Why Expats Drink Gin

Gin and tonic is an iconic and yet slightly negative symbol of expat life.  The drink contributes to the image of the idle, drunk, spoiled expat living a life of luxury in far flung tropical locations. But do you know the real reason expats first started drinking gin and tonic?  You might be surprised.

bottle of gordons gin, lime and tonic, associated with expat life

Let’s wind back a few centuries……

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Moving to Lagos? You need to know the lowdown on the lingo.

Expat Lagos Nigeria A-Z

 

The Role of the English Language in Nigeria

The official language of Nigeria, the language of business and commerce, the common language for Igbos, Yorubas, Hausas and other tribes to communicate with one another is English. Whether you are a native English speaker, or like many expats have English as a second (or impressive third or even forth) language, it sounds like one less thing to worry about when moving to Nigeria.

Pidgin English

However, even when more standardized English is spoken (and a lot of the time it will be the less comprehensible pidgin English that you hear around you), there are various words and phrases that are likely to confuse, amuse or befuddle you from the moment you step off the plane.  You might figure them out easily, you might not.  Let me help by decoding a little bit of Lagos Lingo for you.

An A-Z of Lagos Lingo for the Uninitiated

A is for Area Boy

A local hoodlum.  Watch out, watch out if you are told the area boys are about.

B is for Breaking Plates

Plates that are not plastic.  i.e. the regular kind of porcelain plates that most expats over the age of 5 would eat from. Continue reading