General Blog

Release notes: Nigerian English


My English-speaking is rooted in a Nigerian experience and not in a British or American or Australian one. I have taken ownership of English.

This is how acclaimed Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie describes her relationship with English, the language which she uses in her writing, and which millions of her fellow Nigerians use in their daily communication. By taking ownership of English and using it as their own medium of expression, Nigerians have made, and are continuing to make, a unique and distinctive contribution to English as a global language. We highlight their contributions in this month’s update of the Oxford English Dictionary, as a number of Nigerian English words make it into the dictionary for the first time.

The majority of these new additions are either borrowings from Nigerian languages, or unique Nigerian coinages that have only begun to be used in English in the second half of the twentieth century, mostly in the 1970s and 1980s.

One particularly interesting set of such loanwords and coinages has to do with Nigerian street food. The word buka, borrowed from Hausa and Yoruba and first attested in 1972, refers to a roadside restaurant or street stall that sells local fare at low prices. Another term for such eating places first evidenced in 1980 is bukateria, which adds to buka the –teria ending from the word cafeteria. An even more creative synonym is mama put, from 1979, which comes from the way that customers usually order food in a buka: they say ‘Mama, put…’ to the woman running the stall, and indicate the dish they want. The word later became a generic name for the female food vendors themselves—Nobel Prize-winning Nigerian playwright Wole Soyinka notably includes a Mama Put character in one of his works.

The informal transport systems that emerged in Nigeria’s huge, densely populated cities have also necessitated lexical invention. Danfo, a borrowing from Yoruba whose earliest use in written English is dated 1973, denotes those yellow minibuses whizzing paying passengers through the busy streets of Lagos, the country’s largest city. Okadaon the other hand, is first attested twenty years later, and is the term for a motorcycle that passengers can use as a taxi service. It is a reference to Okada Air, an airline that operated in Nigeria from 1983 to 1997, and its reputation as a fast yet potentially dangerous form of transport, just like the motorcycle taxi.

A few of the Nigerian words in this update were created by shortening existing English words. One example is the adjective guber (earliest quotation dated 1989), which is short for ‘gubernatorial’—so Nigerians, for instance, would call a person running for governor a ‘guber candidate’Another frequently used clipping with a longer history in English is agric. It was originally used in American English around 1812 as a graphic abbreviation for the adjective agricultural, but is now used chiefly in this sense in West Africa. In the early 1990s, agric began to be used in Nigeria to designate improved or genetically modified varieties of crops or breeds of livestock, especially a type of commercially reared chicken that is frequently contrasted with ‘native’ (i.e. traditionally reared) chicken. Two decades later, Nigerian students also started to use the word as a noun meaning agricultural science as an academic subject or course.

Also originating in the 19th century is K-leg, first attested in 1842 in British English, but now used mostly in Nigerian English. It is another term for the condition of knock knees, as well as a depreciative name for a person affected with this condition, whose inward-turning knees often resemble the shape of the letter K. It is of such widespread use in Nigeria that by the early 1980s, it had acquired a figurative meaning—a K-leg can now also be any sort of problem, flaw, setback, or obstacle.

The term ember months was first used in an American publication in 1898 to signify the final four months of the calendar year. Almost a century later, this expression was taken up again in Nigeria, where the months from September to December are usually considered together as a period of heightened or intense activity.

The oldest of our new additions that are originally from Nigeria is next tomorrow, which is the Nigerian way of saying ‘the day after tomorrow’. It was first used in written English as a noun in 1953, and as an adverb in 1964. The youngest of the words in this batch is Kannywood, first used in 2002, which is the name for the Hausa-language film industry based in the city of Kano. It is a play on Hollywood, following the model of Nollywood, the more general term for the Nigerian film industry that was added to the OED in 2018.

Nigerian Pidgin is another rich source of new words for Nigerian English. Sef, first evidenced in Nigerian author Ben Okri’s novel Flowers and Shadows, published in 1980, is an adverb borrowed from Pidgin, which itself could have been an adverbial use of either the English adjective safe or the pronoun self. It is an emphatic marker added to the end of statements or rhetorical questions, often to express irritation or impatience, as in this quotation from Adichie’s 2013 novel Americanah:

‘He could have given you reduced rent in one of his properties, even a free flat sef.’

Also coming from pidgin contexts is the verb chop, which is a common colloquial word in Ghana and Nigeria meaning ‘to eat’. However, beginning in the 1970s, chop also developed the sense of acquiring money quickly and easily, and often dishonestly. The negative sense of misappropriating, extorting, or embezzling funds is also in the earlier reduplicative noun chop-chop (earliest quotation dated 1966)which refers to bribery and corruption in public life. This likening of stealing money to actually devouring it is also reflected in the even earlier synonymous phrase to eat money (1960), as in the following quotation from Nigeria’s News Chronicle in 2016:

‘Our roads were not done. By the end of this year, you will know who ate the money of these roads.’

A few other expressions in this update would require some explanation for non-Nigerians: a barbing salon (earliest quotation dated 1979) is a barber’s shop; a gist (1990) is a rumour, and to gist (1992) is to gossip; when a woman is said to have put to bed (1973), it means that she has given birth; something described as qualitative (1976) is excellent or of high quality.

By focusing on contemporary language in this update, and adding words and phrases that form part of the everyday vocabulary of today’s Nigerians, we hope to give a flavour of English-speaking which, as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie put it, is rooted in a Nigerian experience.

Here you can find a list of the new Nigerian words and senses added to the OED in this update:

Image by Babatunde Olajide on Unsplash


Christmas Thoughts


“It’s sharing your gifts, not purchasing gifts;
It’s not wrapping presents, its being present
and wrapping your arms around the ones you love;
It’s not getting Christmas cards out on time,
It’s sending any card, anytime, at the right time;
It’s not having the biggest and best Christmas light display,
It’s displaying the Christ light that comes from your heart;
It’s not Santa coming down the chimney,
It’s Jesus coming down from heaven,
and giving us the gift of eternal life.”

Merry Christmas
General Blog

How Long It Really Takes to Move on After a Painful Breakup

a woman wearing a white shirt: Experts explain how long it takes to move on after a breakup and why it's different for everyone. Plus, the steps you can take to rebuild your sense of self.
© digitalskillet – Getty Images Experts explain how long it takes to move on after a breakup and why it’s different for everyone. Plus, the steps you can take to rebuild your sense of self.

Whether your ex abruptly broke it off, you were the one who finally ended things, or the split was amicable, the end of a relationship is never easy—even if it’s the right thing to do.

But suffering from a broken heart in the wake of a relationship can be one of the most painful, debilitating experiences a person can go through, says Suzanne Degges-White, Ph.D., chair of the department of counseling and counselor education at Northern Illinois University. And spending days, weeks, and even months feeling sad can lead you to wonder: Exactly how long does it take to get over someone?

As it turns out, relationship experts have an answer—and some advice. Read on to learn how long it takes to truly move on, what you can do to speed up the healing process, and how to rebuild your sense of self without your ex.

Be honest: How long does it really take to get over someone?

Multiple factors can influence how long it takes to move on from your past relationship, from the circumstances of the breakup to where it leaves your ego, strength, and spirit, says Degges-White.

Usually, how long you were in the relationship impacts how long it takes to get over someone.

“For the most part, the longer you’ve been in a relationship and the more committed you felt it to be, the longer it might take before you’re ready to start seeing other people again,” she says.

But if you really want to put a number on it, one study published in Clinical Psychological Science of people who recently went through a breakup found it took three months to feel significantly better, shares Gary Lewandowski, Ph.D., a psychology professor at Monmouth University who gave the TED Talk, “Breakups Don’t Have to Leave You Broken.”

Of course, you shouldn’t feel bound by numbers. Moving on may only take you a few weeks, three months, or well past then. It’s OK to heal at your own pace, so don’t go out on dates simply because your friends or family are pushing you to put yourself out there again, says Degges-White. If the idea of going out with someone new makes you feel unwell (rather than butterflies-in-the-stomach) or if you find yourself repeatedly stacking up would-be partners against all your ex had to offer, it’s not time yet.

Still in the rebound phase? Experts suggest the following healthy strategies for getting back on your feet and feeling better after a breakup.

1. Call your friends.

If you’re struggling with your breakup, consider calling up your friend who recently went through a divorce or the one suffered from a big-time breakup in college. They might have priceless insight. Plus, when you hear how other people weathered their splits, it normalizes your reaction and helps you begin to imagine that you can get through it too, explains Degges-White.

2. Make a clean break on and offline.

In the days and weeks following your split, it’s normal to find yourself scrolling through your ex’s Facebook or Instagram (in fact, some 80% of us admit to doing it, per a 2017 study in the journal Sex Roles.) Unfortunately, though, stalking won’t help you move on, says Degges-White. What to do, especially if you don’t want to: Block, unfriend, and unfollow your ex, and delete their number—at least for the time being (nothing needs to be permanent!).

Don’t try to “run into them” by re-visiting old haunts either, advises Lewandowski. “Avoiding these situations allows you to move on without tempting yourself with rekindling the relationship,” he explains. Because, remember: You broke up for a reason (something was broken).

3. Keep yourself busy.

Think back: Before your relationship, what did you like to do with your free time? Whether it’s making art, going on long hikes, cuddling up with a book, or binge-watching your favorite show, getting back to the activities you loved pre-relationship helps you put the focus back on yourself as an individual, rather than one-half of a couple, and can help you land on your feet post-relationship, says Lewandowski.

New experiences also take up space in your mind and life, allowing you to stop rumination from taking over, says Degges-White. One good way to spend that time: Sign up to volunteer for a cause you care about. Research shows volunteering can significantly boost your mental and physical health, satisfaction with your life, and self-esteem. If you’re an animal lover, for example, working at your local animal shelter and bonding with dogs and cats can work wonders for your heart, notes Degges-White.

4. Get moving.

Even if it’s just a long walk with your headphones on, getting out of your blanket-and-comfort food cocoon can be one of the best things you can do for yourself when feeling down. An upsurge of feel-good chemicals such as endocannabinoids, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and serotonin help lift your mood, per a recent article in Frontiers in Psychology. Even better? Connect with new people (and fill some of the space and time your ex used to take up) by taking a daily stroll through your neighborhood, trying a new class at your gym or yoga studio, or even joining a sports team or running group.

5. See a therapist.

Finally, if it’s been several weeks and you’re still down, skipping out on social gatherings you used to love, or just not quite back to what you’d consider normal, you may benefit from the coping strategies and fresh perspective a professional can provide, says Degges-White. A therapist can help you take a more objective look at your past relationship, work through what it meant and didn’t, learn how to validate your own self-worth without relying on a partner, and build a strong foundation for a new relationship—when you’re actually ready for that (no rush).

You can find a psychologist near you through the American Psychological Association’s handy locator or your employer’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) counselor, suggests Degges-White.

General Blog

Ask Aunty Grace Matters of The Heart

AAG-banner Aunty GraceOne cannot deny the saying that “Depression is living in a BODY that fights to SURVIVE from a mind that is trying to Die”

A lot of people around the world suffer from loneliness or depression of different sorts and it is better imagined than experienced.

I feel sad that people fall sick or even lose their minds due to marital, career, stress-induced depression or disappointment.

Thus, do you feel burdened with any matter and needs to share your thoughts or experience with someone:

Send an email to

Together, we can build a better world, free from depression, stress and bad News of someone is dead.

General Blog

Girl 11-year-old fights crocodile to save her 9-year-old friend

CrocodileAn 11-year-old Zimbabwe girl did something most adults would be afraid to do last week when she rescued her friend from the grips of a crocodile.

According to The Sunday Times, Rebecca Munkombwe went running to a nearby stream when she heard the screams of her 9-year-old friend Latoya Muwani and saw a crocodile pulling her underwater.

“We had just left the water when we heard Latoya who was left alone swimming near the neck deep zone screaming that something was biting her hand.

Since I was the eldest among the other seven children, I felt the urge to save her,” Rebecca told the outlet.

Rebecca jumped in the water, got on top of the Crocodile, and then gouged its eyes out, which caused it to loosen its grip on Latoya.

“Once she was free, I swam with her to the banks where the other children pulled her out of the water. The crocodile fortunately did not attack us after it let off Latoya,” Rebecca said.

The younger girl escaped with just minor injuries, according to a nurse a Sunday Times reporter spoke to at the hospital. She was bitten on her hand and thigh.

Latoya’s father, Fortune Muwani, was grateful to his daughter’s friend for saving her life.

“I was at work when I learnt that my daughter had been attacked by a crocodile while swimming,” Muwani said.

“For a moment there I thought of the worst before I learnt that she had survived after being saved by Rebecca.

How she managed to do that I don’t know but am grateful to God.

Latoya is recovering well here at St Patrick’s and we expect her to be discharged soon as her injuries are not serious.”

General Blog

If You Cheat On Someone, You Do Not Love That Person


Relationship - Love

By Gigi Engle

If you cheat on someone you’re dating, you don’t love that person. I’m sorry, but it’s the truth. If you are unfaithful, you are not in love. I don’t care if people “make mistakes.” I don’t care if we’re “all human.”

Cheating is not a mistake you make when you truly love someone. Let me just clarify this for a second, in case you missed it the first time: .

This article is kind of personal and very preachy. If you are a person who has cheated on someone and still believes you love that person, you’re about to have your ass handed to you.

When I bring up this subject in my social circle, it quickly dissolves into a heated debate. Allow me to explain why I am undoubtedly correct when I say that you cannot cheat on someone you love.

Let’s start at the very beginning. I should probably note that I’m not a saint when it comes to relationships. I know… shocker! I’m, in fact, a true, undoubted sinner. I’m a notorious cheater.

I believe that my past urge to cheat comes from never really wanting to commit to a relationship — but still selfishly wanting all the benefits of having one.

I’ve always valued my independence and ability to do what I want, but I also enjoy having someone to cuddle and go to dinner with.

During my bizarre and dreadfully muddled dating history, I’ve been the gluttonous harpy who must have her cake and eat it too.

My ideal situation was having my boyfriend wait for me at home while I was off kissing strangers in sketchy dive bars. In an ideal word, my boyfriend would have understood my need to be free. But that doesn’t happen in reality.

In reality, I lied. I was “in a relationship” only when my boyfriend was present. I was a bad girlfriend. I openly admit this.

On top of all of this, I’m pretty transparent about my habits and the insatiability that stems from my deep-seated FOMO. But every guy who comes my way is positive that he will be the guy to change me. He will be the guy to make me give up my cheating ways.

I had to wonder what was so wrong with me that I felt compelled to cheat on my boyfriends. I had to question why I never really felt guilty.

I came to realize that everything had to do with the tepid feelings I had for the men I was dating. I didn’t care enough about my relationships to not risk ruining them. I didn’t respect my partners enough to treat them like they were my partners.

After a lot of contemplation, I’ve become absolutely sure that if you love someone and respect someone enough, you cannot cheat on that person. You simply cannot. It would kill you.

Let’s talk about respect.
It all comes down to respect. If you truly respect the person you’ve committed to, you will never be able to cheat on him or her. You would just not be capable of doing that to someone you care deeply about.

For the first time in my crazy, messed-up love life, I believe that I am truly in love — madly, head-over-heels kind of love. The difference with this relationship is that I have a deep and profound respect for my boyfriend.

He treats me beautifully, he challenges me, and he is there for me whenever I need him. He is my best friend. I’m repulsed by the thought of letting another guy touch me. It makes my skin crawl.

The idea of hurting someone I respect so much breaks my heart. I couldn’t. I wouldn’t. The only time I would do something like that would be if I didn’t honor him the way that I do.

If you cheat on your partner, you do not respect him or her enough not to betray stray. You may as well leave now. Your infidelity is all the proof you need that the two of you are not right for each other.

You can certainly care for your partner, but you don’t care ENOUGH.
I’ve cared for the men I have cheated on. I have loved each and every one of them in my own way.

But I didn’t love them enough to be faithful.

You can certainly care for — and love — a person you betray. You can obviously have feelings for this person. (You two are in a relationship, after all.)

But you don’t love him or her enough. If you truly loved this person with all of your heart, there would be no one else. Other men or women would not even exist for you.

It’s understandable that you don’t want to give this person up. You love him or her. You want to be with him or her.

But this is what you need to understand: If you cannot sacrifice the touch of another person — if you cannot resist the physical urge to screw someone else in favor of honoring your relationship — you do not value that relationship enough.

You can feel that love, but it does not burn brightly enough. If you cheat on someone, you simply don’t love or respect that person fiercely enough.


General Blog

Re: Help, My Wife Asks for Too Much Sex

Beautiful woman - Grace

Dear B,

Yours is certainly a peculiar problem!

The usual thing is to hear a woman complain that her husband is not having sex enough with her with questions like” does He love me?” “is he seeing another woman?” Such thoughts would run through her mind giving her sleepless nights! In your case however, your wife wants sex all the time!

Lucky guy! (most would say) because all that most people hear from their wives is “not tonight dear. I have a headache!”

Read also: Help, My Wife Asks for Too Much Sex

My first thought would be get it up man- but before you dash for those blue pills or enhancers, I would advise you to see your doctor first so you don’t end up with more complications!

Have a discussion with your wife when she’s sober and not in a Randy mood and tell her you feel your life is in danger if she does not reduce her craving for sex. The sheer exhaustion may kill you!

Hopefully, if she loves you she just might see it your way and let you rest a bit.

Maybe talk to her mother or your pastor but talk to somebody!

Good luck!
Aunty Grace

General Blog

Help, My Wife Asks for Too Much S*x

Wife and husband sex

Dear Aunty Grace,

I have tried to cope with this challenge for several months but at this time I can’t hold back my pains. I’ve been looking for someone mature enough and knowledgeable to advise me on this matter. My wife is not aware of my intentions right now, anyway.

However, I have reached that point that I am seriously contemplating to file for a divorce from her. It may interest you to know that we have been married for 6years now and we have two lovely kids – 4years+ and 2years+ respectively.

Whenever I complain that it is getting too much, she would then start saying things like I don’t love her that’s why I complain. Now, that we have endless intercourse today does not stop my wife from demanding for it the very next day which I don’t find comfortable at all. I don’t want to die yet o.

She does not mind us having intercourse up to five (5) times within a day and not stopping at one round or even two for that matter.

Read also: Re: Help, My Wife Asks for Too Much

Whenever I complain that it is getting too much, she would then start saying things like I don’t love her that’s why I complain. Now, that we have endless intercourse today does not stop my wife from demanding for it the very next day which I don’t find comfortable at all. I don’t want to die yet o.

The last time I advised that we go to seek a medical advise, her response was that I want us to start discussing our matters with outsiders (which is what we agreed never to do) But I don’t think that agreement covers this because we are going together to seek advise not that one person is discussing us outside.

Before we got married, her sex drive was moderate for me as we only have intercourse, perhaps, twice a day – morning and night – and we enjoy each other and the decision was to have not more than 3 children. Since we have had the two kids, we have been using contraception to avoid unwanted issues.

Unfortunately, I observed in the last couple of months that her demands her getting too much.

Please help, aunty.

General Blog

Ask Aunty Grace Matters of The Heart from Marriage to Career, Relationship, Etc

Wife and husband sexOne cannot deny the saying that “Depression is living in a BODY that fights to SURVIVE from a mind that is trying to Die”

A lot of people around the world suffer from loneliness or depression of different sorts and it is better imagined than experienced.

I feel sad that people fall sick or even lose their minds due to marital, career, stress-induced depression or disappointment.

Thus, do you feel burdened with any matter and needs to share your thoughts or experience with someone:

Send an email to

Together, we can build a better world, free from depression, stress and bad News of someone is dead.

General Blog

Common features among people who cheat

Love, infidelity, sexThere are many reasons why people cheat or may cheat on their partners even in the best of situations. Some are uniquely different as to why the person(s) cheat. Interesting, research shows that there are some common features to watch out for in partners who cheat. Some of these features may not be seen in the cheater but in other related factors like friends, family background, interest and attention for certain things or people. See below:

1) Their Friends Cheat

If your friends get divorced, you are more likely to get divorced. If your friends earn more, you’re more likely to earn more. So it should be of little surprise to learn that social networks also affect infidelity. According to M. Gary Newman, psychotherapist, rabbi, and author of The Truth About Cheating, 77 percent of cheating men also have cheating friends.  Now, that doesn’t mean 77 percent of men with cheating friends cheat, of course. But if your partner isn’t bothered by his friend’s cheating, it could be a red flag.

2) They Need An Ego Boost

driver of cheating for both men and women is insecurity about one’s own attractiveness levels. People who have lost their mojo are more likely to cheat because they crave reinforcement, and getting it from just one person isn’t cutting it.

“If the partner gets to a place in the relationship whereby they are unable to fulfill that void any longer, the cheating individual continues to stay in the relationship (because they fear being alone) but gets the validation that is now missing from an extramarital affair,” Kelly Armatage, a cognitive behavioral therapist, relationship coach, and speaker, told Fox News.

3) They’re Lost In The Relationship

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in being in a relationship that you somehow lose your sense of self along the way. When someone feels like they don’t know who they are anymore, cheating can be the way they look to escape.

4) Vengeance

Talking to INSIDER, psychotherapy counselor Claire McRitchie said that said infidelity could be used for vengeance. She explained that, in such a scenario, anger is often suppressed and then released in the act of cheating. Why? Because it offers the aggrieved party a feeling of power and control. “The knowledge that the other person is being punished without realizing is for some people a cruel and unusual way of punishing them—sometimes for perceived slights rather than real ones,” she said.

5) They Have Fear Of Commitment

According to psychotherapist Charlotte Howard, some people are “scared of intimacy in a way that allows sexual desire to only be felt outside of a deep partnership, because there is too much closeness with a partner to feel safe merging through sxx.” To avoid being vulnerable, they place barriers with the person by never fully committing to them.

In conclusion, if you perceive that your partner may be cheating on you, before calling it quit, endeavour to talk to them. First garner up some courage to face the monster. This is the most difficult option has always proven to be the most effective. However, you need to be mentally, emotionally and psychologically prepared to do it.

When you think you have summoned enough courage to face them, invite them out to a public place where you can have some heart-to-heart conversations and not be physically harassed. This is important because most cheaters are defensive.

In the case of a man cheater, he may become aggressive and choose to attack the partner. If he can cheat, then he can be aggressive. Thus, he can attack you.