Talk like ah Bajan

Talk Like Ah Bajan

It’s Inde­pen­dence and we have to ensure every­one is aware of our Bar­ba­dian Cul­ture — Become a Bajan by read­ing and using these words -

If you are a tourist, have you ever passed a group of Bajans speak­ing and thought to your­self, “what on earth are those peo­ple say­ing?” Have any of you younger Bar­ba­di­ans been at a fam­ily gath­er­ing when all of a sud­den great-​grandma exclaims “one smart get catch at two smart door”, every­one starts laugh­ing and you just sit there won­der­ing what on earth just hap­pened? Are you just curi­ous as to what some of these old Bajan say­ings that you hear on a daily basis mean? Then this arti­cle is for you. Each Caribbean coun­try has its own ver­nac­u­lar and there­fore, in this two part series, we will take a brief look at some of the more pop­u­lar say­ings in Bar­ba­dos and their mean­ings and also a glos­sary of terms for some of the most widely used Bajan words.

Bajan Say­ing: If you didn’t at de chris­ten­ing, yuh shouldn’t be at de wed­ding.
Mean­ing: Do not get involved in some­thing if you do not know how it started.

Bajan Say­ing: Bucket gine up and down in well evah day, de bot­tom boun’ tuh drop out.
Mean­ing: Sus­tained pres­sure and exer­tion will even­tu­ally lead to a breakdown.

Bajan Say­ing: Tekking time ain’t lazi­ness.
Mean­ing: Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Bajan Say­ing: One smart dead at too smart door.
Mean­ing: You can’t trick a trickster.

Bajan Say­ing: Day does run til night catch he.
Mean­ing: Things always catch up with you.

Bajan Say­ing: Ya could hide and buy land but ya can’t hide and work um.
Mean­ing: What hap­pens in the dark will always come to light.

Bajan Say­ing: De higher de mon­key climb, de more ’e show ’e tail.
Mean­ing: The more you show off, the more your faults are brought to the open.

Bajan Say­ing: Evah skin-​teet en’ a laugh.
Mean­ing: Not all out­ward signs of friend­li­ness should be taken as genuine.

Bajan Say­ing: Gih Jack ‘e jacket.
Mean­ing: Give credit where credit is due.

Bajan Say­ing: Yuh got plas­ter fuh evah sore.
Mean­ing: You have an answer for everything.

Bajan Say­ing: Yuh can’ plant yam and reap eddoe.
Mean­ing: Your reward or pun­ish­ment is in line with your actions.

Bajan Say­ing: De tongue dat buy you does sell you.
Mean­ing:The same per­son that flat­ters you, may betray you later.

Bajan Say­ing: Every dog got’eday.
Mean­ing:What goes around comes around.

Bajan Say­ing: De more yuh look de less yuh see.
Mean­ing:If you are spy­ing on some­one there are going to find ways to trick you.

Bajan Say­ing: Trou­ble don’t setup like rain.
Mean­ing:Mis­for­tune often hap­pens with­out any warn­ing signs.

Bajan Say­ing: Who de cap fit, leh he draw de string.
Mean­ing:The per­son who knows he is guilty about some­thing will react accordingly.

Bajan Say­ing: White mout fowl does eat and den wipe ‘e mout in de grass.
Mean­ing:Some peo­ple don’t show gratitude.

Bajan Say­ing: Dead man can’t run from ‘e cof­fin.
Mean­ing:It is impos­si­ble to run from your responsibilities.

Bajan Say­ing: Don’t tek a six fuh a nine.
Mean­ing:Do not mis­un­der­stand a person’s real intentions.

Bajan Say­ing: De devil does find work fuh idle hands to do.
Mean­ing:Peo­ple with noth­ing to do, get them­selves into mischief.

Bajan Say­ing: Cheap tings nuh good.
Mean­ing:Beware when things come too easy.

Bajan Say­ing: God doan like ugly.
Mean­ing:Dis­ap­proval of injustice.

Bajan Say­ing: Wha’ sweeten goat mout does bun ‘e tail.
Mean­ing: A source of great plea­sure may turn out to be a prob­lem later on.

Bajan Say­ing: Who help yuh buy a big guts mule don’ help yuh feed it.
Mean­ing:The per­son who leads you into trou­ble is never around to help you get back out.

Bajan Say­ing: Hard ears yuh won’t hear, by and by you gine feel.
Mean­ing:If you do not take heed to good advice, you will feel the neg­a­tive effect of it.

Bajan Say­ing: Talk does mek talk.
Mean­ing:When some­body tries to pick a quar­rel, it is best to remain silent.

Bajan Say­ing: Wuhever pun de ground is fuh de cat and de dog.
Mean­ing:Find­ers keepers

Bajan Say­ing: If black bird fly wid pigeon ‘e will get shoot.
Mean­ing:If you asso­ciate with the wrong peo­ple you will get the same treat­ment that they do.

Bajan Say­ing: Mon­key sih, mon­key do.
Mean­ing:A mild rep­ri­mand for imi­tat­ing the behav­ior of others.

Bajan Say­ing: Nuh name, nuh blame, nuh lock up.
Mean­ing:If no names are called, no one can be accused.

Now start to speak our lan­guage — Happy Inde­pen­dence Bajans

© Arti­cle of Caribbean Dreams Mag­a­zine

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