Based on Analytics for Jamaicans.com, visitors to the site in 2021 displayed a strong interest in understanding and learning about Jamaica’s patois language, as well as knowing English equivalents of common phrases. Usain Bolt’s creation of a new word also attracted considerable interest. In addition to searching for articles about Jamaican patois, visitors wanted to know about Jamaicans who followed their dreams and opened their own restaurants, and they wanted information about which Jamaicans were the richest, most influential, and most famous in the world.
Here are some basic phrases that could prove useful to those making a visit to Jamaica. Learn how to say “I will be right back,” “Well done,” and “What’s up?” in Jamaican patois.
The eight-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt has many talents beyond track and field. A business entrepreneur, music producer, and reggae/dancehall recording artist, he also made a unique contribution to the English language with his invention of a new word. He defines “Usainly,” a word based on his first name, to mean “awesome” or “incredibly.” He added that the word should be applied chiefly to the “world’s fastest man,” but Bolt hopes it will catch on and become common usage in pop culture.
This list of the 80 most common patois phrases offers a good way to become familiar with Jamaica’s patois language. The phrases address most things a visitor to Jamaican needs to know to navigate daily business or to join in conversations with Jamaican friends. The phrases include “Mi ah guh lef tiday” or “I am leaving today,” and “A fe mi cyar” or “It’s my car.”
The list of essential Jamaican patois phrases with their English counterparts offer some basics for communicating with Jamaican friends or while traveling on the island. The phrases include “Don’t bother me” or “Nuh Badda Mi,” “Just a little” or “Jus a toops,” and “Good-looking girl” or “Criss Ting.”
Matin and Michelle Miah opened their seventh Rudie’s Jerk Shack Jamaican restaurant in London. The restaurant features tropical rum punch, reggae music, and authentic and traditional Jamaican meals served in a welcoming and fun atmosphere. The couple has done extensive research in Jamaica to discover the best flavors and ingredients, which they then bring back to the UK.
Jamaicans are expressive people, and they love to communicate in their own language: Jamaican patois. Those interested in Jamaican culture are fascinated by the phrases, sayings, and common expressions featured in patois. Among the nine phrases included here have nuances that only a Jamaican would understand. For example, for other English speakers, “Hush” means to be quiet or to stop talking, but for Jamaicans “Hush” is an expression of sympathy for or empathy with someone facing a problem.
There are certain names that telegraph the fact that a person must be Jamaican or of Jamaican heritage. The list of names presented here includes Lloyd, Devon, Winston, Junior, Delroy, Fitzroy, Glenmore, and Teddy.
No Sunday dinner in Jamaica is complete without Sweet Potato Pudding, which is also known as “hell a top, hell a bottom and hallelujah in the middle.”
Essential information for those visiting Jamaica. This is a good way to interact with the local residents and being able to greet Jamaicans in their own language can be important, especially since Jamaican greetings can change with social status or age differences. Some of the common greetings used by Jamaicans include “Weh yuh ah deal wid?” or “What are you up to?” and “Waa pree?” or “What are your plans?”
Desrick and Alrick Smith followed their life’s dream and opened their own restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia. The restaurant is called Spicy Hill in reference to a district of Jamaica that was home to their mother’s family. The brothers are cooking up authentic Jamaican food with just a touch of fusion that showcases their combined 25 years of culinary and hospitality experience.
Everyone wants to know who the richest and most influential Jamaicans are. There is great curiosity about these people among the general public. The list includes Michael Lee-Chin, Joseph M. Matalon, Chris Blackwell, Paula Kerr-Jarrett, Dr. Blossom O’Meally-Nelson, Joseph John Issa, Gordon “Butch” Stewart, and Wayne Chen.
There are so many well known and famous Jamaicans that it is difficult to select just ten, but the list includes some of the talented Jamaican people working in the fields of philanthropy, civil rights, music, athletics, and the arts. In particular, Jamaica is recognized around the world for its reggae and dancehall musicians and for its outstanding Olympic athletes. The list includes Usain Bolt, Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Marcus Garvey, Harry Belafonte, Louise Bennett-Coverley (Miss Lou), Ziggy Marley, Shaggy, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and Portia Simpson Miller.
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