Aloy Nnamdi Obika (PhD)


When Charles Dickens created a character named Sam Weller in his novel, The Pickwick Papers, he never knew that his using this character to make mockery of established clichés, aphorisms and proverbs would have so much impact that any proverb which has the name of the speaker in it would henceforth be known as wellerism. Because of this origin, Westerners take such proverbs as being vulgar, humorous, facetious or even, that they are anti-proverbs. These do not hold in Igbo wellerisms which are so seriously conceived and constructed that in them can be found both physical and spiritual considerations about the characters that speak them. In order to arrive at this conclusion, the researcher took three collections of Igbo proverbs from which he extracted all the wellerisms. But because of the number, he had to use simple random sampling to select only four speakers and five of what they speak. After analyzing these, it was discovered that contrary to Western conception of that genre, Igbo wellerisms are so couched that they reveal a lot about the people’s spiritual and physical views on life.


Wellerism, Dog, Mad person, Tortoise, Frog

Full Text:



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