Exploring Yoruba Greetings: A Beginner’s Guide
3 mins read

Exploring Yoruba Greetings: A Beginner’s Guide


Welcome to our journey into the rich and vibrant world of Yoruba greetings! In Yoruba culture, greetings are not just simple pleasantries; they are deeply rooted in tradition, respect, and social etiquette. Whether you’re planning a trip to Nigeria, interested in the Yoruba language and culture, or simply looking to expand your linguistic horizons, mastering Yoruba greetings is a great place to start. So, let’s dive in!

Understanding the Importance of Greetings in Yoruba Culture: In Yoruba culture, greetings serve as more than just a way to acknowledge someone’s presence; they reflect values such as respect, humility, and community. From the moment you meet someone in Yoruba land, exchanging greetings is expected and appreciated. It’s a way to show respect for elders, acknowledge peers, and foster a sense of unity within the community.

Basic Yoruba Greetings

  1. “Bawo ni?” – This is the most common way to say “How are you?” in Yoruba. It’s used to greet someone casually and inquire about their well-being. The appropriate response to this greeting is “Mo dada” meaning “I’m fine.”
  2. “Eku abo” – This is used to say “Good morning” in Yoruba. It’s a polite and respectful way to greet someone early in the day.
  3. “Ek’asan” – This is the Yoruba equivalent of “Good afternoon.” It’s used to greet someone during the middle of the day.
  4. “Ek’ale” – This means “Good evening” and is used to greet someone in the evening or at night.
  5. “Od’abo” – This is used to bid farewell to someone. It’s a way to say “Goodbye” respectfully.

Etiquette Tips for Yoruba Greetings

  1. Use the appropriate greeting based on the time of day.
  2. Always greet elders first as a sign of respect.
  3. Use proper body language, such as bowing slightly, when greeting elders.
  4. Maintain eye contact and a friendly demeanor when greeting others.
  5. Be sincere in your greetings and inquire about the well-being of others genuinely.


Fill in the blanks with the appropriate Yoruba greeting for each situation.

  1. __________ ni? (How are you?)
  2. _________ abo. (Good morning.)
  3. _________ (Good afternoon.)
  4. _________ (Good evening.)
  5. Mo dada, _________ (I’m fine, thank you.)
  6. _________ (Goodbye.)
  7. _________ ni gbogbo ẹ? (How is everyone?)
  8. _________ (Welcome.)
  9. _________ n bẹ̀rẹ̀ sí ilẹ̀ wá? (Did you arrive home early?)
  10. Báwo lélẹ́? Mo dada, __________ (How was your night? I’m fine, thank you.)


  1. Bawo ni?
  2. Eku abo.
  3. Ek’asan.
  4. Ek’ale.
  5. Mo dada, e seun.
  6. Od’abo.
  7. Bawo ni gbogbo ẹ?
  8. Eku ojo ibi.
  9. Se o n bẹ̀rẹ̀ sí ilẹ̀ wá?
  10. Báwo lélẹ́? Mo dada, e seun.


How are you?Bawo ni?
Good morningEku abo
Good afternoonEk’asan
Good eveningEk’ale
I’m fine, thank youMo dada, e seun
How is everyone?Bawo ni gbogbo ẹ?
WelcomeEku ojo ibi
Did you arrive home early?Se o n bẹ̀rẹ̀ sí ilẹ̀ wá?
How was your night? I’m fine, thank you.Báwo lélẹ́? Mo dada, e seun.