How To Yab In Pidgin: A Beginner’s Guide

If you're new to Nigerian Pidgin, you may have heard the term “yab” being thrown around. Yabbing is a popular form of banter or teasing that is deeply ingrained in Nigerian culture. If you want to fit in and make friends with Nigerians, learning how to yab is essential. In this guide, we'll show you how to yab like a pro in Pidgin.

Table of Contents

What is Yabbing?

Yabbing is a playful form of teasing that involves making fun of someone in a light-hearted way. In Nigerian culture, yabbing is a way of showing affection or camaraderie. It's not meant to be hurtful or offensive, but rather a way of bonding with friends or colleagues.

The Basics of Yabbing

To yab someone, you need to have a good sense of humor and quick wit. Yabbing involves making jokes or witty remarks about someone or something. The key is to be creative and come up with something that is funny but not offensive.

Yabbing Techniques

Here are some common techniques for yabbing in Pidgin:

  1. Rhyming Yabs: This involves making a rhyming comment about someone. For example, “Your head dey like coconut, you go fit sell am for Oshodi market.”
  2. Wordplay: This involves using puns or wordplay to make a witty comment. For example, “You too like to chop, you go soon turn to chopstick.”
  3. Comparison: This involves comparing someone or something to something else. For example, “Your face be like bread wey dem no soak inside tea.”
  4. Exaggeration: This involves exaggerating someone's flaws or weaknesses for comedic effect. For example, “You too like to chop, if dem give you rope you go tie your belle like goat.”
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Dos and Don'ts of Yabbing

Here are some dos and don'ts of yabbing in Pidgin:


  • Be witty and creative
  • Keep it light-hearted and playful
  • Know your audience
  • Be respectful of people's feelings
  • Know when to stop


  • Be hurtful or offensive
  • Use yabbing to bully or harass someone
  • Yab someone in public
  • Yab someone you don't know well

Yabbing in Different Situations

Yabbing can be used in different situations, depending on the context. Here are some examples:

  1. Socializing with Friends: Yabbing is a common way of socializing with friends in Nigeria. If you're at a party or hanging out with friends, yabbing can be a fun way to break the ice and get people laughing.
  2. Work Environment: Yabbing can also be used in the workplace, but it's important to be careful. Yabbing should be kept light-hearted and respectful in a professional setting.
  3. Romantic Relationships: Yabbing can be a playful way of teasing your partner in a romantic relationship. However, it's important to know your partner's boundaries and not to cross the line into hurtful or offensive territory.


Yabbing is an important part of Nigerian culture and a great way to bond with people. As a beginner, it's important to start small and work your way up to more complex yabs. Remember to keep it light-hearted, respectful, and playful, and you'll be yabbing like a pro in no time.


  1. Is yabbing offensive?

No, yabbing is not meant to be offensive or hurtful. It's a playful form of banter that is deeply ingrained in Nigerian culture.

  1. Can I yab someone I don't know well?
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It's best to yab people you know well and who are comfortable with your sense of humor. Yabbing someone you don't know well can come across as rude or disrespectful.

  1. How do I know if my yab is offensive?

If you're not sure if your yab is offensive, it's best to err on the side of caution and not say it. Yabs should be light-hearted and playful, not hurtful or offensive.

  1. Can I yab someone in public?

It's best to yab someone in private or with a small group of friends. Yabbing someone in public can be embarrassing and uncomfortable for the person being yabbed.

  1. Is yabbing only done in Pidgin?

No, yabbing can be done in any language, but it's most commonly done in Pidgin in Nigeria.