aan [ã̀ã́] int.
1. an exclamation of disbelief, surprise or shock; it usually entails a request for confirmation of what had been said. Also: aan nia?
2. indicates that an utterance was either not heard properly or not understood:
Aan, vbua kha hẹẹ?“What did you say?”
bukpẹ [búkpɛ̀] excl.
formula of thanks expressed by females to their elders after a meal; it is also used as a greeting to an older person who sneezes.
doo1 [dóó] int.
an informal greeting, equivalent to “hello”, expressed between peers, or by an older or senior person to a younger or junior one. The plural form, wa doo!, is usually used by an older person to two or more younger people. It is also used by an adult visitor to announce his presence in a house.
dọmọ [dɔ́mɔ̀] int.
1. a deferential greeting, normally used for chiefs or other elderly people to whom courteous regard is due:
Dọmọ, edionmwan! “Greetings, old man!”
2. a greeting used for people resident at the Oba’s palace.
ee [éé] int.
response to most greetings and directives:
A: lare! B: ee! ― A: come here! B: okay!
efukẹ [èfùkɛ̀] int.
an expression which implies that what had been said was a joke, a lie or a bluff.
ẹbẹe [ɛ̀bɛ́è] int.
used to express delight at somebody’s mishap, especially if the mishap had been planned by the sufferer to befall someone else; it is the equivalent of “serves you right!” and is used mainly by children and women.
ẹẹn [ɛ̃́ɛ̃́] int.
“yes”; positive response to a question requiring Yes/No answer.
gidigbo-gidigbo [gídígbògídígbò] int.
a formula pronounced at the initiation of a wrestling match by one of the contending pairs.
heu [héù] int.
an exclamation of surprise; regret, or lamentation.
hẹẹ́n [hɛ̃́ɛ̃́] int.
hẹẹ̀n [hɛ̃́ɛ̃̀] int.
hii [hìí] int.
1. exclamation of shock, regret, or disappointment:
Hii! u ghẹ giẹ de“Oh dear, you shouldn’t have let it drop.”
2. adj.; adv. very quiet; very calm.
íyà [iiyà] int.
an exclamation of irritation or impatience.
Iya, wẹ i hẹnmwẹn ne a ta?“Why, don’t you hear what is being said?”
koyọ [kóyò] int.
a general greeting formula; it expresses a wide variety of sentiments ranging from general good will to sympathy and affection.
ọba- [ɔba] int.
a formula of salutation which is prefixed to various words designating times, seasons, occupations, dispositions, etc. in greeting on appropriate situations: ọbota (< ọba ― ota) “greetings of the evening.” Good-evening! ọbiwinna (< ọba ― iwinna) “Greetings as you work!”, etc.
ọbavan [ɔ́bávã̀] int.
Good afternoon (cf. Ọba).
ọbevbaru [ɔ́béʋàɽú] int.
well-done (cf. ọba).
ọbokhian [ɔ́bóxyã̀] int.
ọbota [ɔ́bótà] int.
Good evening!
ọbowa [ɔ́bówà] int.
a greeting expressed by a new arriver to people met at home on arrival. “Greetings for staying at home.”
ọbowiẹ [ɔ́bówiɛ̀] int.
Good morning!
rere [ɽéɽe] int.
a greeting, used mainly by the elderly, to mean “welcome”.
saa [sáà] int.
“shoo!” an exclamation used to chase out domestic animals.
siẹnsiẹnẹnsiẹn [syɛ̃̀syɛ̃̀ɛ̃̀syɛ̃̀] int.
(used as part of the introduction of a tale or a story): implies that the story is very interesting:
Okha ọkpa siẹnsiẹnẹnsiẹn na doo rre . . . ! “Once came a very interesting story . . . !”
tẹẹ [tɛ̀ɛ́] int.
an address term, expressive of speakers favourable disposition toward the person addressed while at the same time disfavouring a third person:
Lare, tẹẹ“Come (”
good person“, etc.)”
tohio [tòhió] int.
Introductory formula used by a story-teller to invite an audience to listen to his story: Story-teller: Tohio. Audience: Hia hia kpoo. Story-teller: I ra ta okha ọkpa ma uwa ― (“I am going to tell you a certain story”). Audience: tae tao ighẹ ma danmwẹnhọ ― (“Go on and tell it for we are listening”). And then the story begins.
tokha [tóxà] int.
an exclamation indicating surprise, and requesting for confirmation of what had been said. May be interpreted by expressions such as “Really?”; “Is that so?”, etc.