MUST READ: 6 English Words With Nigerian Origins

MUST READ: 6 English Words With Nigerian Origins

English language is known for borrowing from other languages and every word (like everything else) has an origin.

The word “Makurdi,” for example, comes with a story. When our colonial masters first visited the area now called Makurdi, they wanted to meet the person that was in-charge. And the locals kept referring to a rich merchant, whom they called mai-kudi, which translates to ‘owner of money’ in Hausa. Knowing the white man and his habit of killing our African names started calling the whole town Makurdi. And that is how the town, Makurdi, got its name.

English Words

MUST READ: 6 English Words With Nigerian Origins

Which words have been borrowed from Nigerian Languages? We are going to answer that question today. GiftedGreen is going to provide you with some English words that have Nigerian Origin.


At first you would wonder why this word is called “Okro” in Nigeria, and yet it is spelled “Okra” in English. It is not because you do not know how to spell; it is simply because it originated from the Igbo word “okuro” which also means also known as “ladies’ fingers”.


No Nigerian needs an introduction to the word juju. At first, it does not seem like an English word until you check your dictionary.

According to The Free Dictionary, this word originated from Hausa. And yes, it also mentioned the Yoruba type of music in the dictionary


Bogus means fake or fraudulent. Bogus is believed to be from the Hausa word “boko-boko”.


Tango probably originates from the word ‘tamgu’ means to dance in Ibibio. How the Ibibio’s were able to name an Argentinean dance still baffles everybody at GiftedGreen. The FreeDictionary still gives credit to the language (Ibibio) so who are we to judge?


Buckra is a word used contemptuously by Black people, especially in the United States to refer a White man. This word is believed to have originated from the Efik word mba-ka-ra which means master. #slavetradethings


The word yam probably originated from the Fulani word “nyami”. We would bet that you did not see this one coming, did you? If you were to choose a word contributed by the Fulani, you probably would have said cow.

This list does not end here, there are also a couple of words like Dashiki, Agbada, Chigger, Obeah, and many more.

CREDITS: GiftedGreen

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