Figurative Expressions, a Spice of Literary Creativity: Echoes From Nigerian Proverbs

  • C Arinola Akinmade


There is no gainsaying the fact that figurative expressions are important in creative works of art. It is little wonder that literary writers employ these very significant expressions to articulate their ideas in special ways to give particular emphasis or sentiments which they use to communicate so as to beautify and spice up a piece of literary work such as poetry and proverbs. In Africa in general and Nigeria in particular, these figures occupy a very prominent position in proverbs. They carry out functions that make the proverbs what they are, that is spicy and metaphorical. Figurative language is employed by both creative writers and proverb coiners in their speeches or writings to make them colourful, picturesque and their message lucid, clearer and more effective. This paper examines some figures of speech that are prevalent in Nigerian cultures using examples from Ondo, Hausa and Tiv cultures. The relevant proverbs are documented in their original form, translated, and analyzed pointing out the various figures of speech and how they enhance creativity.

LWATI: A Journal of Contemporary Research, 9(3), 145-155, 2012

Author Biography

C Arinola Akinmade
Dept. of English, University of Jos, Nigeria

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1813-2227