Igbo vs Ibo

The Myth: Ibo= The People/The Tribe and Igbo= The Language

The Reality: Igbo refers to all Igbo people, Igbo Land, Igbo Culture and Igbo Language.

Correct Response:

  • I am an IGBO person
  • I speak the IGBO language
  • I am from IGBO land

Ibo is the Anglicized spelling using the English vocabulary. When Igboland was colonised by non-Igbo speakers the changed the spelling to help them understand the pronunciation. The practice of renaming was a common practice during colonisation which can still be witnessed within the names of popular Igbo towns and cities that became known for their colonised names and they never reverted back post-independence.

igbo alphabetIbo was finally replaced by Igbo as the modern and correct spelling in the early 70’s using the Igbo alphabet a, gb, ib etc…

Please note that some historical books especially those printed before the 70’s will refer to Igbo as Ibo. However the saying goes when you know better you do better.