Nigeria is, without a doubt, blessed with a population of multi-talented citizens with variations in almost all aspects of living based on local government areas, states, geo-political zones, and southern and northern divides of the country.
The variation that exists among Nigerians doesn’t exempt any living and living elements that beautify each part of the country. For instance, the friendly sun down the South is quietly incomparable to the helling sun up the Northern divide of the country. In the same country, the flood of rain that hit the South in a month may surpass the total volume of rain experienced up North in a year.
The entities that differentiate the South and the Northern part of Nigeria, amazingly, include the use of words; leading us to three words of northern origin but, which read different and opposing meanings when used in the southern part of Nigeria.
Mallam is an Arabic/Hausa word, that predominantly originated from the Northern part of Nigeria. The meaning of the word “Mallam” in the Northern language is teacher and mostly used to refer to an Arabic language teacher. However, down the southern part of Nigeria, “Mallam” which is often pronounced as “Malla” has two meanings; one, “Mallam” or “Malla” means “Mumu”, “unsharp guy”, “unintelligent” or “dull” guy. In another context, “Mallam” or “Malla” is used down the south to refer to anyone from the North.
Predominantly, Aboki is a Hausa word, frequently used in the Northern part of Nigeria to refer to someone as a “Friend”. The original meaning of “Aboki” is “friend” but its meaning down the south is quite unsimilar. Aboki is predominantly used in the South to refer to anyone who comes from the North. It basically means “Northerner” when used down the Southern part of Nigeria.
Besides, it is also used to refer to any Southerner who looks like or is perceived to be behaving like a Hausa man.
Al-Majiri is a Hausa word that originally meant “student”. It is used to refer to Hausa students learning the Arabic language, and it has no age limitation. However, down the South, Al-Majiri means “Beggars” and it is mostly used to refer to young children begging to earn their living, down the South.
Interestingly, none of the three words could be found in any of the over 100 local languages spoken in the Southern part of Nigeria, they are complete Northern [Hausa] words with changed and opposing meanings down the South.
Tag: Three Northern Nigeria Words with Opposing Negative Meaning Down the South
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Published 1/31/2024 10:40:34 AM