English is the official language of the Federal Republic of Nigeria…we just don’t speak it very well. Grammar isn’t really our strongest suit. A cursory glance at everyday Nigerian grammar shows a number of Nigerian words that are in constant use, but which actually don’t mean anything.
Some are slangs, some are derivatives from other words and some are just weird.
Below we will be looking at 18 of the most common Nigerian words and why they are definitely wrong.
In Nigeria, this simply means the act of deflowering a girl who’s a virgin. It’s wrong and does not exist. If you want to use the correct term, then Deflower is the word you’re looking for.
Crosscarpeting or cross-carpeting
So many political commentators will recognize this one as it is used all the time in political discourse. It is used as the definition of when a politician leaves his party to join a rival party. It’s wrong and instead should be Crossing the floor or defection which are more appropriate words to use.
Yikes! We always use this when talking about paying for something bit by bit. it’s used everywhere, but it is actually wrong. It should instead be in installments or by installments.
Commonly used when trying to to describe a heavyset person or a robust person. The actual word to use is simply Plump.
You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘I was opportuned to…’. That’s a very wrong phrase as the word opportuned does not exist in the English language. The correct word is Opportune. It has no past tense.
This is used when talking about the funeral rites of a recently deceased person. Some people use the term Wake-keep, this is also wrong. Wake is the word you need to use .
You know when you’re in traffic and you receive a call from a friend or acquaintance who then asks ‘Where are you?’ and you respond There’s go-slow. Well you’re definitely wrong there as no such word exists. What you should use is Gridlock, Traffic jam.
Almost everyone is guilty of this and it’s a derivative of the word All right. It is so popular that some dictionaries are now trying to adopt it, however, hardcore linguists will disagree with it being called a word or proper grammar
This gained mainstream popularity when smartphones hit the market especially those with touch screens. The average Nigerian had never seen such technology and in a bid to grasp the new tech, the term screentouch started being used for smartphones with touch screens. It’s not proper grammar and is completely wrong.
Found in some slang dictionaries to refer to a woman’s nether region, in Nigeria, it’s used to describe someone who cunning or clever. The correct word is Cunning, there’s no need to create another word from that.
When you’ve had spicy food, it’s common practice in Nigeria to say the food was Pepperish. This is the wrong term and you should use Peppery instead which is correct and conveys you idea just as well.
This is a original Nigerian creation and most people are aware it’s not proper grammar. It is used to explain when there is trouble. Just in case you don’t know, it’s not in the dictionary.
This is tricky as word Lapping is actually in the dictionary but the usage in Nigeria is what’s wrong. In normal parlance, it means when water, usually in a stream, is slowly moving and the sound it makes. In Nigeria, it means when someone sits on someone else’s lap, usually in a vehicle.
Everyone owns one of these in their house. However, the proper word for it is Dustpan not Parker, or Packer
Generally used when a driver wants to indicate that he/she is making a turn. It doesn’t exist in the English lexicon.
This is also one of those words that actually exists but is used wrongly in Nigeria. Normally it mean the substance or general meaning of a speech or text. However, in Nigeria, it is used to refer to gossip.
In Nigeria, this is used to refer to when a person rings you on the phone and cuts it immediately. It might have come from the fact that this act made the phone screen go bright for a second and go off right away as the call was cut which made it look like a flash. It’s wrong grammar.
We’ve seen this used when talking about NYSC and where a corper has been dispatched for service. It doesn’t exist and shouldn’t be used.
So there you go. Are you guilty of any? If so, you can easily fix up.