Jumieka Langwij

Piipl widoutn nalij a dem paas ischri, harijin ahn kolcha kom iin laka chrii widoutn ruut.
~ Maakos Giaavi, 1887-1940 ~
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Jumieka Mechiz

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Peter L. Patrick, Ph.D.
& Esther Figueroa

Jumiekan Langwij Yuunit
Dipaatment a Langwij, Lingguistik & Filasafi
Yuniversiti a di Wes Indiz

Department of Language, Linguistics & Philosophy
University of the West Indies

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Sasayati fi Kiaribiyan Lingguistik

Society for Caribbean Linguistics

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Dis klip fiicha ring giem ah digin sang. Si ef yu kiah kech dem:

  • Bapsi kaisiko pinda shel
  • Go dong a Manyuel Ruod, gial ah bwai fi go brok raktuon
  • A we yu de wiil ah ton mi
  • Judi jroundid, Judi jroundid, wai uo, Judi jroundid
  • Chichi bod-o, som a dem a-hala, som a-baal
  • Il ah goli raid-o, il ah goli

Aul taim piipl se ...
Proverbs and Sayings

Ah nou wi se ...
Common phrases

Bad lok wos 'ah uobia.
Bad luck is worse than obeah.

Kakruoch no biniz ina faul fait.
Cockroach has no business in a fowl fight.

Pus ah daag no ab di siem lok.
Puss and dog do not have the same luck.

Daag nuo uu fi bait ah dopi nuo uu fi fraitn.
Dog knows who to bite and ghost knows who to frighten.

Yu ed fieba sitn we kiangkro jraa briek ina.
Your head looks as if crows nested in it.

We mek yu ed fieba sense faul nes?
Why does your head look like a senseh fowl's nest?

So hoerli kak nat iivn put aan ih jraaz yet.
So early cock has not even put on his drawers yet!

Yu mos tingk se mi baan baka kou.
You must think I was born behind a cow.

Laan fi daans a yaad bifuo yu go habraad.
Learn to dance at home before you go abroad.

Bot unu si mi dain chrayal?
But do you see my dying trial?

Faya de a musmus tiel ih tingk a kuul briiz.
Fire at mouse's tail it thinks is cool breeze.

A lang taim deh marid, deh dis neba choch.
It's a long time they've been married, they just never been churched.

Fos waata ag kech ih wash ina i.
The hog washes in the first water it gets to.

Ef yu kyaah kech Kwaashi yu kech ih shot.
If you can't catch Quashie, you catch his shirt.

Mi neh baan wen mi mada gaan a maakit.
I wasn't born when my mother went to market.

We swiit nani guot a-go ron ih beli.
What pleases nanny goat will give her the runs.

We swiit yu gweih sowa yu.
What pleases you will displease you.

Wen chobl tek yu, pitni shot fit yu.
When in trouble, a child's shirt will fit you.

Tide fi mi, tumaara fi yu.
Today for me, tomorrow for you.

Wan-wan kuoko ful baaskit.
One by one cocos will fill a basket.

Sari fi maaga daag, maaga daag ton roun bait yu.
Pity the thin dog, it'll turn around and bite you.

Si ah blain, ie ah def, bai ah sel.
See and be blind, hear and be deaf, buy and sell.

Ef guot eh nuo di saiz a hih byain, ih hudn swaala mango siid.
If the goat knew the size of its behind, it wouldn't swallow mango seeds.

Shaat kot jraa blod, lang ruod jraa swet.
A short-cut draws blood, the long road draws sweat.

Ebri huo ab ih tik a bush.
Every hoe has a handle in the bush.

Waa fi yu kyaah bi anfi yu.
What is yours cannot be un-yours.

Ebri die bokit go a wel, wan die di batam mos jrap out.
Every day the bucket goes to the well, one day the bottom must drop out.

Si ya, pitni, no luk pah mi wid daade tuon a vais.
Look here, kid, don't look at me with that tone of voice.

Koh si mi a wan ting, koh lib wid mi a waneda.
Come see me is one thing, come live with me is another.

Yu lidong wid daag, yu mos gitop wid flii.
You lie with dogs, you must rise with fleas.

Yu flai wid kiangkro, yu wi niam ded miit.
You fly with john crow you will eat dead meat.

A suuh klip yu wing.
I'll soon clip your wings.

Yu tingk mi baan big so? Ef a so mi no huda kil mi mada?
Do you think I was born big? If so, wouldn't I have killed my mother?

Daag a-kin tiit laaf afta bucha.
Dog is grinning, laughing at the butcher.

Ih blak laka faib paas midnait.
(S)he's black like five past midnight.

Aadiez pitni niam raktuon.
Stubborn kids eat stones.

Yu tiit kin laik dem chruo daag faya tik.
You're grinning like a dog thrown a fire-stick.

Yu tingk se mi sliip a faya said.
You think I sleep at the fireside.

Yu wi suuh fain out ou waata waak go a pongkin beli.
You will soon find out how water gets inside a pumpkin's belly.

Shain yai gial iz a chobl tu a man.
Shiny-eyed girls are trouble to a man.

Kot ai, kot ai, kyaah kot mi ina tuu.
Cut your eyes at me but you can't cut me in two.

Wa gaan bad a maanin kyaah kom gud a hiivlin.
What has gone bad in the morning, can't come good by evening.

Ben di chrii wen iyong.
Bend the tree while it's young.

Aadiez pitni gaa maakit tuu taim.
Stubborn kids go to market twice.

Katn chrii faal dong, daag jomp uoba i.
Cotton tree falls, dog jumps over it.

Sumaal ax chap dong big chrii.
Small axe cuts down big tree.

Byain daag a daag, bifuo daag a Misa Daag.
Behind dog it's dog, before dog it's Mister Dog.

No kos haligeta lang mout tel yu kraas di riba.
Don't curse the alligator's long mouth till you have crossed the river.

Wen fish koh frah riba batam se haligeta dong de, biliib im.
When fish comes from the river's bottom saying alligator is down there, believe him.

Paasn krisn ih pitni fos.
The parson christens his child first.

Ebri kiangkro tink ih pitni wait.
Every john crow thinks its child is white.

Daag ab tomoch yaad go widoutn dina.
A dog with too many homes goes without dinner.

Ebri pwail iz a stail.
Every mistake is a style.

Wa jrap frah ed jrap pah shuolda.
What falls from the head falls on the shoulder.

Foul grii fi ach dok heg, no fi laan dok pitni fi swim.
Fowl agreed to hatch Duck's egg, not to teach ducklings to swim.

Li pepa bon big man mout.
A little pepper burns a big man's mouth

Bul fut brok, ih niam wid mongki.
When the bull's foot is broken, he eats among monkeys.

No mata ou ai kiangkro flai, ih afi kom a grong fi niam.
No matter how high the john crow flies, it has to come down to eat.

No kaal man ded tel ih beri.
Don't say a man is dead till he's buried.

Chikin meri, aak de nier.
The chicken is merry, the hawk is near.

Foul neba si heg, kiakl wen ih si wait tuon.
A fowl which has never seen an egg, cackles when it sees a white stone.

Siem naif wa tek tik shiip tik guot.
The same knife which sticks sheep sticks goat.

Mango siizn pat ton dong.
In mango season pots are put away.

Tek di kies ah gi mi di pila.
Take the case and give me the pillow.

Dopi nuo uu fi fraitn.
Ghost knows who to frighten.

Nieli tuon neba kil bod.
Nearly stone never kills bird.

Rien a-faal bot doti tof.
Rain falls but the earth is hard.

Kozn ah kozn bwail gud suup.
Cousins together make good soup.

No ebriting gud fi hiit gud fi taak.
Not everything good to eat is good to be spoken of.

Guot no krach ih byain tel ih si waal.
Goat doesn't scratch its behind till it sees a wall.

Ebri we yu ton maka juk yu.
Everywhere you turn you get stuck with prickles.

Yong bod no nuo orikien.
Young bird does not know the hurricane.

No beta baril, no beta erin.
No better barrel, no better herring.

Ombl kyaaf jringk di muos milk.
The humble calf drinks the most milk.

Jak Manduora mi no chuuz non.
Jack Mandora I choose none.

a dat that's it
a it mek that's why
a no se it is not that
a wa mek why
aaba shaak predatory person
aas ded ah kou fat drawn-out, evasive excuse
ab mi hexkyuuz please excuse me
angl yu laik bwai/daag treat shabbily
hax paadn pardon me, excuse me
baan baka kou ignorant, unexposed
bai pus ina bag transact sight unseen
bakansa, bakchat smart-ass response, retort
bati ah bench inseparable
beli pregnancy; - get beli become pregnant; - dash we beli have abortion
bich lik strong blow
byain Gad bak remote, cut-off
bifuo kak put aan jraaz before dawn
biit op yu gom blathering, futile complaining
bliich to go without sleep
blouz ah skoert mild expletive
bon kiangl fi put hex on
bos out break out; lose inhibitions
bos tuu klaat swear vociferously
chuo wod to taunt
chuu wod truth
daa wi du that'll do
daag niam yu sopa expect trouble, you're gonna get it
dakta no put (mi) pani not necessary, essential or required
de (wid) to be in a relationship (with)
de bout around, nearby
de pah ies in a hurry
dede/dide is there
dis az chiip just as well
dongkia carefree, shiftless
duont? isn't that so?
ef a so, a so so be it
ef a heg mi ina di red count me in
enzop hands up, show of hands
fain yu yaad go home
fala bak a mi follow me
farin abroad, imported; gaa farin go abroad
fi chuu really and truly
fi six to the extreme (cricket boundary)
fiil a wie to feel embarrassed, slighted, uncomfortable
frah ih yai de a hih nii when he was little
gaa go to
gaan klier succeed
gastu must, similar to American gotta
get a blai given a chance, an opening
get chuu succeed
gi six fi nain deceive, pull a fast one
go chuu proceed
ina yu haki in your element
jraa bad kyaad have bad luck
jraa dong to lose weight, appear unwell
jrai ed thin hair
jrai fut (person) of no consequence
jrai fuud processed, packaged food, e.g. bread, snacks
jrai lan tuoris local given to putting on airs
jrap fut to dance
jrap ina suup gain advantage, get lucky
jrap jraaz ultimate insult or protest, moon
jrap wod to hint
jres tu pus (bak) fut dressed ostentatiously
jriep op to restrain by holding trouser waist in course of arrest
kaak (op) stopped up, jammed, crowded
kaak yu iez don't listen
kaal dong kroud create a stir
kaal i se virtually, just about
kaka faat expletive
kak op to raise; relaxed pose of the nonchalant
kak out to push out, protrude
kech fried become afraid
kech ih lent find one's stride
kech waal kola become part of the furniture
kil wait foul perform ritual sacrifice
kin pupalik somersault
kin tiit grin
kirout! get out!
kis tiit to make sucking sound through protruding lips as expression of disgust, disdain
kom iin laka is like, similar to
kot ten to sit with legs crossed
kot yai to look at, then away from someone in disdain
kraabtuo bad handwriting
krai krii to call time-out
kramp stail inhibit, detract
kuul yu fut relax
Laad a masi! Lord have mercy!
laala! exclamation similar to O my!
Laax! euphemism for Lord!
laka se as if
libati tekin presumptious attitude or act; -libati kom chuu kielisnis akin to familiarity breeds contempt
lik ed (hit head and) get crazy
luk ah juk hunt and peck way of typing
maak yu fies remember you as a result of slight or insult
mait az chiip may as well
manaz said after belching, akin to pardon me
masi mi maasa exclamation akin to mercy, Lord
mikies hurry up
mos ah boun obligated
nat a piis a dat no way
nat a wan none
no bikaa just because
no biniz don't care, not concerned
no chuu? isn't that true?
no fiil no wie not to be sorry, not to take offense, not to be affected, not to take it personally
no fret don't worry
no kia no matter
no nuo hie frah bulfut ignorant, illiterate
no nuo wa klak a-chraik naive, unaware
no so? isn't that so?
nuo ou waata waak go a pongkin beli know how things work
out fi to be about to
outa haada rude, impudent
pap stail aspiring, adopting a manner or style
pik op fut hurry
pul fut run
put guot mout invoke misfortune
puo no choch mous poor as a church mouse
ron buot cooperative ad hoc cooking, e.g., in the bush, on a construction site
ron dong to argue insistently
saal(t) down on luck, broke
se fe invite or provoke, dare
set aan instigate
shegop to disappoint, inconvenience; unreliable
siem wie just like that
skuips-skuips onomatopoeia of washing laundry by hand
so tel to the extreme
sok saal chuu hudn spuun endure hardship
suuh kom maybe sometime in the future, when I'm good and ready
spirit tek have affinity
swap blak daag fi mongki pointless exchange
tap tel tuori stop lying
tara-wara euphemism for expletives
tek libati be presumptious
tide die today
ton fuul become irrational or enthralled
(noun)tu ersatz, wannabe
tuori kom tu bomp dramatic climax, as in shit hits the fan
uol dong tek we uneven match, walk-over
wara-wara euphemism for expletives
waa gwaan? greeting, cf. Eng. how goes?, Fr. ca va?, Sp. como va?
waagen? what else?
waak gud goodbye
waapm greeting, similar to waa gwaan
wa du yu? what's the matter with you? - wa du yu duo iihn? rhetorical question
wa mek why
wach ya nou look here
wa die the other day
wait liba sexually insatiable
wangga got glutton
wan-wan one by one, singly
wan ah tuu few
wen saalfish shingl oustap long ago
yaa yes? you hear?
yai mek fuo exchange looks
yu tuu faas none of your business
yu tuu tuori you're making it up

So dem a jrapi now ...
Slang and Argot

Laik eniting els, langwij gati fashin tu ah woddem kom iin ah outa yuus az yu kuint. Demaya a som a dem we a-kyaa di swing ... bot main, deh kuda don ded aredi bi taim yu riid dis.
Like anything else, language has its fashion and words come into and out of use as you blink. These are some that are current ... but, careful, they could be dead already by the time you read this.

haanal pork
hagani sexual ecstasy
bilz paper money
blouwou mild form of expletive
bos tuu klaat to utter expletives
chrash ah redi stylish, fashionable
chrentan pork
chupsi term of endearment
daakaz sunglasses
dali to perform weaving motion, especially on a bike
dan gaagan chief warlord
dedaz meat, meat products
di maroz tomorrow
di Rak Jamaica
donz, donzai money
faawod to proceed; audience acclaim faawod up to give, pay, send
gaan tu bed in the extreme
get bon to be cuckolded
gi bon to cheat on one's sex partner
gialis ladies' man, don juan
giets home
ginigag person of influence, power
glamiti female genitals
Jamdong Jamaica
jamin dancing
Jie-ie JA (Jamaica)
jos kuul relax
jrapi express it
kaanaz position, neighbourbood
kii spaar best friend, main man
kuul ronins a greeting
krisaz brand new, especially car
kruushal important
kuchi communal smoking pipe
laaj renowned
laik aaf to be fond of, soft on
let aaf to give money
likl muor later
muo taim see you later
no puoshan not much
prii examine, check out
rakaz type of reggae
ree-ree excessive chatter, like blah-blah
ruop iin join in
skruu to get angry
step to leave
uol a chienj get money
uol a fresh bathe or shower
yu don nuo you know
yu no siit? do you see?

Rigl mi dis

Rigl mi dis ah rigl mi dat
Ges mi dis rigl ar praps nat.
Riddle me this and riddle me that
Guess me this riddle or perhaps not.

  • Ruop roun dangki lidong.
    Rope round donkey lie down.
  • Ruum ful, aal ful, kyaah get a spuunful.
    Room full, hall full, can't get a spoonful.
  • Wan piis a wait yam saab di wuol wol.
    One piece of white yam serves the whole world.


  • Op chin chieri, dong chin-chieri,
    Nat a man kiah klaim chin-chieri.
    Up chim-cheree, down chim-cheree,
    Not a man can climb chim-cheree.

  • El a tap, el a batom, aliluuya a migl.
    Hell on top, hell at bottom, alleluia in the middle.
1 pongkin (pumpkin) | 2 sumuok (smoke) | 3 muun (moon) | 4 sumuok (smoke) | 5 pitieta puon (potato pudding)


Di wol fos bailinggual ahn muos kampriensiv Jumiekan/Ingglish websait
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Bakgrong himij adap frahn / Background image adapted from
Adolphe Duperly, Cornwall Street, Falmouth, dagerotaip/daguerrotype

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