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29 Nigerian-English words added to the 2020 Oxford English Dictionary.

Jonny Diamond

February 4, 2020, 11:42am

English is the official language of Nigeria, a diverse and polyglot nation of 190 million; as such, it’s about time that linguistic richness was recognized. Thus has the august Oxford English Dictionary added 29 Nigerian-English words to its 2020 edition. According to the OED’s Nigerian consultant, Kingsley Ugwuanyi, “The OED is committed to making space for words that may not have international diffusion, but do reflect the unique culture and experience of a specific community.” Additions include words and expressions like “ember months” (describing the period from September to December), “Kannywood” (the Nigerian Hausa-language film industry), “mama put” (someone who sells street food), and “next tomorrow” (the day after tomorrow).

Look, English is a predatory, invasive language, absorbing and metabolizing vocabularies across the world, in the wake of empires colonial, financial, and digital. But this also makes it an incredibly rich and beautiful tool for making meaning, and these loanwords will only add to that.

(Via Gulf Today.)

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