How to say I love you in Igbo and 9 Terms of Endearment

How to say “love” in Igbo           

Today we’re on to a special topic, how to say “I love you” in Igbo,

It’s not every day Igbo pronouns and Igbo nouns, it’s time to spread the love.

Speaking of love, the word for “love” in Igbo is “Ị́fụ̀nányá,”

Remember that really popular song from back in the day, “Ifunaya” by P-Square, “All because of Ifunanya Ifunanya…”  

Now you know what he was singing about.

Finally to the part you’ve been looking for, how to say “I love you in Igbo”

It’s actually really simple

How to say “I love you” in Igbo

“I love you in Igbo” is “Á fụ̀rụ̀ m gị̀ n’ányá…” You can use the phrase with parents, siblings and love interests.

More literally translated “Á fụ̀rụ̀ m gị̀ n’ányá…” means “I saw you in eyes” in Igbo, where “Á fụ̀rụ̀ m gị̀” means “I saw you” and “n’ányá” means “in eyes”,

I think eyes must really mean something in Nigeria, because remember when Davido showed his affection by screaming🎵 “When I look into your eyes all I see is your waist!…” 🎵

Anyways, all you have to do is add the name of the person that you love to the end of the phrase “Á fụ̀rụ̀ m gị̀ n’ányá”, here are some examples for you,

“Á fụ̀rụ̀ m gị̀ n’ányá ńnà ḿ’ – I love you my father/daddy

‘Á fụ̀rụ̀ m gị̀ n’ányá ńné m’ – I love you my mother/mummy

‘Á fụ̀rụ̀ m gị̀ n’ányá nwáńne m’ – I love you my brother/sister

In Igbo, ‘nwáńne m’ means ‘sibling’ the sibling could be a brother or sister, older or younger.

Also, there may be another scenario, perhaps you’re describing who you love to another person. So, in this case you would drop the “gị̀” which means “you” and then just replace it with the name of the person that you love.

Here are some examples below.

‘Á fụ̀rụ̀ m ńnà ḿ n’ányá’ – I love my father/daddy

‘Á fụ̀rụ̀ m ńné m n’ányá’ – I love my mother/mummy

‘Á fụ̀rụ̀ m nwáńne m n’ányá’ – I love my brother/sister

‘Á fụ̀rụ̀ m nwáńne m n’ányá’ – I love my brother/sister

‘Á fụ̀rụ̀ m ụ́mụ̀ńne m n’ányá’ – I love my siblings

‘Á fụ̀rụ̀ m ńkị́tā m n’ányá’ – I love my dog

“Á fụ̀rụ̀ m gị̀ n’ányá…” is just the beginning in Igbo, now it’s time to up the ante, here are some other phrases that you can use to show your affection in Igbo…

Terms of endearment in Igbo

Some examples of terms of endearment in English would be,





Here are the equivalents to those words in Igbo, that you can say to your husband or wife (I won’t say boyfriend because technically you should be facing your books 🤪) .

Ọ́márị́chá m – My beautiful/handsome one

“Ọ́márị́chá m” means “my beautiful” in Igbo,

You might be thinking, “ah but author you have spelt the word wrong o! It’s ‘Omalicha’! ” and you’re right, not about me spelling the word wrong, but it´s true “Ọ́málị́chá” is another spelling of the word “beautiful” in Igbo, it’s a dialect spelling that is sometimes used in the Anambra and Enugu regions,

So, “Ọ́márị́chá is the standard version and “Ọ́málị́chá” is the dialect version,

Quite a few Igbo songs have the word “Ọ́málị́chá” in it, so you can see how romantic Igbo guys can be, “I’m not saying get yourself an Igbo guy but…no I’m really not saying that, your books are waiting for you”

Anyways, back to the Igbo terms of endearment,

Ụ̀tọ́ m – My sugar

“Ụ̀tọ́ m” means “my sugar” in Igbo,

So if anyone is your honey or your sweetie, you know what you can call them…

One really cheesy Nigerian pick-up line is, “you’re the sugar in my tea”,

There are so many variations to this pick up line, that just get worse and worse, “you are the butter to my bread,”

“You’re the egusi to my semo”

I think the worst one that I have heard so far (take note I’m writing this on the 31st August 2022) was when I was in secondary school when someone said, “you’re the cockroach in my cupboard,”

People will find new levels to romance you,


Óbì ḿ – My heart

“Óbì ḿ” is a sweet term of endearment and it means “my heart” in Igbo,

One of the things that you will notice is that almost all the terms of endearment in Igbo start with “my”,

In English you would say “my” followed by the thing that is yours e.g. “my dog”,

But in Igbo, you say the thing that is yours first followed by “my” e.g. “dog my”,

“My” in Igbo is “m” (it can also mean other things but I won’t bog you down with the details for now),

Which is why you say “Óbì m” rather than, “m Óbì”

Okay, enough of the crash course in Igbo possessive pronouns,

Ọ̀dị̀mnóbì – My heart’s desire

“Ọ̀dị̀mnóbì” means “My heart’s desire” in Igbo

This one is pretty self-explanatory,

Òyòó m – My darling

“Òyòó m” means “My darling” in Igbo,

So let your darling know, “Òyòó m”,

Ézígbó m – My dearest

“Ézígbó m” means “My dearest” in Igbo,

This term of endearment can be used with your nearest and dearest,

Quite a few Igbo terms of endearment use the word “Ézígbó”,

Which you will see in the next few examples

Ézígbó dī m – My dearest husband

“Ézígbó dī m” means “My dearest husband” in Igbo

Ézígbó nwúnyè ḿ – my dearest wife

“Ézígbó nwúnyè ḿ” means “My dearest wife” in Igbo,

Finally, I’m about to show you an Igbo term of endearment that isn’t romantic in nature and one that you can safely use with your friends without fear of them thinking that you’re interested in them (in the romantic sense), the Igbo phrase is…

Ézígbó ényì ḿ – my dearest friend

“Ézígbó ényì ḿ” means “My dearest friend” in Igbo,

You’d use this term of endearment with your close friend,

None of the above terms of endearment are age specific, i.e. how you might hear your parents say “dear” but you might not necessarily use that word with your boyfriend husband, so feel free to use any of these words, whether you’re a new couple or one that has really stood the test of time,

Now you know how to say “I love you in Igbo” and a whole assortment of Igbo terms of endearment, so now let’s move on to the next stage, we’re going to be combining the two,

Here are some “I love you” & terms of endearment combos that you can use for a special occasion like Valentine’s day, or a regular day depending on how you’re feeling,

‘Á fụ̀rụ̀ m gị̀ n’ányá òyòó m’ – I love you my darling

‘Á fụ̀rụ̀ m gị̀ n’ányá ézígbó ényì ḿ’ – I love you my dearest friend

And that’s it, you know how to show your love for family, friends, and loved ones in Igbo,

See you in the next lesson,

Kà ọ́ dị́!