10 Grammatical Blunders Nigerians Make Regularly

Here’s our latest collation of Grammatical Blunders which Nigerians use on a daily basis without realizing that those actual words do not exist and even those that exist are not exactly used as they ought to be used.


The correct word is “Indicator”, when it’s on a vehicle. When you use your indicator, the verb is “to indicate”. The word trafficate doesn’t exist in English. Trafficator is an obsolete word, used to describe an obsolete device on the side of a motor vehicle.

Night Vigil

A Vigil means a period of time when people remain quietly in a place at Night. So, really, there’s no point adding Night to it when Vigils are known to mostly hold at Night. You may just want to call it a Vigil.

On/Off The Light

There isn’t much to say about this grammatical blunder apart from the fact that each time you make that statement, make sure you add Switch to it. For example; Switch On the light/Switch Off the light. Can be used with any other object that can go On or Off

Reverse Back

Reverse already means; to change the direction, order, position, result, etc. of something to its opposite. So, if an object is in motion, it can be reversed. And when it is in reverse, it’s surely coming back to it’s initial position. No point adding Back to it.

Next Tomorrow

Most Nigerians generally use “Next Tomorrow” when speaking English. Please, stop murdering the English Language. The correct thing to say is; Day After Tomorrow.

Cattle Rearer

The word; Cattle Rearer does not exist in proper English dictionaries. Instead, you may say Cattle Herder. That’s a more appropriate way of referring to people who raise/tend to cattle or other ruminant animals.


Convocate is an archaic English word which means to call together or assemble but Nigerians mostly use it when they’re graduating from tertiary institutions. Proper word is Convoke.

Plate Number

Most Nigerians including traffic law enforcement agents use the word Plate Number, which is very wrong. Number is supposed to come before Plate. So, basically, it is called Number Plate and not the other way round.


This is very common among Nigerian men. Barb or Barbing does exist in the English dictionary but it has nothing to do with haircuts. You can go have your haircut at the Barbershop but you cannot Barb your hair because Barb means; a sharp projection near the end of an arrow, fish hook, or similar objects.

Short Knicker

Knickers ordinarily mean loose-fitting ‘short’ trousers gathered in at the knees. The British call it Knickers while Americans call it Shorts. Nigerians call it Short Knickers which is very wrong. It is either you call it Knickers or you call it Shorts.

Source: The African Media

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