Speak JA

Talk Like A Local Jamaican When You Visit The Island – Jamaican Slang

Using our simple Jamaican Slang glossary, you can talk like a local and not sound like a tourist fresh off the tour bus or cruise ship. Here are 7 Jamaican slang words to use on your visit to Jamaica.

Brawta n. (braw-tah) – A little extra with a purchase; getting something extra for free. After buying a large amount of souvenir items from a vendor ask “Where is my likkle brawta”

Cooyah excl. (koo-yah) – Look at that; you don’t say. An exclamation used for something ludicrous or ridiculous. When you see a taxi driver trying to pass your tour bus on the narrowest road look over to your Jamaican tour guide and say “Cooyah”

Cris n curri excl.  (chris an curry) – I’m all good; i’m okay; fabulous. The word “Irie” is worn out and using it is dead giveaway that you are a tourist. Replace it with this expression. When a Jamaican asks if you are okay say “everything cris and curry”

Fass adj. (fah-ass) – Nosy; meddlesome. People can be nosy anywhere you go. Joke around with a smile and ask “How you so fass?”

My yout n. (My youth) – Bro; Friend. You will make good friends in Jamaica quickly. Using this slang moves pass the formal names. “My yout, what is the best Jamaican restaurant near the hotel”

Sistren n. (sis-jrin) – Female friend. You may have heard Rastafarians, including Bob Marley use the word Bredrin which means brethren. It is used to describe male friends. Sistren is the female version of Bredrin. When one of the friendly female market vendors give you a warm smile and hug say “You are my good sistren”


Touch de road excl.  (touch the road) – Leave your home; leave your current location. When your tour bus driver is lingering too long at one location ask the driver, “Boss, when we going touch de road”.

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Denise Lee