10 Popular Caribbean Sayings And Words Explained

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An article by Kayla Greaves for The Huffington Post Canada.

Chances are if you haven’t really been exposed to Caribbean culture before, you may have some serious trouble understanding the dialect across the different islands, whether you hear it in passing, or you’re part of a full-blown conversation.

So while catching on can prove to be a bit tricky, once you get the hang of it, you’ll soon be on your way to becoming an expert in patois and Caribbean creole in no time.

Check out our list of 10 popular Caribbean word definitions below to get familiar with some slang and kick start your vocabulary journey. Now get to work, work, work, work, work, work learning some of these new terms!

1. “Pickney dem”

Children/kids

“Dem yah pickney dem a drive mi mad!”
These children/kids are driving me crazy!

2. “Deh’ya”
Here

“Mi deh’ya a wait fi mi food done cook.”
I’m here waiting for my food to finish cooking.

3. “Lime”
Party

“Yes, man! We in di lime tonight.”
Yeah, dude. We’re going to the party tonight.

4. “Pompasetting”
Showing off

“Look pon di gyal pompasetting.”
Look at that chick showing off.

5. “Puppa Jeezas/Gawd”

Father Jesus/God or My God!

“Puppa Jeezas/Gawd, mi nearly bun up di pot a rice.”
My God, I almost burned this pot of rice.

6. “Mi bumpsey”
Oh shoot!

“Mi bumpsey, I nearly forgot mi keys”
Oh shoot! I almost forgot my keys.

7. “Wah mek?”
Why?

“Yuh neva nyam from mawning? Wah mek?
Why didn’t you eat this morning?

8. “Cheese on bread!”
Wow!

“Cheese on bread! Mi phone just drop pon di ground”
Oh wow! My phone just dropped on the ground.

9. “Sal up”
Nasty/bad

“A nearly 20 dolla mi pay fi dis movie and it sal up!”
I paid almost $20 for this movie and it was so bad.

10. “Doltish”
Stupid

“How di boy deh ah act so doltish?”

Why is this guy acting so stupid?

2 thoughts on “10 Popular Caribbean Sayings And Words Explained

  1. Said today: “Lawd a mercy! Mi nearly bun up di pot a rice.”
    Because someone forget to turn off the stove. Almost didn’t have Sunday dinner.

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