One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The political leader (formerly the king) of the Yoruba people of Oyo state in south-western Nigeria.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in Church Missionary Intelligencer. From Yoruba Aláàfin owner of the palace from alá-, variant of oni-, prefix forming nouns with the sense ‘possessor’ + ààfin palace, court.
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