If you are planning on visiting Jamaica soon, it might be interesting on your part to know how to interact with the locals. Just as it is with other countries, being able to greet locals in their dialect can be important.
Jamaican greetings may vary based on social status or age difference for example, younger folks often greet older folks or people in authority as sir or miss. Most greetings, however, can be used in just about any setting.
Let us explore Patois phrases/sentences that Jamaicans use to greet each other and their meaning. Hopefully, your next trip to the island or next interaction with a yardie will be smoother!
Weh yuh ah deal wid? – What are you up to?
This phrase is used to ask someone how they are doing and by extension, whether or not they have any plans.
Waa pree? – Translates to “What are you up to?”
This is a common greeting used when asking a person “What are your plans?”.
Yuh Gud? – Are you good / Are you ok?
A very common greeting used to ask a person if they are ok and/or if everything is well with them.
Howdeedo – How are you?
This is a very common greeting phrase among the elderly folks in Jamaican communities.
Wadup – What’s up? What are you up to?
This greeting is also used to mean “how are you?” and opens up a conversation for the individual to talk about how they are feeling.
Everyting criss? – Is everything ok?
Although a greeting, this question is asked to check on a person to see how they are doing.
Hail up – Hi or Hello
Mostly used by Jamaican men especially those practicing the Rastafarian faith.
Yow! – Hey
A very informal yet popular way of calling out to someone; used especially to get the person’s attention.
How yuh stay? How are you?
The literal translation is “what’s your status” but when used as a greeting, it means “how are you?”.
Weh yuh deh pan / “Wah gwaan” – What are you up to? What’s going on?
These phrases mean the same thing and is merely asking a person what’s happening with them.