Caribbean slang

Old Jun 5th 2018, 11:38 pm
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Default Caribbean slang

This thread on a Words forum (below) gives a plausible or the origin of the expression "heard it on the grapevine", and it occurs to me to ask what the equivalent is in the various communities in our region. Here in Cayman, we say "the marl road" - and it happens to be a surprisingly accurate source of news for us. I'm sure Grenada has something different - and for all I know there is a different word used in every major island. I don't even know what they say in Jamaica, though I should do.
https://www.grammarphobia.com/blog/2...apevine-2.html
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Old Jun 6th 2018, 2:03 pm
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Default Re: Caribbean slang

Well lets see - nithing exactly like it but there are some associated wirds.

brango is a good piece of gossip, something juicy?
A maco is someone who gossips, that person is macocious
Heard it under de coco - something overheard while hiding / skulking about in the bush - undergrowth.
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Old Jun 6th 2018, 2:06 pm
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Default Re: Caribbean slang

Heres language in action - how something enters the dialect

De man drivin too fass, he turned left at the cliff, no brakes and la qua.

https://www.laquabrother.com/
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Old Jul 29th 2018, 1:17 am
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Default Re: Caribbean slang

I'm surprised by the number of expats (new to the Caribbean, but still...) who don't know that "Bajan" is the universally accepted abbreviation of "Barbadian", and "Trinny" is short for Trinidadian. But I have to say I'm not familiar with other abbreviations or slang terms for other Caribbean people or places. When I first came to the West Indies (now called "Windies", as often as not), Guyana was still called "BG": does it have a new nickname today? Turks & Caicos is called "TCI" most of the time (in my hearing, at least), and The Dominican Republic is "DR". In the Bahamas a "conchie" (pronounced "conky") used to be either a 100%-white Bahamian or a very pale brown one, depending on context, and I think that word originated in Key West. Is it still used, at all?
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Old Jul 29th 2018, 3:32 am
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Default Re: Caribbean slang

Grenada has a local name of Greenz, but grenadians - no shortcut i think.
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Old Jul 30th 2018, 12:55 am
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Default Re: Caribbean slang

Years ago, I asked a West Indian workmate of mine why they used the term "Do rag" to describe the cloth they carried and used to mop up perspiration.

He explained that the words were actually "Dew rag" to describe mopping the "dew" from their foreheads.
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Old Jul 30th 2018, 4:59 am
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Default Re: Caribbean slang

People from carriacou are known as kayaks, given the main occupation is traditional boat building theres a link somewhere.

. Vocal differences :-)
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Old Aug 5th 2018, 1:54 am
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Default Re: Caribbean slang

I love the use of double-words in the Caribbean. "Too hot" means, well, "too hot", but "too-too hot" means so much more! During a conversation between us last night, my son asked "when do you want it done?" "Soon", I said; "no, soon-soon!" Then of course there's "big-big" and "small-small" and "good-good". Americans are often confused by our take on skin-colour. To them, people of every shade of brown are "black", and that's what they're called in the US. I don't know what it's like in the rest of the Caribbean, but in Cayman, we have a dozen variants of "brown" - and "black" is reserved for individuals who are literally black - even "black-black", when warranted.
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Old Aug 5th 2018, 5:30 am
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Default Re: Caribbean slang

We call the blackest - blue.

Redskins are the light brown south american types.

Weird hangover from colonialism, for locals, lightness = goodness, lighter girls are seen as a superior species to the darker ones, which i find perverse, but its a real prejudice they have.

Fat/thin has some terms -

Maga/mauga gals are very skinny

Fat is fat, but phat is a compliment, just a very well padded rear end of course.
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Old Aug 5th 2018, 5:42 pm
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Default Re: Caribbean slang

Originally Posted by uk_grenada View Post
Weird hangover from colonialism, for locals, lightness = goodness, lighter girls are seen as a superior species to the darker ones, which i find perverse, but its a real prejudice they have.

I suppose it may be a hangover from colonialism, in the West Indies - and parts of Africa. But the general prejudice existed in India, to some degree, dating from the Persian and Mongol conquests. And not just females, of course.

As for "phat", that is an American term, and a recent one, from reports. And it only applies to the written word, I should think.
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/phat
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Old Aug 25th 2018, 3:30 pm
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Default Re: Caribbean slang

Our greeting here - originating in Jamaica, Ithink - is "What's happening" - normally shortened to "wa huppen". What is the Eastern Caribbean equivalent? There is an inclination here to add an extra "n" to some words - "fishing" becomes "fish-nunun", for instance. Years ago my young son came back from our local shop laughing, having heard a Jamaican woman explaining to a compatriot that the white stuff on the top of cakes was something called "hice-nunun" - two extra "n" sounds, no less!
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Old Aug 27th 2018, 6:34 am
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Default Re: Caribbean slang

Whappen is the way here. We dont do the extra N’s. Uh huh is the difficult thing - it means a lot of things depending on intonation - far too complex to explain in text, but its anything from

yes i understand
to
what the hell
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Old Aug 27th 2018, 6:38 am
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Default Re: Caribbean slang

Phat is definitely used in speech, and it never means fat. There are other words for that, ‘phat she phat’ is good... mauga is skinny, as in mauga gal,

Fat - she carryin size or millionaire size for example
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Old Sep 9th 2018, 12:49 am
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Default Re: Caribbean slang

Grenada... skinny = mauga, you say, and gossip = brango, and one who gossips = maco. But where do those words come from? Not English, that I can tell. Do you have a local patois down there? Cayman doesn't have one, except for a very few words of Jamaican patwa that have made their way into the language of the lower classes here. (I don't understand patwa - which is how it's spelt, usually. I have a hard enough time understanding Jamaican-accented English, when it's spoken quickly.)
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Old Sep 9th 2018, 6:40 am
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Default Re: Caribbean slang

Good morning Gordon , apologies if this is spelt slightly unusually but I’m having to use voice to text because I had an Ieye problem - detached retina stuck back on within 24 hours thank you NHS and jet medevac... ! really cant see the keyboard properly temporarily, firstly patwa is properly spelt P a TO I S it’s French word.

Grenadas History is mainly French with some Spanish so much the words are a combination of English and French or English and Spanish although as you know dialect and lack of standard spellings makes a huge difference, this is half the fun of filing the roots of these words

Years and years ago patois used to be widely used in Grenada but it’s really died out unlike st lucia.

there are other sources of language in the Caribbean including Indian and African of course certainly quite recently Indian words have been added .
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