Jamaican Rasta Patois Glossary from A to D

Learn to speak or understand Jamaican Patois

A:
(pronounced as a short ‘a’) means: I eg. a goin tomorrow – I’m going tomorrow
ACCIDENT:
a girl who will go after any man, whether he has a wife/girl friend or not
A GWINE:
I’m going to
ALMSHOUSE:
something bad, tragedy see: SHEGGRIES
AMHARIC:
One of the many languages of Ethiopia; the language of the royal Ethiopian dynasty since the 13th century
ANNADA:
another
ARINJ:
orange
ATTACLAPSE:
a very big event eg. Lord have mercy, di police come, whatta attaclapse
A GO:
going to do, as in Me a go tell him
A DOOR:
outdoors
ACCOMPONG:
name of Maroon warrior, Capt. Accompong, brother of Cudjo; also name of town. From the Twi name for the supreme deity
ACKEE:
n. African food tree introduced about 1778. From Twi ankye or Kru akee
AGONY:
the sensations felt during sex
AKS:
ask
ALIAS:
adj. (urban slang) dangerous, violent
AMSHOUSE:
poorhouse
AN:
than
ARMAGEDDON:
the biblical final battle between the forces of good and evil
ASHAM:
n. Parched, sweetened, and ground corn. From twi osiam
BAIT:
punk BAD MAN = gangsta
BABYLON:
feds = police
BASHMENT:
phat
BAXIDE:
ass = bottom
BIGGA HEADZ DODS:
important people
BRAWTA:
the little extra that you might get eg.extra sweets
BUZZ:
the police
BABYLON:
1. the corrupt establishment, the system Church and State 2. the police, a policeman
BAD:
good, great
BAD BWAI:
(bad boy) 1. refering to a bold man; a compliment 2. : One who has committed a crime.: (rude bwai, ruddy, baddy)
BADNESS:
hooligan behavior, violence for its own sake
BAFAN:
clumsy; awkward
BAFANG:
a child who did not learn to walk the 1st 2-7 years
BAG-O-WIRE:
a betrayer
BAGGY:
underpants for a woman or child
BALMYARD:
n. place where pocpmania rites are held, healing is done, spells cast or lifted
BAKRA:
white slavemaster, or member of the ruling class in colonial days. Popular etymology: “back raw” (which he bestowed with a whip)
BALD-HEAD:
a straight person; one without dreadlocks; one who works for babylon
BAMBA YAY:
by and by
BAMBU:
rolling paper
BAMMY:
a pancake made out of cassava, after it has been grated and squeezed to remove the bitter juice
BANDULU:
bandit, criminal, one living by guile a BANDULU BIZNESS is a racket, a swindle
BANGARANG:
hubbub, uproar, disorder, disturbance
BANKRA:
a big basket, including the type which hangs over the sides of a donkey
BANS:
from bands; a whole lot, a great deal, nuff, whole heap
BANTON:
a storyteller
BASHMENT:
party, dance, session
BAT:
butterfly or moth. English bat, the flying rodent,is a rat-bat
BATTY:
bottom; backside; anus

BATTYBWOY:
a homosexual person
BEAST:
a policeman
BEENIE:
little
BEX:
vex (verb), or vexed (adjective)
BHUTTU (BUHTUH):
an uncouth, out of fashion, uncultured person Use: Wey yu a go inna dem deh cloze? Yu fayva buttu
BIG BOUT YAH:
Large and in charge. Superlative indicating status (power, fame, money, talent, etc) within some social group
BISCUIT:
a particularly attractive woman
BISSY:
cola nut
BOOPS/BOOPSIE:
Boops is a man, often older, who supports a young woman; boopsie refers to a kept woman
BLACK UP:
To smoke weed. Like someone would ask “You Black up: today?” Meaning did you smoke today?
BLACKHEART MAN:
a rascal, a hooligan
BLOUSE AND SKIRT:
common exclamation of surprise
BLY:
chance, “must get a bly”, “must get a chance”
BOASIE:
adj. proud, conceited, ostentatious. Combination of English boastful and Yoruba bosi-proud and ostentatious
BOASIN TONE:
Swollen penis or testicles
BOBO:
fool
BOBO DREAD:
a rastafarian sect based on the teachings of Prince Emanuel Edwards distinguished by turbin-like headdresses, flowing white robes and communal living
BODERATION:
Boderation comes from the word bother and that’s basically what it means. If something is a boderation then it’s a bother
BONG BELLY PICKNEY:
a greedy child who ate too much
BOONOONOONOUS:
Meaning wonderful
BOX:
To smack or to hit in the face
BRAA:
from BREDDA; brother
BRAATA:
a little extra; like the 13th cookie in a baker’s dozen; or an extra helping of food. In musical shows it has come to be the encore
BREDREN:
one’s fellow male Rastas
BRINDLE:
to be angry
BRINKS:
title given to a man who is supplying a woman with money
BUBU:
fool
BUCKY:
home-made gun , slave
BUCKY MASSA:
master over the slaves
BUD:
bird
BUFU-BUFU:
fat, swollen, blubbery; too big; clumsy or lumbering
BUGUYAGA:
a sloppy, dirty person, like a bum or tramp
BULL BUCKA:
a bully
BULLA:
a comon sugar and flour cookie or small round cake, sold everywhere in Jamaica
BUMBA CLOT, (TO GET) BUN:
to have one’s spouse or girl/boy-friend cheat on oneself, to be cheated out of something
BLOOD CLOT, RAS CLOT:
curse words
BUCK UP:
meet
BUMBO:
bottom; backside. A common curse word, especially in combination with CLOT (cloth), a reference to the days before toilet paper
BUN:
burn
BUNGO:
n. racially pejorative. Crude, black, ignorant, boorish person. From Hausa bunga-bumpkin, nincompoop
BUNKS:
to knock or bump against, from “to bounce”, BUNKS MI RES, catch my rest, take a nap
BWOY:
Boy
CATTY:
when used as a person’s name, it usually ends up being Cathy mispronounced. it more generally means a girl or woman
CEMETERY:
a girl whose had many abortion
CHARLENE:
a girl who has ‘pretty car eyes’ meaning: she’ll go after a man who has a nice car eg. Benz

CHATTA BOX:
someone who talks alot
CROSSES/TRIALS:
comes from the expression trials and tribulations eg. But a coulda wah dis crosses pon me doe lawd?
CUT OUT:
leave somewhere
CYAA:
can’t, cannot
CAT:
a woman’s genitals
CALLALOU:
A spinach stew
CARD:
to fool someone
CEASE and SEKKLE!:
stop everything and relax!
CEPES:
(n.)beard
CERACE:
a wild cucurbit vine used for boiling medicinal tea, and for medicine. It is proverbial for its bitterness
CHA! or CHO!:
a disdainful expletive (1) pshaw! (2) very common, mild explanation expressing impatience, vexation or disappointment
CHAKA-CHAKA:
messy, disorderly, untidy
CHALICE or CHILLUM:
a pipe for smoking herb, usually made from coconut shell or CHALEWA and tubing, used ritually by Rastas
CHANT:
(v.) – to sing, especially cultural or spiritual songs
CHEAP:
just as cheap, just as well
CHI CHI MAN:
a gay man
CHIMMY:
chamber pot
CHO:
very common, mild explanation expressing impatience, vexation or disappointment
CLAP:
hit, break, stride
CLOT:
1. cloth, an essential part of most Jamaican bad words, such as bumbo clot, rass clot, blood clot, etc. The essence of Jamaican cursing seems to be nastiness, rather than the blashemy or sexuality which is characteristic of the metropolitan countries. 2. to hit or strike – from the verb “to clout”. 3. literally means a used tampon
COCO:
a potato-like edible root, known elsewhere as the taro or the eddo. It was brought to Jamaica from the South Pacific. This is completely distinct from cocoa, usually called chocolate
COIL:
money
COLD I UP:
humiliate or be-little
COME DUNG:
come down, get ready (as to prepare to play a tune)
COME EEN LIKE:
to seem as if; to resemble
CONTROL:
to be in charge of, responsible for, to own; to take
COO ‘PON:
v. (origin unclear) Look upon!
COO YAH:
v. (origin unclear) Look here! pay attention
COOL RUNNINGS:
usually used at a time of departure on a long journey meaning have a safe trip
COOLIE:
the traditional Jamaican epithet for East Indians. It is never used for Chinese Jamaicans. Usually in the form coolie-man or coolie-oman. It is not considered polite today anymore than the term nega, but it is still used widely in rural areas
COLLIE:
n. (urban slang) ganja
COME YAH (cumyu):
come here
CORK UP:
jammed, filled, crowded
CORN:
1. marijuana 2. money 3. a bullet
COTCH:
verb (cotch up), to support something else, as with a forked stick
COTTA:
a roll of cloth or vegetation placed on top of the head to cushion the skull from the weight of a head load
CRAB:
aside from it’s usual meaning, it is a verb meaning to scratch or claw
CRAVEN:
greedy
CRAVEN CHOKE PUPPY:
someone who wants everything but when they get it , they can’t manage it
CREATION STEPPER:
means you step it in and throughout Babylon without fear – cuttin’ edge, livin’ on the edge, fear no foe
CRIS:
crisp; popularly used for anything brand-new, slick-looking

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D.J.:
a person who sings or scats along with dub music, sometimes called “toasting”
DAAL:
split peas, usually a thick soup, from Indian cuisine, from Hindi
DADA:
father
DALLY:
executive zig-zag movements on wheels or on foot to ride a bicycle or motorbike with a weaving motion, as when ones weaves around potholes
DAN DADA:
the highest of DON’S
DAN:
than
DARKERS:
sunglasses
DASHEEN:
a big soft yam-like root, often slightly greyish when cooked. It is related to the coco, but one eats the “head” instead of the tubers
DAWTA:
a girl, woman, “sister,” girlfriend
DEAD HOOD:
(the H is silent) = A man that can’t perform sexually. Impotent
DEADERS:
meat, meat by-products
DEESTANT:
decent
DEGE or DEGE-DEGE:
adjective, little, skimpy, measly, only, as in a two dege-dege banana
DEH:
there (place)
DEY:
v. to be, exist, as in “No yam no dey”. From Ewe de or Twi de – to be
DEY ‘PON:
(aux. v.) – to be engaged in action or continuing activity (35) literally “there upon” As in “it dey pon de table”
DI:
the
DILDO MACCA:
dangerous macca or thorn that will bore you up
DINKI:
a kind of traditional dance at funerals or “nine nights” (“set-ups”); now popular among school children
DIS or DIS YA:
this
DJEW:
as a verb, rain a djew; as a noun, djew rain. It means a light rain or drizzle
DOGHEART:
a person who is especially cold and cruel
DOLLY:
executive zig-zag movements on wheels
DON:
one who is respected, master of a situation
DONKYA:
from “don’t care”; careless, sloppy, lacking ambition, etc
DOONDOOS:
an albino
DOWNPRESSOR:
preferred term for oppressor
DOTI:
“Dutty” means dirty, dirt or earth
(TO) DRAW CARD:
the act of fooling someone
DREAD:
1. a person with dreadlocks. 2. a serious idea or thing. 3. a dangerous situation or person. 4. the “dreadful power of the holy”. 5. experientially, “awesome, fearful confrontation of a people with a primordial but historically denied racial selfhood”
DREADLOCKS:
1. hair that is neither combed nor cut 2. a person with dreadlocks
DREADY:
a friendly term for a fellow dread
DUB:
a roots electronic music, created by skillful, artistic re-engineering of recorded tracks
DUB PLATE:
A pre-release copy of a record, often produced exclusively for a specific sound system (see “sound system”)
DUCK-ANTS:
white ants, or termites
DUKUNU:
sweet corn-meal dumplings boiled in wrapped leaves
DUNDUS:
an albino
DUNGLE:
n. legendary West Kingston slum surrounding a garbage dump, now cleared: From English dunghill
DUNS,DUNSA:
money
DUPPY:
a ghost
DUTCHY:
dutch cooking pot, low round-bottomed heavy pot
DUTTY:
dirty.

Acknowledgement

Thanks to some of the sources of this glossary...Reggae International, Stephen Davis, Peter Simon, R&B, 1982 - KSBR 88.5 FM, Laguna Beach, CA. Handout. - posted on rec.music.reggae - Mike Pawka, Jammin Reggae Archives Cybrarian - Understanding Jamaican Patois, L. Emilie Adams, Kingston - Richard Dennison/Michio Ogata - Glossary from "The Harder They Come" (Bo Peterson) - Norman Redington - The Beat - Allen Kaatz - Jah Bill (William Just) - Arlene Laing - Jennifer G. Graham - Norma Brown/Zoe Una Vella Veda - Richard V. Helmbrecht - Norman Stolzoff - Christopher Edmonds - Lisa Watson - Dr. Carolyn Cooper - Ras Adam - Chip Platt - Michael Turner from an article in "The Beat" - Nicky "Dread" Taylor - Simrete McLean - The Unofficial Web Site on Jamaica - Paul Mowatt - Carlos Culture - Liner Notes - Blood & Fire release: Jah Stitch:"Original Ragga Muffin", presumably Steve Barrow - Clinton Fearon -Original member of the Gladiators/ - Barbara Kennedy - Itations of Jamaica and i Rastafari - Phil "Bassy" Ajaj - Karlene Rogers - Dean Holland - Scottie Lake - Roger Steffen's Supersite - Sara Gurgen - Kevin Robison - Christopher Durning - Ronald E. Lam - Trainer Adams - Editor of Dub Missive magazine. - Karlene Rogers - Howard Henry - Messian Dread - Roger Steffens - Bunny Wailer (related to Roger Steffens) - Jahworks.org - Jamaican Handbook of Proverbs - www.jamaicans.com-The Reggae Box - Hip-O Records
A Great big thanks to Mike Pawka http://niceup.com/patois.txt

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