ALOBA: Meaning, Origin And Pronunciation By Donald IfesinaChi (Dicn)
Aloba: Aloba is NOT an original Igbo word. It is an Igbonized English.
Aloba is a Tout-ish expression of Delight or Praise for someone who in the user’s opinon is impressive or have acted impressively. It is synonymous to how Americans use the term “Bad Guy” as a compliment.
It originated in Eastern Nigeria (Igboland) in the mid 1990s, among Rugged People of Low Educational Standard, such as Motor Park Touts, Traders in Market Places, Market Place Artisans, Rugged Youths and their likes.
The word Aloba is originally a distortion of the word “Armed Robber”. The distortion was INTENDED TO AVOID CALLING THE INDIVIDUAL AN ARMED ROBBER. For anyone wondering why it’s not Aroba, here is the answer: In the beginning, some called it “AROBA”. However, users of the term from Anambra State, where a handful of people pronounced the letter “R” as “L”, because of their dialect, called it “ALOBA”.
Later on, Aloba became more popular and even took monopoly of the term.
Sometimes, the term is personalised thus “Aloba mu” or “Aloba m’” or very rarely as one word- “Alobam”. The personalized version means “MY ALOBA”; in other words “My Bad Guy” or “My Partner in Crime” (not real crime anyway); or “MY CLOSE RUGGED FRIEND OR CONFIDANT”.
Although the rugged term Aloba experienced a decline of usage some years into the early 2000s, it received Oxygen, Rejuvenation and Boost that took it far beyond Eastern Nigeria in 2014, when the Famous Nigerian Rapper from Igboland, PHYNO, released the Hit Track “ALOBAM”.
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