EDU: Nigerian Words You Can’t Find In The Dictionary – Diction Coach

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Diction Coach, Itunuayo Lawal – You Won’t Find These Words In The Dictionary

Most Nigerians find it difficult to make research both illiterates and literates in Nigeria have found themselves using the words not found in the dictionary. Some always hide under the saying “English is not my mother tongue” But you know what? For the global relevance, using the right words is important.

Here are some words not found in dictionary used by most Nigerians.πŸ‘‡

Installmentally:- This word is a favourite of many Nigerians, sadly, doesn’t exist. You won’t find it in any reputable dictionary. The correct thing to say when “installmentally” comes to your mind is “in instalments” or “by instalments”.

Plumpy:- The right word is “Plump”.

Disvirgin:- The right word is “Deflowered”.

Cross Carpeting:- Leaving a political party for another is “party switching,defection or crossing the floor”.

Go-slow:- The word exist but not in the manner used by Nigerians. The correct term is- Traffic jam, traffic congestion, gridlock and hold up. ‘Go-slow’ is a form of protest by workers in which they deliberately slow down activities due to any form of dissatisfaction.

Cunny:-This word is not found in authoritative dictionaries but can be found in some slang dictionaries. Cunny is used to refer to a woman’s private part. The correct word is “Cunning” which is someone that is ‘crafty or deceitful’.

Opportuned:- This is not a word in the dictionary but that haven’t stopped it’s noisy usage in Nigeria. The right word is “Opportune”.

β€œWake-keeping” exists only in the imagination of a few English speakers. As a matter of fact, there is no such thing as β€œwake-keeping.” The correct word is “wake” and not even β€œwake-keep.” Both β€œwake-keeping” and β€œwake-keep” are ungrammatical.

This bad grammatical expression gained currency in Nigeria and neighbouring West African countries with the influx of made-in-China stylus pen touchscreen not-so-smart phones in the mid 2000s. It was a novelty then; many in Nigeria had not seen it – or even thought such advanced technology was possible – before. So, they looked for a name to call it and β€œscreentouch” came to mind, after all you just touch the screen and it starts working. In case you’ve still not figured it out yet, the correct thing to say is “touchscreen” and not screentouch.


There is no word like this. Nigerians use it when driving and want to alert other road users that the driver wants to turn to either left or right. The correct term is “indicator” as a sign to indicate that the driver is either turning right or left.

Massive in addy
This is a trending phrase on social media used by many Nigerians preparing for their birthdays. The word “addy” is an internet slang Address (especially e-mail address).
πŸ‘‰ My e-mail addy is being spammed. I should’ve kept it private. Rather say, in advance not in addy.

Β© Itunuayo Lawal Olasunmibo
Diction Coach

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