You’re a Real Yaad Man/Woman If You Know These 7 New Jamaican Terms from 2018

Being the true superstars that we are, every year Jamaicans add more than enough new terms to our lexicon. In most cases, these terms derive from the lyrics of popular Jamaican songs released in that year and they can be applied to several contexts.

Now, with just a few hours remaining before we ring in the New Year, let’s take a look at Jamaican words and phrases that were created and became popular in 2018.

Trouble Deh Deh
This is a situation that you should possibly stay clear of as there is an impending danger or you may get hurt. If a Jamaican tells you that “trouble deh deh it makes good sense, that “you nuh deh deh. A popular scenario is when a Jamaican man is flirting with a woman who is already taken. His real “brejins” would say to him “my yute, trouble deh deh.

Go Inna It – Indulge
This term is used to describe giving your all to experiences. This is often used when Jamaicans intend to start a new business venture, new relationship or start a new chapter of their lives.
There are no reservations when Jamaicans “go inna it”.

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Grung Hot
If you believe this has anything to do with the temperature, you’re not even close to defining this term. When “grung hot”, there are several activities or incidents happening at once. Therefore, you can imagine this term is generally used to describe a busy season such as the holiday season in Jamaica.

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Braff – To be Boastful
Created and popularized by Dancehall artiste Teejay, when a Jamaican is “braff-ing” they are being boastful. Jamaicans braff for every and any reason, therefore, this term can be used in several contexts; each person decides whatever personal success is braff– worthy”.

Dancehall Artiste, Teejay

Uptop – Highest Level
This Jamaican term is used as a greeting, to acknowledge someone of great honour or to identify a great achievement. Therefore, as you can imagine, this word can be used in several contexts.
A few years year ago, Jamaicans were searching for a “higher level” and making their “way up”, but now, in 2018, we have arrived, we’re uptop.

Out Dere
This Jamaican term popularized by Dancehall Artiste Ding Dong, describes when Jamaicans fearlessly pursue their goals and aspirations. Consider all the Jamaicans who have placed the country on the world map through their professional achievements in 2018. We say they are “out dere without fear”.

Dancehall Artiste, Ding Dong

Dem Dead
You don’t have to worry, this term is not talking about the deceased. The Jamaican term, popularized by Jamaican artiste Popcaan, describes when someone is put to shame or disrespected. This term is popularly used to describe the loser in a heated argument.

You're a Real Yaad Man/Woman If You Know These 7 New Jamaican Terms from 2018

We know this is not an exhaustive list of new Jamaican terms as they are created almost weekly. If you think we have missed a few, let us know in the comments below. Now let’s ‘go inna’ the New Year ‘braffing’.

Ps. For non-Jamaicans, start working on your Patois as there are no English translations for these Jamaicans terms.


  • Ashleigh-Ann Mowatt

    Ashleigh-Ann Mowatt is a journalist who practises her craft everyday. Ashleigh-Ann loves to tell stories, human interest stories or stories of the heart. She hopes that by sharing these stories, she is ultimately helping persons to lead better lives. Check out her other stories on her blog,

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