Jumieka Langwij

Piipl widoutn nalij a dem paas ischri, harijin ah kolcha kom iin laka chrii widoutn ruut.
~ Maakos Giaavi, 1887-1940 ~
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A B Ch D E F G H I J K L M N O P R S T U V W Y Z

Tel nou, Jumieka Taak a honggl wah huoral langwij, paas dong an tu an, chruu wod-a-mout. Di fyuu piipl we chrai fi raiti raiti aal difrah kain a wie so no kaman aatagrafi no de tel ebribadi dis kankluud sei aad fi riid ah rait ah dis no bada widi. So wi no gat no badi a lichicha fi luk pan muo dah fi Klaad Makie ah Luiiz Benit puohim an fyuu Nansi tuori ah refrans buk. Kiasidi ah LiPiej, Jamaica Talk, ah Kiasidi, Dictionary of Jamaican English a di habvios exepshan. Wi a-chrai wid dis fi bil pah wa deh du aredi ah opdiet di rekaad wid nyuu wod ah yuusij we hinchajuus sens dem poblish.

Nuot pah di haatagrafi

Di haatagrafi yuuz ya a di Kiasidi-LiPiej sistim, wid slait madifikieshan. Di muos nuotobl dipaacha a di hinchadokshan a h fi riprizent di fainal, saaf niezal soun ina wod laka deh, ih, soh. Far bikaazn Jumieka piipl no taak wan wie bot sebral, frah di Kwiin Ingglish, ar wa wi kaal piiki-puoki, tu braad Patwa, som tingz kiah se op tu aal faib difrah wie. Wi chais di muos exchriim voerjan, Jumiekan3, di wan we de di foris frah tandad Ingglish fi rait pah da sait ya. Wi hadap di hinishal "h" soun bifuo vowildem siem wie laka ef smadi ben a-kot di Patwa a yaad.

Kraitiiria fi silekshan

Di woddem inkluud fi dem yuniiknis tu di Jumiekan langwij ar fi deh potikila miinin we difrah frah hIngglish. Sens disaya a wah hopin-en prajek, muo wod wi galang had.

Heretofore, Jamaican has been an oral langwij, passed on by word-of-mouth. The few people that have tried to write it, have used differing systems, with no common orthography. The conclusion has been then that it is difficult to read, so most do not attempt to either write or read it. So we have no body of literature to speak of beyond Louise Bennett, some Anansi stories and a few reference books. Cassidy and LePage's, Jamaica Talk, and Cassidy's, Dictionary of Jamaican English are the obvious exceptions. This then is an attempt to build on what they have done and update the record with new words and usages introduced since they were published.

Note on the orthography

The orthography used here is the Cassidy-LePage system, with slight modifications. The most notable departure is the introduction of hn to represent the final, nasalized sound in words like deh, ih, soh. Since Jamaicans have several modes of speaking, from the Queen's English, or what is referred to as "speaky-spoky", to broad patois, some things can be said in up to five different ways. We have chosen the most extreme version, Jumiekan3, the one furthest from standard English in which to write this site. The initial "h" sound before the vowels has been adopted, in the manner of someone speaking patois at home.

Criteria for selection

Words are included for there uniqueness to the Jamaican language or for their particular meaning differing from English. Since this is an open-ended project, more words will be added continuously.

aadiez adj. stubborn
aaduo n. type of dense wheat bread
aal 1. adj. total, whole amount; adv. completely; 2. adj. even
aalzwie adv. always
aataklaps n. crisis
aatiek n. heartache
abee interj. a taunt
abeng n. Maroon cow-horn instrument
adahels adj. other; adv. otherwise
afuu?/auufa? inter. whose is it?
agud interj. serves you right
ahuu? inter. who is it?
ahush? inter. which is it?
ai-an-ai pron. [~Eng. I and I] Rastafarian first person
ais n. ice; v. to hoist, raise
akwad adj. awkward, clumsy
alzwel adv. as well
anmigl n. palm
apachuniti n. opportunity
ash adj. pungent, harsh
askaadn prep. according to
at 1. adj. hot; v. to heat; 2. v. to hurt, upset; 3. n. hat
ata interj. on the contrary
atop v. 1.to heat, reheat; 2. to hurt anew, inflame old injury
awa? inter. what is it?
awan pron. each
B bii
baba n. respectful term of address to man
bada v. bother; badarieshan, n. hassle, inconvenience
bafan adj. awkward, clumsy
bagamout n., adj. all talk, no action
bakra [~Efik mbakára, white man] n. (white) overseer; adj. relating to supervisory or superior class
bambai n. [~Eng. by and by] left-overs
bangkra n. envelope-type basket
banduulu 1. adj. illegal; 2. n. contraband, unfair dealing; 3. v. to swindle, to evade or circumvent regulations
banggarang n. chaos, disorder
baroz n. loan; gi a baroz to lend
baps adv. suddenly
beli 1. n. belly, pregnancy; 2. adj. pregnant
benop adj. bent
bie adv. only, solely
bied 1. v. to bathe; 2.n. beard; biedop, adj. bearded
biefies adj. bare-faced, blatant
biyev v. to behave
bigop v. to greet, praise, commend
biini adj. tiny
bikaaz, kaaz, kaa conj. because
bikl n. [~Eng. victuals] food
bikomps v. to become
bil n. 1. bill; 2. machete with hooked point; v. 1. to charge to account - See chos; 2. to cut bush or grass with machete
bilangx v. to belong to, originate from
biliib v. to believe
blai n. easement, break, opportunity
bodi n. penis; see kaki and ud
bombo [~Temne a-bombo, vagina] interj. expletive, sometimes used with -klaat or -huol
bos 1. n. bus; 2.v. to burst; 3. v. to act or express forcibly
bosop adj. broken
braata [~Sp. barata, cheap] n. gratuitous extra, as in baker's dozen
braatopsi n. upbringing
bragadaps adv. abruptly
breda n. brother
brejrin n. friend, associate
breshi n. breadfruit
bringgl adj. agitated
brok 1. adj. broken; 2. adj. penniless; 3. n. worn, broken or discarded person or object; 4.v. to break
bunununus adj. delightful
bups n. sugar-daddy
bupsi n. kept woman
butu 1. adj. uncouth; 2. n. crass person
Ch chii ("c" replaced by "k"; only used with "h" for "ch" sound)
chaa v. to chew; chaa-chaa, v. to chew up; adj. chewed-up
chaka-chaka [~Shwi tsaka, scatter, shattered] adj. disordered, untidy
chaklata n. dinner left-overs served for breakfast
chengx n. small piece, sliver; see also tups
chichi n. termite; applied derogatively to gay men
cho! interj. exclamation of impatience, disapproval
choch n. church
chokop adj. crowded, cluttered
chos v. 1. trust; 2. extend credit, purchase on credit
chrang adj. strong
chrent n. strength
chrentan [~Rasta] n. pork
chriet adv., adj. straight
chuocho [~Brz. chuchu ] n. 1. type of squash, sechium edule known as christophene in the Eastern Caribbean, as chayote in Hispanic cultures; 2. vagina
chups n. kiss on the cheek
chuu 1. adv., prep. through; 2. adj. true
chuun n., v. tune
chuut n. truth
D dii
de v. to be in location, state; to exist
dem pron. them; sfx. 1. plural indicator; 2. and company, etal.
dedlef n. inheritance
dege [~Ewe deka] adj. single, sole
diidi 1. n. faeces; 2. v. to defecate; see duudu
disepshos adj. deceitful
dopi [~Fante adopi] n. ghost
doti 1. adj. [~Shwi dote, soil, earth, clay] dirty, soiled; 2. n. ground
du v. to please, satisfy
dukunu [~Shwi dukunu] n. pudding, usually of cornmeal, wrapped in banana leaves
duudu 1. n. faeces; 2. v. to defecate; see diidi
duufos n. fool
dundus n. albino
dwii v. to do
E hii
eba adj., adv. ever, always
ebi adj. heavy
ebn n. heaven
ed n. head
e! interj. expression of disbelief
ei! interj. hey!
el n. hell
elaba [~Am. Eng. helluva] adj. superlative
eng v. to hang; eng-pahn-niel, adj. ready-made; n. ready-made clothing
esn n. perfume
exkiep v. to escape
F hef
faaliitii v. to suffer for transgression, come to a sorry end. See also fene, tata
faambli n. family, relative
faas adj. inquisitive; v. to interfere
fala-fashin 1. adj. imitative; 2. n. copycat
fasi 1. adj. afflicted with sores; 2. n. dermal infection, sore
fene v. to suffer consequence, feel pain. See also faaliitii, tata
fengki-fengki adj. weak, indecisive, insubstantial
fiesi adj. rude, impertinent
fiet n. 1. fate; 2. faith
fiilop v. to handle, to grope
finggl v. to fondle, finger
fip n. unit of colonial coinage
flim n. film
floxi adj. inferior, unsatisfactory
for adj., adv. far
fos adj., adv. first
frenop v. to befriend
fufu [~Yoruba] n. mashed yam
fulop adj. filled, full; v. to fill
fululups n. nonsense, folly
G jii
gaa v. to go to
gaagann. chief, supreme
galang v.1. to behave; 2. to dismiss
gens prep. against
gial n. girl
ginigag n. powerful leader
gizaada [Puot. guisado] n. grated coconut pastry
gobament n. government
gofi v. to go for, plan, intend
grabalishos adj. grasping, greedy
guol n. 1. goal; 2. gold
guop v. to go up, ascend
guot n. goat
guzu [~Kimbundu, nguzu, power, strength, force] n. magic, spell
gyaadn n. garden
H iech
haatikal adj. top, leading
howa 1. n. hour; 2. pron. our
huol 1. whole, entire; 2. n. hole; 3. v. to hold
huola adj. whole
I hai
iel v. to greet
iejobl adj. mature, as in person
ier n. year
ies n. haste, hurry
iez n. ear
iibn adj., adv., v. even
iibnin, iivlin n. evening
iipa pron. many, much; uoliipa very many
J jie
jangga [~Bakweri] n.crayfish
jeriv. to taunt, jeer
jestav. to joke, make fun of
jimskriichin. underhand deal; v. to finagle
jinaln. con-man, trickster
jonjon. fungus
jraafutadj. lame
jred 1. adj. of concern; 2. pertaining to Rastafarians; 3. n. Rastaman
jresbakv. to reverse
jresdongv. to shift position
jriepopv. to accost
juk [~Fula chuk] n.jab, stick; v. to jab, stick
K kie
kach n. prop, support, temporary accommodation; v. to prop, lean, support
kaka [~Fr., Sp., caca, excrement] interj. expletive
kaki n. penis; see bodi and ud
kalaban n. bird trap, in the form of four-sided pyramid of twigs
kaskas n. argument, controversy
kata [~Kikongo nkata] n. coil of cloth or banana leaf to carry burdens on the head
kech v. 1. to catch; 2. to arrive
kiangkro n. turkey vulture, applied in contempt to persons
kin 1. v. to turn (out/over), expose; 2. n. skin
klier adv. all the way; gaan klier, to succeed
kliin-kliin adv. completely, totally
kobich adj. greedy, miserly; kobichuol, n. depression at back of head where skull meets neck
kombolo n. companion
komiin v. to appear, seem
kongk [~Mandinka] v. to rap on the head
koruochiz [~Am. Sp. corotos, playthings, tools, trash] n. belongings, junk
kot n. cut; v. 1. to cut; 2. to speak fluently
kraa v. to scratch
kraal n. enclosure, animal pen
kraasiz [~Eng. crosses] n. problem, trouble
kraps n. scrap (pl. krapsiz)
kreng-kreng [~Fante kereng-kereng, basket] n. basket hung over stove for drying, smoking meat
krips adj. crisp
krumuujin adj. mean-spirited
ku v. look; ku de look there; ku ya look here
kunumunu n. simpleton
kuoko [~Shwi kooko] n. 1. edible aroid root, colocasia esculenta and c. antiquorum; 2. bump on the head; 3. kuoko bred, flat, folded bread, buttered before baking
L hel
laafv. to laugh; laaf afta to laugh at, to ridicule
laba-labaadj. garrulous, indiscreet
laikv. to like; laik aaf to be attracted to someone, be soft on
lampsv. to fool, deceive
langilaalaadj., n. very tall person
layadadj. lying; n. liar
leginz[~French legumes, vegetables] n. bunch of seasonings, viz. escallion, thyme
letis n.1. lettuce; 2. latticework
liin adj. inclined, not perpendicular
lou v. to allow, permit
M hem
maaga adj. thin, emaciated
maasa n. master, sir
magij n. maggot, worm
madi-madi adj. slightly mad, eccentric
maka n. thorn, prickle; maka-maka, thorny bush
maki [~Shwi makye] interj. morning greeting
ma(m) n. polite term of address to woman
mampaala n. effeminate man
manazebl adj. polite
mashalaa n. martial law, sanctions
masakraa n. massacre, rout
masi n. mercy
meke-meke adj. sloppy, messy
mongx prep. among
musmus n. mouse
N hen
naat n. 1. north; 2. nought, zero
nenge-nenge v. to nag
niam [~Shwi enyam, yam] n. to eat
nof adj. many; n.large amount
notn n. nothing
nuoz n. nose; nuoznaat, n. nasal mucus, snot
nyaamps n. useless, worthless person
O uo
okro [~Igbo okuro] n. okra, hibiscus esculentus
olo n. fabrication, deception
onggl adj., adv. only
onggri adj. hungry; ongribeli, n. greedy person
orikumop n. parvenu
outa-aada adj. impudent
P pii
paadna n. 1. partner, friend; 2. indigenous savings plan
paan v. to grab, seize
paki [~Shwi apakyi] n. calabash, gourd, bowl made from such
palaava [~Puot. palavra, word, speech] n. conversation; v. to converse
paravencha adv. maybe, perhaps
pasiero n. friend
patu n. owl
pempeni adj. plentiful
piiki-puoki adj. given to speaking Queen's English; n. affected speech
piiniwali n. firefly
pinchikuobi adj. stingy, parsimonious
pinda [~Kikongo mpinda] n. peanut
pitni [~Puot. pequeno, small] n. child, young one
poerpos adj. deliberate, wilfull
poto-poto n. mud
praaps adv. perhaps
preke n. calamity
prips n. tip, preview; prips aaf, v. to tip off, advise
pum [~Shwi epim] n. vagina var. pumpum, pim
pupalik n. somersault; kin pupalik, v. to somersault
puos v. 1. to fail to turn up, no-show; 2. to mail; n. post
puosn exp. supposing? what if?
pusi/puusi n. expletive, sometimes used with -klaat or -uol
putus n. term of endearment applied to females
R haar
raa interj. short form of raatid
raas [~Fula ras, buttocks] interj. expletive, sometimes used with klaat or huol
raatid interj. exclamation of surprise, pleasure; tu raatid for emphasis
ramp v. to play; rampifai, adj. playful; rampin, n. play
redai adj. envious, covetous
rispans adj. responsible
ron dong v. 1. to argue insistently; 2. to chase
rondong n., adj. method of cooking with coconut milk, traditionally with pickled mackerel
ruku-rukuadj. shaky, unsteady
ruudnisn. coitus; v. to have sex
S hes
sa n. polite term of address to man
saabv. to serve
sabi[~Sp. saber] v. to know
sadamaitn. lesbian
samfain. swindle, swindler; v. to swindle, hoodwink
se pron. that, following cognitive verbs such as biliib, kansida, nuo, sospek, tingk, etc.
senfa v. to request, summon
sensobl adj. sensible
setaan n. provocateur
shuo 1. n. show, movie; 2. v. to show
sidong v. to sit
simuud adj. smooth
sinting pron. something
sipl adj. slippery
sitieshan n. situation
sitn pron. something
sheda n. shadow
skailaak v. to loaf, goof off
smadi pron. someone, person
sop v. to put up with, tolerate indignity
stuoshos adj. showy, impressive
sumail n., v. smile
suoso adv. only, solely
sus(u)n., v. gossip
swiitv. to please, amuse; swiitop, v. to flatter, seduce; swiit-mout, v. to flatter; n. glib or persuasive tongue
T tii
taament v. to annoy
taat n. 1. thought; 2. start; 3. tart, usually with plantain filling; v. to start
tab v. to stab
talawa adj. strong, sturdy
tan v. to stay
tanop v. to stand
tantodi v. to settle down, be still
tap n., v. stop
tapanaaris adj. upper class; n. society person
taris n. tiled floor
tata [~Ewe] n. father, grandfather; v. to suffer consequence, pay dearly. See also faaliitii, fene
tatu n. shed, makeshift structure
tegereg n. loud, abusive person
tep n., v. step
tong n. 1. tongue; 2. town, usually referring to Kingston
tups n. small amount; see chengx
twisop adj. twisted
U yuu
udn. penis; see bodi and kaki
uk n. hook
unu [~Igbo unu] pron. 2nd person plural, collective "you"
uol adj. old
uoliip adj., n., pron. very many, plenty
uona adj. own; n. owner
uu pron. who
V vii
vailens n. violence
vijan n. vision
voerjan n. version
W doblyu
wai! interj. expression of amusement or surprise
wala-wala v. to wallow
walef n. remainder
wapn-bapn adj., n. poorly constructed, thrown together
wara int. pron. why, for what
wentaim adv. whenever
wiini adj. small
winji adj. undersized, shrunken
wis n. vine
woi! interj. expression of despair
Y wai
ya adv. here
yaa adv. conclusive indicator, perhaps derived from you hear? or yes?
yaad n. 1. home; 2. yard
yaba n. earthenware pot
yai n. eye
yeri v. to hear, pay attention
yunifaam n. uniform
Z zed
zumbi n. zombie
zutupek n. monster

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