Nigerians And The Wrong Use Of ‘Well Done’ Greeting

As a Nigerian, I understand some laughable things we’re good at doing, things such as the“Well done” English greeting format that is widely used these days in the country. The fact is that Nigerian English has an entire form of what I call formulaic expressions of greetings that would strike most local English speakers as inquisitive and incomprehensive at the very least.

While some of these expressions are imaginative coinages or semantic expansions in light of the social uniqueness of Nigerian cultural articulations which the English language hasn’t lexicalized, others are the results of an inadequate nature with the traditions and phrases of the English dialect.

Over time, the expression “Well done” has turned into an official greeting format in Nigeria. Whereas, it’s supposed to be used as a form of congratulation. Greeting in Nigeria nowadays is ending up plainly somehow ill bred. Normally,“Well done!” is saved particularly for a man who is working or accomplishing something advantageous. It is a case of apportionment (or phonetic “seizing”) of current English lexies to offer articulation to an unconventional Nigerian socio-etymological propensity.

The way “well done” is used as a part of Nigerian English approximates such expressions as sannu da aiki in Hausa, eku ise in Yoruba,daalu olu in Igbo, “Diwo” in Isoko (my local dialect), and so on., which have no parallels in local assortments of the English dialect. That is the reason there is typically a correspondence breakdown when Nigerians use the expression “well done” in local spoken English situations. The typical counter among local speakers is, “Well done for what?” Or “what have I done well?”

As I’ve read many times, in local assortments of English, “well done” either works as an adjective to portray thoroughly cooked food or meat (Example: That bit of meat is intense because it is not well done) or as an exclamation of adulation—synonymous with “bravo.” It is additionally used as an adjective to depict something that has been done well (e.g. “Thank you for a job well done”). It is never used as an extraordinary type of welcome for individuals.

People in the US and UK who are faintly acquainted with Nigerian English do inquire as to why Nigerians have an exceptional type of greeting to recognise individuals who are accomplishing something. The truth of the matter is that people feel it is practically equivalent to the welcome held for unique circumstances of the day in the English dialect.

We say “good morning” when we meet people in the early hours of the day and say “good evening” when we meet them amid the midpoint of the day, and so forth. There may truly be nothing “good” about the time we greet them. Hell, we even say “good morning” or “good evening” or “good day,” and so on to people on their debilitated beds! Nigerians use and see “well done” in the same socio-etymological setting. The people we say “well done” to in Nigerian English don’t need to be doing anything well; they just need to be there.

This expression has truly turned into a piece of most Nigerians since you’ll hardly observe individuals greet nowadays without using the“Well done” format. In any case, some educated people do take this type of greeting as disrespect because it sounds as if the person you’re greeting is too small to get a “Good day” greeting. That’s how most people take it.


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