Nigerian English

Lexicographers at the Oxford English Dictionary have updated the dictionary with 29 Nigerian words, recognizing Nigeria’s “unique and distinctive contribution to English as a global language.”

The former British colony’s 200 million people speak more than 250 languages, according to this article. English is the official language.

The OED has described most of the 29 new entries as “either borrowings from Nigerian languages or unique Nigerian coinages”.

Here are a few of my favorite new entries:

severally: on several occasions; repeatedly
next tomorrow: the day after tomorrow
barbing salon: a barber-shop
chop-chop: bribery and corruption in public life
to rub minds: to consider a matter jointly; to consult and work together

The article recommends adoption of the following two terms:

akara: deep-fried balls of ground beans
moi-moi: steamed and flavored cakes of ground beans

“[They are] things I have heard called ‘bean cake’ and ‘bean puddle’, neither of which sounded right to me,” writes the author.

(Nduka Orjinmo, “War of words as Nigerian English recognised by OED,” BBC, 3-1-20)

(c) 2020 JMN

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day, and watch Netflix and Prime Video for entertainment. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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