Structure: Invert it. Instead
of saying “I want a ride,” say, “A ride I want.”
structure: Minus the word “is.” Instead of saying
“Is that yours?” say “That’s yours?” or instead of “Is that true?” say “That’s
true?” or “For true?”
Such as “at, in, on” when they are not really necessary.
On: “Put the food for me.” (dropping ‘on the plate’)
At: “Look the thing there.” (Look de ting dere.)
Use “at” instead of “to.” “I’m going at the back.” or “I’m going
at my home.”
Anymore. “I eh listening to you again.”
Another/Next: Instead of “another”
say “next.” “A next bus coming just now.” or “Give
me a next one.”
Down: Getting off
the bus. “I coming down here.”
Instead of “not” or “ain’t,” say “eh.” “How you eh seeing me?”
This is an emotional outburst/expression with a variety of meanings. When
spoken quickly in a higher pitch, it is an explanation of excitement or surprise; slowly
in a deep, guttural tone, it means disapproval. It can mean “hey,”
“no,” “what are you doing?” and “you better stop that,” among others.
me/Hello: Instead of saying “excuse
me” to get someone’s attention or to interrupt, “Hello?” is often used. This is also used for asking
someone to repeat what they just said.
Means “done, gone”:
Q: “You have macaroni pie there?” A: “Finish.”
This is patois, but used so commonly it is worthwhile to learn it. Literally translated it means boy, but is used in
the colloquial sense, such as “man, dude, or boy.”
Stand someone up.
what/Hear that: Listen to this
of “getting hit (by a car or other),” one gets “knocked down.” (or for bonus points, ‘bungced.’)
Hit/Cuff/Licks: One does not “hit”
another person, but gives them a “cuff” or gives them “licks.”
Several uses. In cases of wanting someone to repeat what they just said, someone would say, “If….?” In cases of disbelief: Q: “Does that make you angry?” A: “If
(pronounced ‘Eef’) I’m angry?”
Really good. Can be used in several ways, as part of a greeting (“You irie dere, gasson?”), to answer
a greeting (“Tings Irie”) or in agreement, ending a conversation. (“Okay.
A period of time that occurs sometime in the future between momentarily and never. “I coming just now.”
Like that? Or, Now, after all of this time? “Just so, you telling
A lot, great quantities. “That man making money like joke!”
of looking at something (like a menu), you watch it.
Say this to draw attention to something. For example, say “look,” to get the driver’s attention so
you can pay the fare.
Patois, again, but common. Most often used as an exclamation of surprise or indignation, though with several intonations.
(Also commonly shortened to “eh-sieur!” or “’sieur!”)
Good, crazy, fun. Crazy can be used in the sense of a crazy party, or in the sense of true madness. “This party mad, boy, wha?”
kinda way: Upset.
“Don’t take it no kinda way.” (Don’t take it to mean that; don’t get upset)
Sort of a false double negative, meaning why now? “Not now you’re
telling me that?”
Used for emphasis, rather than singularity. Giving someone “one cuff,” does not mean one alone, but to
emphasize the severity of the cuff to be given.
All at once. “Go dong to tong and take de ting onetime.”
Nonsense, foolishness. (pronounced exactly as it looks.) Can be used as a noun (“Stop talking pappyshow!”)
or a verb (“Don’t pappyshow me!”).
To walk past, or to walk/travel in a certain direction. “Pass over so. There have too much mud.”
Gain weight. If someone tells you you’re putting on size (and it is likely they will, repeatedly) this is not
often meant to be as offensive as it sounds. It is an observation, but meant to imply that you are healthy, happy, living
Gossip, scandal. (Bonus: Rorocious. A person who thrives on scandal is rorocious.)
Used for demonstration purposes. Meaning there: “I living down so.”
Meaning like that: “Just so she tell him.”
Also used to mean “and such”:
“They coming here with families and so.”
Kinda Way: Not good. “Gasson, I feeling some kinda way.”
Words using the th dipthong are instead pronounced with an ‘F’ sound, as in “birfday.”
These are used in a seemingly opposite fashion. Substitute that for this.
(Eg. “Do that for me.” “Listen to that.”)
Instead of “the” say “de” (E.g. “I catching de bus just there.”)
in a seemingly opposite fashion. Substitute there for here. (E.g. “Look
there.” “I’m there.”)
(Fing/Ting): Anything/anyone you cannot remember
the name of: “Look, dere fing mother.” Also, any action for which you cannot remember the name (or are too lazy
to say): “Fing it dere.”
I think, or it seems to me. “To me, she’s putting on size.”
ain’t easy: You’ve
got it going on, you know your stuff.
understand?: This question is hypothetical, meaning,
“Are you listening?” or “Do you follow me?”
check it?: See:
A greeting, and often a hypothetical question, not necessarily an expression of concern for well-being. Appropriate
responses: “Ok; Ok, alright.” “Ok ok.” Or “I’m there” (or for bonus points, “I
dere.”), or “I’m there not too bad.”Whose Own:
An item is not someone’s, but someone’s own.