Speak JA

10 ways to apologize like a Jamaican

In Jamaica, pride is a highly-valued personal trait so apologies don’t come easy. Jamaicans have basically mastered the art of saying “sorry” without saying, “sorry”. If you are ever in a situation where you need to apologize but you don’t really want to, here are 10 Jamaican ways to patch things up:


When a Jamaican feels remorse but don’t want to outright apologize, a simple “hush” can express regret without admitting fault.

“Nuh bada gwan suh” –  Don’t behave like that

Jamaicans use this phrase when they feel a tinge of guilt and want to end the quarrel. It’s like saying, “let’s move on,” and, “don’t forget to smile”.

“Yuh know seh wi a fren from long time, mi wouldn’t do dat man”  – You know we are long-time friends, I wouldn’t do that.

While the Jamaican, in fact,  did something offensive but doesn’t want to own up to the dirty deed.

“Mi neva mean it like that man” – That wasn’t my intention.

When someone takes offence to something said by a Jamaican, this is the usual “apology”.

“Yuh know seh anno suh mi did mean it man, relax nuh” –  You know that wasn’ t my intention. Please, calm down.

This is similar, Jamaicans use this line when they say something really offensive. Emphasis on the ‘yuh know seh’  and the ‘relax’ with a smile, maybe even throwing in a playful shove.

“Wah yah gwaan suh fa, a mistake” – Why are you behaving like this? It was a mistake.

When a Jamaican wants to downplay the situation by claiming that it was a mistake when, in fact, it wasn’t.

“A accident, a never purpose” – It was an accident. I didn’t do it purposefully.

In moments of shock or surprise, Jamaicans use this line to stress that their actions were entirely accidental and unintentional. You’ll notice a sudden widening of the eyes, for effect.

“It never that bad” –  It wasn’t that bad.

This is the popular line used by Jamaican parents who feel guilty about punishing their kids but refuse to apologize.

“Aight, aight, done now nuh”  – Alright, Alright, stop now.

This is a skillful way Jamaicans shifts blame by inferring that you are making much out of a simple matter.

“Then easy now nuh man” – Calm down now, please

If you’re dating a Jamaican, expect them to use this line to escape an argument.

Now that we have armed you, use with discretion but, go forth and mend your relationships.

Photo – Deposit Photos

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