New words and phrases for all my fellow logophiles.


Alloco: (noun) friend plantains.

Attiéké: (noun) a side dish made from cassava that is a staple of Ivorian cuisine. It looks like couscous but has a firmer texture and tastes like sourdough. Read more here!

Bomber: (verb/nouchi) to take something. "J'ai bombé ton lit" - I took your bed. 

Maquis: (noun) a restaurant (usually outdoors) that serves traditional Ivorian cuisine cooked over a fire pit.  Most of the maquis where I go to eat are minimalist in style and decoration, just tables and chairs crowded around the fire where the food is cooked, but always delicious! Read more here!

Nouchi: (noun) Ivorian slang! It can involve French words, but you wouldn't intuitively know it just by understanding French. Check out this nouchi dictionary for more info: http://www.nouchi.com/dico.html

On dit quoi?: (phrase) This means the same as "ça va?" or "what's up?" When texting among friends, you often see people abbreviate it as "odk?"

On est ensemble: (phrase) We're all in this together!

Pagne: (noun) local fabric used to make clothing, bags, furniture coverings, etc. Pagne is often characterized by its vibrant colors and bold patterns. While pagne speaks to the fabric itself, it also can speak to the quantity of fabric. For example, when I want to make a knee-length sundress, I ask to buy 1 pagne of a given fabric; when I intend to make a full length dress, I ask for 2 pagnes. Take a look!

Tchié: the best exclamation ever. This is the word for general outcry at something. Someone told a story about a rude comment? Tchié! The taxi driver is asking too much to drive you to Angré? Tchié! You don't know what else to say in the conversation? Tchié!

Tu veux me yèrè!: (phrase/nouchi) Essentially - "You're trying to rip me off!" This is what you say when a vendor gives you an outrageous price.

Zouglou: (noun) Music that originated in Côte d'Ivoire in the mid 1990s. Read more here!