One thing Jamaicans are known for is their inventiveness. As people say, necessity is the mother of invention and we are nothing if not creative with our lies. This talent for making up stories is especially evident when there’s a need for a delaying tactic or if there’s something or someone we want to avoid. Here are some of the most common tall tales a Jamaican will tell.
Mi soon come. This gets used all the time and covers anywhere from five minutes to an hour. We may be an hour or more away from our destination, but will tell the person expecting us ‘Mi soon come’.
Me nuh memba dat! This one covers denial of everything great and small and is a cop-out when we forget important information we’ve been told or want to deny knowledge of something that happened, which we have no desire to remember.
Mi lose mi phone and yuh numba. This one comes in handy for people who we lose contact with, but have no real desire to talk to now or ever.
Mi never have nuh credit fi call yuh. There are some people who will talk off your phone credit and if you miss their call, there’s no way you’re calling them back. When they do call you, this ready-made response usually works to smooth ruffled feathers.
Mi soon call yuh back. We are known to use this whopper if we make the mistake of answering our cell phones before looking at the display. If it’s someone we don’t want to hear from, or if we’ve promised to do something we haven’t done yet, this is the standard response.
Mi couldn’t come ’cause mi never feel well. Some people don’t know how to say ‘no’, so this one works when you said yes to attending a family gathering or party and had no intention of going. If pressed for an excuse as to why you never showed, claiming illness stirs sympathy and ends all questions.
I work as a … When we leave Jamaica and land in ‘foreign‘, it is to seek better opportunities. Some of us have to do what’s necessary to survive until something better comes along. Meantime, we lie about our current situation.
Mi nuh have nuh money. There’s always that one person who makes a habit of borrowing small amounts, never to be repaid. The usual request is, “Lend mi a money, nuh? Mi wi pay yuh back by Friday.” The savvy person’s response to this is to claim to be broke.