In Jamaica We Say

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Follow the Fader

The subject also discovered a love of language and literature, and knew he was destined for a life as a performer from a very early age.

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His training as an actor in London involved the eradication of the last vestiges of his Jamaican accent, though, and, as his story reveals, in his later years the subject reclaimed his black Caribbean identity, and that political stance can be heard in his speech. The text used in our recordings of scripted speech can be found by clicking here. I was born in Stirling in the parish of Saint Ann, which is, the, on the north coast of Jamaica, and I was born in I lived for the first eight years of my life in the country, in Stirling, with my grandmother.

I have two sisters who are younger than I am, and we all three lived with my grandmother. So, um, my sisters and I for the — all our lives, really, all our lives, were brought up by our dad. Um, he moved my older sister, Faye, who is, I think, two years younger than me — he moved us to Kingston, where he worked, to live with him, and leaving my younger sister, who is, er, four years younger than me, still with my grandmother.

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So Faye and I were brought up in Kingston from the age of 8. Every holiday, we returned to the country, to be with my grandmother. Much of what I know about the world, how my, how my character is formed, um, my attitudes to life and living, come from my grandmother. I was trying to remember the kinds of words I would have had at my disposal as a child, as a, growing up, growing up through that period, not just the period of eight years when I was in the country.

Um, and there were several of them that really, and some I still use now, for example, I still use jingbang. Jingbang, which means good for nothing, which m— it can also mean a group of people. What a lotta jingbang out dere. Look here. Koo ya. Wa ya tink yuh a tak bout? Jus because yuh is Englishman now yuh tink yuh can tak like dat. But I love some of these words we used as children. Fenky fenky means somewhat sort of precious. Sort of, rather, sort of, um, puny and precious, you know. Which means high-class, you know.

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Is who she tink she is? Do you know? And and galang. Go on. Galang now. Or dutty. Dutty means ground or dirt. I was remembering some of these words and also how we would vary the use of the Patwa. A weh yuh a go? Where are you going. A weh yuh a go. A weh yuh dah go? Is where yuh goin? Where are you going? Is there anything more disgusting than these little creatures? Especially when they take to attacking food, livestock, and even our pets! While their beneficial contribution to nature cannot be disputed, they do tend to be a bit of a nuisance.

Apparently, so much so, that Jamaicans gave them a whole new name.

You will rarely hear a Jamaican say maggot. I guarantee that if none of the others do, this is the one that will leave you scratching your head forever.

But first, a story! I first came up with the idea for this article, while walking through the produce section at the store. Though he speaks fluent French and Haitian Creole, he was born and raised in America, making it all the more likely that he would say pomegranate. After him, I called my mother, pointed, and asked her if she knew the name of the fruit.


The sign was right there, and she did look at it before she answered me. Her reply? My father was confused, and I was laughing. That is just one of those many words, I never dare to pronounce around Americans…. This got me to thinking about how some Americans pronounce words. In Missouri there is a Highway And we wont even get into putting something away vs. Not my country, not my rules lol. Farty-far is interesting.

Jamaicans do sometimes pronounce four differently. And I just saw a video about the whole ax vs.

Out of random curiosity, how do you pronounce the word egg? Do you say ehg or ayg? Never heard the second one before. Also, safety grinds my gears.

Jamaican Patois (NOT English!)

Many Jamaicans say say-fi-ty and not safe-ty. I say root and rowter. Most Americans I know say rowt. I ignore them when they try to correct me. Same goes for shedule instead of skedule. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Alexis Chateau with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Like this: Like Loading Any Advice? Loved this! Thank you! I do enjoy writing these. Not my country, not my rules lol Farty-far is interesting. Yeah that too! Well, even I would be done in by that one. This is too funny! Lovely post : Loading

In Jamaica We Say In Jamaica We Say
In Jamaica We Say In Jamaica We Say
In Jamaica We Say In Jamaica We Say
In Jamaica We Say In Jamaica We Say
In Jamaica We Say In Jamaica We Say
In Jamaica We Say In Jamaica We Say
In Jamaica We Say In Jamaica We Say
In Jamaica We Say In Jamaica We Say
In Jamaica We Say

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