Word Porn Wednesday : Speak Like a Jamaican

Good morning and Happy Word Porn Wednesday! I’m real excited for this post today. I was inspired by someone who shall remain nameless for this topic.

One of the most annoying things in my life is when people discover that I am Jamaican and say “Hey! Can you talk Jamaican?!”

Seriously??

That’s probably one of my biggest pet peeves in the world. Well that and when people chew with their mouth open, but that’s besides the point. I don’t walk around asking people “Can you talk American?” Sigh. Jamaica’s primary language is English, but the dialect that everyone is so obsessed with hearing is called patois (pat-wah). For today’s Word Porn Wednesday, I’ve decided to teach you all a little bit of patois!

VOWEL SOUNDS
Pronunciation of vowels in patois is very similar to how they are pronounced in Spanish. That is part of the reason why Jamaican artist Notch can easily sing in Spanish and patois while sounding very natural. Example:

Once you learn to properly pronounce the vowels, saying words properly shouldn’t be as difficult:

A – ah like father
E – eh like men
I – ih like stick
O – oh like over
U – oo like oops

COMMON WORDS AND PHRASESNow that you know how to pronounce vowels the right way, it’s time to give you some words and phrases to practice!

  • Whaa’m? – What’s up?
  • Wah gwaan? – What’s going on?
  • Mi deh yah – I’m okay; I’m here.
  • Everyting criss – Everything’s good.
  • Everyting cook an curry – Everything is fine.
  • Weh yuh deh? – Where are you?
  • Badda – Bother. Nuh badda mi! (Don’t bother me!)
  • Cowl – Cold. It cowl outta door. (It’s cold outside.)
  • Gweh – Go away.
  • Dat mi ah seh! – That’s what I’m saying!
  • Pickney/Pickininney – Child
  • Smaddi – Somebody
  • Mek – Make, let. – Mek up yuh mine (Make up your mind.) Mek wi dweet. (Let’s do it.)
  • Gyal – Girl
  • Bwoy – Boy
  • Ooman – Woman
  • Likkle – Little. Likkle pickney (Little kid)
  • Weh yuh want? – What do you want?
  • Nyaam – Eat
  • Crosses – Problems, misfortunes. Yuh always inna crosses. (You’re always having problems.)
  • Teet – Teeth
  • Han-miggle – Hand middle (palm)
  • Zeen? – You understand?
  • Walk good – Take care
  • Labrish – Gossip
  • Rahtid! – Wow! Rahtid! Look how di mango dem sweet! (Wow! Look how sweet the mangoes are!)
  • Nuff – Plenty
  • Likkle more – See you later.

If there are any other words or phrases that you would like to know how to say, just post a comment and I’ll be happy to translate 🙂

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6 thoughts on “Word Porn Wednesday : Speak Like a Jamaican

  1. Oh you gon learn to somebody something today huh? “Likkle more Gyal Dat mi ah seh!” Hey I tried it made sense to me 🙂

  2. Pingback: Three:Thursday Thursdays | Episode Five – What Grinds My Gears | Ramblings|On|The|Wall

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