The New Edition 2020 Oxford English Dictionary Embraces Nigerian English

New Oxford Dictionary, 2020 Edition

The Oxford English Dictionary Adds 29 Nigerian English Words in the Latest Edition

The Oxford English Dictionary has acknowledged Nigerian English add-ins this year. It also added 24 South African English words last December 24, namely

Shackland – slums where people live without permission

Howzit – a casual greeting and shorter version of “how’s it going?”

Nigerians use “see you next tomorrow,” to mean “the day after tomorrow.” It is one of the Nigerian English phrases that now exists in the new edition Oxford English Dictionary (OED). Consequently, the OED has recognized the new word additions Nigerian English has offered to the English language globally.

Considering many English-speaking cultures, Nigerians have invented new words, expressions, and definitions. Consequently, the unique contributions have become firmly established as part of the general lexicon of the region. As a matter of fact, the OED embraces Nigerian English now.  In issuing statements detailing their changes, the OED states thus. “Nigerians have created exceptional and recognizable additions to English, and it is continuous indeed.”

According to the OED, the 29 recent additions of Nigerian English, have been since the 1970s and 80s.  They are either borrowings from the Nigerian dialect or special Nigerian coinages.

Full List: 29 Nigerian Word Add-ins in the Oxford English Dictionary Latest Edition (January 2020)

Agric, adj. , n.: “Of, relating to, or used in agriculture. Agricultural adj. Now chiefly used in West African.”

Barbing salon, n.: “A barber’s shop.”

Buka, n.: “A roadside restaurant or street stall with a seating area, selling cooked food at low prices.”

Bukateria n., mama put n. frequently used as a modifier…”

Bukateria, n. “A roadside restaurant or street stall with a seating area, selling cooked food at low prices.”

Buka, n. “mama put, n.”

Chop, v.6, Additions: “transitive. Ghanaian English and Nigerian English. To acquire (money) quickly and easily. Also, frequently in a negative sense: to misappropriate, extort, or…”

Chop-chop, n.2: “Bribery and corruption in public life; misappropriation or embezzlement of funds. Also, as a modifier.”

Danfo, n.: “A yellow minibus that carries passengers for a fare as part of an open transport system in Lagos, the largest city in Nigeria. Also, as a…”

To eat money, eat, v., Additions: “Now chiefly Nigerian English and East African. Eating money: also to acquire money dishonestly; to misappropriate, extort, or embezzle funds. Cf. chop v.6…”

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

Flag-off, n.: “The moment at which a race, esp. a motor race, is flagged off (see flag v.4 additions a); also, the start of a race.”

Flag, v.4, Additions: “to flag off. Transitive (usually in passive). To direct (a driver) to start a motor race, esp. one in which the competitors start at intervals, by…”

Flag, v.4, Additions: “to flag off. Transitive. In extended use: to start (an event or undertaking).”

Gist, n.3, Additions: “Nigerian English. Idle chat, gossip. An instance of this, a rumor or piece of gossip.”

Gist, v.2: “transitive. To reduce (a text, document, etc.) to its essence or gist; to condense, summarize, or précis.”

Guber, adj.: “Of or relating to a governor or governorship; = gubernatorial adj.”

Kannywood, n.: “Nigerian Hausa-language film industry, also, based in Kano; Kano regarded as the center of this industry. Cf. Nollywood n.”

K-leg, n.: “In singular and plural. A condition in which one or both of a person’s knees are turned inwards, resulting in a noticeable gap between the feet when…”

Mama put, n.: “A street vendor, typically a woman, selling cooked food at low prices from a handcart or stall. Also, a street stall or roadside restaurant run by…”

Next tomorrow, n. and adv.: “The day after tomorrow.”

Non-indigene, adj, n.: “Not native. Chiefly West African: belonging to an ethnic group considered not to be indigenous to a particular area.”

Okada, n.: “In Nigeria: a motorcycle which passengers can use as a taxi service.”

To put to bed, v.: “in West African means to give birth to (a child).”

Qualitative, adj., sense 3: “West African. Of high quality; excellent.”

To rub minds, v.1: “rub minds (together): (of two or more people); to consider a matter jointly; also to consult and work together; to confer. Similarly, to rub our minds (also…”

Sef, adv.: “Used for emphasis after a statement or rhetorical question, often expressing irritation or impatience too.”

Send-forth, n.: “A celebration or event to mark a person’s departure; a send-off. Frequently used as a modifier, also a send-forth ceremony, or a send-forth party, etc.”

Severally, adv., Additions: “East African and West African. On several occasions, repeatedly.”

Tokunbo, adj.: “Denoting an imported second-hand product, esp. a car.”

Zone, v.

Zoning, n. NigerianEnglish – additions: “The system or practice of allocating nominations for certain political offices to candidates from particular regions as part of a…”

The Purpose of Adding Nigerian English Words to the OED

Some Nigerian English words and phrases emerged from Pidgin English that is also widely used in the country. They also claim that Pidgin English is a unique blend of English, local language words, and a scope of street slang. During the trans-Atlantic colonialism period, it was a chance for foreign traders to speak with natives in West Africa.

Millions speak the informal dialect throughout West Africa. This alternative to English has consistently and equally proven durable through the years. Additionally, they have also accepted this language choice for the international media to improve its global scope. Similarly, the OED may incorporate more Nigerian English, as it acquires more popularity.

Through Afrobeats, Nollywood, and African writers, African culture is expanding to its peak. In the last two decades, the Nigerian culture has exponentially and universally grown. Following the growth of music, film, and literature, Nigerian English has a larger audience than ever before.

Nigerian English also encounters certain obstacles to acknowledgment back home. This is happening despite increasing international recognition. Certainly, educators in Nigerian institutions will possibly cringe at the Nigerian English phrases students will use in tests. Although Nigerian teachers use these phrases while teaching, it might take a while to get used to.

Nevertheless, the aim is to represent additional changes in the OED. They require a system of learning that is open to that. Equally important, the language has developed and improved. “Comparably, there is no need to remain dependent on the outdated style,” states the OED.




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