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25 Igbo Expressions of Affection For Men And Women

There is no shortage of beautiful expressions in the Igbo language. Igbo culture originates from Western Africa and its people pride themselves in making full use of these expressions when the occasion demands. It could be during dating, a wedding, an anniversary or a party. Igbos are known to throw glamourous weddings and parties.

We've gone to the trouble to compile a selection of Igbo pet names to suit both men and women. You don't need to wait for Valentines day to make use of them too.

The way to a man (or woman's) heart is not always through the stomach, good cooking or acts of service. Sometimes the preferred love language is words of affirmation, singing their praises or massaging their ego. We've compiled the perfect list of 25 ways to help you speak this love language. 

Some of the expressions are more suitable for one sex and we've highlighted which ones in each case so you can use them appropriately.

1.Obi Di Ya
Which means the 'heart of her husband'. Perfect for men to show their affection for their woman. This is one of the phrases that inspired our Obi Di Ya Tee.

2.Oyiri Di Ya
A reflection of her husband or companion. Similar to the Obi Di Ya expression, used by men to refer to their woman.

3.Eze M
My King or King of my heart. A phrase directed at men. 

4.Ike M
Ike means power or strenght so this translates to My Strenght or My Power. a cool way to hype your man.

5.Anyanwu Ututu M (Ututu M)
My morning sunshine or my radiance or my radiant beauty. This is very popular and can be heard in many songs especially those by Igbo musicians like Flavour N'Abani. With this expression, you are saying that woman is simply a ray of sunshine in your life. Anyanwu ututu Tees are available from our Igbolearners platform.

Nkem means mine or my own or mine forever. It can be used by both genders to show affection.

Used by women to refer to a brave, heroic or courageous man. It's a commonly used expression and not always in a romantic context. men may use it to hail themselves and women may use it to hail their man.

Ikemba means the strenght of a nation or a clan. Used to refer to men.

Some who is generous with money. Again, a phrase usually directed at men.

10. Asampete 

A beautiful woman 

A beautiful woman. The meaning behind our best selling womens Tee.

12. Ugo M
My eagle. The eagle is a revered bird in igbo culture. held in high esteem. So if someone calls you "Ugo m", its a complement. It may be directed at either gender.

13. Akwa Ugo M
Following on from 12, the egg of the eagle is believed to be precious and highly revered. Hence this expression conveys that someone is highly thought of and precious.

14. Ekwueme
One who talks then does or one who does what he says. Another term of endearment directed at the male gender.

15. Uso M
My sweetness or my sweatheart.

16.Obi M
My heart or my heartthrob. If you've not heard it, check out Timi Dakolos song with Ebuka and Noble Igwe titled 'Obim'. Igbo language is truly beautiful. There's no question about it

17. Ihunanya m /Ifunanya m
This means my love.

18. Agbala nwaanyi
Agbala nwaanyi is powerful woman. 

Olaedo means gold jewel or precious jewel. This is a term of affection directed at the females.

20. Oriaku M
Consumer of my wealth. When an Igbo man loves you, he is not afraid to provide for you and hence the term 'chop my money' which means you can 'eat my money'. Remember P-square's song? Now you know why we call the Mrs of the house Oriaku.

21.Onye M Ji Eme Onu
The one who I am proud of. Some of these expressions should also be things we tell ourself everyday. Not only directed at others but we sometimes need to feed ourselves with positive words of affirmation.

22.Ada Di Oha Mma
A lady beloved by many. So this means a lady who is good to the masses (oha niile).

23. Oyoyo nwa
Now this is difficult to translate directly. Some would argue it has no real meaning but its onomatopoeic effect (in other words how it sounds). Just know that its a way to show affection in Igbo language and intended to make the woman feel good.

24. Nwoke Oma M
my good man or my handsome man or someone to be admired. These are very nice words to hear from your partner.

25. Mummy
Yes.You read that right. Mummy. If an Igbo man calls you Mummy that means you have his heart. It's just like the English expression Mummy but intended in a more romantic way. It sounds funny and it takes a bit of getting used to but you heard it right.


Hope you found this useful. Tell us what you think (leave a comment below) and which ones we have missed. Which ones will you be using henceforth?


Igbotees brand is black owned in the Uk and makes Igbo culture influenced T-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies and polos. It was created to promote visibility of Igbo language and culture. It started with trying to improve our fluency in Igbo language which lead to the creation of the Igbolearners language learning platform. The discovery that we couldnt find Igbo T-shirts to use for giveaway lead us to create our own hence Igbotees was created.

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