Ile House/Tongue Collage

Image: NairaLand/GettyImages

 

2.  Enu

In Igbo, enu means “up” while in Yoruba, it refers to the mouth.

Enu Up/Mouth Collage

Image: Pixar.Wikia/FavImages

 

3.  Owu

Can you believe this word means the same thing in both languages? Yes, it does. Owu is both the Yoruba and Igbo word for thread.

Owu thread

Image: NaturalTales/WordPress

 

4.  Ede

Ede is the Yoruba word for language. It is also the Igbo word for cocoyam.

Ede Language/Cocoyam Collage

Image: ExpatForum/9jaFoods

 

5.  Oja

When someone says the word “oja” in Yoruba, they mean market. In Igbo, Oja is the name given to the flute.

Oja Market/Flute Collage

Image: 635.GTBank/Pinterest

 

6.  Aja

Aja is found in both languages albeit with different meanings. In Igbo, Aja means sand. But it means dog in Yoruba.

Aja Sand/Dog Collage

Image: BusinessInsider/YouTube

 

7.  Jide

It’s pretty amazing how two different tribes can have the same name for male children. Though to be fair in Igbo, this name is the short form of Jideofor. In Yoruba, Jide is the short form of Babajide, Olajide etc. In Igbo, Jide means to hold. While in Yoruba, it can mean “has come/resurfaced”.

African boy

Magunga

 

Which other words do you know that appear in both languages? Here are some other words that every Nigerian knows.


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