A Socio-Semantic Study of Selected Nicknames Used by Yoruba Brides for In-Laws

Adebola Adebileje


This study aims at describing the socio-semantic characteristics of twelve selected nicknames used by Yoruba brides for their in-laws. The data for the study was collected through observation, structured interview and review of literature. The collected nicknames were described and classified according to Halliday’s theory of context in order to get contextual meanings of the selected nicknames. Comparison between lexical and contextual meanings of the nicknames was provided based on the cultural background of Yoruba brides and results revealed that 58% of selected nicknames coined by brides compliment in-laws, 17% are derogatory and 25% assume the dual functions of being compliments and insults. In addition, nicknames’ meanings reveal the type of relationship that exists between the bride and her in-laws as the surface meanings of nicknames sometimes may not be the same as the meanings intended by the bride. It is recommended that this culture in Yoruba marriage should be encouraged among modern Yoruba youths who seem to have neglected it.


Nicknames, Yoruba brides, socio-semantic, Yoruba marriage

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/ijalel.v.1n.7p.180


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