A very important thing to note when interacting with Jamaicans is how blunt or outspoken they are. If you have interacted with a Jamaican, or if you, yourself, are Jamaican then you know that these fellow country (wo)men speak it as they see it. They don’t generally “beat around the bush”.
Some people may see this as rude, mean, or insensitive, sometimes it couldn’t be further from the true intention.
Here are a few greeting phrases, that because of the way they get interpreted by most people, are not considered appropriate:
Yuh get fat eeh – You have gained weight
Perhaps the most popular words said to someone that has gained weight (especially women) since the last time he/she was seen by the person greeting them. A lot of people find this offensive, especially when they have underlying health issues, or struggling to deal with the weight gain.
“Marsha *rests hand on Marsha’s shoulder*, a bet a u eat all a di food”
This is another means of telling a person that they have gained weight that is not appropriate.
“How yuh mawgah suh” – You have lost weight
Said to someone who has lost weight since the last time he/she was seen by the person greeting them. Like the weight gain scenario, the person in question may be offended especially if there are some underlying issues that they wish to not talk about.
Why you cut of yuh hair – Why did you cut your hair?
Said to a person who usually has long/nice hair that the speaker may have admired. Persons may opt to do something different to make him/her feel better about themselves and so if the tone for this is received negatively, their response will be the same.
“How Yuh look like Heng Pan nail”
“Heng pan nail” is an expression used to refer to “looking tired”
When a person is said to look this way, he/she may seem tired and out of it; maybe looking a bit disheveled also. Though an individual may feel this way, it being said to their face is not the first thing they want to hear in a conversation.
Photo Source: Deposit Photo