There’s Mariam Webster’s dictionary that teaches us the meaning of English words, and there’s the Urban dictionary that teaches slang meanings. But what about a dictionary that teaches us Nigerianisms? In honour of international dictionary day, here are seven dictionaries that we need as Nigerians.
I need this dictionary to know the difference between a personal statement and a statement of purpose. I’m sure I’m not the only one confused. Also, this dictionary would tell us important words to say and not say in scholarship essays and visa interviews. This information already exists out there, but it needs to be all in one place so we can stop opening one hundred tabs simultaneously on our web browsers.
A Nigerian parents dictionary
This dictionary teaches children that when Nigerian parents call you “idiot”, they mean they love you, even though you’re being foolish. And when your Nigerian father says, “Come and join me to eat”, he’s saying he cares for you.
You need this dictionary for when you want to tell your boss you can’t handle any more work and they should leave you the fuck alone, in the most professional way possible.
From this dictionary, you’ll learn that when a Nigerian man says, “You’re the only woman I care about”, he’s leaving out the words “at the moment” from the sentence.
So you’ll know that when your partner says, “No, I’m not hungry” it means you should buy extra food; if not, they will eat yours.
It would help if you had this dictionary so that when your tailor says “Next week,” you’ll know they mean next month. And when they say, “Yes, of course, I can sew this style,” they’re saying, “You made mistake by bringing this style to me, but oh well, I’ll collect your money.” This dictionary will also come in handy for fashion-illiterate people like me who don’t know things like “haute couture”, “in-seam”, “RTW”, etc.
There’s a generic type of Nigerian street smart you have to be, whether you live in Lagos, Kano or Abeokuta. If you’re not wise, someone will scam you by charging you ₦200k for National Identification Number(NIN) registration before you know it. That’s where this dictionary comes in handy. So you’ll know that “pepper don set” means money has come, and they’re about to use you to make money.