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Origin Of Common Nigerian Pidgin Words (i.e., Igbo, Yoruba, Or Hausa) - Culture - Nairaland

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Origin Of Common Nigerian Pidgin Words (i.e., Igbo, Yoruba, Or Hausa) by Probz(m): 3:16pm On Sep 23, 2016
Which of the three major native languages in Nigeria (Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo) have contributed the most and least to pidgin English as we know it today and what language do the following terms originate - ashawo, wahala, oyibo/oyinbo, oya, oga, wetin, una, dey, etc.?
Re: Origin Of Common Nigerian Pidgin Words (i.e., Igbo, Yoruba, Or Hausa) by Emilokoiyawon: 5:45pm On Sep 24, 2016
grin
Re: Origin Of Common Nigerian Pidgin Words (i.e., Igbo, Yoruba, Or Hausa) by bigfrancis21: 6:22am On Sep 25, 2016
Probz:
Which of the three major native languages in Nigeria (Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo) have contributed the most and least to pidgin English as we know it today and what language do the following terms originate - ashawo, wahala, oyibo/oyinbo, oya, oga, wetin, una, dey, etc.?

Before I start let me point out that the pidgin English that we speak today is the english developed by african slaves in the Americas during the slave trade in their attempt to learn English, and then it was imported to Nigeria and other African countries by the early Christian missionaries. It is also spoken in Ghana, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, and even in the US (among the Gullah people of South carolina). The original pidgin English has been influenced by native languages of the country it is spoken in and thus we have slight differences in the Pidgin English spoken in these countries.

3 words listed of Igbo origin are 'una' (which comes from 'unu' in Igbo which means 'you' in plural form), 'dey' which comes from Igbo 'di' which means the state of/to exist etc. For example, Chi di (God dey or God exists), O di risky (E dey risky), Chi di mma (God dey good) etc. and 'oyibo'. Oyinbo, however, is yoruba. Notice how 'di' in Igbo can be used to qualify someone/somebody, as in 'Chi di ebube' (God is glorious) and to describe location or the state of something ie 'aka m di n'enu' (my hand is up) or 'ekwenti m di na room' (my phone is in the room). This is exactly the same for 'dey' in pidgin English. For example, dat man dey good ('dey' here is used to qualify the man) or dat computer dey for ground ('dey' here is used to describe the location of the subject). 'una' and 'dey' came with Pidgin English to Nigeria and have remained unchanged since. Words like 'oga', 'oya' etc are due to the recent influence of Nigerian languages. Oya and Ashawo are yoruba. Wahala is said to be of Arabic origin. 'wetin' is the corruption of 'what' and 'thing', of which its usage has expanded in meaning. 'sabi' is of portuguese origin, 'saber' meaning 'to know'.

In Jamaica and English-speaking Caribbean countries, Pidgin English or patois is spoken, similar to what is spoken in Nigeria except with pronunciation and vocabulary differences here and there. In Jamaica, for example, 'unu' is still used, or sometimes 'una'.

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Re: Origin Of Common Nigerian Pidgin Words (i.e., Igbo, Yoruba, Or Hausa) by bigfrancis21: 6:30am On Sep 25, 2016
As for which language has the most influence on pidgin English, the answer is subjective and depends on the region of Nigeria. Pidgin in Nigeria tends to be influenced by the language(s) spoken in a particular area. In Warri, for example, many words are used in Pidgin which are local to that area. In the east, several words of Igbo origin can be found in the pidgin spoken in the area. The same applies to the pidgin spoken in Lagos and environs which tends to be influenced by Yoruba words.

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Re: Origin Of Common Nigerian Pidgin Words (i.e., Igbo, Yoruba, Or Hausa) by Living4christ(m): 3:01pm On Sep 26, 2016
bigfrancis21:


Before I start let me point out that the pidgin English that we speak today is the english developed by african slaves in the Americas during the slave trade in their attempt to learn English, and then it was imported to Nigeria and other African countries by the early Christian missionaries. It is also spoken in Ghana, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, and even in the US (among the Gullah people of South carolina). The original pidgin English has been influenced by native languages of the country it is spoken in and thus we have slight differences in the Pidgin English spoken in these countries.

3 words listed of Igbo origin are 'una' (which comes from 'unu' in Igbo which means 'you' in plural form), 'dey' which comes from Igbo 'di' which means the state of/to exist etc. For example, Chi di (God dey or God exists), O di risky (E dey risky), Chi di mma (God dey good) etc. and 'oyibo'. Oyinbo, however, is yoruba. Notice how 'di' in Igbo can be used to qualify someone/somebody, as in 'Chi di ebube' (God is glorious) and to describe location or the state of something ie 'aka m di n'enu' (my hand is up) or 'ekwenti m di na room' (my phone is in the room). This is exactly the same for 'dey' in pidgin English. For example, dat man dey good ('dey' here is used to qualify the man) or dat computer dey for ground ('dey' here is used to describe the location of the subject). 'una' and 'dey' came with Pidgin English to Nigeria and have remained unchanged since. Words like 'oga', 'oya' etc are due to the recent influence of Nigerian languages. Oya and Ashawo are yoruba. Wahala is said to be of Arabic origin. 'wetin' is the corruption of 'what' and 'thing', of which its usage has expanded in meaning. 'sabi' is of portuguese origin, 'saber' meaning 'to know'.

In Jamaica and English-speaking Caribbean countries, Pidgin English or patois is spoken, similar to what is spoken in Nigeria except with pronunciation and vocabulary differences here and there. In Jamaica, for example, 'unu' is still used, or sometimes 'una'.

Oyibo is not yoruba, it was originated during the slave era, because of the high demand of Igbo slaves during the slave trade, the Slave usually use the word Oyibo (meaning, "is he Igbo?" ) to ask the slave traders if the person is Igbo, the slaves now call the white men "oyibo", because they were hearing it from there mouth. That is why we call the white "oyibo"

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Re: Origin Of Common Nigerian Pidgin Words (i.e., Igbo, Yoruba, Or Hausa) by Probz(m): 7:30pm On Sep 26, 2016
Living4christ:


Oyibo is not yoruba, it was originated during the slave era, because of the high demand of Igbo slaves during the slave trade, the Slave usually use the word Oyibo (meaning, "is he Igbo?" ) to ask the slave traders if the person is Igbo, the slaves now call the white men "oyibo", because they were hearing it from there mouth. That is why we call the white "oyibo"

I'm pretty sure he said as much, merely pointing out that 'oyinbo' (i.e., with the 'n') is Yoruba, whereas 'oyibo' is Igbo. I didn't even know that there was a difference though, only that people spell it differently.

bigfrancis, is there actually a difference in the way oyibo specifically is pronounced compared to oyinbo? I've never heard even the Yoruba pronounce the n.

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Re: Origin Of Common Nigerian Pidgin Words (i.e., Igbo, Yoruba, Or Hausa) by Living4christ(m): 3:03pm On Sep 27, 2016
Probz:


I'm pretty sure he said as much, merely pointing out that 'oyinbo' (i.e., with the 'n') is Yoruba, whereas 'oyibo' is Igbo. I didn't even know that there was a difference though, only that people spell it differently.

bigfrancis, is there actually a difference in the way oyibo specifically is pronounced compared to oyinbo? I've never heard even the Yoruba pronounce the n.

It depends on what they call oyinbo.

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Re: Origin Of Common Nigerian Pidgin Words (i.e., Igbo, Yoruba, Or Hausa) by bigfrancis21: 4:19pm On Sep 27, 2016
Probz:


I'm pretty sure he said as much, merely pointing out that 'oyinbo' (i.e., with the 'n') is Yoruba, whereas 'oyibo' is Igbo. I didn't even know that there was a difference though, only that people spell it differently.

bigfrancis, is there actually a difference in the way oyibo specifically is pronounced compared to oyinbo? I've never heard even the Yoruba pronounce the n.

I was on youtube the other day scouting for the latest movies and saw a Yoruba movie advert and a scene shows where the male actor was praising another fair lady in yoruba and called her 'oyibo'. I had to replay those few seconds severally to be sure of what he said. He said 'oyibo'. Mind you, this man is full-fledged Yoruba. I was surprised to say the least.

If yorubas also pronounce 'oyibo', where then did 'oyinbo' come from? If for anything, this reveals that 'oyibo' is far older and 'oyinbo' is only but a recent word adaptation or usage. Even Ajayi Crowther listed it in his Yoruba language dictionary of 1852 or so as 'oyibo'. Found out that the Urhobos and Itsekiris also use 'oyibo' too.

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Re: Origin Of Common Nigerian Pidgin Words (i.e., Igbo, Yoruba, Or Hausa) by Probz(m): 10:10pm On Sep 27, 2016
bigfrancis21:


I was on youtube the other day scouting for the latest movies and saw a Yoruba movie advert and a scene shows where the male actor was praising another fair lady in yoruba and called her 'oyibo'. I had to replay those few seconds severally to be sure of what he said. He said 'oyibo'. Mind you, this man is full-fledged Yoruba. I was surprised to say the least.

If yorubas also pronounce 'oyibo', where then did 'oyinbo' come from? If for anything, this reveals that 'oyibo' is far older and 'oyinbo' is only but a recent word adaptation or usage. Even Ajayi Crowther listed it in his Yoruba language dictionary of 1852 or so as 'oyibo'. Found out that the Urhobos and Itsekiris also use 'oyibo' too.

How are "oyibo" and "oyinbo" actually pronounced relative to each other, though? Is the n in the supposedly Yoruba variant (oyinbo) actually pronounced or is it silent?
Re: Origin Of Common Nigerian Pidgin Words (i.e., Igbo, Yoruba, Or Hausa) by Probz(m): 11:28am On Sep 30, 2016
And what of common phrases that we Nigerians love to use (eh heh, ah ah, gbam, hey, oo, now)? Are these just a by-product of Naija English or do they actually originate from a particular language?
Re: Origin Of Common Nigerian Pidgin Words (i.e., Igbo, Yoruba, Or Hausa) by Probz(m): 9:29pm On Oct 04, 2016
This was actually a genuinely interesting thread. Why so silent?
Re: Origin Of Common Nigerian Pidgin Words (i.e., Igbo, Yoruba, Or Hausa) by Probz(m): 10:41pm On Nov 10, 2016
Probz:
And what of common phrases that we Nigerians love to use (eh heh, ah-ah, gbam, hey, oo, now)? Are these just a by-product of Naija English or do they actually originate from a particular language?

Once again, I hate to bump old threads but I genuinely would be interested to know the origin/s of the above pidgin words, and also "ey-a" and this our peculiar habit of tagging the suffix "o" onto the end of sentences for emphasis.
Re: Origin Of Common Nigerian Pidgin Words (i.e., Igbo, Yoruba, Or Hausa) by Nobody: 11:37pm On Nov 10, 2016
Interesting
Re: Origin Of Common Nigerian Pidgin Words (i.e., Igbo, Yoruba, Or Hausa) by Probz(m): 9:19pm On Nov 11, 2016
Brainrex:
Interesting
It would be if it was more of an active discussion. bigfrancis (or anyone), do you mind answering a few of these questions?
Re: Origin Of Common Nigerian Pidgin Words (i.e., Igbo, Yoruba, Or Hausa) by drealzum(m): 6:22pm On Mar 19
Hausa words that have influenced pidgin I can think of now.
Uwaka - Meaning your mother in hausa.

I think soldiers made the word popular when they were organizing disorderly Nigerians during military regime since most soldiers are from the north.

Jaki- Meaning Donkey.
You hear statement like, "He wants me to do him 'jaki work' ". That is doing donkey work. Donkey is a beast of burden. It is used for all kinda domestic work in northern part of Nigeria.

Mai guard- Meaning security man who guards.
'Mai' in hausa is someone who does something.
So Mai guard is one who provides security. Just as you have Mai ruwa and Mai suya.
I think these names sticker because northerners provide more of this kinda services.

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Re: Origin Of Common Nigerian Pidgin Words (i.e., Igbo, Yoruba, Or Hausa) by GodIsBiafran: 9:32pm On Mar 21
What is the origin of the pidgin word: PIKIN?
Re: Origin Of Common Nigerian Pidgin Words (i.e., Igbo, Yoruba, Or Hausa) by chijiblaze(m): 6:57pm On Jun 10
GodIsBiafran:
What is the origin of the pidgin word: PIKIN?

PIKIN comes from either one of…

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Re: Origin Of Common Nigerian Pidgin Words (i.e., Igbo, Yoruba, Or Hausa) by SlyDev: 11:33pm On Jun 10
Every teen here should go home and press their elders to tell them the truth about their history (I mean the very truth). part of the problem we have now is caused by elders withholding the truth and not telling their descendant about their culture, this will save the descendant from calling other culture his thereby disgrscing himself/herself

I will also like to thank redbonesmith, tao12 and others for keeping sanity on culture section.

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Re: Origin Of Common Nigerian Pidgin Words (i.e., Igbo, Yoruba, Or Hausa) by macof(m): 1:07am On Jun 11
drealzum:
Hausa words that have influenced pidgin I can think of now.
Uwaka - Meaning your mother in hausa.

I think soldiers made the word popular when they were organizing disorderly Nigerians during military regime since most soldiers are from the north.

Jaki- Meaning Donkey.
You hear statement like, "He wants me to do him 'jaki work' ". That is doing donkey work. Donkey is a beast of burden. It is used for all kinda domestic work in northern part of Nigeria.

Mai guard- Meaning security man who guards.
'Mai' in hausa is someone who does something.
So Mai guard is one who provides security. Just as you have Mai ruwa and Mai suya.
I think these names sticker because northerners provide more of this kinda services.

Somehow I always knew "waka" was from hausa but I didn't know how
Re: Origin Of Common Nigerian Pidgin Words (i.e., Igbo, Yoruba, Or Hausa) by chumbuck12: 6:51pm On Jun 11
The term oga is a Benin word for master
Re: Origin Of Common Nigerian Pidgin Words (i.e., Igbo, Yoruba, Or Hausa) by kayfra: 4:40pm On Jun 13
chumbuck12:
The term oga is a Benin word for master

It's a Yoruba word

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Re: Origin Of Common Nigerian Pidgin Words (i.e., Igbo, Yoruba, Or Hausa) by kayfra: 4:41pm On Jun 13
Yoruba perhaps has the most influence due to the influence of Lagos

Oga
Oya
Sebi
Abi
Nko
Oyinbo

Etc etc
Re: Origin Of Common Nigerian Pidgin Words (i.e., Igbo, Yoruba, Or Hausa) by IduNaOba: 11:33pm On Jun 13
Keggite vibrations remains the baddest.
Especially when it's the igbo variant.

Jamatule munwaness jam ijeoma transformer
Any calculated attempt, the gods on skirt and blouse.

Milo tea can not decode via dstv why gino tomato is vibrating about a cashless case.
Let all I am karid ashaina Michael ọkpara University because via this time T, the Keke napepe of Johnny the Walkman shall become the keske ojodui mentino of munwaness.

May we never kpobimus our legediz benz
The godsz!!
Re: Origin Of Common Nigerian Pidgin Words (i.e., Igbo, Yoruba, Or Hausa) by Etinosa1234: 6:31am On Jun 14
kayfra:
Yoruba perhaps has the most influence due to the influence of Lagos

Oga
Oya
Sebi
Abi
Nko
Oyinbo

Etc etc

I don't know abt the rest.. but oga is not a Yoruba word...

In Pidgin it means master same as in in Benin but it doesn't mean the same in Yoruba...

Check Ajayi Crowther dictionary which is the oldest Yoruba dictionary
Re: Origin Of Common Nigerian Pidgin Words (i.e., Igbo, Yoruba, Or Hausa) by kayfra: 11:23am On Jun 14
Etinosa1234:


I don't know abt the rest.. but oga is not a Yoruba word...

In Pidgin it means master same as in in Benin but it doesn't mean the same in Yoruba...

Check Ajayi Crowther dictionary which is the oldest Yoruba dictionary

Oga is a Yoruba word. How should we look at you guys appropriating Yoruba language and not crediting it?

WTH!

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Re: Origin Of Common Nigerian Pidgin Words (i.e., Igbo, Yoruba, Or Hausa) by Etinosa1234: 11:24am On Jun 14
kayfra:


Oga is a Yoruba word. How should we look at you guys appropriating Yoruba language and not credit it

WTH!

Proof?

Like I said earlier the meaning of oga in Yoruba is not the same as the one in Benin

According to Ajayi Crowther dictionary, Oga means Gallant, brave person..

The fact that u guys with much population say it doesn't make u guys the originator of the word
Re: Origin Of Common Nigerian Pidgin Words (i.e., Igbo, Yoruba, Or Hausa) by kayfra: 11:39am On Jun 14
Etinosa1234:


Proof?

Like I said earlier the meaning of oga in Yoruba is not the same as the one in Benin

According to Ajayi Crowther dictionary, Oga means Gallant, brave person..

The fact that u guys with much population say it doesn't make u guys the originator of the word

Oga is of Yoruba origin. Benin could have adopted it like they adopted many Yoruba cultural practices due to our influence in the palace

Yoruba means master, boss etc.

Akin means brave and gallant. You don't know the language yet you argue. Even tonally, it is clear it doesn't align with Edo language, but rather yoruba
Re: Origin Of Common Nigerian Pidgin Words (i.e., Igbo, Yoruba, Or Hausa) by Etinosa1234: 11:42am On Jun 14
Re: Origin Of Common Nigerian Pidgin Words (i.e., Igbo, Yoruba, Or Hausa) by kayfra: 11:42am On Jun 14
Etinosa1234:


?

Look up
Re: Origin Of Common Nigerian Pidgin Words (i.e., Igbo, Yoruba, Or Hausa) by kayfra: 11:45am On Jun 14
Etinosa1234:


?

Yoruba is a victim of its own success. That's why you see all these other tribes trying to literally misappropriate our words.

Not worried though, it's the most developed and evolved language in Nigeria. So our words are routinely borrowed to make up for deficits in other languages. The culture and language didn't survive the Atlantic crossing by mere accident. It is deep and I am proud of it
Re: Origin Of Common Nigerian Pidgin Words (i.e., Igbo, Yoruba, Or Hausa) by Etinosa1234: 11:47am On Jun 14
kayfra:


Oga is of Yoruba origin. Benin could have adopted it like they adopted many Yoruba cultural practices due to our influence in the palace

Yoruba means master, boss etc.

Akin means brave and gallant. You don't know the language yet you argue. Even tonally, it is clear it doesn't align with Edo language, but rather yoruba



What's your proof...?

For some reason I cant post Screenshots

Get a copy of Ajayi Crowther dictionary of 1852 and see the Real meaning of master...

If Ajayi Crowther didn't know any word such as Oga to mean master in 1852.. how does that make Yoruba people in 2021 to be the originator of the word
Re: Origin Of Common Nigerian Pidgin Words (i.e., Igbo, Yoruba, Or Hausa) by Etinosa1234: 11:50am On Jun 14
kayfra:


Yoruba is a victim of its own success. That's why you see all these other tribes trying to literally misappropriate our words.

Not worried though, it's the most developed and evolved language in Nigeria. So our words are routinely borrowed to make up for deficits in other languages. The culture and language didn't survive the Atlantic crossing by mere accident. It is deep and I am proud of it

Lol... U guys don't borrow words but u borrow other neighbouring tribes words... Wonderful


Even the British borrow words from their German and French neighbours not to talk of a lesser tribe in Africa

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