101 Common Words Nigerians Often Misspell


Over the years, English language has taken a different dimension due to technological advancement in various countries, and Nigeria has not been left behind. Using auto-correct function while typing in phones and laptops is highly responsible for making most Nigerians forget the correct spelling of some words, especially when writing them on paper. Using short hand typing in social network chats has not helped to salvage the situation either. Rather, it has made short hand users addicted to spelling words incorrectly and this stripes the words of their original meanings. The word “misspell” is a typical example of words Nigerians misspell.

Read Also: Common Nigerian Words Used In Place Of Some English Equivalents

Here is a long list of 101 most commonly misspelled  words. Take a close look at the errors in spellings (in red text), then memorize the correct spelling. There are also tips to help you remember how each word is written,  and to aid better pronunciation of the word as well.

1. Wrong Spelling: Acceptible

Correct Spelling: Acceptable

Tip: Just accept any table offered to you and you will remember the correct spelling of Acceptable.

2. Wrong Spelling: accomodate/acommodate

Correct Spelling: Accommodate

Remember, this word is large enough to accommodate both a double “c” and a double “m.

3. Wrong Spelling: Acknowlegdement

Correct Spelling: Acknowledgement

Tip: The problem is in the third syllabus. Break down the words while writing “Ac- Know-ledge-ment,” and remember the problem is not the “leg” but the person who “led.”

4. Wrong Spelling: Arguement

Correct Spelling: Argument

Write this word the way you hear children pronouncing it. They say it the same way as the spelling –  without an “e”.

5. Wrong Spelling: aquire

Correct Spelling: acquire

Tip: Try to acquire the knowledge that this word begins with the prefix ad- but the “d” converts to “c” before “q”.

6. Wrong Spelling: Alot

Correct Spelling: A lot

It is two separate words! We hope you won’t have to allot a lot of time to this problem.

7. Wrong Spelling: Amature

Correct Spelling: Amateur

Tip: Amateurs are not mature people and do not need to spell their status in a similar manner.

8. Wrong Spelling: aparent

Correct Spelling: apparent

apparent is more than a parent and has an extra “P.”

9. Wrong Spelling: Asasin

Correct Spelling: Assassin

Tip: It won’t be fair to assassinate any “S.” allow the four “S” to live.

10. Wrong Spelling: athiest

Correct Spelling:  atheist

Remember that this word is broken into three “a”, “the“, then finally “ist.”

11. Wrong Spelling: Bandwich

Correct Spelling: Bandwidth

Tip: Do not mistake the width of the band for a sandwich.

12. Wrong Spelling: Belive

Correct Spelling: Believe 

For the sake of spelling this word right, you should believe that the world started with “be” – let their be light, and ended with “eve“- who brought the downfall of man.

13. Wrong Spelling: Bizzare

Correct Spelling: Bizarre

Tip: Bizarre has one “Z” and two “R.” 

14. Wrong Spelling: Calandar

Correct Spelling: Calendar

This word has three vowels, two “a” and an “e” in-between them.

15. Wrong Spelling: Cemetary

Correct Spelling: Cemetery

Tip: Don’t let this word bury you: It ends on “ery” and has nothing to do with “a.”

16. Wrong Spelling: Changable

Correct Spelling: Changeable

The word “change” signifies transformation but it can not be transformed. Change keeps its “e” even when a suffix is added tot it.

17. Wrong Spelling: Chauffer

Correct Spelling: Chauffeur

Tip: It is a French word and can not have an English suffix.

18. Wrong Spelling: Collectable

Correct Spelling: Collectible

Unlike count, the suffix for collect is “ible” not “able.” You just have to remember that.

19. Wrong Spelling: Colum

Correct Spelling: Column

Tip: There is nothing to say about this word. It just has to end with “n.”

20. Wrong Spelling: Comitted/commited

Correct Spelling: Committed

If you are committed to correct spellings, you will remember that this word has double “m” and doubles its final “t” – from “commit” to committed.


21. Wrong Spelling: Conscence

Correct Spelling: Conscience

Tip: Don’t let misspelling this word weigh on your conscience: Just know that it ends with “Science.”

22. Wrong Spelling: Concious

Correct Spelling: Conscious

Try to be conscious of the “sc.” and the vowels in the word “i-o-u.”

23. Wrong Spelling: Concensus

Correct Spelling: Consensus

Tip: The census does not require a consensus, since they are not related. The correct spelling has one “C’ and three “S.”

24. Wrong Spelling: Connosseur

Correct Spelling: Connoisseur

Remember this is a french word and spell with caution.

25. Wrong Spelling: Definitly

Correct Spelling: Definitely

Tip: This word definitely sounds as though it ends only on “it”, but it carries a silent “e” everywhere it goes.

26. Wrong Spelling: Dilema

Correct Spelling: Dilemma

Do not put yourself in a dilemma by omitting an “m.”

27. Wrong Spelling: Disipline/dicipline

Correct Spelling: Discipline

Tip: If you apply a little discipline in spelling this word with the “s” and “c”, it will help you spell it correctly.

28. Wrong Spelling: Drunkeness

Correct Spelling: Drunkenness

Don’t be among many sober people who omit one of the “n”s in this word.

29. Wrong Spelling: Dumbell

Correct Spelling: Dumbbell 

Tip: Unfortunately, even smart people forget one of the “b”s and end up appearing dumb. Spell as two words merged into one “Dumb-bell”

30. Wrong Spelling: Embarass (ment)/embarras (ment)

Correct Spelling: Embarrass (ment)

This word will not embarrass you if you remember it is large enough for a double “r” and a double “s”.

31. Wrong Spelling: Enterpreneur

Correct Spelling: Entrepreneur

Tip: You don’t have to enter to be an Entrepreneur, you have to spell it right to be one.

32. Wrong Spelling: Equitorial

Correct Spelling: Equatorial

When spelling this word, remember it has only one “I.”

33. Wrong Spelling: exilirate/exilarate

Correct Spelling: exhilarate

Tip: It will be exhilarating if you remember the “h” and both “a”s when spelling this word.

34. Wrong Spelling: Excede

Correct Spelling: Exceed

Tip: This one is -ceed, not -cede and has nothing to do with precede and supersede.

35. Wrong Spelling: Experence

Correct Spelling: Experience

Don’t experience the same problem many Nigerians have with “existence.” The correct spelling of the word above has an “i.”

36. Wrong Spelling: Feiry

Correct Spelling: Fiery

Tip: Most words with either “ei” or “ei” can be confusing . Just know this one for what it has “ie.”

37. Wrong Spelling: foriegn

Correct Spelling: foreign

Here is one of those “ei” words.  Just know it ends with “reign.”

38. Wrong Spelling: Fourty

Correct Spelling: Forty

Tip: They might sound alike and have similarities in numbers, but know that you can not add any letter to four to get forty.

39. Wrong Spelling: Guage

Correct Spelling: Gauge

You must learn to gauge the positioning of the “a” and “u” in this word. Remember they are in alphabetical order.

40. Wrong Spelling: Grammer

Correct Spelling: Grammar

Tip: This word should be written the way an African pronounces it.


41. Wrong Spelling: Greatful

Correct Spelling: Grateful

Tip:  keeping “great” out of “grateful” is the correct way to be grateful.

42. Wrong Spelling: Guaranty

Correct Spelling: Guarantee

Even though they are synonyms, this word does not have the same spelling pattern as warranty.

43. Wrong Spelling: Harrass

Correct Spelling: : Harass

Tip: Don’t be carried away by words that have two different double consonants like this one. This word is not that long, it has only one “r”.

44. Wrong Spelling: Heigth

Correct Spelling: Height

This is not width so try not to pattern after it, rather add an “h” to “eight”.

45. Wrong Spelling: Heirarchy

Correct Spelling: Hierarchy

Tip: Apply the i-before-e rule because it works here.

46. Wrong Spelling: Honourary

Correct Spelling: Honorary

You can honour someone with a Honorary award, but do well not to spell the award from the British way of spelling honour-ary.

47. Wrong Spelling: Indispensible

Correct Spelling: Indispensable

Tip:  Knowing that this word ends with “able” is indispensable to good writing.

48. Wrong Spelling: Innoculate

Correct Spelling: Inoculate

This word sounds like a shot in the eye. One “n” is enough to inoculate an eye.

49. Wrong Spelling: inteligence

Correct Spelling: intelligence

Tip:  Using two “l” in this word and ending it on “ence” rather than “ance” just shows that you are intelligent.

50. Wrong Spelling: Intermmediate

Correct Spelling: Intermediate 

Don’t assume that since immediate has two “m”, intermediate should follow suit.

See Also: 10 Correct English Words Misused By Nigerians

51. Wrong Spelling: Laison

Correct Spelling: Liaison

Tip: This is another French word with a twist. Remember it has a spare “i” just where you think it shouldn’t have.

52. Wrong Spelling:  lisense/lisence

Correct Spelling: license

English has a worldwide license that does not make sense.

53. Wrong Spelling: Limosine

Correct Spelling: Limousine

Tip: Know that a limousine is long enough to accommodate a “u” and any other alphabet English might add to it.

54. Wrong Spelling: Leftonant

Correct Spelling: Lieutenant

Well, don’t use your head to spell this word, use your brain.

55. Wrong Spelling: Maintanance

Correct Spelling: Maintenance 

Tip: The main tenants of this word are “main” and “tenance” even though it comes from the verb “maintain.”

56. Wrong Spelling: Manover

Correct Spelling: Maneuvre

Tip: Dear English man, the price you pay for borrowing from French is high. This one goes back to French main + oeuvre “hand-work.”

57. Wrong Spelling: Minature

Correct Spelling: Miniature

Remember that this one is a “mini ature.” The “a” is barely pronounced, but try to include it when spelling.

58. Wrong Spelling: Mischeivous

Correct Spelling: Mischievous

Tip:  Master the position of each letter, that will help.

59. Wrong Spelling: Mispell

Correct Spelling: Misspell

It is more embarrassing to misspell the name of the problem. Just remember that it is mis + spell.

60. Wrong Spelling: Occasionaly/ocasionally

Correct Spelling: Occasionally

Tip: Most writers occasionally get weary of doubling so many consonants and they end up confused as to which should be single and which needs an extra letter.

61. Wrong Spelling: Ocurrence/occurence

Correct Spelling: Occurrence

Tip:  Remember not only the occurrence of double double consonants in this word, but that it ends with “ence” not “ance”.

62. Wrong Spelling: Ominiscient

Correct Spelling: Omniscient

If you pronounce it right, you will spell it right.

63. Wrong Spelling: Pavillion

Correct Spelling: Pavilion

Tip: Just know that it has one “l.”

64. Wrong Spelling: Pasttime

Correct Spelling: Pastime

Derived from past time – since the first word ends with the same letter that begins the second word, there is no need for leaving the second “T.”

65. Wrong Spelling: Perceiverance

Correct Spelling: Perseverance

Tip: Perseverance has nothing to do with smell when it comes to spelling, so take note.

66. Wrong Spelling: Personel

Correct Spelling: Personnel

This is way different from personal so spell with an extra “n.”

67. Wrong Spelling: Pharoah

Correct Spelling: Pharaoh

Tip: Don’t let your eyes deceive you to believe the first spelling is right.

68. Wrong Spelling: Philipino

Correct Spelling: Filipino

The fact that they are from the Philippines does not make them Philipinos.

69. Wrong Spelling: The Phillipine

Correct Spelling: The Philippine

This word has one “l” and three “P”s.

70. Wrong Spelling: Perogative

Correct Spelling: Prerogative

The first “r” is silent when pronounced by a Nigerian, but it won’t stop a white man from marking it wrong if written without the “r.”

71. Wrong Spelling: Playright

Correct Spelling: Playwright

Those who play right are right-players, not playwrights. Well, since they write plays, they should be “play-writes, right? English always doesn’t work that way.

72. Wrong Spelling: Possesion/posession

Correct Spelling: Possession

Have it at the back of your mind that possession possesses more “S” than a snake.

73. Wrong Spelling: Priviledge/Privilegde

Correct Spelling: Privilege

Just remember that the last syllabus has four letters and not five.

74. Wrong Spelling: Pronounciation

Correct Spelling: Pronunciation

Nouns often differ from the verbs they are derived from. This is one of those. In this case, the pronunciation is different, too.

75. Wrong Spelling: Publically

Correct Spelling: Publicly

Let me publicly declare that if you are among those who write this word wrongly in the above form, then you need to be publicly flogged.

76. Wrong Spelling: Portugese

Correct Spelling: Portuguese

Just remember to write the silent “u.”

77. Wrong Spelling: Portugual

Correct Spelling: Portugal

Forget the last “U”, it isn’t necessary.

78. Wrong Spelling: Questionair

Correct Spelling: Questionnaire 

This is another French word, so double up on the “n”s and don’t forget the silent “e”. You can end it with the Nigerian naira, then replace the last “a” with “e.”

79. Wrong Spelling: Recieve/reciept

Correct Spelling: Receive/receipt

I hope you have received the message by now: “e” before “i”. The pattern differs for believe.

80. Wrong Spelling: Reccomend/reccomend

Correct Spelling: Recommend

I recommend you think of this word as the equivalent of commending all over again: re+commend. That would be recommendable.


81. Wrong Spelling: Refered

Correct Spelling: Referred

Final consonants are often doubled before suffixes for instance in remit: remitted, remitting. This rule applies also to “referred” but not “traveled,” and”buffered.”

82. Wrong Spelling: Refrence

Correct Spelling: Reference

If  Nigerians pronounce this word well it will not be misspelled.

83. Wrong Spelling: Rellevant

Correct Spelling: Relevant

There has never been a double “L,” to this word. Where did Nigerians get this error from?

84. Wrong Spelling: Resturant

Correct Spelling: Restaurant

You visit one every day, so do well to memorize the correct spelling.

85. Wrong Spelling: Resucitate

Correct Spelling: Resuscitate

Please take not of the “SC.”

86. Wrong Spelling: Seperate

Correct Spelling: Separate

How do you separate the “e”s from the “a”s in this word? Simple: the “a”s  are surrounded by the “e”s.

87. Wrong Spelling: Sherrif

Correct Spelling: Sheriff

This is another confusing one. It has one “r” and two “f”, and not vice versa.

88. Wrong Spelling: Shcool

Correct Spelling: school

This misspelling is most times carried over from childhood. Its time to get it right.

89.  Wrong Spelling: Shcedule

Correct Spelling: Schedule

If perfecting your spelling is on your schedule, remember the [sk] is spelled as in “school.”

90. Wrong Spelling: Sergent

Correct Spelling: Sergeant

“A” is needed in both syllables of this word and you can write your sergeant without fear of misspelling his rank. Cos a minor mistakes will make a huge difference.


91. Wrong Spelling: Soideir

Correct Spelling: Soldier

Truth be told, the pronunciation of this word is far from its spelling especially in the last syllabus, so take caution.

92. Wrong Spelling: Supercede

Correct Spelling: Supersede

This word supersedes all others in perversity. This is the only English word based on this stem spelled -sede.

93. Wrong Spelling: Ryhme

Correct Spelling: Rhyme

Actually, “rime” was the correct spelling until 1650. After that, the spelling was changed to something confusing hat looks like “rhythm.”

94. Wrong Spelling: Ryhythm

Correct Spelling: Rhythm

Most Nigerians spell anything for this word. It is always difficult to get the correct spelling if it hasn’t been mastered. So master it now.

95. Wrong Spelling: Threshhold

Correct Spelling: Threshold

It has two “h”s already. Do not add an extra.

96. Wrong Spelling: Twelveth

Correct Spelling: Twelfth

Being the twelfth child is obviously different from the number twelve.

97. Wrong Spelling: Until

Correct Spelling: Until

One “l” is enough. The wrong spelling is obsolete.

98. Wrong Spelling: Vacum

Correct Spelling: Vacuum

Please do not create a vacuum by killing one “u.”

99. Wrong Spelling: Vocalbulary

Correct Spelling: Vocabulary

This word is connected to vocals but should not be spelled with the “l” in vocals.

100. Wrong Spelling:  Wheather

Correct Spelling:  Weather/Whether

Whether you like the weather or not, you have to be sure which word you are writing. It is either you are uncertain (whether) or you are caught in the cold weather.

101. Wrong Spelling: Wierd

Correct Spelling: Weird

This word appears weird if not correctly spelled. So look carefully to master the correct spelling. Good luck on being a better speller.

Check This Out: 15 Wrong Words And Phrases Commonly Used By Nigerians