What is more sweet than local (Caribbean) parlance? Not much I assure you!

Here you will find the meaning of some of the quizzical terms/words used on this site. It’s necessary for honorary Caribbean citizenship.


B

bacchanal: raucous, the source of which could be joy or upset

C

chain-up: [translation] peer pressure; used in reference to the nature of a wind-up toy

D

dais: an amalgamation of the words “that” and “is”

dingolay: move/dance in a carefree manner; usually in celebration

doh get frighten: [translation] “do not be afraid”. “Doh” is a shortened form of the already shortened word “don’t”

K

ketch meh nenen: [translation] to have difficulty [doing something]. This term is written in the first person singular. Other conjugations may be used such as ketch yuh nenen (second person singular and/or plural) etc.

N

nenen: close female relation of a preceding generation. In some cultures, this person is a grandmother and others a godmother

S

santimanitay: to make up or invent as one goes along (extemporaneously); as in the quippy calypso artform, extempo

sepee: details about a circumstance or process. It’s a cheeky abbreviation of the word “recipe”. A widely used synonym is “zeppo”

scootch: a dangerous (to the unskilled and to those condoning random missiles) game in which a person throws an object at another with the intent of “tagging” their target(s). Rules may be varied as necessary (for instance missile types and body parts to be avoided may be decided beforehand)

suckeye: [translation] easy, not difficult

sweet hand: a term used to describe the talent of making delectable food eg. “Mmm taste this pone! Mama Lucie have ah sweet hand boy!”

T

the other day: refers to a moment in the recent past. Be warned; to a Caribbean native, everything took place “recently”.

Y

young mango: mangoes at a stage of germination not yet ready for consumption. These are also called “green mango”. Not colloquially used in its plural form mangoes, the term represents both one and many. “The old people” (elders) often taught that eating young mango could give you colic

Z

zeppo: see sepee


Learn parlance in its native environment on the blog. Have fun!

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