Oxford Dictionary adds Okada, Danfo, Mama Put, 26 other Nigerian words, expressions


A total of 29 Nigerian words and expressions have been included in the Oxford English Dictionary January updates.

They include, ‘Ember Month’, ‘Danfo’, ‘Non-indigene’, ‘Guber’, ‘Tokunbo’, ‘MamaPut’, ‘Kannywood’ and ‘Next Tomorrow’.

Kannywood, which refers to the film industry in northern Nigeria, is believed to be the youngest expression on the list.

Another new entry on the list is ‘Next tomorrow’. The expression is regarded as the oldest among the over 25 uniquely Nigerian words/expressions.

According to OED, ‘Next Tomorrow’ was first used in written English as a noun in 1953, and as an adverb in 1964.

Others words like ‘Buka,’ ‘Bukateria’ and ‘Severally’ also made the cut.

On its website, the OED editors noted that they have been expanding their representation of written and spoken pronunciations from an increasing number of global varieties of English since 2016.

“This was the perfect opportunity for OED’s pronunciation team to add a West African English model to our World English coverage, bringing our current total to fifteen,” their statement read.

It also noted the key source for the West African English model, was Ulrike Gut, who has worked extensively on Nigerian English. They also acknowledged the contribution of consultant, Kingsley Ugwuanyi.

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The full list of the new entries are highlighted below:

  • 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.

The full list is available on the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) website.

OED publishes four updates a year. The next update will be added to the dictionary in March 2020.