Han' go, paki come.
meaning: When you reach
out a hand good things
come back to you.

Walk better dan sidong.
meaning: To walk is better
than to sit down.
Used when someone
goes somewhere
and recieves something
he or she needs
or can use, that he or she
might not have recieved,
staying home.

Haad iyaz pick'ni bu'n
a sun hot.

meaning: Children (or anyone)
who don't hear, (don't take
good advice)(hard ears)
will encounter great hardship
in life.

A noh siame diay leaf drop
a river bottom it rotten.

meaning: Time is the master.
One will wait a long time
to catch up with someone
who offends him or her.

Chicken deh merry,
Hawk deh near.

meaning: Where there is
too much merriment and
excitement, danger lurks near.

Di daakes' part a di night,
a when diay soon light.

meaning: When thing and
times are the hardest,
brighter times are near.

Empty bag cyaa stan' up.
meaning: A hungry man
cannot work.

Howdy an' tenk yu,
noh brok noh square.

meaning: To say howdy
and thank you is not
a bad thing; it is good.

Manners tek yu thru'
di worl'.

meaning: Good manners
take you thru' the world.

Manners mek di man.
meaning: Manners make
the man.

Noh cup noh brok,
noh coffee noh trow weh.

meaning: If you survive
unharmed, everything is fine.

Wha' noh poison, fatten.
meaning: If an experience
doesn't distroys you, you
can benifit greatly from it.

Hog say, di fus water
'im cetch 'im walla.

meaning: Make use of the
first opportunity.

Bucket wid hole a battam
have no business a rivaside.

meaning: Mind your
own business. If you have faults
of your own, you shouldn't criticize

Rockstone a riva battam
noh kno' sun hot.

meaning: If you are in a
sheltered situation,
you don't know what
hardship is.

Peppa bu'n hot,
but ih good fi curry.

meaning: Everything
has its usefulness. A good
advice/counsel might be painful
to take/accept.

It' better fi lose yu time
dan yu character.

meaning: Keep your principles.

Yu mek yu sail too big
fi yu boat,yu sail wi capsize yu.

meaning: Don't be someone
you're not. Don't get a big head.

A noh every mango
got maggige.

meaning: Every one are not
the same. Every one are not bad.

Man noh dead,
noh call 'im duppy.

meaning: As long as someone
is alive, don't dismiss
their potentials.

Alligator lay egg,
but 'im noh fowl.

meaning: Things are not
always what they seem.
Not because people does
simular thing, they shouldn't
be judged soly on there

Alligator shouldn' call hog
long mout.

meaning: One shouldn't belittle
someone who's like them in
some ways.

Feel like Gumbeh drum
widout a goat-skin.

meaning: To feel out of place.
Unable to function as one should
or would like to.

When water trow weh i'
cyaa pick up.

meaning: You can't turn back
the hands of time. What is done,
is done.

When visitors come a
wi fireside, wi mek wi pot smell nice.

meaning: When you have guests,
you treat them the best you can.

Lickle bit a ram goat have beard
an' big dull noh have nun.

meaning: Little people/things
can have grand attributes that
big people/things don't.

Yu shake man han',
yu noh shake 'im heart.

meaning: What you see on
the outside, doesn't mean
it's the same on the inside.

Too much callaloo,
mek peppa-pot stew bitter.

meaning: Too much of a good
thing, can spoil everything.

Noh care how boar hog try
fi hide under sheep wool,
'im grunt always betray 'im.

meaning: Don't care how much
disguise someone puts on,
their true self will surface.

When rat like fi romp
'roun' puss jaw, one diay
'im gwine en up inna puss craw.

meaning: When one flirts
too much with danger,
soon he or she will get hurt.

When crab walk too much,
'im lose 'im claw.

meaning: Overuse will eventually
cause breakage. One who is aimless
and wondering becomes worthless
and ineffective.

When kitchen dresser tumble
dung, maaga dog laugh.

meaning: The deprived will laugh
at the misfortune of the fortunate.

When yu go a Jackass yard,
yu noh fi chat 'bout big iyaz.

meaning: Don't criticize others
in their presence.

Pudden cyaa bake widout fiah.
meaning: You need the right tools
for the job.

Pretty rose got macca jook.
meaning: There is a bad side
to seemingly good situation.

Man noh done cross riva,
noh fi cuss alligator long mout long.

meaning: Don't coss those who
can block your path.

Monkey mus' know
weh 'im gwine put 'im tail,
before 'im order trousiz.

meaning: One must know
one's self before doing what
others are doing.

When Jackass smell corn,
'im gallop.

meaning: People respond to
the right encouragement.

We run t'ings, t'ings noh run we.
meanings: Control your own destiny.

Tideh fi mi, tomorrow fi yu.
meaning: Time and place
for every thing.

Every dog got dem diay,
Every puss dem 4 O' clock.

meaning: Every one have their time,
to shine.

Rat belly full,
potato have skin.

meaning: When your are not in need,
you are choosey.

When Jackass back strong,
dem overload 'im hamper.

meaning: The best worker always get
the hardest task.

One, one cwoco full baaskit.
Every little bit adds up.
Easy does it; a little at a time.

Sarry fi maaga dog,
maaga dog tu'n 'roun' bit yu.

meaning: Some times you help
someone in an unfortunate
stiuation and they act ungrateful,
even hurt you.

If you want half a bread,
beg smaddy buy it,
but if yu want a wan,
buy it yuself.

meaning: If you want it done right,
do it yourself.

Cos-cos noh bore hole
a mi skin.

meaning: Words cannot hurt me.

Crab'n choke puppy.
meaning: Don't be greedy,
it will hurt you.

If yu cyaa tek di heat,
get out a di kitchen.

meaning: If you cannot take the
pressure, get out of the situation.

When yu go a fireside
an' see food, eat half
an' lef' half.

meaning: Don't speak all
that you know. (speak half
and leave half).

Want all, loose all.
meaning: If one is greedy,
one loses everything.

Want i' want i',
cyaa get i'
an' get i' get i',
no want i'.

meaning: Those who are in need,
can't get it and those who have it
don't want it.

T'ief no love fi si
t'ief carry long bag.

meaning: Thief don't like to see
other thieves seem
like they're florishing.

Every mickle
mek a mockle.

meaning: Every little adds up.

Bad luck wos dan Obeah.
meaning: Bad luck is worst
than witchcraft

Noh put yu cap
whé yu caang reach it.

meaning: Don't live above
your means.

Dem give yu basket fi
carry water.

meaning: Someone give yu a raw deal.

If yu de shit, an' si certain
people/person a come;
sidong inna it.

meaning: You have to do your atmost
best to conceal any thing you're
doing that you don't want everyone to
know about, from people/person(s) with
loose tongue(s) (people/person[s]
talk too much).

Doppy knwo who fi frighten.
meaning: Powerless person(s) knows
who to intimidate.

Puss an' Dog
noh have di same luck!

meaning: What will work for some
folks, don't for some.

Neva si, come si.
meaning: Someone who
is not use to having nice things
and makes too much of a
public show and exitement
about it.

Cyaa tan fur,
t'row saal inna pat
(Cannot stay far
throw salt into a pot)
meaning: Cannot stay far,
and tell one sensitive

Scaanful daag
eat dohti pudd'n.

trans Scornful dog,
eats dirty pudding

Wishful waste
bring woeful wants.

meaning: As it says,
if you waste things knowingly
and without care,
you will pay for such action
in painful needs in the future.

Ask paas
yu cyaanh laas paas.

meaning: Ask The Way
and you WILL find your way.

Patient man ride Dankey .
meaning: Patience is a key indredient
for success in a difficult undertaking.

Red yaye. (eye)
meaning: Envious.

Puss inna bag.
meaning: Concealed entity.

Puss brok cwoconat inna yu yaye?
meaning: Contemptuous bold look
in the eyes.

Dry yaye. (eye)
meaning: Contemptuous bold look
in the eyes.

Shit in, shit out.
meaning: If you take in; learn; ingest
negativity, that's what you expound.

Carry go bring come.
meaning: To carry mischievous tales
from person to person.

Crabn, gi mi fi mi.
meaning: The idea, that if one is crave/greedy for some thing,
that's a way to achieve it.

Time langa dan rope.
meaning: You can hold me back,
oppress me, abuse me,
do negative stuff to me, despise me,
even enslave me, hurt me, etc. but you can't do them/it to me forever because time and my will/determination is on my side .... time is the master, you can't out last time.

Sick no cyah (care), doctor worst.
meaning: If you have a problem and don't care someone who can help wont care even more.

Wha' eye no si, heart no leap.
meaning: You are unaware of the danger of what you don't know.

Di ol'a di moon, di brighter ih shine.
Older folks are wiser.

Good frien' betta dan pockit money.
A good friend is better than money in your pocket.

Long run, shaat kech .
If you keep running away from some thing or someone for a long time, sooner it/him/her will catch up with you.

Cha Cha Bwoy.
A male who is dressy, empty, a whole lot of sweet talk that means nothing, without real substance - just aim to impress and deceive in order to get by, win friends and look good - liked, but is a laughing stock because he is so transparent, simple and usable, stands for nothing. He walks with a bop


Jamaican language
is a hybrid of African and English.

It is important to note that there are
variations to the language,
depending on the region of the Island,
in correlation to which Tribe
in West Africa
my people came from and the
respective area we settled,
during slavery and after.

Our language and our use of it,
is very dynamic. Slangs are created
perpetually, fortifying our

Lots of emphasis is placed
on the sound/vibration of the word along with 'body language'.

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Aaaysa -- meaning: An expression
of resignation, sometimes with a smile, even within :-).
Afi -- meaning: Have to
Ar -- meaning: Her
Baaskit -- meaning: Basket
Batta-batta-- meaning: To survive or merely get by.
Battam -- meaning: Bottom
Bickle -- meaning: Food
Breda -- meaning: Brother
Breshé -- meaning: Breadfruit
Brok --- meaning: Brake/Broke
Bumpy-bumpy-- meaning: Very bumpy. Covered with bumps.
Bu'n -- meaning:
Bwoy -- meaning: Boy
Cabba-cabba -- meaning: Uncivilised people.
Cetch -- meaning: Catch/Caught
Chacka-chacka -- meaning: Untidy. Disorganised.
Chatty-chatty -- meaning: Talk excessively. Unable to keep secret.
Cobich .. meaning: Don't like to give
Cos cos -- meaning: Qurrel
Crabn -- meaning: Greedy
Croff -- meaning: Untidy, non-ambitious
Cwoco -- meaning: Cocoa
Cyaa -- meaning: Can't
Cyaanh -- meaning: Can't
Cyass-cyass -- meaning: A noisy quarrell or controversy.
Daakes' -- meaning: Darkest
Daht -- meaning: That
Dan --- meaning: Than
Dankey --- meaning: Donkey
Deady-deady -- meaning: Unexciting. Boring.
Degeh-degeh (Dégé dégé) -- meaning: Only one. By itself.
---- meaning: There /Being / Is
Dem --- meaning: Them
Di ----- meaning: The
Diay --- meaning: Day
Dibby-dibby -- meaning: Not worthy of respect.
Dohs -- meaning: Those
Dohti -- meaning: Dirty /earth /soil
Dong -- meaning: Down
Dooguh-dooguh -- meaning: Rough sexual intercourse.
Eh-he -- meaning: Yes
Éh éh -- meaning: Expression of surprise.
Éh éh oh-- meaning: Expression of surprise; discovery
Fah ---- meaning: For
Fengké-fengké - meaning: un- impressive. Lacking vigor or vitality
Fi ---- meaning: For
Fayah -- meaning: Fire
Fi-yah -- meaning: Fire
Fiwi -- meaning: Ours
Fool-fool -- meaning: More than ordinarily foolish.
Froungzi -- meaning: Having an offensive body odour
Doppy -- meaning: Ghost
Ginal -- meaning: Tricky person
Goh -- meaning: Go
Good-good -- meaning: Pristine, high quality.
Goody-goody -- meaning: Pretentious.

Guh Dong -- meaning: Go Down
Gwhaan -- meaning: Go On
Gwhaany-gwhaany -- meaning: To be boastful. A show-off.
Ghalang -- meaning: Go On
Ghana -- meaning: Going To
Gwhé ---- meaning: Go away!
Gwine -- meaning: Going to
Gyal -- meaning: Girl
Han' --- meaning: Hand
Har --- meaning: Her
Haad -- meaning: Hard
Haffi -- meaning: Have to
Heby -- meaning: Heavy
Hengka--meaning:To hang around for food
Ih -- meaning: It
Ihih -- meaning: No
Inna --- meaning: Into/In
Im -- meaning: Him
Irie --- meaning: Good / Fine / Ok / Hi / mellow
Labba-labba -- meaning: Talk excessively and often, telling other people's business.
Lay-lay -- meaning: To waste time, procrastinate.
Licky-licky -- meaning: Greedy and eat from anyone, without discretion.

Iyaz --- meaning: Ears
Jing-bang -- meaning: Lots of crappy things
Jook -- meaning: Pierce
Kech -- meaning: Catch
Kiba -- meaning: To cover
Knwo -- meaning: know
Kuh ya -- meaning: Look here
Lang --- meaning: Long
Langa --- meaning: Longer
Lickle --- meaning: Little
Ma --- meaning: Mother / Madam
Maaga - meaning: Meager/Malnurished
Macca -- meaning: Prickle
Mada - meaning: Mother
Maggige -- meaning: Maggot
Mek -- meaning: Make
Mi --- meaning: Me
Miehke-miehke -- meaning: Messy texture
Mout -- meaning: Mouth
Muck -- meaning: Murk
Muma - meaning: Mother
Naah - meaning: Not going to
Neva -- meaning: Never
Niahm .. meaning: Eat
Noh --- meaning: Not
Nuff/Noff ... meaning: Plenty
Nuff-nuff -- meaning: Plentiful
Oooy -- meaning: Yes - responce
to someone calling you from a distant
Packi -- meaning: An eating vessel made from a small gourd
Pahn -- meaning: On
Pickni --meaning: Children
Pick'ni --meaning: Children
Play-play -- meaning: Not serious or meaningful in nature.
Prekeh --meaning: An abstinate person who is not aware that he/she is a laughing stock
Pupa -- meaning: Father
Pyah-pyah -- meaning: Lacking vigor or vitality.
Ray-ray -- meaning: Controversy, pandemonium.
Riba ---- meaning: River
Riva ---- meaning: River
Rhamp -- meaning: To play
Rhomp -- meaning: Ones bottom
Ruhx -- meaning: To have sex
Sa ----- meaning: Sir
Sarry ----- meaning: Sorry
Sawka-sawka -- meaning: To cut through roughly, usually with unsharped tool leaving jagged edges.
Si ---- meaning: See
Shaat --- meaning: Short
Shaata --- meaning: Shorter
Shi --- meaning: She
Siame -- meaning: Same
Sidong -- meaning: Sit down
Sinting -- meaning: Something
Smaddy -- meaning: Somebody
Stan' -- meaning: Stand
Swo So - meaning: Mediocre
Tahn -- meaning: Stay
T'ank yu -- meaning: Thank you
Tek --- meaning: Take
Tenk yu -- meaning: Thank you
Tideh ---- meaning: Today
T'ing ---- meaning: Thing
Tofenge -- meaning: To be destitute and hopeless
(tu'n wo't'less)
Trampooz -- meaning: To walk about.
Trow ---- meaning: Throw
Tufengé -- meaning: A blight person
TV tetet - meaning: Someone who watches lots of TV
Uhnu -- meaning: You all
Umhm --- meaning: Yes
Wagga-wagga -- meaning: Very fat. Obese, racking side to side while walking.
Walla -- meaning: Wallow
Walla-walla -- meaning: To wallow or indulge in sloppily.
Wan --- meaning: One
Wan-wan (one-one) -- meaning: One by one. Singly.
Weh --- meaning: Where / Away
Wha -- meaning: What
Wi --- meaning: We
Wid --- meaning: With
Woi-woi -- meaning: Far away. Remote area.
Wos -- meaning: Worst
Ya ---- meaning: Here
Yaye ---- meaning: Eye
Yout' -- meaning: Youth
Yow --- meaning:Hi
Yu --- meaning: You/Your



Did you know that Jamaica
was first inhabited by
The Arawaks
and that it was originally called
XAYMACA, meaning, 'Land Of Wood And Water?"

Did you know that The Arawaks were brutalized to near extinction by Christophor Colombus and Spain with slavery and diseases Colombus and his cronies unleashed on that peaceful
and hospitable people? Decendants
of these noble people can be found
in Puerto Rico, Bolivia and other parts of the Americas.
In Puerto they are known as Tainos.

Did you know that The Maroons are unique and pivotal in the Jamaica dynamics?

This town clock's tower was paid for by one of Jamaica 's German settlers and he designed it to look like a German (Prussian)
soldier's helmet.


Where was the first place in Jamaica to have electricity?

Black River. It was installed by the Leyden family in their house in 1893. The house is now Waterloo Guest House at 44 High Street .

Where in Jamaica had piped water before New York City did?

Falmouth. A 20 foot water wheel was installed in 1799 on lands at Martha Brae, which was turned by the current of the stream and
emptied about 100 gallons of water per revolution into a wooden trough approximately 20 feet elevation. A six-inch main carried the water for about a mile into a large tank in the town square of
Falmouth . The town square is still called "Water Square" as a result.

What is "Zella" ?

Another name for nine-night. (The term may be unique to Portland however.)It may be a derivative of zeli, the word for drum in Ewe,
one of the Kwa languages of Ghana .

Who declared that he would ascend to heaven on December 31st and
descend back to Jamaica on January 3rd?

Alexander Bedward.

What would traditional midwives in days gone by put on a baby's navel after the umbilical cord was cut?

A dressing made of castor oil and nutmeg.

What would she put in the water for the baby's first bath ?

Rum and a silver coin. Tradition holds that the father should provide the coin.

What would the child be "marked" with for protection?

Laundry blue or "coolie red" (carmine).

You can burn these leaves to keep away duppy.

Croton. (aka Rosemary)

What is a cotta ?

A pad of leaves or cloth placed under loads carried on the head.

What animals, now died out, were brought to Jamaica in the 18th century to carry sugar ?


What is another name for "Halifax Mutton".

Saltfish. Originally a cheap source of protein imported from Nova Scotia for enslaved labourers, many members of the planter class
referred to it by this name while enjoying it as much as their slaves did.

Why would you place a broom upside down behind a door in your house?

To make an unwanted guest go away.

Solas Market became Jubilee Market. What was its name before that?

There are currently 4 main markets in Kingston : Jubilee, Queens,
Redemption Ground and Coronation. Solas market was previously known as Chiggerfoot Market. Chiggers used to be a common complaint amongst slaves who rarely wore shoes. After emancipation, the term
chiggerfoot eventually came to be applied to poor people. Several markets had this name, both in and outside of Kingston .

What is the heart of a soursop said to cure?

Bed wetting.

What are senseh fowls good for?

They will unearth any guzu buried in your yard. Also used to chase mongoose.

What is a thunderball (or thunderbolt) and what is it used for?

Any smooth stone found in a field. They used to be put in earthenware containers of water to keep it cool. Known in other islands as
"thunderstone" or "lightening stone", they are traditionally believed to have fallen from the sky and used to be of religious significance. The ones found in Jamaica have been identified as Taino in origin.

What is pinda cake made of ?

Sesame seeds and peanuts.

What is "Pickni Christmas" ?

Easter celebrations. So called because they were the only celebration, other than Christmas, that slaves were allowed to
participate in. It was shorter and less elaborate however as the name

If you dream about a doctor what number should you play in Drop Pan?


What do salt, limes, garlic cloves, a pair of scissors and wangla have in common ?

They can be used as guzu to guard against evil.

Who said "I would rather die in yonder gallows than be a slave another day" ?

Sam Sharpe.

Who said "The monster is dead. The negro is free" and where did he say it?

William Knibb, midnight on August 1st 1838 in Falmouth. He was preaching in what is now the William Knibb Memorial Church.
Lasana Bandelé Is An Eclectic Reggae Artist Deep In His Jamaican, African Roots With A Big Voice And A Powerful Message.
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