Rasta Jamaican Patois Glossary L P

Learn to speak and understand Rasta Jamaican Patois

Rasta Jamaican Patois dictionary of terms

to chat, gab; gossip
gossip, chit-chat
Dumb acts as if you have no common sense. Stupid. “yu dam Lagga head bud”
a form of high-quality marijuana
LARGE: respected.
LET OFF: pay out.
LEGGO BEAS’: wild, disorderly, like a let-go beast.
LICK: To hit.
LICKY-LICKY: fawning, flattering, obsequious.
LIKKLE: little.
LILLY BIT: little bit, tiny.
LION: a righteous Dread a great soul.
LIKKLE MORE: see you later.
(TOO) LIKKY-LIKKY: title given to those who like to eat any food they encounter , without discretion.
MAAMA MAN: a gay person, an effeminate man, a weakling.
MAAS: n. from master or massa. Now freed from its class origin; a respectful form of address to an older man.
MACCA: thorn, prickle. dangerous.
MACCA BACK: boney fish used to make fish soup.
MADDA: mother.
MAFIA: big-time criminals.
MAGA DOG: mongrel.
MAGA: thin.
MAMPI: Fat or overweight.
MANACLES: chains.
MANNERS: under heavy discipline or punishment. for example when Kingston is under “heavy manners”, they have a curfew or call out the army.
MARINA: a man’s undershirt, guernsey; a tank-top style.
MAROON: n. free black warrior-communities which successfully resisted British hegemony during eighteenth century and early nineteenth century From Spanish cimmaron-untamed, wild.
MASCOT: denoting inferior status.
MASH IT UP: a huge success.
MASH UP, MASH DOWN: destroy.
MASSIVE: respected, used with LARGE to add emphasis.
MATEY: mistress.
MEK WE: Let Us.
MENELIK, RAS: n. Ethiopian nobleman who rallied his troops to resist Italian aggression. Defeated Italians at Adowa 1896.
MONKS: amongst.
MORE TIME: see you later.
MR. MENTION: Talk of the town, originally talk of the females signifying someone with many female conquests.
MR. T: the boss.
MUS MUS: a rat.
MY BABY MOTHER /FATHER: the mother/father of my child.
MYAL: n. a form of benign magic oposed to Obeah, hence myalman. From Hursa maye-wizard, person of mystic power.
NAGAH: n. pejorative for a black person.
NAGO: n. Yoruba person, practice or language. From Ewe anago-Yoruba person.
NAH: adv. will not. Emphatic as in “Me nah do that”.
NANA: midwife; nanny or nurse.
NANNY GOAT: “What sweet nanny goat a go run him belly” is a cautionary Jamaican proverb which translated means: What tastes good to a goat will ruin his belly. In other words – the things that seem good to you now, an hurt you later…
NASH: female genatalia.
NATTY, NATTY DREAD, NATTY CONGO: 1. dreadlocks 2. a person with dreadlocks.
NAZARITE: Ancient Hebrew meaning to “separate”, consecrated, set apart by choice and devotion.
NICE UP: to promote and foster a positive feeling. to “nice up the dance”means to get the party going.
NYAHBINGI: 1. “death to all black and white oppressors”, 2. East African warriors who resisted colonial domination, 3. large Rastafarian meeting and spiritual gathering, 4. referring to orthodox, traditional Rastas, 5. a variety of drumming.
NIYAMEN: name for Rastas referring to Niyabinghi warriors of East Africa.
NO CYA: no matter, as in “no kya weh im tun”, no matter where he turns.
NOTCH: Don or top ranking badman.
NUH: interrogative at end of sentence; literally, “Is it not so?”
NUH TRUE?: isn’t it so?
NYAM: to eat.
(TOO) NYAMI-NYAMI: title given to those who like to eat any food they encounter, without discretion.
NYING’I-NYING’I: nagging, whining.
O-DOKONO: boiled maize bread.
OBEAH: traditional African “science”, relating to matters of the spirit and spirits, spells, divinations, omens, extra-sensory knowledge, etc.
OHT FI: about to, on the vergeof, as in “it hoht fi rain”, it is about to rain, it looks like rain.
ONE DROP: A popular type of rhythm pattern used on countless reggae records.
ONE LOVE: a parting phrase, expression of unity.
ONE-ONE: adjective, one by one, thus any small amount.
ONGLE: only.
PAKI: calabash, gourd.
PAPAA: pawpaw, or papaya melon.
PATTAN: pattern, style and fashion.
PATU: owl.
PAYAKA: heathen craven, want it all.
PYAKA: tricky or dishonest.
PEEL-HEAD: bald-headed, usually certain chickens or vultures.
PEENYWALLY: a kind of large fire fly, actually a type of flying beetle.
PEER: avocado pear.
PHENSIC: JA equivalent to Tylenol, Excedrin, etc.
PICKY, PICKY HEAD: brush haircut.
PICKY, PICKY HEAD: brush haircut.
PICKY-PICKY: 1. finicky or choosy, 2. Used of uncombed hair just starting to turn into dreadlocks.
PIKNY: pickaninny, child.
PINDA: peanut.
PIRA: a low wooden stool.
PITY-ME-LIKL: a type of very tiny red ant whose bite is so hot and long-lasting it resembles a sting.
POCOMANIA, POCO: christian revival, distinct drum rhythm.
POLYTRICKS: politics (by Peter Tosh).
POLYTRICKSTERS: politicians (by Peter Tosh).
POPPY-SHOW: from puppet show, it is used in the idiom, tek smadi mek poppy-show, which means to make fun of someone or shame them, making them look ridiculous.
PUM-PUM: a woman’s genitals.
PUNAANI or PUNNI: a woman’s genitals.
PUPPALICK: somersalt.
PUSSY CLOT: A curse word ref. to a woman’s sanitary napkin.
PUTTIN’ AWAY: a preposition, meaning “except for”, or “except”.
PYAA-PYAA: sickly, weak; feeble, of no account.
PYU: from spew; verb used of running sores or anything similarly dripping or oozing


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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