“IDAN” Meaning and Derivation

“IDAN”- What is the meaning of IDAN?

The term “IDAN” a popular Nigerian street word is trending on social media such as Twitter, Facebook, and WhatsApp for some days now.

Again, In modern-day Nigeria, “IDAN” has taken on a broader meaning. “IDAN” refers to “BOSS” or someone who possesses exceptional qualities and abilities. It describes someone who has achieved success in a mysterious way, talented, or a combination of the two.

Idan began garnering massive traction a few days ago after a Twitter user published a thread recounting how president-elect Tinubu offered to help African Action Congress (AAC) presidential candidate Omoyele Sowore through an intermediary, an offer that he reportedly declined.

Sowore’s choice to shun Tinubu’s offer of help and then proceed to run for the same office as Tinubu, even though he lost, earned him some degree of reverence by this author who also referred to him as ‘Idan” in his thread signifying a person who achieves a difficult feat.

Although, the term describes someone successful in business, sports, entertainment, or any other field.

Besides, the term connotes respect. The person is unique, exceptional, and worthy of admiration.


DERIVATION- Where was It derived from?

In Yoruba culture, “IDAN” is the supernatural power or ability to perform feats that others consider impossible. It is associated with magic, charm, and spiritual powers.

woman in red hat and black outfit sitting on the bed while holding a crystal ball

Significance and Popularity- How significant and popular is the term?

Firstly, the term signifies respect. It suggests that the person is unique, exceptional, and worthy of admiration.

Furthermore, the term is very popular not just in Nigerian communities but also on social media. the term became so popular that it led to the release of a song by a Nigerian hypeman and singer, Toby Shang who made a triumphant return to the music scene with his latest track, “Idan (Talk and Do)“. This highly anticipated release is already making waves among fans and critics alike, and it’s easy to see why.

(Talk and Do)

However, Some people use it to describe someone arrogant, boastful, or overly confident.

In addition, the use of the Yoruba term may also suggest that the controversy is just another example of people trying to fill their stomachs or satisfy their clarity at the expense of others.

Finally, At its core, it suggests exceptionalism, individuality, and a sense of awe-inspiring power. It is a term that resonates deeply with Nigerians, and it will continue to be part of the cultural lexicon for years to come.

Without further ado, here are things you didn’t know about the street slang ‘Idan’.

1, The word Idan is a dialectal word that originated from the Yoruba-speaking people of Nigeria.

2. Idan, as slang, is loosely translated to mean deal or to deal. (Secret or underhanded dealings). Conversations, where this slang is used, allude to some form of secrecy and illegalities currently in motion.

3, This slang also affirms that a person is street-smart. Although oftentimes a sketchy character, such a person is believed to possess excellent mental agility and prowess, making impossible situations possible.

4. Idan, if used as a noun, refers to a person who is highly revered and considered a ‘DON, godfather, or bad(dest) guy.

5. While many believe the slang to mean magic, which in actual sense does (Illusion), the term as a street slang, seeks to use logic and rationality over supernatural forces as in the case of magic.

How many often use the term in phrases or sentences

“OBA IDAN” – Smart person
“ONI DAN” – Illusionist
“Mofe pa IDAN” – “I want to make the impossible possible.

It is important to state that, Idan holds within it positive and negative connotations, it is all about context. Therefore, understanding what context idan is used is crucial to knowing the message passed.

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