Twitter is where memes or phrases go viral before spreading to other social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp. If you’re an avid Twitter user, you most likely came across Bomboclaat in the last two months.
In the past eight months, the popular Southern Sotho phrase O jewa ke eng? and Sco pa tu mana — a loose word originated by the Ghanaian hiplife act, Patapaa Amisty — graced Twitter timelines. But as it is, Bomboclaat has successfully kicked them out.
Social media, especially Twitter, is now wild with the trend, which was first tweeted by Jamaican Twitter user @rudebwoy_lamz in September.
— L A M A R🥀⚡ (@rudebwoy_lamz) September 3, 2019
A Twitter search revealed the word has been mentioned by some Nigerians. However, it didn’t have much engagement until Twitter users started a thread under the first tweet by @rudebwoy_lamz. Then the Jamaican word made its way to Nigeria.
Me coming to twitter to see them misusing bomboclaat🤦🏽♂️ https://t.co/fsfaNVoawp
— L A M A R🥀⚡ (@rudebwoy_lamz) October 4, 2019
Bomboclaat is a Jamaican word used to express shock or surprise, quite unlike O jewa ke eng? which translates into “what is eating you up?” or “what is troubling you?” and Sco pa tu mana that is meaningless.
According to Urban Dictionary, it’s a “Jamaican curse that has no real meaning, it’s just a curse. It is mostly used to place emphasis on something.”
Since its virality on Twitter Nigeria, some Jamaicans have come out to say Nigerians are using the meme in a seemingly unrelated context.
Some Nigerian Twitter users upload their pictures and simply caption it Bomboclaat then others who see them retweet with comments, sharing their thoughts on what they think the pictures represent. While others use it as a caption for a personal picture or to promote products or services.
— ~Doreen~ (@Doreenpatamaka) October 6, 2019
— Basskidtv 📺 (@Basskidtv) October 14, 2019
A number of Jamaicans have taken their time to tell non-Jamaicans what the word actually means.
The term 'bumboclaat' or 'bomboclaat' does not mean what you think it does. It is not a greeting, a question, or a means of asking ones opinion. It is an expletive, one used to express shock, anger, excitement, or befuddlement. So stop using it. Thanks.
— HowDidYouKnowIWasJamaican? (@rin_becalm) October 5, 2019
Jamaicans🇯🇲: Types of Bomboclaat😂 pic.twitter.com/mJX6iPAAQW
— WHAYASAY (@iamwillsteel) October 5, 2019
While others have expressed their dislike for Nigerians because they have turned it to another version of Sco pa tu mana and O je wa ke eng?
I really dislike Nigerians. They've started to turn 'bomboclaat' into another version of 'sco pa tu manaa' https://t.co/XtvSdnV2RN
— Double Entendre 🇯🇲 (@dar_kal_ien) October 2, 2019
Lmaoooo Nigerians think Bomboclaat is sco pa tu manaa 💀 https://t.co/Iik4Cwengv
— world renowned icon (@plasticspit) October 6, 2019
Some Nigerian Twitters users have also expressed their feelings about the new word trend going by the fact that the social media platform has witnessed a lot of viral short memes and words.
When you don't see "Sco pa tu mana" as much as you used to but now it's "bomboclaat". pic.twitter.com/u6QrZpQMuv
— m a c h a l a (MFR)⚪ 一压力老 (@A_adaamz) October 10, 2019
Bomboclaat by the time Nigerians are done with it pic.twitter.com/b2YaBxljxv
— Tosho MJ (@richtosho) October 9, 2019
First, it was the Usual
Then came the Almighty
"O je wa ke eng"
Before we knew it
"Sco pa tu mana" took over and even lasted longer than some peoples relationship…
And Now its
Very soon it will be "kapachumarimarichopaco"
— the_boss_lady💆 (@bossladydicta) October 2, 2019
Before going viral on Twitter, Bomboclaat first found its audience in Caribbean music. The word is often used at the beginning of mostly reggae dancehall songs to create exciting introductions; artistes like Elephant Man, Beenie Man or Popcaan tend to use the word repeatedly.
Though some have argued that the word Bomboclaat is solely owned by Jamaicans, the Urban dictionary says that some of the Jamaican jargon are African words which arrived in Jamaica “through the enslaved Africans that were transported there in the era of the Atlantic slave trade.”
Having witnessed so many short words blaze up over time, it appears that Twitter users may need to brace themselves for the next viral trend.
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Woman in Tech | I write about social media and internet culture | Photography enthusiast.