Oxford Dictionary just recently, added 29 Nigerian ‘pidgin’ words to its latest update in 2020. It is no doubt that english language is not static. Hence, over the years, the Oxford English Dictionary has continuously embraced and added new words into its glossary. The Oxford English Dictionary’s Editor Danica Salazar stated on a blog post that some new Nigerian words (pidgin) have just recently been added to the latest Oxford English Dictionary.
In her words “The majority of these new additions are either 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. She added that “Some of the words and expressions added to the updated edition of the dictionary include Buka, chop-chop, ember months, Guber, next tomorrow, and tokunbo, among others.
Furthermore, Editors of the Oxford English Dictionary, in their website, stated that, there has been a massive growth of world varieties of English language from 2016. And that have led them to globally expanding their network in the representation of spoken pronunciations and written English. Nevertheless, the OED editors added that “the new initiative became a perfect opportunity for our pronunciation team to include a West African English model to our World English coverage, bringing our current total to fifteen”. Among the west African English model includes the Nigerian ‘Pidgin’ English.
Nigerian Pidgin English Newly Added to the Oxford Dictionary
Nigeria in its uniqueness have crafted numerous ‘pidgin’ English words that have in the course of time, been accepted as among the nation’s lexicon. Pidgin English words in Nigeria started gaining popularity many centuries ago. Words like ‘Ember Month’ which is used to describe months from September to December. Also, ‘Okada’; referring to a commercial motorcycle. Getting its name Okada Air, an airline that was prominent in Nigeria from 1983 to 1997.
There are also pidgin like Kannywood, which is a name the film industry in northern Nigeria is being called. Kannywood is also believed to be the youngest Pidgin adopted on the OED’s list. While is ‘Next tomorrow’ referring to the day after tomorrow is the oldest Nigeria pidgin English on the list. Other Nigerian pidgin English adopted includes, ‘Tokunbo’, ‘MamaPut’, ‘Buka’, Danfo among others.
Attractions to Nigerian Pigin English Newly Added to the Oxford Dictionary
Among the special attraction that made Nigeria pidgin English unique is its stlye of use. Another attraction is the vital and unapologetic use of them by Nigeria pioneers, authors and scholars within and outside the literary circle. This, however, led to the referencing of Chimamanda Adichie’s words where she says; “My English-speaking is rooted in a Nigerian experience and not in a British or American or Australian one. I have taken ownership of English”. OED added that “by taking ownership of English and using it as their own medium of expression, Nigerians have made, and are continuing to make, a unique and distinctive contribution to English as a global language.”
OED also concluded by recognizing the contribution consultant, Kinsley Ugwuanyi. And also Ulrike Gut, who is not only the source of the West African English Model but has also worked vastly on Nigeria English.
List of 29 Nigerian ‘Pigin English’ newly Added to the Oxford Dictionary
1) Agric, adj. and n.: “Of, relating to, or used in agriculture; = agricultural adj. Now chiefly West African.”
2) Barbing salon, n.: “A barber’s shop.”
3) Buka, n.: “A roadside restaurant or street stall with a seating area, selling cooked food at low prices. Cf. bukateria n., mama put n. Frequently as a modifier…”
4) Bukateria, n.: “A roadside restaurant or street stall with a seating area, selling cooked food at low prices. Cf. buka n., mama put n.”
5) Chop, v.6, Additions: “transitive. Ghanaian English and Nigerian English. To acquire (money) quickly and easily. Frequently in negative sense: to misappropriate, extort, or…”
6) Chop-chop, n.2: “Bribery and corruption in public life; misappropriation or embezzlement of funds. Also as a modifier.”
7) Danfo, n.: “A yellow minibus that carries passengers for a fare as part of an informal transport system in Lagos, the largest city in Nigeria. Also as a…”
8) To eat money, in eat, v., Additions: “Now chiefly Nigerian English and East African. to eat money: to acquire money dishonestly; to misappropriate, extort, or embezzle funds. Cf. chop v.6…”
9) 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.”
10) Flag-off, n.: “The moment at which a race, esp. a motor race, is flagged off (see flag v.4 additions a); the start of a race. Now chiefly Indian English and…”
11) 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…”
12) flag, v.4, Additions: “to flag off. transitive. Indian English and Nigerian English. In extended use: to start (an event or undertaking).”
13) Gist, n.3, Additions: “Nigerian English. Idle chat, gossip. Also: an instance of this, a rumor or piece of gossip.”
14) Gist, v.2: “transitive. To reduce (a text, document, etc.) to its essence or gist; to condense, summarize, or précis.”
15) Guber, adj.: “Of or relating to a governor or governorship; = gubernatorial adj.”
16) Kannywood, n.: “The Nigerian Hausa-language film industry, based in Kano; Kano regarded as the centre of this industry. Cf. Nollywood n.”
17) 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…”
18) 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…”
19) Next tomorrow, n. and adv.: “The day after tomorrow.”
20) Non-indigene, adj. and n.: “Not native. In later use chiefly West African: belonging to an ethnic group considered not to be indigenous to a particular area.”
21) Okada, n.: “In Nigeria: a motorcycle which passengers can use as a taxi service.”
22) To put to bed in put, v.: “West African. to put to bed: to give birth. Also: to give birth to (a child).”
23) Qualitative, adj., sense 3: “West African. Of high quality; excellent.”
24) To rub minds in rub, v.1: “to rub minds (together): (of two or more people) to consider a matter jointly; to consult and work together; to confer. Similarly, to rub our (also…”
25) Sef, adv.: “Used for emphasis after a statement or rhetorical question, often expressing irritation or impatience.”
26) Send-forth, n.: “A celebration or event to mark a person’s departure; a send-off. Frequently as a modifier, as send-forth ceremony, send-forth party, etc.”
27) Severally, adv., Additions: “East African and West African. On several occasions; repeatedly.”
28) Tokunbo, adj.: “Denoting an imported second-hand product, esp. a car.”
29) Zoning, n., Additions: “Nigerian English. The system or practice of allocating nominations for certain political offices to candidates from particular regions, as part of an…”
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