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Babawilly
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Babawilly's Dictionary of Pidgin English Words and Phrases.

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Introduction.


Pidgin English is spoken widely across Nigeria. It is a language made up of elements of the Queen's English and the local dialects.

With Nigeria having about 250 tribes in all, one finds a lot of variation in the type of Pidgin English spoken by the different ethnic groups.

In this compilation I have limited myself to what I would call 'Lagos Pidgin' as this is what I am familiar with. The three major Nigerian languages namely Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa feature prominently in Pidgin English in general, however with Lagos being historically a Yoruba city 'Lagos Pidgin' consists of a disproportionately high number of Yoruba words.

Many English words are used differently in Pidgin English and more research would be needed to find out why. However direct translations of sentences from the local dialets into English without regards to tenses contributes to a lot of the confusing words in Pidgin English. Many mis-spellings and mis-pronunciations are so popular that they have entered colloquial usage.

Finally I must add that Pidgin English is a comical language and spoken with spirit, emotion and a lot of gesticulations. It is indeed a Nigerian fabrication.

God Bless.
Babawilly.

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