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7 Common English Words Nigerians Misuse - Naijalife Magazine

7 Common English Words Nigerians Misuse

You really got to love Nigerians and their creativity.

Nigerians are really creative people. From arts, culture to language, creativity runs in Naija. Nigerians do awesome things like break world records, build cars from local materials, paint amazing things and many others. But sometimes, Nigerians do things that make you go:

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Try not to laugh too hard at these English words that Nigerians misuse every day:

1. Instalments

Nigerians have taken the concept of paying money in small bits (instalments) to mean Instalmentally. Nigerians would say “paying instalmentally” which is wrong. The correct usage is “pay in instalments”.


2. Vigil

Nigerians still haven’t understood the concept that vigils only take place at night. This is why many of us are so fond of saying “night vigil” which is incorrect. Saying “vigil” is enough as the word already implies it takes place at night.

3. Cunning

Nigerians have turned this word on its head. When you listen to the average Nigerian speaking, you’d hear “cunny” instead of cunning. The word cunny is a euphemism for a female body part but Nigerians use it to mean to cunning.


4. Indicators

These are often found on cars. These indicators are used to signal a turn. Nigerians know how to use indicators in their cars but have a weird name for them: Trafficators. Somehow, we merged traffic and indicators to form a new a word.


5. Wake

Somehow, Nigerians didn’t get the memo that it’s called a “wake”. People often say “wake keep” or “wake keeping” to refer to the European custom of watching over a dead body. The correct term is “wake”.


6. Plump

How did we go from plump to plumpy? Nigerians use the word “plumpy” to mean “plump”. Why invent a new word when the original word will do?


7. Outright

Nigerians turned the adjective, Outright, to an adverb by adding the “ly”. Maybe we’re thinking the word “Outright” works like “beautiful” which can take the suffix “ly. PS: it doesn’t. Outrightly is incorrect.

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