Published on November 20th, 2010 | by Ruby Skye0
What’s a Mugu?
Mugu is a word used in Nigerian Pidgin — a street language spoken in Nigeria.
In Nigeria, 521 different languages are spoken and English is the business language. Pidgin is a way for speakers of different languages to talk to each other without knowing all the different languages. It mixes up words and phrases from different languages with English in a simplified grammar.
Children in Nigeria learn pidgin when they are young, but no one really learns pidgin as their first language.
Nigerian pidgin sometimes sounds a lot like English but it is also full of words borrowed from other languages.
Here are a few pidgin phrases from A Beginner’s Guide to Nigerian Pidgin English:
I no no – I don’t know
I no sabi – I don’t understand
K-leg – Questionable. Example – Your story get k-leg! Which means your story or gist sounds suspect or exaggerated.
Butta my bread – Answered prayers. Example – “God don butta my bread” which means God has answered my prayers
For more on Nigerian Pidgin, check out the Wikipedia entry on Nigerian Pidgin.
You should also take a look at two online dictionaries of Nigerian Pidgin words: BabaWilly’s Dictionary of Words and Phrases and Naija Lingo. There are some fun words you might want to add to your vocabulary, like askology — a snappy answer to an irritating question and keep Lagos clean — the name for pants that drag on the ground.
Want to hear how pidgin sounds? Watch this video: