10 Common Words Nigerians Use Everyday But Don’t Exist In English Language

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English Language in Nigeria

English Language, being the lingua franca of most countries in the African region has been adopted as a must-learn language. Good number of people learn naturally while growing up, some through education and few others as an additional language. Either ways, there are some common regular words that we often use and we don’t even know they never exist in English Language
Some of the words and phrases we use often can not be found in the dictionary. Some are words we pick from others and have become quite a norm.

It is not only the uneducated folks that are guilty of using these wrong words. As the very educated Nigerians also use the English language inappropriately.

Below are words Nigerians use that don’t exist in the English dictionary:

1. Go-slow: When Nigerians say go-slow, they mean congested traffic, which is wrong. The meaning of go-slow in the English dictionary is, a form of industrial action in which work or progress is deliberately delayed or slowed down.

2. Disvirgin: this word is used on a daily basis by many Nigerians when they intend to say a woman has lost her virginity. There is no word like disvirgin. The correct word to use is deflower. Disvirgin simply does not exist.

3. Trafficate: Nigerians use the word to describe a situation where a driver indicates to other drivers that he/she wants to take a turn. It is used so often, that it has started to sound like proper English.

4. Flashing: Every Nigerian knows “flashing” to mean when someone calls your mobile phone and cuts off before you answer. The word ‘flash’ is so common among Nigerians and its used at least once daily by many. Flash has different meanings but non has anything to do with a phone call. The word doesn’t exist in sense of English.

5. Installmentally: Don’t be tempted to use the word ‘installmentally’. Though it sounds correct it isn’t. There is no such word in the English dictionary as it exists only in the Nigerian edition of English language. The correct thing to say is ‘in installments’.

6. Opportuned: What exist in the English dictionary is ‘opportune’, without ‘d’ at the end. Opportune means ‘timely’ or ‘well-time’, especially convenient or appropriate for a particular action or event. Opportuned is only common in Nigerian English.

7. Cunny: This is a word Nigerians use to describe someone that is being deceitful or crafty. The right word is cunning not cunny.

8. Next tomorrow: Most Nigerians normally use “next tomorrow” but there’s no such word as next tomorrow. Instead you should say, “a day after tomorrow.”

9. Packer: Nigerians probably got the word from pack. The right word is dustpan. Since dustpan packs dirt, Nigerians like to call it packer.

10. Pepperish: It is common to hear Nigerians describe a meal that has too much pepper in it as Pepperish. The normal word should be ‘peppery’. No native English speaker uses the word “pepperish” to describe the burning sensation we feel from eating pepper.

Which of these words are you guilty of?? I am pretty sure in the next five years these altered English words may double since some youths have started using abbreviations to write exams.

Olumide Anifowose

Olumide Anifowose

A graduate of Anthropology, University of Cape Coast.

Olumide Anifowose
TalkGlitz on Twitter

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1 Comment

  1. I swear it. We are all guilty. From no 1 to 10. But somebody must have started it.

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