HOW EFIK ANCESTORS COINED SOME ORIGINAL EFIK WORDS/PHRASES (II)

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FREQUENTLY MISUSED EFIK WORDS :THE CASE OF NDUSUK, USUK AND UBAK

© Holyns Hogan, 2024

1. USUK

This Efik word/homonym simply means some, remainder, but one left to complete a number, downward or South. E.g. Usuk mmọ esinam nte nsimaha mma, edi ke emama (some of them usually pretend as if they don’t really like it, yet they still like it), usuk’iet (derived from usuk + kiet, to imply remaining/ but one left to complete something or a number), usuk akpa (downward river), usuk -South, as seen in edere ye usuk, where Edere is Efik word for North.

Note that “Usuk” in grammar and Efik language creation/coinage could be technically or etymologically inferred as a word clipped from/seen as the abbreviation for Ndusuk, explained below.

2. NDUSUK

This Efik word, depending on how it is used or the user’s intent, could either mean the parent word from where USUK is clipped/abbreviated, or Efik word for “in case”, as used in the phrase…in case I forget my bag (…ndusuk mfre ekpat mi, usually said with “ti mi”- remind me).

3. UBAK

This Efik word/homonym translates to pieces, part, the act of using knife or matchet to cut something to pieces or showing restraint as a sign of respect/fear of something greater in fame, size, status or nature. Eg. Ubak Öföñ (piece of cloth), ubak abia (part of cut yam), ubak unam (act of cutting meat/to cut/pieces animal or meat), ubak Abasi (to restrain from errancy or something because of the fear or respect that one has for God).

The variant of ubak in this sense is “mbak” or “bak”, used as uyeneke mbak unö owo ndomokiet (you have no fear or regard for anybody)/bak owo ke owo edi mkpö ndik ( fear man because man is a fearsome being).

KEY NOTES

1. Though equally right (but critically queried) to use NDUSUK to mean SOME in Efik, the most lexically or grammatically appropriate Efik word for SOME is USUK. Mainly because if not properly CONTEXTUALIZED or used, Ndusuk as Usuk could easily be misunderstood or twisted in meaning from a user’s original motif. For instance, “ndusuk mmọ esinam nte isimaha mma”, could be translated from different individuals perspectives and perception to (i) some of them usually pretend as if they don’t really like it, or (ii) in case they behave as if they usually don’t like it.

2. Usuk is not the same thing as Ubak, hence both are not synonym and so can not be interchangeably used to mean the same thing, even in non literal sense. The Efik don’t say UBAK MMÖ as reference to humans, animals or gods, but usually with respect to inanimate thing, food or clothing items etc. Thus, it is wrong, for instance, to say UBAK OWO/UBAK UNAM Ke Obio Inwañ idihe nti, to mean some people/animals in the village are not good. Rather it is right to say Usuk OWO/USUK UNAM KE OBIO IÑWAÑ idihe nti. Also see the song ” ooooo ediye obio emi -Canaan o!”, where you equally have “usuk” as “some”, being properly used as USUK IBAN KE OBIO EYÖYÖHÖ….”