Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Ok here's a random question. Why are plastic bags called 'leather' in Nigeria?


MsMak,  7:41 pm  

Really? I never heard that... I thought they were usually referred to as "lylon" (read nylon) bags...

Shango,  9:07 pm  

Because Nigerians are stupid? I don't know... why do some people in england say "barney" when they mean "trouble"?

Aaron Rowe 11:33 pm  

Do you mean the "Genuine Lether"[sic] hand-bags and other items sold in the Go-Slows and other informal markets?

naijajams 12:31 am  

I'm not familiar with "leather" abi "leda" :D, but a plastic bag is "nylon" or as msmak pointed out "lylon." This refers to any wrapping of plastic really. For example, pure water dey inside lylon. 10 Kobo groundnut (clearly going back a number of years) dey for lylon...

Perhaps "leda" is a regional term... or "new slangs" ;)

mimi,  2:24 am  

Its usually called "Leather" / Leda in the North. Went to uni in he north and thats how I know. They dont call it leda in lagos they call it "Lylon" ( Nylon)..Thats my story and I'm stickin' to it! :)

Anonymous,  5:36 am  

You mean in Northern Nigeria, right? Nobody in Lagos or Onitsha calls it that.

MsMak,  6:17 am  

@ Shango...

the English say "barney" because the original name "barney rubble" (from the flintstones character) rhymes with "trouble". i've forgotten other examples, but someone explained it to me as a weird cockney slang thing.. check the first album from "The Streets" for more examples...

Jeremy 8:55 am  

haba - you lot have been useless. I know plakky bags are called nylon/lylon in the South, and that leather is an Abuja/northern term.

All I can think of is that at some point in the past, plakky bags were a rarity - so they were considered posh, a bit like leather. What else can it be?

If you say, 'can you give me a plastic bag' to an Abuja trader or banana seller, they will never understand you.

Nomad 9:43 am  

Do I feel weird or something, we call them polythene bags. Where did this start? No idea. I know them as nylon/leather bags as well.

Baba Alaye,  9:44 am  

If you say plastic bag to anyone, anywhere in Naija they won't understand you.

Took a while to get used to people saying nylon bag bur now i love me some lylon lol. Won't have it any other way.

Anonymous,  12:28 pm  

yes it is leather in the north

Anonymous,  12:37 pm  

Actually, here in the U.K i have heard 'lylon bag' being used once at the Deptford market in SE London and then at the massive Tesco in Thurrock, Essex (a lady was asking the Asian guy at the till to fetch her more bags). I just thought to myself - "awon tiwa niyen". So you see, the lylon is going places.

oguchi 2:25 pm  

neva heard it called leather before, and nigerians are not stupid.

Anonymous,  2:27 pm  

asians call it plastic which is understandable

Anonymous,  8:01 pm  

I live in Kano and they call it leather here. If you travel in Northern Nigeria, leather is the word used. I guess that means you are saying that northern Nigerians are stupid.

Jeremy 10:33 pm  

last anonymous - how on earth do you surmise that? I merely wanted to know why plastic bags are called leather. It doesn't imply stupidity in the least. But there must be a reason for it.. it looks like the story has been forgotten. Oh well. I don't know why congealed pigs blood is called black pudding in the uk, but I'm sure some people do.

RJ 7:24 am  

Yeah at last anonymous, how in the world did you come up with "I guess that means you are saying that northern Nigerians are stupid"? No seriously, of all the comments, yours just threw me off.

Out of curiousity, why is it understandable for asians to call it plastic?

When i was in Abuja, it kind of threw me off when someone said "leather", I mean coming from Lagos, I knew it as lylon or just a plastic bag.

Back to your question, I really can't think of a reason why plastic bags are called "leather" in Northen Nigeria. But I think I like jeremy's explanation on it being a rarity, that makes a little sense.

Anonymous,  9:29 am  

Anonymous of 11:37AM @Jez

"I merely wanted to know....."
I'd say you do let pple wind you up!
Suppose I picked on the word Black in "Black Pudding" and accused you of making an implicit racist comment would you be bothered to explain? I'll advise not! Majority of your readers understand what you are trying to convey OK.

Anonymous,  10:06 am  

mr touchy jeremy I wasn't implying that you said Nigerians were stupid. there was nothing in your post that implies that. I was merely responding to the stupidity of the previous anon who said:

'neva heard it called leather before, and nigerians are not stupid.'

I read that statement as saying Nigerians would not call it leather because they are not stupid. The only reason why they don't call it so is because fellow Anon had not heard it called so. Since that's what we call it where I am based, the question then does it now mean that Nigerians are stupid for calling it leather? because that's follows on from her statement.

but j, for somebody who drops so many racy stuff on his blog, 'am surprised that you are this touchy.

Jeremy 10:14 am  

ok ok. I didnt realise 'you' was addresed to Oguchi.

Meanwhile, that's quite a nice bit of logic you got going on there anon, inverting this syllogism:

Nigerians are not stupid
Non-stupid people don't call plastic bags leather
Therefore Nigerians don't call plastic bags leather

If you invert the conclusion, you have 'Therefore Nigerians call plastic bags leather' (which is the truthful statement we are after). So, if you keep the second line the same, you are right, the first line must be: Nigerians are stupid.

Oguchi: your clarification please.. We need to know if Nigerians are stupid, or whether anyone is now allowed to called plakky bags leather. It's become a matter of urgency..

pelegius_the_heretic 3:24 am  

It seems remarkably less stupid than many things said in the West. Turkeys are not from Turkey, nor from any of the other countries implied by the Turkish "hindi," the French "d'inde," the Russian "indiuk," the Greek "gallopoula," etc. (the Portugese at least got the continent right with "peru".)

Black people are blackish, but "Yellow" Asians are not at all yellow. Pencil lead isn't.... I'll stop now.

Mimi,  9:44 pm  

@ 1st anon..yeah I meant Nothern Naija as in Kaduna...Yep they call it Leda!!

Talatu-Carmen 3:55 am  

what a funny string of comments. From 1991, when my family moved to Jos, I've heard the black plastic bags called "leda"s. So, affirmative on that being a northern nigerian term. I even wrote a poem on the "leda" once. I've always thought that they were called "leda" because the colour and the shiny plastic surface look kind of like the surface of a black leather bag, but I could be totally off.

My favourite name for a bag is the "Ghana must go" bag.

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