Although the official language of Trinidad and Tobago is English, the most commonly spoken languages are Trinidadian Creole English and Tobagonian Creole English. Trinidadian usage includes a large number of local words and expressions.
Although the official language of Trinidad and Tobago is English, the most commonly spoken languages are Trinidadian Creole English and Tobagonian Creole English. Trinidadian usage includes a large number of local words and expressions. Many of these have non-English origins - these derive primarily from French and French Creole, Spanish, various West African languages, and Bhojpuri. Trinidadian speech is characterised by dropped final consonants and a lack of pluralisation. There is no standard orthography for the written language; written forms which attempt to capture the sound of the language tend to converge.
A A! - Is an exclamation. When you didn't expect something. Usually used like, "Well, excuse me!" For example: "But, A A!"
Ay or Aye - means either hey, or you
Allyuh - you all
Babaash - bootleg rum, i.e., moonshine made from fruits.
Bacchanal - commotion, a wild party, a fight between neighbours, family or friends. E.g. The wedding reception was 'real' bacchanal cause of the difference in religions between the bride and groom.
Badjohn/Baa-John - a bully
Bazodee - light-headed or in shock [from Fr. abasourdir - to daze]
Baigan - eggplant [from Bhojpuri or Hindi]
Bap - father [from Bhojpuri or Hindi]
Barra - a deep fried saffron coloured bread (see doubles) [from Hindi]
Beta - son [from Bhojpuri or Hindi]
Beti - daughter [from Bhojpuri or Hindi]
BeeWee - BWIA West Indies Airways, the national airline of Trinidad and Tobago. The acronym for British West Indian Airlines is often colloquially referred to as Better Wait In Airport, Big Wait In Airport, Better Walk If Able, But Will It Arrive, Bankrupt West Indian Airlines, etc.
Bhaji - Various green leafy vegetables (especially amaranth or dasheen).
Bhandanya - Eryngium foetidum, an aromatic herb used as a spice (also known as Shado beni or Chadon benit). [from Bhojpuri or Hindi]
Bobbol - illegal activity, usu. in the context of corporate criminality, white-collar crime or political corruption.
Bobolee - a figure of Judas beaten at easter or a stupid person
Bodi - pole beans [from Bhojpuri or Hindi]
Bol' face - a brazen or demanding person, a person who speaks or acts using indiscretion
Booboolups - overweight or out of shape. Can also be used to romantically or sarcastically describe affection for an overweight female.
Bois - (pronounced "Bwah") 1. A big heavy stick (or 2x4), used for harming others. 2. To beat someone badly. Eg. "Move, boy or I go give yuh bois."
Bone - to have sexual intercourse. May also refer to the male genitals. (Contrast though with the phrase "Trini to de Bone!")
Bonx - to hit or slam. Also used to indicate a type of greeting where the participants (usu. male) gently touch each other's closed fists.
Boof - to rough someone up or insult them or to scold someone. Can also be used to refer to the person who was roughed up or insulted (derived from "buff"). E.g. Sarah boofed Brian for leaving without her. Brian 'get' boof up for leaving without Sarah.
Break Biche - to leave or shirk one's duties in favour of liming, usu. in the context of secondary school or work. E.g. Brian & Ricardo break biche to go to the Arcade.
Bredda - brother
Breds - brethren
Broughtupcy - manners, upbringing
Bull - to have sex (whether heterosexual or homosexual in nature)
Buller - one who bulls, but usually in the context of, or suggesting, a homosexual act (see Bullerman) (derogatory)
Bullerman - one who engages in homosexual activity
Chenet - The fruit of Melicoccus bijugatus tropical American tree having small fragrant greenish-white flowers and small fruits with a green leathery rind and a juicy yellowish translucent pulp.
Chile - child (pron. "ch-isle").
Chinkey/choonkey - small
Chip - a walking shuffle step done to slower soca tunes
Chook - to pierce (or jook), usu. in reference to needles. Can also refer to dancing which involves the thrusting of one's hips forward sharply into the rear of another. May also refer to sexual intercourse. E.g. Riad took a little chook from the girl.
Coskel - overdressed; also cosquelle
Chune - tune
Commesse- confusion or controversy [from French]
Congo Pepper - a variety of Capsicum pepper.
Cratchy cocoa - Scratching of the male genitals ("cocoa" is a slang term which refers to the penis).
Cunumunu - a stupid naive person, or a really shy person
Cut a night - spend a night away from your home, e.g. "I hear Lesmond went by he girl place, fell sleep and cut a night; he ga get planass for dat!"
Cyah - Can't
Dingolay - dance wildly
Doubles - a sandwich of sorts made with a saffron coloured bread and curried chick pea filling. There is no singular form of the word.
Dal - ground up split peas [from Bhojpuri or Hindi] (alt. spelling, Dhal).
Dalpuri - a type of roti with ground up split peas inside [from Bhojpuri or Hindi]
Dhoti - the traditional white clothing of an Indian man [from Bhojpuri or Hindi]
Doolahin - wife or bride [from Bhojpuri or Hindi]
Dougla - a person of mixed Afro-Trinidadian and Indo-Trinidadian heritage, more recently this term is used to refer to anyone of mixed (interracial) parentage. [from Bhojpuri or Hindi]
Dotish - (doltish) stupid
Doux doux - sweet, a term of endearment, esp. in the context of romantic love, or caring for a baby or small child. E.g. Leanna doux douxed the crying baby in her arms until it fell asleep.
Dress 'round' - means to move over
Eh Eh - an expression indicating one's disapproval
Eh Heh - translates to "is that so"
Ent? - "isn't that so?" , "right?" (used at the end of a sentence for emphasis; is similar to Spanish "¿no?")
Fas - nosy
Fête - a party, usually the parties around Carnival time are referred to as fêtes.
Flambeau - a lighted torch
Flim - film
Frontish - a bold demanding person, someone who loves attention or being in the middle of things.
Geeh Dem - means to give someone something i.e., an object or a verbal assault
Giddy - dizzy
Gobar - talking nonsense
Gramoxone - trade name for paraquat dichloride, a weed killer, commonly used to commit suicide. Any poison ingested, will still be called gramoxone, whether or not if it was actually gramoxone. A very popular choice. E.g., "Yuh hear? She drink gramoxone and dead!" sometimes called "Indian Champagne/Tonic" since at one time it was usually only persons of Indian descent that used this as the method of choice to commit suicide.
Horn - to cheat on someone, to be unfaithful (unkown derivation: Horny)
Hornerman - a married man who is having an affair.
Hornerwoman - a married woman who is having an affair.
Jahji bundle - A big bag containing one's personal items. E.g., "Dis one always walk wid she jahji bundle everyway she go."
Jagabat - woman of ill repute (specifically, a female prostitute), also jammet
Jammet/Jammette (Djamet) - a woman or questionable morals or a woman who adopts a rather abrasive and aggressive form of communication with the public.
Jhanjat - a big fight, trouble or confusion
Jock - to masturbate, especially male masturbation (a slang term, but not ordinarily considered derogatory or rude). Contrast with traditional North American defintion of "Jock".
Khurma - a traditional Indian sweet that is deep fried and coated with sugar [from Bhojpuri or Hindi]
Kilkeedey - to fall awkwardly or how you look on the floor after falling awkwardly, usually with arms flailed in some odd sort of fashion. Eg. "When de defenda' tackle him, Roger fall down kilkeedey on de ground"
Kuchela - a hot mango condiment [from Bhojpuri or Hindi]
Lagniappe - bonus
Lick-up - to smash or annihilate someone or something (also: lick-down). Can also be used to indicate consumption or completion of food or drink, usu. in a greedy or hurried manner. E.g. We lick-up the KFC before we went to the party.
Lime/Liming - a party or any get-together/to hang out, or (more recently) to date someone
Locho -(pronounced low-cho) a person who "mooches" off of someone else
Macafouchette - left over food [from Fr. ma ca fourchette - food stuck between the fork]
Maco - a nosy person/peeping Tom (also: Macco, Macocious, Macomere, any-west-indian), or the act of being nosy
Maljo - evil eye [from Fr. mal yeux - bad eyes]
Malkadee - convulse
Mamaguy - to bamboozle someone [from Spanish 'mamar gallo']
Mamoo - A maternal uncle.
Manicou - An one of five species of opossum, most commonly Didelphis marsupialis
Mauvais langue - to malign
Mook - a person who is shy, or socially awkward. (also: Mooksie)
Neemakharam - Ingrate, especially in a political context
Oh Geed! - an expression used when someone hears or see something that is deemed to be gross
Ol' ho - a promiscuous older woman.
Obeah - black magic
Obzokie - awkward, out of place usu. in a derogatory manner.
Pholourie - deep fried flour balls
Pommerac - Syzygium malaccense or Otaheite apple, a pear shaped fruit become bright red when ripe, also know as the Malay apple or Wax Jamboo
Pommecythere - Spondias cytherea or Golden apple, a fruit with a green skin, which when ripe turns to a gold colour.
Pot Hound - Usually refers stray dog that probably is not of a specific breed or a dog that eats anything off the street (also: Pot Hong). May also refer to a person of mixed ethnic background. (This is a racially offensive use of the term)
Preshaah! - pressure, to feel pressure due to a situation one is in
Pull Bull - To operate an unlicensed taxi, using your private car as a taxi in order to earn extra money. To operate a licensed taxi without a taxi-driver's license. Also referred to as doing 'PH'. May also refer to male masturbation.
Raaff - To snatch something. To steal in a boldface manner
Sahina - deep fried dhal with either spinach, pakchoi (bok choy), or dasheen [from Bhojpuri or Hindi]
Sometimeish - Describes a moody or unpredictable person.
Soucouyant - A female thought to be a vampire, who sheds her skin and flies in the night sky as a ball of fire. This term is also used to describe an evil woman.
Steups - the act of sucking air pass one's teeth, creating a sound of disapproval (also: steupse, chups, cheeups)
Tabanca - In a love sick state. Describes how someone feels after being cheated on by their loved one. Can also describe unrequited loved. (Taban-truck is the more severe form of Taban-car].
Tatu - Nine-banded Armadillo
I wan tuh hail out - I would like to "shout out/big up"
Teef - Thief
Tanty - aunt, also a term for any woman older than oneself
Throw Waist - to dance, specifically to "wine"
Tootoolbay - In a confused state or in a daze because of love. Similar to Bazodee. E.g. Richie was tootoolbay after he met the girl in the fete.
Toe Jam - Foot fungus that smells on unclean feet.
Trini to de Bone! - Pride in oneself for being a Trinidadian.
Torchlight- A flashlight.
vikey vike - to act with irresponsibility, or to act without concern for others. Eg. "De country in termoil because of vikey vike decision making."
Eg. "My wife acting vikey vike. Everytime my back turn she out de door limin' with she friends"
Wajang - a woman who is involved with more than one man in the same day
Wuz de scene? - A casual greeting equivalent to what's happening
Wham now? - Greeting equivalent to "what's happening now". E.g. "Aye Reeza, wham now?".
Whappen? - What happened?
Wine - a seductive form of dance involving circular or semi-circular movement of the hips especially. Can be done alone, with a partner, or many partners. E.g. "Javed was wining in the party on several women".
Way- Where, for example "way yuh dey?" means "where are you?"
Yampee - the mucus that surrounds one's eye in the morning
Yuh - you