Moving to Trinidad has meant a lot of things for me..
Learning to adjust to the “Caribbean” pace of life..accepting the fact that everybody knows everybody (and all of your business)..and even learning a new language: Trinidadian English/Trinidadian Creole!
Like Lebanon, Trinidad has been influenced by a number of different cultures who have all left their distinct mark on this beautiful twin island nation..
According to my friend Wikipedia,
“Like other Caribbean Creoles, Trinidad has a primarily English-derived vocabulary, though the island formerly had a creole with a largely French lexicon until the nineteenth century saw its replacement by influence from the British. Other languages on the Island, such as Bjojpuri (which acted as a lingua franca amongst Indian immigrants), Spanish, and Chinese and a number of African languages have also influenced the language. Although Trinidadian English is mutually intelligible with other varieties of international standard English, speech in Trinidad (and, to some degree, in Tobago) may vary by location and circumstance.”
Below are some of my favorite Trini slang phrases/sayings that I’ve learnt so far. I wonder when (or if) I’ll start using them when I speak,..they sound kinda ridiculous with my American accent.. (It’s always amusing to me to see people’s expressions when I ask them to “translate” these sayings into “English”.. much of their meaning is lost in translation I’m afraid..but I tried my best to give their “English” equivalents!).
10. Wuz de scene?/Wham? – What’s up?
9. Ah did had was to.. – I had to..
8. Family, watch me for a minute nah – Can I please talk to you for a second?
7. Moo nah boy/Gone from here – Leave me alone
6. We bussin’ a lime dis Friday, wha yuh for? – We’re going to chill this Friday, what do you want to do?
5. He real doltish boy – He’s really stupid
4. She’s a bess ting – She’s really hot
3. Das meh real horse/bredrin – That’s my good friend
2. She real toting/She digging a horrors – She’s carrying a lot of emotional baggage
1. Doh hot yuh head – Don’t worry about it
For those of you who have never heard a Trini accent..you HAVE to watch this Trini parody of the Slap Chop infomercials. HILARIOUS!
…and Russell Peters on Jamaican, Trini, and Guyanese accents.. (turn up the volume for this one,,the sound is kinda low).
I’m sure this list will be updated as I spend more time here..
What are your favorite Trini slangs phrases/sayings?
**due to popular demand, I’ve been requested to add “Ent?” to the list.. I should’ve included it the first time around..It really is one of the most popular slang terms/phrases in Trinidad.
Ent? – Right? Don’t you agree?
One of my peeps on twitter, even sent me a youtube link to a song titled Ent!