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Peculiar Okafor: Really, What is this Crinkum Crankum?



I recently stumbled upon an interview of one of our law makers renowned for his elaborate vocabulary and while I couldn’t understand anything he said, one word struck me ‘Crinkum Crankum.’ I was too lazy to find out its meaning at that time so I just decided to use it as an exclamation especially about what’s going on in the society.

When top management sends a mail like ‘it is highly expedient and tantamount that we oxygenate these ideas and accelerate towards an upward spike in numbers despite recalcitrant and unrepentant economic conditions’. I’m left to think ‘what is this Crinkum Crankum?’ What about those who send clear mails and spend time speaking to us at staff meetings in a language we all understand but you just have that gut feeling that they either don’t understand the issues or they are just being insincere or political, so workers are like ‘quit with the ‘Crinkum Crankum’.

Bringing it home, when the older generation complains about our generation being unserious and engaging in criminal and corrupt practices even though they are the ones who give titles and awards to people who amass wealth via questionable means, you’ll agree me that that’s ‘Crinkum Crankum’. Or Nigerians who spend hours talking about the deplorable state of the Nation yet offer bribes, give undue respect and authority to the ‘Oyinbos’ (not saying foreigners shouldn’t be treated properly) and cut corners everywhere, that too is ‘Crinkum Crankum’.

And the guys who say they want the good and understanding girls yet pay Runz girls hundreds of thousands while their ‘understanding’ girlfriends have to beg for ten thousand Naira, my people, that na the real ‘Crinkum Crankum’. However, before the girls start agreeing with me, when you stay in abusive relationships, hate on one another, and do anything for money yet scream ‘girl power’, you don’t need me to tell you that it’s ‘Crinkum Crankum’.

‘Crinkum Crankum’ is just like it sounds ‘Crinkum! Crankum!’. It’s when we don’t help the poor around us but donate to save the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Or a when woman who treats her maid no better than a slave always donates to the less privileged.

It’s when we ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ at the girl with the poorly drawn eyebrows and mismatched colors and even go as far as saying ‘you look good’ only to talk behind her back – The rule was ‘if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all’ not give a false compliment. It’s when we spend millions giving our departed loved ones a befitting burial when we never even said a kind word to them when they were alive.

What about when our sports team starts preparing barely 2 months to the Olympics and expect to win all the gold medals- After all, we serve a miracle working God abi? C’mon people, that’s just ‘Crinkum Crankum’. Or when we lament about our musicians not singing wholesome songs and at the same time play only the so called ‘unwholesome’ songs ignoring those with ‘content’. Don’t believe me? How many ‘inspiring’ musicians have been invited to shows? I guessed as much ‘Crinkum Crankum’.

In case you’re still wondering what Crinkum Crankum is, it’s saying one thing and meaning another. It’s being full of twists and turns. It’s the things that happen around us that remind me of the song by Trybesmen ‘e geti plenty plenty tinz wey no suppose to happen for this world…’ In short, it’s not being straight forward which leads me to my next point:

Our leaders and law makers, 2015 is around the corner; let’s pray the manifestos and promises don’t become ‘Crinkum Crankum’!

PS: I did check the internet for the meaning of Crinkum Crankum much later and the definition I liked best was that of the free dictionary ‘fanciful name for any object that is full of twists and turns’.

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Peculiar Okafor is a marketing communications executive and loves to write. Visit her blog ‘‘ to read her stories.

Peculiar is a Marketing communications personnel, she believes that one can have a full life without being bitchy and she wants it all 'A good career, love, laughter, wealth, you name it. She blogs at Follow her on Instagram @daworkdiva and Facebook ''


  1. diana

    October 8, 2013 at 9:45 am

    interesting piece

  2. Kathy esan

    October 8, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Intresting read,but haba peculiar the grammar was too much,had to have a dictionary nearby.

  3. Vanessa

    October 8, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Lovely piece. I just hope you are not involved in any of the afore-mentioned crinkum crankum. Can I say crinkum crankums? Oga Patrick Obaghiabon is just too much.

  4. Nne Somebody

    October 8, 2013 at 10:17 am

    LOL! Excellent use of the expression. Message received loud and clear, no Crinkum Crankum there.

  5. #IUnited

    October 8, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Correction: Obahiagbon is not a Nigerian law-maker. He is COS, Edo State and a FORMER law-maker of the Federal house.

  6. Amarachi Alisiobi

    October 8, 2013 at 10:26 am

    lol, pecs crinkum crankum.
    Very onpoint.

    • Anonymous

      October 8, 2013 at 10:37 am

      Crinkum Crankum

  7. BN at work

    October 8, 2013 at 10:32 am

    yes oh crinkum crankum all around and na we dey cause am..

  8. Dora the explorer

    October 8, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Why do I get the feeling “Higi haga” shares this same meaning?!
    Spot on piece Peculiar Okafor>> well said!!!

    • I Rock

      October 8, 2013 at 11:56 am

      Ahahahahaha *cant stop laughing* at Higi Haga.

  9. Gistyinka Blog

    October 8, 2013 at 10:44 am

    very interesting piece of expression..

  10. Nengi

    October 8, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Nice one dear, kip it up!

  11. Timberlake

    October 8, 2013 at 10:58 am

    On point….

  12. crakum

    October 8, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Oops, you forgot ‘higgi hagga’ et ‘hocus pocus’

  13. dnt mention

    October 8, 2013 at 11:04 am

    the word is actually in the dictionary and this is the meaning “something full of twists and turns : a thing fancifully or excessively intricate and elaborate”

  14. Deedee

    October 8, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Nice piece

  15. Max

    October 8, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Or the girls that want husbands but only date married men and tell the single ones that they can’t afford to take care of them “Crinkum Crankum”

    • AA

      October 8, 2013 at 2:50 pm


  16. nwanyi na aga aga

    October 8, 2013 at 11:15 am

    “When top management sends a mail like ‘it is highly expedient and tantamount that we oxygenate these ideas and accelerate towards an upward spike in numbers despite recalcitrant and unrepentant economic conditions’. I’m left to think ‘what is this Crinkum Crankum?’….. LMAO choi! u described them well

  17. CC

    October 8, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Patrick obaghiabon is definitely causing crinkum crankum in the house while oga Jonathan is applying it to the country

  18. Bobosteke & Lara Bian

    October 8, 2013 at 11:25 am

    This article made me sober. Its along the lines of what I have been thinking of the past few days.

    On the bus this morning I sat beside a little boy with warts all over his body. He was clean, smelled of cheap soap and pomade in his red faded T. As I sat there slightly revolted, I asked myself if he had been sitting beside me on a first class flight to wherever, with a beautiful half caste mother and him better dressed and with all the warts in the world, would I have not even pulled him to myself and checked out the sores and communicated with his mom in Queen’s English that would make my father very proud, about how I also struggled with one skin infection after the other, where truth or lie?

    How many times have we commented here or on any other blog on an issue but are the very thing being discussed, yet our fingers type the fastest to crucify other characters?

    Some of us have become vain, deceptive and very superficial. Our attitude, response and desires are swayed by “General Public”.

    We have not always been like this. Let us search ourselves.

  19. Bobosteke & Lara Bian

    October 8, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Apologies for *half caste. Should have read *mixed mother.

  20. Ibukun

    October 8, 2013 at 11:29 am

    I love this!

  21. Dora the explorer

    October 8, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Why do I get the feeling “Higi haga” shares this same meaning?!
    Spot on piece Peculiar Okafor>> well said!!!

  22. Angel

    October 8, 2013 at 11:33 am


  23. Africhic

    October 8, 2013 at 11:42 am


  24. Grace

    October 8, 2013 at 11:43 am

    LoL….everything is just ‘Crinkum Crankum’:)#smh#

  25. Noms

    October 8, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Talking about helping the less privilege in our society. I was at the bus stop this morning and a young girl with the ages of 17-21,had a child strapped to her back and was singing about God blessing someone. She was blind from a closer look at her,did i give her money, no,why, cos i thot it was Crinkum-crankum. i was angry she cos i was wondering who might be the father of her baby and what he was doing when she is out in the morning begging @ the bus stop. My opinion.

    • Bleed blue

      October 8, 2013 at 12:52 pm

      Noms dear, I don’t see why you got angry. The baby’s father might be dead, might have deserted them, might be in jail, or she may have been raped by an unknown attacker (seeing as she’s blind), or heck he may have been lounging on some sofa watching TV. Who knows? All I will see, is the fact that she cannot see.

      Especially if this bus stop you refer to is in Nigeria, her blindness in itself would have been enough to lend a helping hand. Nigeria is not a easy place for those of us whole in mind and body, not to talk of the disabled. 🙁

  26. Noms

    October 8, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    *within the ages*

  27. new bride

    October 8, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Is the writer’s name really “Peculiar’?

  28. frances

    October 8, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Well written! All hail honourable Patrick! Nigeria is indeed full of crinkum crankum not only in government but also in our personal relationships with each other.

  29. ogochukwu

    October 8, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Very interesting and true!!!

  30. johnspeaks

    October 8, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    whn a lady sleeps with anytin with a third leg al in d name of catching fun, and she cries whn her 13ys old daughter has slept with almost al d boiz in d neighborhood. that’s crinkum crankum


    October 8, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    niece piece
    crinkum crankum

  32. Grace E

    October 8, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    ……of an odoriferous saga..kum gaga tuan gaga!!

  33. Aderonke

    October 8, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Very lovely piece. Well expressed. I pray to always in-bib the acts of good citizenship in my day to day life

  34. Okechukwu Ofili

    October 8, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    This article is pure Higi Haga….whatever that means…

  35. wack manpassman

    October 8, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Wat a pecuiliar name u have.

  36. Busola Idowu

    October 8, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    This was my catch phrase for the whole of two weeks after i first heard it…so i completely align with this article…Nigeria is filled with too much ‘crinkum crankum’ -PS: never even knew twas a real word, just assumed Hon Pat manufactured it from that his unlimited vocabulary!


    October 8, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    This article is straight to the point. He who have ears, let him/her hear!
    There’s no such words as Crinkum Crunkum, I want to believe Oga Patrick is referring to “CRINKLED CRUMPLED”
    CRINKLE means Crease or to cause to wrinkle and
    CRUMPLE means to collapse, crease, wrinkle or fold mark.
    Thank people!

    • Binta

      October 8, 2013 at 4:36 pm

      All I have to say is that she proves that all she is doing is the same crinkum she speaks of,stop waiting for 2015 and start now and act and do something to better your generation and those are to come.its not okay to hail a failed state as our country,we need to learn to start doing our parts instead of waiting on the government. In any case it was nice reading the piece and hopefully it inspires someone to do better.

    • ij

      October 9, 2013 at 2:41 pm

      na wa “CRINKLED CRUMPLED” indeed , please ma check Google for the meaning of crinkum crankum

    • Judith

      April 3, 2014 at 4:34 pm

      Princess Maggie, didn’t you read the article? Google the words, “crinkum crinkum” you will find them in the dictionary. Like Perciliar already articulately explained with multiple relatable examples, it means twists and turns, saying one thing, meaning the other. Hon. Obahiagbon used it to refer to the political unrest, government magic, political complications and dishonesty of people at the helm of government, etc. Hope this helps.

  38. bnigerian

    October 8, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Buhaha! The comments are making me laugh! All this Crinkum Crankum, higi haga and hocus pocus…

  39. Miss Anonymous

    October 8, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    We will not forget prestissimo, or in an eon this gargantuan article, neither will we go gaga or be transmogrified in any interstices lest we encounter a pestilential occurence before reaching our terminus ad quem. Hopefully we will witness a tekel tekel mene upharsin, (actually mene mene tekel upharsin) on the wall explaining the fons et origo of our existence. Meanwhile let us refrain from the use of all hypnotic drugs like thalidomide in order to avoid a situation of kakistomoboplutocracy.

    • OK

      October 8, 2013 at 7:02 pm

      Honourable Patrick Obaghiabon, meet your wife.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      October 9, 2013 at 9:41 pm

      “Transmogrified” – hahahahahahahahahaha!!! Is that not from Harry Porter?? You people no go wound person oh 😀

    • D

      October 11, 2013 at 9:34 am


  40. Amity

    October 9, 2013 at 8:50 am

    @Miss Anonymous that is what we call grammertical “Higi haga” dropdead at all the comments

  41. 300JJJ

    January 27, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Omg! u just killed it… lovely piece i must say.

  42. bambi

    June 19, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    Nice one

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