29 Nigerian Words Enlist Into Oxford Dictionary

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The renowned Oxford Dictionary have been updated with new entries being added, some of the new entries were borrowed from Nigerian everyday words, for instance, a word like K-Leg which Nigerians used to describe situations that have gone wrong (this your situation don get k-leg) is among the latest entry.

According to Danica Salazar, the editor of OED’s world English, most of these Nigerian words became popular English words towards the second half of the twentieth century.

“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,”


Notable among the new entries is the word ‘Next tomorrow,’ an expression used to describe the day after tomorrow, according to Salazar, ‘Next tomorrow’ is considered the word used for the longest time of the over 25 specially selected Nigerian words/expressions that made it into the Oxford Dictionary. The word ‘next tomorrow’ is reported to have been used as a noun for the first time in written English way back in 1953, and as an adverb in 1964.

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Okada is believed to have originated from the moribund Okada Air, a company that belonged to chief Igbinedion the Edo state business mogul of the 80s, a native of Okada, the word is used to describe a motorcycle used for ferrying passengers from place to place. Some other words that made it into the dictionary are ‘Agric,’ ‘Danfo’ and ‘mam put’.

According to Salazar, this move to include these unique Nigerian words to the Oxford dictionary is predicated on Nigeria’s contribution to literature, to clarify this, the editor quoted the popular Nigerian author Chimamanda Adichie

“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”.

Speaking further, Salazar said

“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,

“We highlight their contributions in this month’s update of the Oxford English Dictionary, as a number of Nigerian English words make it into the dictionary for the first time,”

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