Roach on Ya Bread!

If you have truly submerged yourself into Bahamian culture, you may have heard several of the following phrases:

Roach on ya bread!

Dog eat ya lunch!

Ya wybe sour!

Dat one name ova!

Oh what poets we Bahamians is! All of these phrases basically mean the same thing, that your situation is not good. Surely, seeing a cockroach on your food item would make you not want to eat it, no matter how delicious that food was going to be.  The first phrase however, also has another layered meaning to it. See if you can figure it out from this song:

Get the drift?? No? To put it eloquently, it’s a sexual reference to someone stealing your significant other. Roaches are nasty, sneaky  creatures, which could aptly describe someone trying to steal another’s s.o. If you’re not familiar female anatomy slang then I’ll let you figure out what body part the bread is in reference to.
I know, it’s a bit vulgar for my liking but people use the phrase to describe other not-so-nice situations.

Maybe you can add these to your list of Bahamian metaphors and maybe even use them, although as said in previous blogs, when using Bahamian slang or phrases, do so carefully and wisely.

We are not the same, “mon”!

There are some people, I won’t say most, that think everyone from the Caribbean must speak with a Jamaican accent and say “mon” or have dreadlocks. For those of you that have checked out my posts in Bahamianese can very much tell that we don’t sound like Jamaicans. Besides the fact that Jamaica and The Bahamas are two different countries, there are some other differences between us.

I could probably list a whole bunch of things that distinguish Bahamians from Jamaicans but some of those things are not things you could tell just by seeing or speaking with a Jamaican. Language/accent and temperament are the more obvious. Of course to someone from the Carbbean, they would be able to tell a Jamaican from a Bahamian by the types of food, certain aspects of clothing or hairstyles (espcially the men) and most definitely the music.

Jamaicans speak patois (Jamaican creole). Bahamians speak Bahamian dialect. Although the definition of patois includes dialects, Jamaican patois has it’s own unique phonology, grammar and of course vocabulary. Typically I wouldn’t suggest Wikipedia as a source for anything, reading through it, they did a pretty good job with breaking down Jamaican creole and giving examples of sentence structure and things like that. If you’re interested in the more technical aspect of Jamaican linguistics check it out here.

Jamaicans are hotblooded. Bahamians are laid back. These are generalizations yes however being a Bahamian who has lived with Jamaicans and also having see the two cultures interact, I can say the generally speaking this is true. This is not to say that there aren’t laid back Jamaicans or hotblooded Bahamians. This is something you would observe sort of in the same way people say that country-folk are more polite than say, a New Yorker.

Jamaica’s main music is reggae. The Bahamas’ main music genres are junkanoo and rake n’ scrape. We have two sets of music because Junkanoo music is mostly festival music, performed live during special events such as the Box Day Parade and New Years.  It would be comparable to a band with trumpets and several sets of drums etc… Rake n’ scrape music has an artist(s), and the instruments traditionally were handsaws with something to scrape against it, old wash basin and the scrubber and a small goat skin drum.

Jamaicans and Bahamians have a unique sense of style. I couldn’t find  many pictures that would best compare how the two Caribbean countries dress, so I’ll just describe it. Jamaican men tend to wear tighter fitting clothes than Bahamian men (generally). The jeans especially seem tighter. The style is somewhat reminiscent of a cross between Californian surfer types and cowboys because Jamaican men  sometimes wear large belts with interesting buckles and unique loafers. Bahamian men are more influenced by black America so the men wear looser, baggier clothing. A polo shirt (usually of the Ralph Lauren or Tommy Hilfiger brand) and jeans are what I would describe as the Bahamian man’s national uniform. It’s also more common to find Jamaican men that have colored or bleached their hair than Bahamian men.

In any and all cultures, there are people that do not fit the norms or generalized views  of that group of people but as this world gets smaller and smaller due to globalization, it’s important that we become more aware of differences in cultures. It’s more polite to ask about a cultural norm than to assume the wrong one!

Bless up, mon!

Exclamation Point!

In Bahamianese we have various ways to show our emotions through words. You will rarely hear someone say something like this **in my valley girl voice**”Oh my gosh! That is so totally cool!” You’d probably get some weird looks on that so here are common words/phrases that we use in showing excitement.

**Remember to use in proper context! Just because you hear it, doesn’t mean you say it.**

Well Holy Savior pilot me! – is like saying Lord help me stay in control because this child is about to get a whooping!

Well muddasick dred! – No one’s  mother is sick. This can be used when you’re happy, sad, upset, frustrated… it’s pretty universal. Variations of this include: well motorbike, well monkeyfoot, well muddoes, well murda.

Bey! – another universal word that is used in many ways. Mostly referring to when you’re calling someone you’d say “Bey, come here,” but it can be used to signal agreement in excitement. Eg. If a friend told you something sad you’re response could be “Bey, thas a lite wybe,” or if you got some pretty exciting news it’d be “Bey, thas awesome bey!”

Chal!/Chile please (don’t make me sneeze) – I like to use this one, well, just the chal part. Chile please is more like saying I’m not interested or checking… sorta like saying get real or something. Just listen for it in context because you wouldn’t say it if someone just told you their kid/aunt/uncle just died.

Dred – is like a shortened form of muddasick dred but can also be used to describe something that is really good i.e. that shirt look dred aye!

Tru tru – is said in agreement instead of saying OK.

Don’t do it! – This is a newer phrase that just became popular in the last 3-4 years. It doesn’t always mean literally don’t do something, but again, one of those things said in excitement or disagreement. An older version of this is don’t play with me!

Ya lie!/ Fa true? – can be used interchangeably  if someone is telling you something that is really hard to believe.

Talkin Sex Stuff

So I was trying to think of a way to group some Bahamian words and I realized we have a lot of different terms for sex-related things. I’ll try to keep it as clean as the topic allows. Me giving these and their definition by no means is me suggesting that you use these terms but rather to simply make you aware of what is actually being said if you’re in a conversation with a group of Bahamians.

Boonggy/bungy/boongie: n. refers to one’s bottom or behind. V. anal penetration.

Eg. 1.) She gat a solid boonggy bey! 2.) Why you walkin’ like you get bungy?!

Bread: n. refers to female genitals.

Bubby: adj. used to describe the shape of one’s lips. It’s usually used to say that it’s big and round. n. refers to a woman’s breasts.

Eg. 1.) Thas a bubby lip aye! 2.) She gat a big boonggy and big bubby!

Crabby: n. refers to female genitals.

Cuckoo soup: soup into which certain bodily fluids are placed to “tame a man”, especially one who is trying to win the heart of that man; said to have magical powers in winning the man in marriage.NYC 400

Doggy: n. refers to male genitals.

Gun casin: used to describe the curves of a woman’s upper thigh area (ie. like a cowboys’ gun case) to say that she is curvacious.

Sweetheart/sweetheartin’: to have an affair or be cheating with someone who is not your spouse/(main) significant other.

(Da) Wammy: n. HIV/AIDS. Used in a derogatory sense.

The act of sex has many different terms and has changing over time with new generations. Here are a few of those terms:

Juicing, grinding (the d is silent), sexin’.

Again,  this list of words is not for you to go around talking this way because it just sounds vulgar. It’s just to inform you of what’s really being said and you’ll think twice before asking someone if they juice (and I’m talking about making juice using a juicer).