“It’s language!!!” – SMILE JAMAICA PHOTOS

Our feature “Smile Jamaica” highlights positives about Jamaica and Jamaicans. We asked Marcia Barry-Smith, “What about Jamaica makes you smile?”

“It’s language:  The needle sharp wit of our people that can only be demonstrated in spoken Patois; the cultural, ethnic, socio-situational references that are combined into single phrases such as “A-oo-fah?” meaning “Whose is this?” or “A got a feva and fresh cole” meaning “I have the ‘flu”  or Yu come ‘ere to drink milk –yu no come ‘ere to count cow. 

One of my favorites is the Words of wisdom from the older Experienced to the Young person,

“Pig ask him madda why her mout suh long, him madda seh, “Grow so come mi pickney, you wi see which part water walk go a punkin belly”. 

TRANSLATION: The Piglet asked his mom why her snout was so long, his mother’s reply was that he is growing up so he will soon find out for himself the answer to this and much more.  Meaning: Young people often question why things are the way they are, but the older folks know that with time and as they grow older they will soon discover it all themselves.” – Marcia Barry-Smith

Marcia Smile Jamaica


The “Smile Jamaica” series is open to anyone who loves Jamaica and/or Jamaicans.

If you would like to participate in this series :

1) Send comments or write on a white board/Poster your answer to the following question: “What about Jamaica or Jamaicans Make you Smile”?” Please DO NOT write a  simple one liner  “the people” or “the food” or the “the beach” For ideas, see the other photos in this series.

2) Send an email to [email protected] titled “Smile Jamaica” with your smiling photo attached and please include the city/country where you live, and your name.