“MAGA”, the acronym used by President’s 2016 campaign main slogan “Make America Great Again” has become one of the most popular acronyms in the world in the last few years, and the term evolved into a battle cry for the right over the course of Trump’s presidency. It has become a way to own the liberals in just two syllables, putting every decision behind the “Make America Great Again” rhetoric.
However, it turns out that the slogan is as original as Melania Trump’s Republican Convention speech, because, as pointed out by linguist Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún, MAGA is actually a Nigerian slang word.
The linguist explains that the term evolved into its Nigerian Pidgin equivalent Mugu, and took the final form as “Maga” in the early 2000s.
The meaning of the word is “fool”, or something or someone to “ride about, like a behind”. The linguist explains that it means for someone to fool you, or to roll you over something.
Or, in other words, a “Maga” is the American equivalent of a sucker.
Author Kurt Eichenwald came across the linguist’s essay and he was eager to share it with his Twitter followers:
To which some Nigerians replied that they were in on the joke from the beginning: