Are you looking to expand your Jamaican slang vocabulary? Look no further! In this blog post, we’ll be exploring some of the most popular Jamaican slangs that are sure to spice up any conversation. So grab a cup of coffee and let’s get started!
Jamaican Slang 101
Jamaican Slang 101 is a collection of the most common Jamaican Patois phrases used in the Caribbean island nation. From greetings to expressions, this guide provides a comprehensive look at the lingo and unique dialect used in Jamaica. Whether you’re visiting for a vacation or planning to move to Jamaica, learning a few essential phrases can help you communicate with locals and make your trip more enjoyable.
Start with basic greetings like “Wahgwaan?” which means “How are you?” or “Bless” which is just like blessing but used more frequently when saying goodbye. Other useful words include “A Fi Mi” which means “It is mine” and “Nyam” which means “To Eat”. You can also use slang terms such as “Dirt” meaning something that is what it is or “Bashment” meaning something that’s hot and trendy, what’s in style, a party.
Learning Jamaican Slang 101 will help you get around Jamaica easily and understand its unique culture better. With these essential phrases, you will be able to converse with locals more naturally and experience the island life like a true Jamaican!
Browta is a Jamaican expression which is equivalent to ‘a baker’s dozen’ or twelve. It is also used in other Caribbean countries and it has become a part of everyday language. The origin of this phrase is unknown, however, it is thought to be derived from the Spanish word ‘barrato’ which means an abundance or plenty.
In Jamaica, Browta has been used as a way to express that something exceeds expectations or goes beyond what was expected. For example, if you buy twelve items but get thirteen instead then you could say “Ah mi get browta!” It can also be used more generally to mean extra or surplus such as “Mi get some browta money dis week” meaning I got some extra money this week.
Overall Browta has become quite popular in Jamaica and other Caribbean countries as people use it in various contexts and situations. It is a great way to express that something exceeded expectations and that you got more than what you paid for!
Wah Gwan is a phrase used as a greeting in Jamaican Patois. It is typically used to ask someone “What’s up?” or “How are you?” and can be used as a casual greeting among friends. The phrase can also be modified to ask more specific questions such as “Wah gwaan wid yuh todeh?” which means “What’s going on with you today?”
The phrase has become popular among Jamaicans and those of Caribbean descent who use it as an informal way of connecting with others. Other variations of the phrase include wah deh gwaan, whatta gwaan, and waguan. When combined with other common phrases like blessed, everyting cook an curry, mi deh yah, likkle more and walk good, the phrase has become part of everyday speech in Jamaica.
When visiting Jamaica or engaging in conversations with locals using this language, it is important to understand the cultural context of these expressions. For example, if you are a woman aged 15-40 then expect people to use the expression “Whaa Gwaan Goodie?” which translates to “what’s going on lovely lady?” as a form of affirmation among women.
By learning more about Wah Gwan and other popular phrases associated with it, you will gain an understanding of Jamaican culture and be able to effectively communicate while visiting or conversing with locals.
‘Bumbaclot’ – A Creative Curse Word
Bumbaclot is one of the most popular swear words in Jamaica. The word is derived from the Jamaican Patois term “Bumbo” which means bottom and “Claat” which is the Jamaican pronunciation of cloth. Together, they form Bumbaclot, a creative curse word meaning SHIT! It can also be used to express feelings of anger or excitement during an argument or conversation.
The term has become increasingly popular throughout Jamaica and other Caribbean countries where it is commonly heard in everyday speech. It has even been made into t-shirts, mugs and other souvenirs for tourists to take home with them as a reminder of their trip.
Bumbaclot has become more than just a curse word; it has become part of the culture in Jamaica and its surrounding islands. Whether you are visiting or living there, it is sure to be heard at least once during your stay!
Tings is a popular Jamaican slang used to refer to something great or exciting. It can be used to express enthusiasm or appreciation for something that has happened, as well as just being an all-around positive phrase. Tings is commonly used among young people in Jamaica and is becoming more widely known around the world.
Tings can be used in many different ways, depending on the situation. For example, it can be used when someone has achieved something great or accomplished a difficult task: “Tings! You did it!” It can also be used to show appreciation for someone’s efforts: “Tings for working so hard on this project.” Or, it can even be used as an exclamation of excitement over a new experience: “Tings! This food is amazing!”
No matter how you use it, one thing is certain – tings will always bring a smile to your face and remind you of all the wonderful things life has to offer. So go ahead and use tings whenever you need a little extra boost of positivity – you won’t regret it!
‘Likkle More’ – An Expression of Desire
‘Likkle More’ is an expression of desire that is commonly used in Jamaica. It can be used to say goodbye, or to express a desire for something more. The phrase originated from the Jamaican patois and is used to show appreciation or admiration for someone or something. The phrase ‘Likkle More’ implies that the person wants more than what they currently have, whether it be a relationship with someone, material items, or simple pleasure.
The phrase has been widely adopted as part of everyday culture in Jamaica and has become an expression of endearment among family and friends. It serves as a reminder that we should always strive for better things in life and not settle for less than we deserve.
It is often used as a sign-off when saying goodbye to someone, usually accompanied by a hug or other form of physical affection. It conveys the message that even though you may be parting ways with your loved one, you wish them all the best in their future endeavors.
So next time you want to show your appreciation and admiration for someone special in your life, don’t forget to say ‘Likkle More’.
‘Wha Dat Deh?’ – What is That?
‘Wha Dat Deh?’ is a Jamaican Patois phrase used to ask what something is. It is typically used when someone or something is unfamiliar or when you need further information on a certain topic. This phrase has become increasingly popular in the Caribbean and has been adopted by many different cultures.
The literal translation of ‘Wha Dat Deh?’ is “What is that there?” but it can also be used informally as an expression of curiosity or surprise. It can be asked as a question, in response to something unexpected, or simply as an expression of interest.
In addition to being commonly used as a question, this phrase can also be used for comedic effect in conversations between friends and family members. It can be accompanied by facial expressions such as raised eyebrows and wide eyes for maximum impact.
Overall, ‘Wha Dat Deh?’ is a great way to show interest in new things and get more information about unfamiliar topics. Whether you are asking someone about their newest gadget or just trying to spark up a conversation with someone new, this fun Jamaican Patois phrase will help you make your point!
‘Cyaan Believe Mi Eyez!’ – Can’t Believe My Eyes!
Have you ever been so surprised by something that you just couldn’t believe your eyes? That’s exactly what ‘Cyaan Believe Mi Eyez!’ means in Jamaican slang. It’s an expression of disbelief—a way of saying that whatever it is you just witnessed or heard is too amazing to be true.
This phrase is used in everyday Jamaican conversations and can be used for a variety of different things. For instance, if someone tells you about a new job promotion they got, you might say “Cyaan Believe Mi Eyez!” as a way to express your surprise and congratulations. It can also be used when something unexpected happens or if someone does something that amazes you.
No matter how it is used, it conveys excitement and amazement—something we all need more of in our day-to-day lives! So the next time something happens that catches your eye, don’t forget the Jamaican slang phrase ‘Cyaan Believe Mi Eyez!’ to show just how amazed you are.
‘Tank Yu’ – Thank You
Tank Yu, pronounced “tahnk yoo” is the most common way to say “thank you” in Jamaican. It is a short and sweet phrase that is used to express gratitude and appreciation in many situations. From a simple ‘thank you’ for holding the door open, to expressing your thanks for someone’s help or support, Tank Yu is a versatile phrase that can be used in many situations.
Tank Yu is also an expression of respect and politeness in Jamaica. It can be used when talking to elders and authority figures as a sign of deference. Using Tank Yu when speaking with someone important shows that you value their attention and acknowledge their importance.
The phrase Tank Yu has been around for hundreds of years and has become so widely known that it has even been adopted by people from other countries including Canada, the US, the UK and Australia. No matter where you are from, saying thank you in Jamaican helps show your appreciation for what someone has done for you!
‘Inna Real Life’
In Jamaica, the phrase “inna real life” is used to describe the day-to-day reality of life. It is often used with a sense of appreciation for what is real and genuine. The phrase can be used as an expression of gratitude for being able to experience life in its fullness.
The phrase can also be used to compare fantasy and reality. For example, someone might say that they are living their dreams “inna real life” or that they have achieved something that seemed impossible before. The phrase is a reminder of how much we can accomplish when we put our minds to it and take action in a meaningful way.
The phrase “inna real life” also carries a sense of pride in one’s own culture and environment, as it implies that what one experiences in their daily lives matters enough to be appreciated and celebrated. It is a reminder to appreciate the beauty in everyday moments, no matter where you are or what you do. By connecting with this idea, one has the opportunity to find joy and satisfaction even when times may seem difficult or challenging.
‘Chillax’ – Relax and Chill Out
Chillaxing is the perfect way to relax and unwind. Whether you’re looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life or just want to take some time out for yourself, chillaxing can help. It’s a great way to reconnect with your inner self and find balance in life. So what exactly is chillaxing?
Chillaxing is a combination of ‘chilling’ (relaxation) and ‘relaxing’ (taking it easy). It’s all about taking time out for yourself and allowing yourself to relax, both mentally and physically. This could include activities such as yoga, meditation, reading, journaling or anything else that helps you disconnect from the world around you. Taking slow deep breaths, listening to music or enjoying nature can also be great ways to chillax.
It’s important to remember that chillaxing isn’t just about sitting still and doing nothing; it’s about taking an intentional break from your daily routine in order to recharge your batteries. Taking time out for yourself can be beneficial in many ways – it can reduce stress levels, improve your overall well-being, boost creativity and help you appreciate the small things in life. So why not give it a go? You just might find that chillaxing offers more than just relaxation – it could actually change your life!
‘Nyam’ – Eat Something Delicious
Nyam is a popular phrase used in Jamaica to express the enjoyment of eating something delicious. It is often used when talking about food and can be used to describe the act of eating or the amount of food consumed. Nyam can also be used as an expression of joy, enthusiasm, and satisfaction when it comes to enjoying a meal. The term is derived from the Jamaican Patois dialect, which is an English-based creole language spoken on the island nation.
Nyam is commonly heard in restaurants, markets, and at home throughout Jamaica. It expresses appreciation for good food and conveys excitement for something yummy. Whether it’s a plate of jerk chicken or some fresh fruit from a roadside stall, if you’re enjoying it then you’re “nyamming!” This phrase has become so commonplace that it has even been adopted by people outside of Jamaica as well – particularly in other parts of the Caribbean and North America.
Nyam isn’t just about satisfying your appetite; it represents much more than that. Eating delicious food with friends or family can create lasting memories that bring joy to any occasion. So next time you’re preparing a meal or eating out somewhere special, don’t forget to “nyam!
The Jamaican patois is a unique and vibrant language that has been an important part of the island’s culture for centuries. It is a mix of English and African languages and dialects, making it a complex yet fascinating language. Although it may take some time to learn, its worth investing in as it will help you to experience Jamaica in a more authentic way. Whether you are looking to learn the language for basic communication or to understand the music and stories in Jamaica, studying Jamaican patois can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience.