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------------------ It was several years ago that I first noticed the term "Nigerois" in a New York Times article, and took it to be an embarassing mistake by first-time reporter on Africa. It was so obviously at variance with what I'd heard used for years in English - "Nigerien" - and of course French - in West Africa including Niger itself, that I didn't even bother to do a web search. It turns out that although Nigerois is not a French word,/1 it is actually in the English dictionary, Merriam-Webster/2 (though as a noun only and not an adjective/3). And incredibly enough it is also part of NYT's style guide/4 - ostensibly to avoid confusion between "Nigerien" and "Nigerian." Some of the English-language press use this term, though some like CNN (which uses circumlocutions like "Niger's people") do not./3 I'm curious to know more about how and where the term "Nigerois" originated (some info may be in OED, but I do not have access to it). My assumption is that it was coined in the US media as a French-sounding way of referring to people from a country with links to France, whose name and derived terms sound similar (or at least are written similarly) to Nigeria. I'd also be interested to know how use of "Nigerois" is trending./5 Is it used at all outside the US-based English-language media? Is it beginning to be used in the classroom? Does its introduction and use in Anglophone countries lead to more clarity or more confusion about Niger and things Nigerien? There is not much discussion of the term "Nigerois" that I'm aware of - one exception being a blog entry that is clearly skeptical on its use./6 Is there anything else? Without wanting to make too big a thing of it, should Africanists take a position on use of the term "Nigerois" in teaching and publishing about Africa? In other words, should it be explicitly avoided in African studies, or does it not matter one way or another? Thanks in advance for any information or feedback Don Osborn 1. Although it may sound French, it evidently is not - Larousse for example has nothing on it http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais/nigerois 2. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nigerois . M-W also lists Nigerien. A piece in Slate seems to imply that continued listing of "Nigerois" is "something of an oversight" http://www.slate.com/id/2085735/ 3. The NAM News Network points this out in its brief discussion of terms related to Niger http://www.namnewsnetwork.org/v2/invest2.php?id=114 4. NYT columnist Nicholas Kristof mentions this in recounting his decision whether to use "Nigerien" or "Nigerois" in one of his columns http://kristof.blogs.nytimes.com/2005/10/11/so-what-is-this-place/ 5. Web searches on "Nigerois" yield ~6000 hits today. "Nigerien" searched in English only yields far more (1-2 orders of magnitude) 6. http://tukopamoja.wordpress.com/2008/01/07/tricky-english-fake-word-of-the-d ay-nigerois/