Alaye – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Are you impressed with someone’s skills or knowledge? Maybe you’re in the process of purchasing something online and are worried that the seller is scamming you? If so, use the term “alaye” to express their impact on you or to determine if the seller is legitimate.

Words and phrases from other dialects can often be confusing, especially if you don’t hear them used very oft If you are curious about the word, then we are here to help.

This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.


The Nigerian term “alaye” directly translates to “information” or “explanation.” In this way, the term can be used to request information from others. The more commonly used meaning is that of a scammer, specifically a personal who uses emotion to scam others.

However, it is more commonly used as slang to describe a knowledgeable or skilled person.

Along the same vein, it can be used to describe a person with street smarts or someone with a lot of power. When used in this manner, the term is a compliment to the recipient.

However, “alaye” is also used sometimes by older people to call young people hooligans when they act up or do something wrong. “Alaye” can also be used to identify scammers online, as it is sometimes used by scammers to identify each other. It is common for a scammer to drop “alaye” in a chat unprompted in order to see if the other person will reveal themself as a scammer. If you suspect that you’re being scammed, you can drop the word “alaye” to see if they respond to the code word.  More information can be found in the post (here).

Example Usage

  • “Alaye ;)”.
  • “Hey, alaye?
  • “E se alaye fun mi”. (Explain to me.)
  • “That guy is totally Alaye, but you didn’t hear it from me”.
  • “Hey, Alaye in the house, where you at?”


“Alaye” is a word that originates from the Yoruba language spoken in South West Nigeria. It is a truncation of the phrase “ala aiye,” which translates to “dream world,” according to Google Translate. The term is often used to compliment people living a dream life–those who have a lot of money, skill, or power. The term would also be used to refer to locals with extensive knowledge of an area.

As time passed, “alaye” started to be used to identify scammers online. As online shopping and telemarketing grew in popularity, the number of scammers grew, as well. Due to this, scammers developed a method to communicate with and identify each other, so that they would know that both parties were scammers and should find a new victim.

Phrases Similar to Alaye

  • Local
  • Thug
  • Scammer
  • Con Man
  • Boss
  • King

Phrases Opposite to Alaye

  • Loser
  • Tourist
  • Helper
  • Friend

What is The Correct Saying?

  • Alaye – Boss/Skilled one/Thug

Ways People May Incorrectly Say Alaye

Because the term “alaye” can be used as a compliment or a code word, people may use the incorrect meaning without realizing it. If someone uses “alaye” in conversation with you, determine whether it makes sense for them to compliment your skills within the context of the conversation. Otherwise, you may respond with “alaye” to return the compliment but accidentally end up announcing that you’re trying to scam the other party.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Alaye

  • When speaking with someone who you think is very talented or intelligent, call them “alaye” to pay them a compliment.
  • If you’re trying to purchase something online from a sketchy website, send the seller “alaye” to see if they identify themself as a scammer.
  • If traveling in South West Nigeria and in need of directions, ask if someone is “alaye” to find out if they have extensive knowledge of the area.
  • When you think someone is running tricks on you, try calling them “alaye” to identify their intentions.

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