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Oxford Dictionary Adds ‘Okada, ‘Danfo,’ ‘Mama Put,’ Others To Dictionary (Full list)

Oxford Dictionary
Some popular Nigerian English words have made it into the Oxford English Dictionary for the first time.

These words are typically those which Nigerians have coined from Nigerian languages since the 1970s and 1980s.

The words include; Buka: a word borrowed from Hausa and Yoruba which refers to a roadside restaurant sells local food at low prices.

Another is Bukateria: which adds to buka the –teria ending from the word cafeteria.

Danfo: The most popular means of transportation in Lagos and other Nigerian cities. Danfo is derived from Yoruba. It was first used in 1973, and described those yellow minibuses which convey paying passengers through the ever buzzing Lagos road.

Okada: This is used to refer to a motorcycle that also convey paying passengers. It is a reference to Okada Air, an airline that operated in Nigeria from 1983 to 1997, and its reputation as a fast yet potentially dangerous form of transport, just like the motorcycle taxi.

Mama put: this was derived from the way that customers usually order food in a buka: they say ‘Mama, put…’ to the food vendor.

Chop: This is a pidgin word which means to eat.

Next tomorrow: This is a Nigerian way of saying ‘the day after tomorrow’. It was first used in written English as a noun in 1953, and as an adverb in 1964.

Kannywood: This is the name for the Hausa-language film industry based in the city of Kano.

K-leg: Also originating in the 19th century is K-leg, first attested in 1842 in British English, but now used mostly in Nigerian English. It is another term for the condition of knock knees, as well as a depreciative name for a person affected with this condition, whose inward-turning knees often resemble the shape of the letter K.

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The word became so popularly used in Nigeria that by the early 1980s, it had acquired a figurative meaning—a K-leg can now also be any sort of problem, flaw, setback, or obstacle.

Barbing salon: A barbing salon is why Nigerians refer to a barber’s shop.

Below are the new Nigerian words and senses added to the OED in this update: agric, adj. & n. barbing salon, n. buka, n. bukateria, n. chop, v./6 chop-chop, n./2 danfo, n. to eat money, in eat, v. ember months, n. flag-off, n. to flag off in flag, v. gist, n./3 gist, v./2 guber, adj. Kannywood, n. K-leg, n. mama put, n. next tomorrow, n. & adv. non-indigene, adj. & n. okada, n. to put to bed, in put, v. qualitative, adj. to rub minds (together) in rub, v./1 sef, adv. send-forth, n. severally, adv. tokunbo, adj. zone, v. zoning, n.

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5 Comments

  1. I think the Nigerian Pidgin should be our official language as its gaining recognition already globally. This is help foster unity in the country.

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