26 Nigerian words added to Oxford English Dictionary


TWENTY-SIX words unique to Nigeria have made it to the latest edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED).

According to OED, the  majority of the new additions were ‘borrowings from Nigerian languages, or unique Nigerian coinages that have only begun to be used in English in the second half of the twentieth century, mostly in the 1970s and 1980s.

‘By focusing on contemporary language in this update, and adding words and phrases that form part of the everyday vocabulary of today’s Nigerians, we hope to give a flavour of English-speaking which, as [Nigerian writer] Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie put it, is rooted in a Nigerian experience.’

The OED team said the oldest original Nigerian addition was next tomorrow, meaning the day after tomorrow.

‘It was first used in written English as a noun in 1953, and as an adverb in 1964.

‘The youngest of the words in this batch is Kannywood, first used in 2002, which is the name for the Hausa-language film industry based in the city of Kano. It is a play on Hollywood, following the model of Nollywood, the more general term for the Nigerian film industry that was added to the OED in 2018.’

 Some of the other additions are:

Chop-chop – bribery and corruption in public life; misappropriation or embezzlement of funds.

Barbing salon – barbershop

Ember months – the final four months of the calendar year (September to December), esp. considered together as a period of heightened or intense activity

Kannywood: The Nigerian Hausa-language film industry, based in Kano; Kano is regarded as the centre of this industry

Mmama put : A street vendor, typically a woman, selling cooked food at low prices from a handcart or stall.

The full list can be accessed via  https://public.oed.com/blog/nigerian-english-release-notes/



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