The Etymology of Hausa boko

Loading...
Thumbnail Image
Can’t use the file because of accessibility barriers? Contact us with the title of the item, permanent link, and specifics of your accommodation need.

Date

2013

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Méga-Tchad

Abstract

The Hausa term boko, used in the name Boko Haram, is commonly asserted, by journalists and political commentators as well as by academic linguists, to be derived from the English word “book”. This turns out to be false. Boko is not an English loanword. A careful analysis of Hausa phonology and morphology shows clearly that boko could not have come from English “book”. Rather, boko is an indigenous Hausa word originally connoting sham, fraud, deceit, or lack of authenticity. When the British colonial government imposed secular schools in northern Nigeria at the beginning of the 20th century, boko was applied in a pejorative sense to this new system. By semantic extension, boko came to acquire its current meaning of Hausa written in Roman script and Western education in general.

Description

Keywords

Etymology, Hausa, Linguistics, Boko Haram

Citation

Newman, Paul. 2013. The etymology of Hausa boko. Mega-Chad Miscellaneous Publications, pp. 1-13.

DOI

Link(s) to data and video for this item

Relation

Rights

Except where otherwise noted, this content is released under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (CC BY 4.0). This license includes the following terms: You are free to share, copy, and redistribute the material in any medium or format. Adapt, remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially. Under the following terms: You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.

Type

Article