Jamaican Slang Update- Mi A Barack PDF Print E-mail

Image "Mi A Barack" - The  emerging Jamaican slang meaning that you are 'happening or occurring'.  In other words... Tings a gwaan fi yuh! Here's the  Chat-Bout Jamaican slang update.


Translation: It is happening / ocurring or hot 

Chat-bout is used as an exclamation point after a variety of situations. When something is good, outstanding or incredible you add 'chat-bout' to your last statement. So your sister has finally passed her driving test and you congratulate her by saying ‘Yuh pass … chat-bout!”.  But you can also use chat-bout  to express your irritation about certain situations. E.g. your neighbour’s  teefing puss  has made off with your big snapper fish that you put outside to thaw.  Yuh finish cursing out your neighbor, telling her that she and di puss teef alike  … chat-bout.   when your friend comes to you with a juicy bit of gossip or news, you excitedly say, “chat bout!” meaning that you can't believe what you're hearing.

Yuh a Bubble Like Soup

Translation    : You are  bubbling like soup

Yuh ever see how soup bubble in a pot? Well when somebody tell yuh say yuh a bubble like soup, that men that yuh hot, really really hot.  Things are happening for you. Perhaps it is that you are looking good, or you just passed some exams, landed a new husband or wife, lost some weight, changed your job, bought a new car. Whatever makes you feel like your spirit is soaring,  will make people say when they see you on the street :”Yuh a bubble like soup”

'Represent to di weeerl...' or just 'to di weerl'

Translation: Represent to the world or to the world

Use: An expression of excitement and elation, or encouraging someone to 'show off' about something good that has happened to them. For example, a girlfriend hailing her significant other may say, “Baby, represent to di weerl!” meaning that their love is so strong, it can be publicised to any and every one. She may write on a Valentine's/birthday card, “Sharon and George to di weerl!” A university graduate's friend may hail him/her by saying, “My youth, yuh gone to di weerl!” meaning that now that he has graduated, he is larger than life.


Translation: Fluffy

Use: Afro-Americans don't call women 'fat' anymore. They call them 'phat.' Jamaica has its own version of that: 'fluffy'. Popularised by Leftside and Esco, and especially Miss Kitty, 'fluffy' is the term used to describe full-bodied, big-boned, or plus-sized divas. So your girlfriend isn't 'fat', or 'plus-sized', she deliciously rotund and fluffy. 

Tek/Give/Bring it to dem

Translation: Take/Give/Bring it to them

Use: This is a term encouraging confrontation, or encouraging someone to 'show off'. If there is competition going on, for example, and you want to encourage a friend to do his/her best and defeat the opponent, you say, “Tek it to dem! Hold nothing back!” When that friend does well and starts to do the latest dance moves in celebration, you say, “Give it to dem!” meaning your friend should continue dancing and showing off.  

'Nuh linga'

Translation: Do not linger/wait

Use: Popularised by Elephant Man's song and dance move, 'nuh linga', this phrase is used to express impatience, (to say that an individual does not wish to wait or stay in one particular area for too long), or is used to caution others to refrain from waiting in a bad situation for long. For example, if Betty wants Sharon to hurry to meet her, she will say, “Sharon, hurry up. Nuh linga,” or, if Sharon wishes to tell a George that she is about to leave now to go meet Betty, she will say, “George, me gone. Me nah linga.” (I am leaving. I cannot stay here any longer.)

Yuh a occur

Translation : You are occurring

We tend to use the words occur and happen interchangeably, but on the Jamaican landscape, when yuh a ‘occur’, it means that you are more than happening. It suggests that things are really going well for you, your life is a t a good place.

'Duppy know who fi frighten'

Translation: Duppy (Ghosts) know who to trouble.

Use: This is a cautionary or confrontational phrase. It can be used as a passing remark about a situation in which you think an individual is taking advantage of another's weakness, or to caution someone that they are being taken advantage of. For example, Sharon's mother does not like George, and is telling her that he is no good. She says: “Sharon, George is no good. All the same, duppy know who fi frighten” meaning that George picked Sharon because he knew she was vulnerable, and Sharon will eventually find this out for herself. Sharon finds out that George is cheating on her, and confronts him. He denies it, and she replies, “Duppy know who fi frighten,” meaning that he made a mistake when he cheated on her, and will pay for it..

Story come to bump

Translation: (No literal translation)

Use: All things in the darkness must come to light, Jamaicans usually say. When this happens, or when reality (usually a very serious or scandalous or grave reality) catches up with someone, we say,”Story some to bump.” It means that an issue has reached its climax, and drama is about to unfold. So when Betty finds out that Sharon is going to confront George about his cheating, she says, “Yes now, story come to bump!”

 Mi deh yah pan di gullyside

Translation: I am here on the side of the gully (culvert)

Use: A general expression popularised by Movado in his song 'Gullyside'. It means, 'I am here/ Nothing much is going on.' So if after her break-up with George, if Betty asks Sharon how she's doing, Sharon can reply, “Mi deh yah pan di gullyside” meaning nothing much is happening for her right now, but she's more or less okay. And if you want immersion in the Jamaican language ... come to Jamaica.




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