Dictionary of Grenadianisms  

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Word

Meaning

 

 

A Ogun

Shango person shrine

achar or anchar

Indian food; a mixture of pieces of free mango and other fruit with peppers, ground massala, vinegar and salt in mustard oil; it is an E Indian preserved condiment

acqui

teacher

ageable

old

Ah

substitute for ‘I’

Ah gone

‘I am leaving now’

Ah sah

an expression of despair

akara

a fritter made of shredded saltfish mixed in a batter of flour and seasoning.

alé

to go

Allah

the Supreme Being (Islamic)

allyuh or among you

all of you people; group

alpargata

shoe

aredi

all ready

arrada-a

common Big Drum Dance used for healing sick people

asham

sugar and ground parched corn. A must for All Saints night

ax

ask, to ask a question

aye-yah-yie

expression of anticipation or pain, etc.

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babu

grandfather (Hindi)

bacchanal

scandal, heavy quarreling, big party, confusion

back chat

insolent response, especially from a child to an adult

backayo

back of yonder (refers to an area over the village of Windward in Carriacou. Near St. Hillaire (St. ‘laire) (accent the last syllable)

bad-eye (cut-eye)

a look of anger, especially when looking from the corner of the eye

badman

a macho, brave, fearless and courageous Rasta; sometime may mean violent or showing unsavory behavior

bageede

a kind of evil spirit that takes people and drags them in the bushes

baho

behind back

ba-john or bajon

a bully or a really tough customer

bakra béké

white boss

baldhead

non-Rasta members of one’s family

balis

to eat

balishae

broad-leafed plant

bambye

bye and bye, in time to come, in the future (accent the first syllable)

bamsee

the rear end, what you sit on

bamsee lambe

rather attractive bamsee

bangalang

a loud metallic sound

bashie

in the old days a féte where you paid 10 cents a dance

basodi

confused, stupefied, light-headed

bath suit

bathing suit

basourdi

stupefied

batiment de cheh

asthma

bavay

dry saliva around the mouth in the morning after bed

bawl-out

to cry out loud

bazoodee

stupidity, evil

bed time stories

when husband and wife discuss privately at nights

beff!

to fall with a loud noise

beh-beh

a stupid person (eg.) ‘Shaddaye is ah real beh-beh’

Béké

Whites

bête rouges

minute little insects, almost invisible to the naked eye

bladdaw or broadies (modern, 1960s)

big disk shaped dumplins (pronounced blah’ daw)

blammin’

slamming and banging

bluggoe

vegetable in the plantain/banana family

bobo

skin sore; sore foot; badder than anything else; figuratively a high compliment – “Bwhy, I had a lawyer for she arse; ‘e bad as bobo and ‘e hard as grugru…Huh, e go give ha cat piece and pepper.” (pronounced boh’ boh)

bobol or bubul

dishonesty, bribery, bribe

bol’face

a pushy person, unreasonably demanding

boli or  bolie dish

calabash, a large round fruit (a word of African – Wolof - origin

Bon Jay Peni Mueh

Good God Help Us!

Bon Jé or Bon Jay

Good God (Bon Dieu)

Bongo

Rasta honorific; in everyday speech, the status of male individuals as elders

boobooman

ghost

borve tup

lie too much

bounce

run into something; hit

bram

same as bashie

Bram

a professional dance, which is popular in La Portie and St. John, St. Andrews

brango

spicy gossip

breaking biche

playing truant

broughtupsy

showing that a person was properly brought up; decorum

brutalize me tap

damage the faucet

Buckras

White people

buh wait nah

but wait a minute, now hold on/it

bujut

a man who likes to fight in dance with his razor and knife

bull pistle

a tough, long whip made with the penis of a bull

bush bath

a bath with herbs, or bush, in it, given by an obeahman or obeahwoman for illness or bad luck

buss he face

hit him hard in the face

‘But look my cross!’

‘Well, I never;’ ‘Well, how do you like that!’

bween

cutlass

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cab-e-a bird

the biggest bird in Grenada

caboosay or kabusy

dented, bent up

cabre or cabress

light-skinned man or woman

caca jay (caca yeux)

same as yampee. Crusty stuff in the corner of your eye upon waking.

callaloo or calaloo

dasheen leaves (used like spinach), often used in soup; a thick soup made from dasheen leaves, ochroes, coconut milk seasoned to taste, invariably includes crab

calypso

a musical and lyrical comment on any subject, usually composed for, but not limited to, the Carnival season

Calypsonian

one who sings calypsos

caraho

an expression of annoyance, perhaps of Spanish origin

catch you nenen

catch you hell (suffer)

catching me royal

catching hell

ceiba

Silk-cotton-tree; Jumbie or Devil’s tree

chabin

fair-skinned

chaining the clock

winding the clock

chandel kléwé

light the candle (from a song: chandel, candle, and kléwé, to light

chang-chang

said to be reference to the sound made by a barber’s cheap scissors; ‘the barber chang-chang my head’ a very uneven trim or haircut

channa cones

channa is an Indian food, salted chick peas sold as a snack in little paper cones

Chanti

Chantimelle

chapat

a sandal shoe

chappie

cutlass

charged

full of liquor

cheenky; chinkee

tiny; very tiny portions of anything

chennette

small, hard-skinned tropical fruit which grows in bunches

cheups (see steups)

 

chigoe

chigger; like a bête rouge, tiny insect

chipping

the sliding step done during Carnival while following a band

choongsie

a tiny piece

‘Chou poule!’

‘To hell with that!’

chrisening

baptism

Christmas wind

the strong winds that come in December and January

chuck

push

chunks

a little piece of food

chupid

stupid

chupid-I; chupidee

stupid person (i, he, she)

chupidness

stupidity

cièl

heavens

close the pipe

turn off the water

coal-pot

what most of the population cooked on. Looks like a Japanese hibachi

coco tea

any hot drink made of real cocoa with or without milk or sugar

cocobay

 

coki-eye

cross-eyed

colas

tar used to play Jab Jab Mas

come forward

come back

coming to come

coming slowly

commesse or comess

confusion associated with arguments, gossip and slander; complete foul-up

compè

male crony

compère

godfather of my child

con-crocket

dried flying fish

congoree

millipede

coolie

racist term for Indian; an expression denoting someone of East Indian descent

coraile

bitter herb

cotaysi cotayla

and the story goes on (etcetera, etcetera)

country-bookies

country bumpkins

cow

breadfruit

craft

girl

crapaud-face

frog-face

creature

person –“Madam, that creature is here.”

creole

native-born

cribo or creebo

large black serpent; a large colorful serpent which lives preferentially in damp holes in the ground

crix

any brand of crackers

crocus bag

jute sack

cu’n

contraction for ‘cousin’ (pronounced cuh – n. Two syllables. The ‘n is a syllable a hard N. Sing song accent)

cuff

hitting someone or something with a clenched fist

cunumoonu

foolish person

cupaye

partner, friend (used in addressing one). Example: ‘A goin’ dun de rode cupaye (pronounced cuh – pie

curry-favour

to be supportive of one against the other

cursing

scolding

cut skin (cut arse)

to spank

cutlass or cutliss

machete; poor man’s pen

cut-tail

lickings, beatings

cutters

something to eat with drinks. The equivalent of peanuts

cuz

cousin

cyah

can’t

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Da is you?’

‘Is that you?’

dalpouri

a variety of roti or Indian bread

dan-dan

any sharp looking outfit

dat

that

‘Dat good for yuh’

‘Serves you right’

daughter, dawta

woman

de

meaning ‘the’

de counah

around a corner

dealer

someone who can turn into an animal at night

dealer man

a person believed to sell the souls of children to the devil

‘De fay na choo!’

‘Fire in you arse!’

dékatjé

destroy, crush, mash up

dem

them

‘Dem wod mo saf’

‘Them word(s) more soft”; it [Carriacou Creole English] has more soft words

dey

they

dhoti

traditional wear of Indian men

djblesse

female devil

doo doo darlin’

a sweetheart or wife

‘Do Do, petit popo’

‘Sleep little one’

doh

don’t

‘Donkey Pee on Wee’

‘We are the victim of a curse’

‘Don’t make me ignorant’

‘Don’t make me angry’

‘Do’ study me, brar’

Never mind me, mate

dotish

besotted, feeble-minded; silly, stupid, foolish and dumb

dou-dou

a term of endearment: darling, sweetie-pie, honey. (pronounced ‘doo-doo’)

dougla

mixture of East Indian and African parentage

drebble

when baby’s saliva constantly comes from their mouth

‘dressing a garden’

setting Obeah on a growing area against thieving

drinking bush for he fever

becoming upset on his behalf

drogue

to carry bananas, for example, on your head from the field to the road

drunk

a different verb from drink. “I can’t say I don’t drink but I don’t drunk”

duduy

stupid person

dun dat

don’t bring up the subject again

dungary

a blue cloth used to make jeans pant, shirt, hat and bags

duppy

ghost

dwive or dreevay or drive or drivay or drevait or drevet

to walk about in the streets without a fixed purpose; to be out and about for the fun of it

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eat from bramble to timber

to be taken for a ride, to gullibly accept a story

‘é ben wi!’

‘Well, yes!’

“Eh-eh”

No, no way, oh no; expression of surprise or disapproval

‘Eh?’

‘What did you say?’

‘Eh Fwere!!

An expression demoting surprise

‘Eh-heh’

Oh really? I understand. Yes.

‘E las Bon Jé’

‘O Lord my God’

elders

The term given to individuals of longstanding commitment in the Rasta Movement

Emir

Islamic leader; Arab term describing a chief who was invested with the command

en’less

plenty, endless

‘Ent?’

‘Is that not so?’ ‘That’s true, isn’t it?’

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faddah

father

fadder

Hat fadder is a hell of a hat. Hat granfadder is even more so

fall out

to stop speaking with someone or to terminate a friendship

fart

“You ain’t worth a fart” – taken from low value of farthing (4 to make a penny)

fass

a person that stick their nose in other people's business or someone that is solely interested in other people's business.

fatigue

giving a hard time

feah-compice

a two sided person, who is not genuine

fed up

the state of being bored

fedlock

Achilles tendon

fe-o-lay

limeing all about

fete

a party, loud music, lots to eat and drink, dancing to wee hours of the morning

fig

banana

fir

flat

fire one

have a drink

fishing for

looking for

flamma

big red fire ants which sting

flim

film

fold

wrap

foofoolday

foolish or stupid or just plainly confused

for so

for no reason, or, something in abundance. A “féte fo’ so” is a spur of the moment party. “We had pelau for so” would mean we have more pelau than anyone could eat

fou-fou

foolishness

founkie (foong-key)

foul-smelling, stink odour

freeness

something or which you pay nothing; free thing given

fresh-water

from the derogatory term ‘fresh-water Yankee’: a person who assumes an American accent to gain prestige, without even having visited America

fret

upset

friction

if someone asks you for this they want a match

fry-bakes

fried dough

fue

brother

fugenear

to touch up things or people

‘Fuh-trye/troot?’

‘Yes, that is true.’ ‘Is that really so?’

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Gadé bèt-la’

“Look at that beast”

‘Gadé mizè mwen non’

‘Look at my trouble’

gagazoot

[a name made up on Talkshop; everyone missed this fact and took it as a real word, interpreting it in various ways; primarily as an insult]

galay, galay foot

exema marks on feet

gang-go-jay bird

pelican

gap

a driveway or small dead-end road

gatay

it scratching

Gawd

God

gest-tway

to have tricks

getmore

ghetto

give a drop

give a lift

goat mouth

something you say that turns out to be true

goin’orf

someone who appears to be going out of their mind, acting strangely

‘Good night’

‘Good evening.’ This is used as a greeting as well as a farewell

gratto

Roman Catholic shrine

ground provisions

root vegetables

groundation, groundings

a Rasta assembly to ‘reason.’ celebrate, and build community spirit through the ritual smoking of ganja and open-ended discussion on any issue from a Rastafarian perspective.

gun talk

fighting words, to threaten verbally

gunmouth pants

from the markedly tapering (hence gun-barrel-like) shape of long trousers, esp. as worn by youngsters when wide-bottomed or baggy trousers were/are regarded as the proper fashion

‘Gwan!’

‘Go on!’ – Go away – Be Off

gyul

girl

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hanifa

searcher after truth

harden

stubborn; disobedient

‘He bend the truth’

Said about a politician

hefe

chief (from Spanish jefe, probably absorbed into the Grenadian language through workers at the Panama Canal).

‘He is a covetous driver’

A road hog

‘He went out to come back’

He won’t be gone long

hi

corn

‘Hit him a lash’

‘Hit him’

‘Hold strain’

‘Relax’

holiday

vacation

hototo (hotoetoe)

a very large amount of anything

humbug

annoy

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I’s

peas

iconut

coconut

idrens

brethrens

‘I eh payin’ tax fuh mih mout’’

‘I could say anything I want.’

‘I go put a candle on your head’

bring a curse upon you

ilaloo

calaloo

Imam or Immam

title for a Muslim religious leader or chief

impute

look at someone with a scornful expression

In a little while again

soon

In ting

to be involved in current activity

I-Paw

Paw-Paw

Irich

Mt. Rich

Irule

Mt. Reuil

‘Is so?’

‘Is that so?’

ital

Rastafari term for a saltless and vegetarian diet

ition

portion

itral

natural

ivelation

revelation

Iver Road

River Road

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Jah

Rastafarian name for God. It often refers to Haile Selassie and, more often then not, to the Creator whose power (earthforce) pervades the universe.

jalowah or jahlowah

pail or utensil made of clay; chamberpot

jamette

a loose, loud and war-ish woman

jamoon

star apple

jeda

to make hypocrite/talk about a person secretly

‘Jeez-an-ages’

used for any reason where an outburst is appropriate

Jezebelle

name for a mean tempered, vindictive, bad woman

Jihad

Holy War; in Grenada, referring to one Muslim faction’s action against the PRG (Mt. Rich)

jola

a bag made to carry the load on the shoulder

jook monkey, jook monkey, monkey conkaray

If you tease someone long enough they’re going to get mad

jook; juk

poke; to stab at anything, to stick or punch with a pointed object

jookootoo

simple, ordinary; a simpleton, poor, unschooled and unsophisticated e.g. a slave or agricultural labourer

josho

sweet water tea, no milk

jukunu

even the simple person

jul, shut jul

mouth, shut mouth

jumbie

ghost, spirit; ‘De jumbies, listen, dey lighting matches all round the house.”

juper

an old broken down hut

jus’now or just now

in a little while; don’t expect something in five minutes if you get this answer. It’s like the Spanish mañana, today, tomorrow or next year—or never

jus’so

out of the blue, totally unexpected

‘Jus’so?’

‘Just like that?’

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kabusé

miserable, twisted

‘Ka dammit fut’

expletive (probably a mixture of progressive Patwa ka, English dammit and Patwa fout, damn)

kaiso

Calypso; indigenous song

ka-ka

not a very polite word for bowel excavation

kaka-jab

homemade medicine for griping

kakakoo

the remains of the coconut husk after boiling/making coconut oil

kaka-pul

foul shit

kalinda

stick fight

kanky

hanging on to a moving vehicle

kashay

to split a top with your top

kata

wrap or cushion worn on the head to carry heavy loads (a word of African – Twi – origin)

keeper

common law wife

ketch

catch

ketch dey arse

have a hard time

ketch-arse

hardship

ketching the tail

Having a hard time

‘Ki bés sa?’

‘What base is that?’

‘Ki-é té la?’

‘Who was there?’ or ‘Who else was there?’

klim

any brand of powdered milk

kokoyaya

somebody who does the opposite

konnèt

know

konpé

friend

kooblay

to curl up

koyas

dry wood that is very hard to split

krapo

frog (from French crapaud, often figured in folk sayings)

kunumunu man

passive, weak man to his wife

kusu

cashew

kusumere

to simmer down

kutta

food, meal, lunch, dinner

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la diablesse or la jabless or la diables

devil-woman (creature said to inhabit the spirit world); said to have one human foot and one cattle foot

lacas

dirty things that some from a person’s skin

lacute

very greedy person who beg food

lagahou

vampire

lah hay

same as dwive or dreevay or drive or drivay or drevait or drevet

laku

junction

laly

moss on stone and wall

lamuhwe

saltfish

lanyap

to be given a little extra as a show of gratitude

lassor

cutlass

last lacas

the remains of something

lavway (singing)

to call with a loud voice

lawe

street

la-we-de-sh

slow corner street

la-westa

the unwanted remains

lead

pencil

‘Lef dat’

‘Leave that’

leh

let, let’s

leh we

let us

lick dong

to accidentally hit someone or something

lick down

knock down

licks

a beating, physical punishment

ligarue or ligaru

a prolific sucker of human blood

like bush, like peas

lots of

like t’ing

to be somewhat mischievous

lil’bit

in small meaningless portions

lime

when a small group of people engage in a sometimes pre-arranged activity

lime

to hang around or loaf

little in big

she pregnant

livicated

dedicated

locho

low man. Probably from Low Joe

long eye

a person who is envious of the possessions of others; look on with jealousy or to covet

long-garlet

a tall, slim person

‘Look nuh!’

an expression of annoyance

lougarou or loogarou

vampire; a being who returns in body and soul from the other world; can take the resemblance of a ball of bluish fire; a pact made with the devil calls for a certain amount of blood from humans or animals

loupgarou or loupsgarou

devil

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maazee pun Pun

throwing sprat to catch whale

macawel

large, fierce snake

macmere

godmother of my child

maco or macco

a person who minds other people’s business for the purpose of gossip; maco verb: to gossip; maco noun: a gossip

macocious

a person having the trait of a maco

macoco or macoocoo or makuku

swollen testicles

mad blood

rash and itch

maga

very thin, skinny

making marse

creating disturbances

making ting a merry

enjoying oneself

makomè or macomè or macommè

familiar terms of address to woman friend; female crony (literally, godmother)

makushat

a big black cat

malcadie or malkadie

acting weird

malewe (malhaureux)

A wretched person

maljoe or maljeaux

evil eye, bad eye

Mamadjo

Mother of Water; naiad, water nymph; siren, mermaid

mamaguy

to make a fool of; to make fun of, to ridicule

mama maladie

an evil spirit which was supposed to come around at Christmas time

maman

mother, mama

‘Maman go in La Bay’

‘Mama has gone to La Bay’ (From a lullaby. La Bay, the sea or the bay, is the name by which Grenville, Grenada’s second town, is known

mamapool

a homebody of a Mama’s boy

‘Mama Yo!’

expression denoting shock and surprise

manager belly

what in the States is called a corporation. A paunch.

‘Manman o’

‘O Mother’

manty tup

making stories

manty tup

talk too much

marasma

malnutrition

marchan

vendor

‘Marche-shoo’

‘Scram!’

maroon or mawun

a feast for people helping on a job, like cutting cane or moving a house; an event organised to provide assistance for a member of the community in the carrying out of a specific task – moving a house, cutting a cane crop, etc.; In the Eastern Caribbean, a large gang of workmen who voluntarily join forces, mainly on Saturdays, to plow one another’s garden plots during the planting season; a member of a community founded by runaway slaves; pronounced maroon, the word possible originates from the communal activities of the Maroons, African slaves who ran away from the estates; also the practice of running away & forming communities independent of the plantation system in the Americas; a term derived from the Spanish word cimarron, meaning wild or unruly, used to refer to runaway slaves in various parts of the Caribbean.

masanto

kerosene-filled bottle with cloth wick

mash up

smashed

master lie

very good at lying

matin

late

matité

rude, used to mean womanish

matter fix

everything is well-organised

mauvais’-langue

slanderous

met lie

can lie very well

mi han’ slip

an expression used when too much of an ingredient is used

mingie

a stingy person

miserable

bothersome

mivel or mad bull

a part in a kite that sings

‘Moka-chuway-muy’

‘I go kill you dead’

moko

the devil

monkey-wedding

from children’s chant ‘Sun and rain/ Monkey marrying’, said when the sun shines through a shower of rain

Mooma

Mother

‘More in the mortar than the pestle’

A saying like, “Still waters run deep.”

mountain dew

illegally distilled white rum

mout’er

a boaster

Mt. Trose

Mt. Rose

much up

to pamper, to butter up

Mudder

Mother

muf

seagull

muhsbie

it must be so

mwen

I, me

‘Mwen ba té shoinjé’

‘I didn’t remember’

‘Mwen ja perdi’

‘I’m already lost’

‘Mwen pwan trop tard’

‘I started too late’

‘Mwen wivé’

‘I have arrived’

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Nah

No

naked

means ‘only.’ Some innocent tourist once asked if anyone lived up at Fort George and was shocked on being told, “Naked men”. Meaning men only.

Nana (mammynana)

Grandmother

Na-Na-Tae

Children’s game in which members of the family are personified

nanaterre

 

nancy-stories, nansi story

loosely, ‘fairy tales’. Strictly, Anansi stories, brought from West Africa, featuring a tricky spiderman, “Ananse’ means ‘spider’

nastiness

an expression of disgust applied to a good-for-nothing person

Nen Nen

Mother or Grandmother

nennen (or nen)

godmother

never see come see

someone who has recently been exposed to something new and who overdoes it to ridiculous proportions

next one

another. “Have a next one.” Have another

ning ning

tired eyes

nock-ah-about

liming with the fellows

now fuh now, now for now

instantly, NOW, right away

nowherian

a person who does not have any fixed place of abode

Nyabinghi

It refers variously to the island-wide religious gatherings of Rasta brethren and sistren at which communicants ‘praise Jah’ and ‘chant down Babylon.’

nyam up de ital

eat up your food (Jamaican)

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obeah

sorcery, witchcraft

obeahism

A form of sorcery practices in the Caribbean and West Africa, the practitioners of which are reputed to be able to cast spells or unleash spiritual powers against their victims or enemies.

obzokee or obsocky

awkward in appearance, anything bent or twisted out of shape; odd-looking

‘O Grey!’

‘Oh, Goodness!’

‘Oh geed!’

an expression used when an offensive smell arises

‘Oh gosh!’ or ‘Oh gorm!’ man! or ‘Oh shrimps man!’

All expressions denoting shock, surprise, indignation and admiration

ol’ mas’

“Everything turn ol’ mas’. “ Everything got confused

ol’ talk or old-talk

idle chatter, gossip, social chit-chat

Old Year’s Night

New Year’s Eve

one day one day congoté

some day it will happen/did happen (but usually infers it never did or will)

one set ah

a lot of anything

one time

all at once

open ce-pulka

a house without rooms

out

put out. “out the light before you go.”

outside child

illegitimate child

over sea

travel abroad

over yonder

over there

overstanding

understanding

own-way

stubborn person

Oye!

an expression of fatigue or pain

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palé Patwa

speak Patwa (patois)

pallet

frozen lolly

palmistes

mountain palms with plumed heads about 100 feet from the ground

pampalamps

pelvic private parts

pankwhy or pan-kwhy

making a dollar on the side; ‘We make a pankwhy today.’

‘Pa maliwèse!’

‘Evil take you!’

Panol

‘Spanish’: term denoting a racial type – brown (‘red) skin and wavy black hair

panquai

a little extra something

‘Papa Gad’

God (eg.) ‘Papa Gad go gee dem’

‘Papa mèt’

exclamation (literally, my father)

‘Papa yo!’

exclamation of surprise

paren

godfather

pasu

the remainder

payul

white people (usually refers to Spaniards)

pèctus

stately, proper

‘Pèrdoné mwen’

‘Forgive me’

pesh

money

petit faire?

are you (doing something) without sharing (or in secret)?

picong

to give picong is to tease

‘Pinmeway’

‘So help me, God’

pippial

small-time, two-by-four, insignificant

pissin’ tail

a person of no class or importance

pitch-oil

kerosene

planasse or planass or planarse

to hit someone continuously with the flat part of a cutlass; to spank with a cutlass

play lougarou

play the fool

playin’ social

someone who pretends to be of a higher social strata than they are

playing mas

joining a street band of masqueraders

pli mal

it gets worse and worse

pò djab o

poor devil

polorie

Indian food

pong

pound

po-po

baby; very small child

posie

potty, chamber-pot

poupa

father

poyah

cutless – ‘Ah go rest my poyah on you if you keep troubling me’

preach paul

argue

press

wardrobe or closet

prick

poke

prim-prim

disgustingly proper and formal

pu-ah-ear

free drinks

puh it on

to put on

punkasal

stinky old shoes; old running shoes

pushatay

dust

pussin

kitten

‘Pwah Maniwell’

a curse, used originally to drive owls away

pwangad

be careful

‘Pwangad waya piké mwen’

‘Take care lest the wire pricks me’ (song)

pwel

hair around the private parts

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quacko

John Public

qualey or quail

withered, dried up

quenk

an irritating person

quite down

all the way down – used in giving directions

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raff

to grab suddenly

ragadang

broken down

ram-cram

packed to capacity

rangatang

a state of disorder or chaos

red rum

ordinary rum as opposed to white rum

redants

tiny red ants which sting viciously

redskin

 

rest down

lay down – “rest the pot down”

reverse back

reverse

roti

Indian bread

rumfle

ruffled or wrinkled

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Sa-e-a-e-a

what will be, will be

saga boy/girl (zaguer from zigzaguer

flashy dresser, dandy; a saga-boy is a man who dresses in fine clothes to profile for woman

saga-clothes and teater

trendy clothes and cinema

‘Sa ki fè’w?’

‘What’s happening?’

Salle

River Sallee, or salt

salop

a bad person

salupuew

one who possess cunning and devious habits

santopee

centipede

saracca or saraca

ritual feast of African origin, held for a healing purpose, to bring good spirits to the neighbourhood; sacrifice

sea bath

a swim

‘Se kon sa nonk-li yé’

‘That’s what his uncle is like’

‘Se kon sa tout nom an famni-a yé’

“All the men in the family are like that’

sésé

sister

shades

sunglasses

she belly big

the woman pregnant

“She give him bo    

when a man have sex with a skinny woman and he hurts his groin and it swells.”

she make child

the woman give birth

she making child

she pregnant

‘Shif’ yuh carcass’

‘Move over,’ ‘Get going’

shooshoo

whisper – ‘What you shooshooing ‘bout?’

shu-shu

to speak privately about an issue or somebody

shub

shove, more or cast aside

si Bon Jé

if God was there

sight?

see?

simmy-dimmy

mumbo-jumbo

Sin man

an aesthetically pleasing dresser

sisi

sister

skin up yuh nose

to turn up one’s nose at anything

skinnin’ yuh feet’

grinning

sly-drawers

underpants

sometimeish

moody

sookooyant

a she-devil with one human foot and one animal hoff

soongoo

docile or without initiative

soungoo

someone who is looking lonesome

sou-sou

community banking where money is distributed weekly or monthly

spoon

a male and female dancing tight and slow

squingy

very small

steupes, or cheups

sound indicating sucking of the teeth; sucking sound denoting disgust; contempt; there is the cheups of surprised amusement; a soft rapid sucking with tiny movements of the lips; there is the simple, abrupt cheups of disdain; the sad cheups: an emission of three of four slower cheupses; the insulting cheups: a long, lasting noisy cheups which is sufficient cause for a fight

stickin’ lizard

same as wood slave (lizard with padded suction cups on its feet)

stripped of water

prostrate illness

straw cork

so called because a twist of straw is used to stopper the ‘mountain dew

strims

shrimps

‘Study your head!’

‘Watch out what you’re doing!’

suck salt

same as ‘preach paul

sugar

diabetes

sukuya

the mythical transformation from a human to another animal

Sunday name

given name

susu

savings club

sut

foolishness

swal de swal

what is yours is yours

swallow a breadfruit

become pregnant

sweet drink

soft drink

sweet eye

wink

sweetie

any confectionery

swell up and bust

the inevitable ending of anyone acted on by Obeah

swell up yah face

to look angry, to pout

swiper

cutlass

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t’ing

thing

t’ing on’ t’ing

etcetera

tabanca

the forlorn feeling one gets when a love affair is over

tactay, tactay face

freckled face

tambran

tamarind

tam-ful

to trick (esp. of April Fool’s Day)

Tan’ Mavis/Aunt Mavis

‘Auntie’ used loosely

Tanty; Tante; Tantie

Aunt

tapia-floor

tapia is an indigenous mud and straw preparation used in building

‘Tem mwen té bien iwe’

‘When things were good’

‘Tem mwen té ja santé’

‘When I was happy’

tetch

large, usually iron, basins seen all over the island, formerly used in the making of sugar

the animal full

the animal pregnant

the cow drop

the cow give birth

‘The wind was very rapid’

‘The wind was very strong’

Tibly

Tivoli

tight

intoxicated, drunk, stoned

Timtim

a Nansi story

ting

A politically incorrect term for woman or dawta.

titiri

tiny river fish

to besides

besides which

‘To France with that!’

‘To hell with that!’

‘Tonnè!’

‘Thunder!’

too-too

children’s word for faeces

too-tool-bay

a confused state, in a daze, also head over heels in love

to tie the knot

to get married

tot tots

female breasts

tout moun ca playwai

everyone is crying

tuty

a little insect that stays in the dust under houses

twahu

a hard grown up man

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uhr’ni

waist-length veil worn by Indian woman

umpteen

plenty of anything

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vampin’

an offensive smell

vaps

to suddenly behave excitedly or in a strange manner

vest

sleeveless undershirt

vete

earth worm

vex

angry

‘Vini ou kai vini, ou kai wè’

‘You are coming, you will see’

vous affaire (Zaffair)

that is your business

vrooping

jumping from here to there

vroop-vrap

haste

vyé nèg

old nigger (from vyé, old, and nèg, black)

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waiter

tray

wajang

a rowdy, uncouth person

walk busy

walk fast

‘W’ap’nin?’

‘What’s going on?’

warap

a very weak mixture

‘Wash the wares’

‘Do the dishes’

wash your foot and come

an impromptu dance or fete (sometimes held to raise funds) at which people come as they are, i.e. with no particular preparation in the way of dress, even (as in earlier times) barefoot.

‘We foot’

exclamation of disgust

‘Well yes!’

an expression of disbelief

wepucow

see for yourself

‘We pupa’

exclamation of disgust

‘Whappen?’

‘What’s the matter with you?’

‘Wha-happenin’ dey?’

‘What’s happening?’

‘What is to is must is’ or Wha is to is mus is’

‘What will be will be’

‘When flour come to water’

Same as When push come to shove

‘When God cyah comes he does send’

When god is busy he elects someone to act in his stead

‘When push come to shove’

When things get tough

‘When the begum break’

Same as When the mark bus’

‘When the mark bus’’

When things come to a head

whey

where

‘Whey yuh say?’

‘What did you say?’

whilst

while

wood

male sex organ

wood slave

a kind of house lizard—gecko

wotless

might be used to describe a slightly naughty story

Woye!

Same as Oye! An expression of fatigue or pain

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yampee or yampie

substance resembling phlegm secreted from the eyes during sleep; mucus, found in the corner of the eye

yaw-yaw

unpleasant taste of fruit

‘You an’ all?’

‘You too?’

you so

people like you

‘Yu story’

‘You’re fibbing’

‘Yuh faddah head’

an expression of annoyance

‘Yuh faddah is a glassmaker?’

you are blocking my view

‘Yuh grandmother’s head’

a vile epithet

‘Yuh look fuh dat’

‘It’s your own fault’

‘Yuh mekin’ joke!’

‘You can’t be serious!’

yuhrrie

watery and without taste

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zaboca

avocado pear

zaè

spider

‘Zafé-I’

That’s his/her business (meaning, Let him/her do as he/she pleases)

zaffaire

that is our business

zagada

ground lizard

zaguer boy (zigzaguer boy)

same as saga boy

zamie or make zamie or zami

lesbian; to be in a sexual relationship with another woman

zug-up

a rough and uneven cutting of anything

zup

to stand up and pitch at a marble

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