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Today’s post is going to be about Nigerian nicknames! I’d say nicknames in general, but see, with my shallow knowledge of other cultures and how they operate..
Growing up in Nigeria, getting a nickname is as inevitable as being born or dying. It’s just another part of life. The worst part about it is that most of the times, the nicknames don’t even make sense. The odds of getting a GOOD nickname are far lower than the odds of getting a Bad/Weird nickname just because it’s how Nigerians are. They’d put two of the most random things together and make the most random joke out of it. For example, when I was in high school, a guy and a girl were arguing when, outta nowhere, this guy tells this girl she looks like a camel toe. Yes, he called her a camel toe. That ended the argument as everyone kept laughing at her and her nickname became Camel Toe.
From my knowledge of how nicknames originate, I’m going to categorize them into four categories, and hopefully, you find the category that answers why you have been blessed with the nickname you own today.
1. Bodily Features: We all know that no one is perfect. We always have one small body imperfection or another. It’s either you have a big head, or a big nose, or something else. Back in my early years of high school, a tooth of mine grew out of place (hence me still using retainers till date) and it kinda made it look like I had three canines. My seniors quickly took advantage of the situation and called me a Vampire (or Vamps for short). I didn’t really think much of it, and I thought it was a pretty cool nickname (even though I knew they were dissing my teeth) until I went home and told my mum about my nickname at school. She slapped me so hard, I could have sworn that tooth that grew out of place flew out of my mouth. She then told me to NEVER let anyone call me a vampire again. After such a slap, it’d have been suicide to do otherwise. She even went as far as telling the principal and hostel master to ensure that no one calls me Vamps and if I answer to it, I should be flogged. That’s how the nickname died down until it eventually faded. Looking back at it now, I’m happy it did. However, other people in my class weren’t so lucky. We had this one guy in my class who had orange hair (I’m dead serious. And he didn’t dye it. He was born that way). Anyways, he was blessed with the name Lucozade Boost.
There was another guy named Ebuka. Ah, yes Ebuka. It’s as though every Ebuka is blessed with this unique and distinct head shape. Anyways, Ebuka had this cube like kinda head. It was a bit well shaped in the front, but the back of his head almost looked like a perfect square with a little partition in the middle. Ebuka was blessed with many nicknames such as Ass head, plasma tv, football pitches (such as Old Trafford, Camp Nou etc), and on one occasion, he was even called War Boat. I really felt bad for Ebuka, but in all honesty, most of the nicknames gave a good description of his head shape.
2. Characteristics/Personal Traits: Another way to get christened with a nickname is through your idiosyncrasies. Hayyy I just pulled out a big word. Pardon my grammar. I meant to say a person’s characteristics/mannerisms. Anyways, how you act can give you a nickname which, depending on how you behave, might be a good or bad one. For instance, back in high school, we had this guy in my school who just liked to be all over the place, doing things in a very dumb manner. Think about it this way. He’s all brawn and no brains. Anyways, he earned himself nicknames such as “Beast of Burden, Agbo (which translates to Ram)” Some other people had nicer names due to their characteristics like “Mummy, DJ Don Pie” etc.
3. Your Name: Your name goes a long way in helping you get a nickname. Since it’s how you’re going to be identified, some people just love to reword the name to their liking. I’ll use myself as an example here. Y’all might know me as Oise, but the full name’s Ovbioise pronounced “Oh V Oh E Se (like set without T)” meaning the B in my name is silent. Now, some of my high school seniors decided to remix my name and made the V instead of the B to be silent which meant that my name was now pronounced as “Oh Bow (like bow and arrow) E Se”. For those of you who don’t know Yoruba, Obo (pronounced as Oh Bow) means Vagina/Pussy. So, as time progressed, Ovbioise turned into Oboise, which finally turned into Obo. And the name really stuck. I didn’t tell my mum though, but for some reason, I wasn’t too disturbed by it. Everybody, both juniors, seniors and teachers alike, called me Obo with the exception of my principal and CRS teacher. I almost won the most popular nickname in high school but I lost to the orange haired kid. Another one of my elementary school friends was named “Ayebaifie (I E Buy E Fee Yay)” and with horrible remixing of names by my school mates and his love for eba, his name turned to “IateEbaifie”
4. Randomness of Nigerians: Like I said earlier on, Nigerians always have a way of putting the weirdest of things together just for humorous purposes. A guy in my school was nicknamed “Blood” and there was really no reason why. The nickname just stuck like that and there was no reason why it did.
So, there you have it! That’s today’s post! Thanks for letting me have more than 10,000 views on my blog! Y’all are really awesome! I’d like to hear some of the nicknames you were christened with so please comment with some of your nicknames and how they originated if you can!
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