bai Edwin Eriata Oribhabor

In Nigeria, we have countless number of markets categorized in terms of place or items e.g. Wuse Market or Jabi Fish Market all in Abuja. While the former is a fully fledged market where one could find all sorts of items, the later is where different types of fish are sold and bought. We have approved and unapproved markets complimented by the traditional weekly/bi-weekly markets associated with different communities, the popular roadside day/night markets and all kinds of “emajensi” markets. The latter group could be found around construction sites or areas where major roads may either be in a state of disrepair or in the city centers where traffic jams build up from time to time etc.

The above is about formal and informal markets viz a viz their nomenclatures. However, in Nigerian Pidgin (NP), to say “plenti maket de fo Naija”, means we have different types of markets. In order words, maket get difren difren levul. This article intends to address this shortly.

Although NP is fast improving in lexicon, it’s worth mentioning that while some words/phrases that were once in popular usage are no more in use, some are gradually going out of “centre stage usage”. Against this background, an exercise in the extensive examination of any Pidgin word/phrase (in whatever form) is worthwhile because it elucidates different aspects to which they could be put into use. Furthermore, it opens the mind of the average reader or speaker of NP to available opportunities for the improvement of the Language. It clearly registers that upon its eventual standardization, the language would take its true position as a lingua franca in Nigeria.

For the benefit of enthusiasts/readers and prospective speakers of NP, the following are attempts at explaining maket as currently used in contemporary Nigeria.

Maket na koret biznes

One is always hard up for ideas towards taking a decision on the line of business to go into. Therefore, the desire to carry out any legitimate business/trade could motivate one to ask; wich kain maket pesin go enta? This is simply seeking for guidance on the type of business/trade one may want to embark upon. We could also look at this from the perspective of a legitimate quick fix deal capable of bringing returns/earnings as against a long term business or market e.g. eni maket de so?: Any deal?

Maket na rong biznes

If one happens to fall into an unpleasant business transaction with another, the following comment may suffice “a no de fo dis kain maket” meaning am not happy to be part of this unwholesome business. This could be associated with sheer waste of time/efforts e.g. a no de du mai maket laik dis: I hate time wasting/lack of transparency in all my dealings.

Maket na wie pesin put bodi

The last time I and some friends discussed over “standin grins”, one of them asked a friend of his who stumbled on us the following; “wich maket yu kon de nau? In response, his friend beamed in smile and stated that man no dai, man no rotin. A stil de di won we yu sabi. Meaning; I’m hale and hearty and still involved in the business/trade you have always associated me with.

Maket fit fol pres pesin

Every business is liable to failure. Against this background, to say maket fit fol pres pesin means one is not immune from having a bad deal/business. In other words, an entire business is could crumble. Just a kind of warning to any business person to be cautious.

Pesin fit bai maket

Bai maket means to fall in deep trouble which may likely involve the commitment of funds/resources.

For effective communication, understanding various meanings of words/phrases in NP is as important as the contexts in which they could be used. Discussing any issue relating to market could be very tricky. NP-wise, it’s proper to grab its full import. It’s therefore proper to catch up with the lingo fo di lingo i.e. the latest word/phrase in the language.

Edwin Eriata Oribhabor

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(received 7/10/2010 — Published 13/10/2010)

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