Happy Spanking New Year folks!

Because it’s a spanking freshly pressed worldwide exclusive new year and I’m so very glad I’m able to post this non-posthumously, and that you, wonderful reader, are there to read this, I’ll sing you a song. By the way, how’s the year going? Pokered yet?

I will show you some words
shining shimmering frabjous
tell me sweetheart, when did you last
Callooh a brand new word

I will open your eyes
pry them open with pliers
and sprinkle some browning water
from that stream that flows nowhere

Whole new words
A new fantastic point of view
I’ll tell you where to go or what to think
you’re only just beginning

Whole new words
A dazzling place you never knew
But now in few minutes, it’ll be crystal clear
That now you’re in a whole new world with me

I sing too, you see, apart from this writing malarkey, sometimes quite good, most times like sandpaper on a blackened ceramic pot, like this writing malarkey. But now, enough of the Aladdin butchering. What this is about, as the song says, is showing you some words, some brand new, some in existence, but more importantly, showing you brand new meanings.

  1. Fimile /fimili/ noun;

the expression of one’s emotions using language that normally signifies the opposite emotion.

You might say, ah! a fimile is nothing other than irony in new clothes! Tiff! Where’s a tire? Where’s a match? Where’s his neck? Well, you’d be wrong. Whereas an irony is typically used for a certain kind of emphasis that’s humorous (because we like to watch you trip over yourself), a fimile is used to show emphatic emotions. If that looks like too much English, wait till you read an illustration:

A very good friend (name withheld), semi-facing the other way and wringing her hands, often says to someone I know, “I hate you.” A la Pink in the hit song True Love. Sometimes she says, “nothing” or “I am fine.” She also says, “I’ll auction you [him] to my friends.”

Yeah, you got it. That’s exactly what a fimile means.

2. Nylon /nylon not lylon and most definitely not leather/ noun;

I usually have a delicious conundrum, which isn’t delicious at all. It’s one thing to tell the mullah (molla,  or however this is spelt) on your street you want to buy two sugars and three groundnuts. At that level, everyone involved understands what is meant. But because I harbour pretensions of sophistication and try to avoid fabrication as much as possible, saying things like “two sugar” and “three groundnut” in “intelligent conversation” is unbecoming. Problem is: the sugar isn’t sold in packs, or cubes or units of measurements such as kilograms or grams etc., neither is the groundnut; they are simply sold in nylons. So, if one can buy cups of coffee or ice cream at the café-cum-creamery and “cup” is accepted as a standard unit of measurement, why not nylons then? So when in worthy company and attempting to describe a purchase, I shall henceforth say, “I bought two nylons of sugar and three nylons of groundnut.” Problem solved. You should too.

3. Debrief /dibrif/ verb;

The more colourful minds among you should already know where this is going. I mean, it’s bloody *bleep*-ing obvious. Although, I, being a God-fearing creature (since that’s what all the women want), will treat the word’s less colourful meanings first.

a)      To give a person who has growth problems growth hormones e.g Barcelona debriefed Messi when he newly arrived from Newell’s Old Boys.

b)      To treat a brief to completion e.g Simbi has debriefed the Benson & Hedges brief.

c)      Finally, “brief” is also defined as “(of a piece of clothing) not covering much of the body; scanty”. So naturally, “debrief” then means to divest said person of this piece of clothing. “Divest” may cause a few problems, but here’s an illustration: “Baby, let me debrief you of that lingerie straightaway.”

4. Deskimpy /diskimpi/ verb;

see 3(c) above.

5. Poker /poka/ noun;

A spot of poker will naturally follow debriefing or deskimpying. Also, “let’s poker” is a lot better than the current ways in which you all try to tell yourselves you want to poker. Some of you even grunt and thump your chests repeatedly (like Neanderthals must have) and say “do”.  Let us do. I want to do. What the *bleep* are you do-ing? Verily, verily, I say unto you, yours truly is truly, truly shocked.

6. Corset /korset/ verb;

Because I am not a shy boy, I sometimes undertake acts of great unshyness. So, while shuffling across a street, I spot a boy or a girl in tight jeans (I can’t tell which is which these days) who catches my fancy. So I debate for ten seconds, internally of course, whether I should go “pssst” or “oi sis or nigga” or “can I have un momento?”, or to just tap his or her back. Finally, I settle for “pssst” and the girl looks back and erm… this where I run into trouble. Now the traditional meaning of “corset” is sort of to put things in their places, you know, so that slippers have a more rounded, 3D appearance. That sort of thing. There’s this look girls and some boys around here give: the face is tilted one way and the eyelids-cum-ofcourse-eyelashes are going a-flutter every micro-second. Up down up down like that. The Yorubas call it “moju”. It is used to by all means put people in their places, although it can be a fimile sometimes. Anyways, since your typical Oyinbo speaker might only call it “making faces” (which is a grossly inadequate description of the situation of things especially since it seems particular to us here), I therefore put forward “corset”, which you of course have no choice but to accept since you’ll find it hard to suggest an alternative (and no, “eye” is not one). To illustrate both figuratively and literally:

Eniola asked the girl if they could play poker but she corseted him.

7. Paralyse /kparalys/ noun;

Paralyse comes from the Pidgin word “para” (to get angry) and the biological term “lyse” (to undergo destruction or dissolution). It’s what some will call a portmanteau word. If you have ever seen two Yoruba men notfighting it’s quite possible that you’ve heard a lot of bluster following para, a lot of holding-backs, and then a seemingly reluctant end to hostilities. Paralyse describes those rare occasions when feature-shifting fisticuffs follow bluff e.g We didn’t think it would happen, but Kamoru and Stubborn were involved in a paralyse today.

8. Debrief /dibrif/

Yes, this word is proving quite prolific. Because new words and new meanings for old words are hard to come by, I have had what is called an epiphany. Don’t worry, that is in the dictionary and its meaning hasn’t changed. Yet. Anyways, I am aware that intelligence agencies use “debrief” in a manner akin to “robbing a person of his importance”. So an agent goes into the field and must be debriefed upon his return – the vital information he carries has to be extracted. How might we apply this?

a)      As a verb: Eniola debriefed Temitayo.

Eniola robbed Temitayo of her importance. Temitayo is that girl of which people say: “you might as well be going to the North Pole… on foot… on bare feet.” So Eniola mounts a year-long siege and is finally rewarded for his perseverance (it doesn’t matter if this reward took all of five minutes because Eniola is a boy who goes straight to the point, means business, is the Concorde, is Flash, you get the point). And as one of my many family members has once posited, poker (or a debriefing) is the logical conclusion of pursuit. Of course, this applies the other way too, you know, when a go-getter girl goes after a boy who is a pastor (not sure if Alfas are not supposed to be playing pre-marital poker) or moral to a point or really loves his girlfriend, and robs him of his smugness. “Oh, Pastor Eniola, I debriefed him yesterday. He was cooing like a bird. Strange.”

b)      As a noun: Eniola is working on two debriefs at the moment.

Since I left university all those thousand years ago (and cybercafés becoming so last century), coming in contact with a Yahoo boy has been like Patience Jonathan visiting a place without an attendant traffic gridlock. A debrief is, in this context, defined as a fraudster’s victim. You may have heard that called “maga”, but come on, we are talking enlightened conversation here. Imagine telling Colin Powell he was dancing to a song mocking debriefs; his ears would perk up for sure.

This version of the word is also manifest in boy-girl relationships. You know how you date one person (several persons actually) for money, take that money and lavish it on the one true love? Yes, the Peter you’re (sorta) robbing to love Paul is a debrief. If you’re in it for the money, you’re a gold-digger and they are debriefs.

(she give me money) Now I aint saying she a gold digger
(she give me money) But she aint messing with no broke debriefs
(she give me money) Now I aint saying she a gold digger
(when I’m in need) But she aint messing with no broke debriefs
Get down girl go ‘head get down (I got to leave)
Get down girl go ‘head get down

9. Contemplate /contemplayte/ verb;

Have you ever seen people doing wine-tasting? They read the bottle, they twirl the contents of the glass and sniff above like a fake prophet, they finally sip, they close their eyes and roll the liquid over their tongues and take it on what must be a wondrous voyage round their mouths… and they do all that with a slight cock in the head, cock for arrogance, wonder shaded on the face (if by their estimation it’s good wine). Surely, we can’t merely term all that elaborate ceremony “tasting”. I for one will never partake of such crass reductionism.  At first, I thought to tie the whole ceremony up in a very brief word: mull. But that ceremony is everything but brief. That ceremony is a ritual. It is a Bacchanal contemplation. To wine-taste is now to contemplate. The continuous form is contemplating. And we can have a synonym for our new word: to contemplate is to bacchanate, and to bacchanate is bacchanation.

You: “Hey, you up for some contemplation.”
Me: Thinking? Aint nobody got time for that shit.
You: No, the other sort.
Me: I for fear. Leggo!

P.S: Ancestral shalla to Grand Daddy Lewis Carroll, for generously supplying us “frabjous” and “callooh”. Have words of your own?



  1. Somewhere in the clouds up above, meaning got lost. Somewhere further down this earth, it was rediscovered and on that frabjous day, a grand futterwacken was in order…
    Thank you capitan! My best word is “paralyse’ and I believe in the course of my daily travails, I will have cause to use it often to describe inopportune events.

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