Happy Independence, Barbados!

Recently I went to a fish fry with my good friend Simon and was taken back in time with some lovely Bajan songs that, I must admit, I didn’t appreciate much growing up, but now that I’m older I can really say I like!  The old kiaso really tells some of the political and social history of Barbados (“Boots“, “Emmerton“, “Bajan Fisherman“, “Jack” by Gabby come immediately to mind) and on this 44th anniversary of our Independence I thought I would share some of these songs with my blog friends.

Here are a couple more:  “Hit It” (Gabby), Leggo I Hand (Grynner), Can’t Find Me Brother (Red Plastic Bag), Something’s Happening (RPB), Spring Garden, I Coming (Ras Iley)…. Ok I gotta stop now… I would fill this post with too many songs…

(I wanted to embed the videos, but due to WordPress’ policy that says I have to buy the privilege to embed videos, you’re relegating to clicking on links instead. Sorry….)

Picture of the Barbados Flag

Happy Independence!

*******

For all my non-Bajan readers:  let’s play a game.

Bajanisms (Bajan Customs, or, Yuh Know Yuh Is a Bajan When….)

I’ve been talking to one of my Internet friends about Barbados and telling her some of our mannerisms and customs, and so I decided that I would steal some “Bajanisms” from my cousin’s Facebook page for your education and entertainment as well 🙂  So …. as my American friends are still possibly sleeping off the effects of too much food on Thanksgiving Day (called “niggeritis” in Barbados (LOL))  you can crawl to the comp, try this and enjoy celebrating with  me – and then go back to sleep again. *wink*

See if you can guess what these things mean if you’re not Bajan by birth or association…..

  • Bajanism #1: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when yuh know who Joe Monkey is…and when to look fuh he.
  • Bajanism #2: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when yuh know that the “Days” does start at 6pm.
  • Bajanism #3: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when yuh does lower up de T.V.
  • Bajanism #4: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when yuh know de word “quiet” has one syllable and “worm” has two.

eg 1 “Boy try and keep quet!!”
eg 2 “Looka da Christmas wur-urm.”

  • Bajanism #5: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when every thing from yuh hip down to yuh toes is your “foot”.
  • Bajanism #6: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when yuh know ’bout Tam’brin balls and Sucka-bubbies
  • Bajanism #7: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when yuh know that bakes get fried.
  • Bajanism #8: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when yuh know de word “France” can be used as an expletive.
  • Bajanism #9: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when yuh know dat “Cheese on bread” could be a meal, or an expression of frustration.
  • Bajanism #10: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when yuh know dat yuh does “Keep” noise as opposed to “Make” noise.
  • Bajanism #11: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when yuh know how to stupse.
  • Bajanism #12: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when yuh know bout Sun-duh lunch.
  • Bajanism #13: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when yuh know dat “Cuttin’ yuh eyes”, “Cuttin’ yuh tail” and “Yuh belly cuttin” aint got nutten to do with scissors, knives or any sharp objects.
  • Bajanism #14: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when locations in your house include de veranda, de gallery and de front house.
  • Bajanism #15: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when you give bad directions. “Guh down past de gas station an’ swing up…”
  • Bajanism #16: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when yuh know dat “up de road” and “down de road” could be the same direction.
  • Bajanism #17: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when yuh know dat the phrase “My man” can be directed at males other than your husband or boyfriend.
  • Bajanism #18: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when yuh know yuh hair does bite yuh sometimes.
  • Bajanism #19: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when yuh know dat yuh pooch AINT your dog.
  • Bajanism # 20: Yuh know yuh is a Bajan when ‘boxy’ isn’t a description of a box-like shape.

So there you have it!  Guess away!!!!!  The one who guesses the most will be conferred with the title of Honourary (yes, that’s spelt right, WordPress! stupse) Bajan For the Day!

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13 Responses

  1. I love your list, Rob! The way words are pronounced and the way meanings vary is a riot! Liked those driving directions, too! You should save this post for next year. I bet the NYTimes would pay you to run it… a wonderful snipet of your rich culture. Hope all is well with you… prayers. : )

    • Can you try to guess what some of them mean? Like what a ‘boxy’ (also spelt ‘botsey’) is?? lolol 🙂 No one’s taken me up on my challenge yet 😦

      🙂

  2. And don’t forget to listen to the Youtube videos by clicking on the links! Did anyone do that???

  3. Just checkin’ in, lookin’ around, sayin’ hi.. Hope all is well…

  4. I am, for the most part, clueless about these sayings, but I loved reading them because I’m a huge fan of accents and it’s fun to “read” how other accents may sound! Thanks for sharing this. Hope you have a good Sun-Duh (sunday?) tomorrow!

    • For someone who’s clueless u got it right 🙂 that’s Sunduh to most raw Bajan speakers … 😉

      Will go about and decipher these in a post since no one can get it done lol 🙂

  5. hmmm. it’s a bit trickey to know what I should be deciphering. My first guess for bakes is that it’s french fries. But maybe fried chicken? Tam’brin balls and sucka-bubbies … food. I’m guessing the first is a side dish, and the second is a dessert. Pooch … would that be a fat belly? Cutting yuh eyes … really want something. Cuttin yuh teeth .. trying something new for the first time. Yuh belly cuttin … either being hungry or dancing really good. Joe Monkey … uh … being really cranky in the mornings? Okay, that’s all I’ve got.

    • Well you’re the only one who tried to guess, so you get an honourable mention! 😀

      *HONOURARY BAJAN STATUS*

  6. Oh Lord… I’m killing myself with laughter here!!

    Hey do people still drink Falarnum (sp?) I think my parents still have a bottle of it locked away somewhere

    • Falernum? Yeah…. I went to see if there was some more in my liqour cabinet, but …. we’re all out! 😉

  7. You know yuh is a Bajan when you look to see if you have any Falernum in the liquor cabinet and you can’t find any! LOL

    • hear hear!!!! hehehe 😉

  8. […] on Bajanisms DecipheredLinda on Bajanisms Decipheredbajanpoet on Happy Independence, Barba…Cheryl on Happy […]

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