29 Nigerian English Phrases Added to the Oxford English Dictionary

The latest update to the Oxford English Dictionary includes 29 words, phrases and colloquialisms from Nigerian English—most of which have been used for decades, and have been adopted by English-speakers elsewhere. Some words already exist in English, but have a different meaning; such as “gist,” which in Nigerian English “is a noun which means ‘rumor’ but also a verb, which means ‘to gossip.'” Other words are entirely new, like “tokunbo” which is “a Yoruba name often given to a child born in a foreign land [and] became a popular tag used for secondhand cars imported into the country as new car sales crashed in the 1980s’ economic downturn. It’s now used for all manner of imported secondhand items.” These useful additions recognize Nigerian English’s contribution beyond its homeland and reflect the ever-evolving nature of language.