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Know your destination: Jamaican Phrases


Getting to know new cultures is probably something we all have in our travel bucket list. Savoring new dishes, learning cultural heritage and dancing to the rhythm of the local tunes.

On this post, the first out of four we will be featuring, we go over a few friendly words and practical local phrases, useful for your next trip to the Bahia Principe Jamaica resort. Your interest in the local culture will indeed be appreciated by the Jamaicans.

“Every ting criss” as in “crisp” is the equivalent of everything’s cool.

“Bless” and “Respect” with an accompanying chin nod,  a standard acknowledgements to people you pass on the street.

“no problem” is the answer to just about every request made to a Jamaican. It exemplifies the national way of doing things.

“Wah Gwaan” is ‘what is going on?’ Mainly used as a greeting, similar to ‘how are you’.

“Mi deh ya, yuh know” would be the direct answer to the last phrase. Surprise a local in Jamaica by replying “I’m doing well” in their own lore.

In “soon come” – ‘soon’ can be any length of time. Often used by a person when they are departing but will return. Don’t take the “soon” too seriously.

“Bless up” is to wish people a good day.

“galang” is “go along”.

“g’way” is “go away”.

“Way yuh a’go, e e?” is where are you going?

“Lickle” translates to “small”.

“she yuh lickkle more den” is also used when saying “see you later then”.

“Inna di morrows” when wanting to say “see you later” or “tomorrow”

“Duppy Conqueror” literally means “ghost conqueror”. Made famous by Bob Marley, used when someone overcomes obstacles or difficulties.

“Weh di bus tap deh?” in order to inquire about the bus stop.

“Mash up” when something is broken.

“Chaka-Chaka” of poor quality or messy.

“yuh waan flap a wing” is used by locals when inviting a girl to dance.

“Weh yuh ah seh” literally means “What are you saying” but it is actually to ask “How are you doing?”

“Nyam” to indicate “eat”

“Ow much is dis?” for “How much is this?

“Wah is di bess?” for “What is the best?”

“Mi like dis.” I like this.

And of course the classic “Yah man”  or its close cousin “Yah mon” which are basically say “yes”.

We hope this list comes in handy for your net trip to Jamaica. Now we say “Walk Good” or “See you later” and invite you to stay tuned to future articles, where we’ll go over local words or phrases used Mexico.

Check out Privilege Tips for more travel talk.