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The Oxford Dictionary recognises Nigerian English as it adds words “Tokunbo,” “Danfo” & “Buka”



It was especially after the disqualification of “Lionheart” from the Oscars foreign feature category that the distinctiveness of Nigerian English made it into the mainstream.

Folks debated on Twitter about how exactly Nigerian English differs from the British or American one, how it carries the peculiar cadence of Nigerians.

And now, the Oxford English Dictionary has recognised Nigerians’ ownership of the English language, and several of our words have made it into the dictionary for the first time.

In a statement released on the dictionary’s website, they wrote that “Nigerians have made, and are continuing to make, a unique and distinctive contribution to English as a global language,” and shared the 29 Nigerian-English words that are now “official.”

They are:

  • agric
  • barbing salon
  • buka
  • bukateria
  • chop
  • chop-chop
  • danfo
  • to eat money
  • ember months
  • flag-off
  • to flag off
  • gist (noun)
  • gist (verb)
  • guber
  • Kannywood
  • K-leg
  • mama put
  • next tomorrow
  • non-indigene
  • okada
  • to put to bed
  • qualitative
  • to rub minds
  • sef
  • send-forth
  • severally
  • tokunbo
  • zone (verb)
  • zoning (noun)


  1. Linda Oyedepo

    January 21, 2020 at 8:30 pm

    This is a piece of good news for Nigerian Language. Great to see how our language is recognized globally.

  2. Becca

    January 22, 2020 at 2:59 pm

    Proudly Nigerian


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