Adzagbe: The Aflao/Lomé Argot – Carolle Selasi Henyo writes

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Argot is defined by the Cambridge dictionary as words and expressions that are used by small groups of people and that are not easily understood by other people.
For instance, a youth agort created to hide things from the elderly but such complete secret languages are rare, because the speakers usually have some public language in common, on which the argot is largely based.This makes it hard for people outside the youth group to understand them.

Similarly, There’s a youth argot/slang in Aflao and Lomé known as Adzagbe.
Above all, I’m certain it came from across the border due to the fact that it has a lot of French words and French argot.
However, Adzagbe is a real language/dialect spoken by the Ajas in parts of Togo and Benin.

Moreover, I began to get a better understanding of this argot when I started speaking French and subsequently, I discovered Adzagbe is partly an argot from another argot.

Below are quite a number of the Adjagbe jargons I have identified.

“Chécou/tséku” – comes from the French word “coucher” which means to sleep or go to bed.
Ex. Alɔ nye tsɔm, me dza vé chécou

“Sevo” – This comes from the French word “cerveau” which means brain or mind.
Ex. Amenye, sevo ké li?

“Eblé” – This comes from “blé”, a French slang for money.
Ex. Ŋfo, dzi eblé ɖe nem.

“Zon/Zɔn” – comes from French word “maison” which means home/house.
Ex. Me le yi zɔn me.

“Tra” – comes from the French word “travaille” which means work/job.
Ex. Nye me dza yi tra me egba o.

“La” – Comes from the word “laver” which means to bath.
Ex. Me gbɔna, ma la ne mia dzo.

“Copa” – comes from the French word “copain” which means a male friend.
Ex. Nye kple nye be copawo mi le emoa me.

“Vrai” – similar word in French which means true.
Ex. Vrai me le to ne wo.

“Tipè/Sipé” – Comes from the French word “pétit” which means small boy when used to refer to a person or kid.
Ex. Tipé le area me ŋtɔ.

“Pla” – Comes from the French word “plage” which means beach.
Ex. Mi le yi pla dzi.

“Gaba” – Comes from the word “gabarit” which means a person’s stature or corpulence.
Ex. Me ɖo gaba ŋutɔ.

How common is Adzagbe?

Firstly, Adzagbe has become so established that it is used by all the youth group amongst themselves.It has also been adopted by the adults in Aflao, but they wouldn’t use it regularly like the youth.

Secondly, “Adza” or “adzawo” or “adzaviwo” means member or members of a youth/street peer group. So the argot adzagbe in it’s full form in Eʋe is “adzawo ƒe gbe”, to wit the language of the youth/street peer group.

In conclusion, Adjagbe is potpourri of languages like Eʋe, Mina, English, French and some French argot. In addition, I do not claim any expertise on this subject but I hope you have learnt some Adzagbe argot.

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About elikulgong 10 Articles
Elikulgong is a copywriter of health and wellness, sports and entertainment. He is also a social commentator, songwriter and a singer.

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