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Monday, November 27, 2017

How to Talk like a Bahamian

Talk like a Bahamian - Bahamas Slang

Have you ever been to the Bahamas? If you are new to traveling to the islands and are concerned about communicating with locals, remember that it is an English speaking country. That being said, the people of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas almost speak in their own language. The people have their own dialect and creative words, just like the other Caribbean islands do.

Trying to blend in the Bahamas?

Want to speak like a Bahamian?

If you are a novice at the Bahamian language have a look at the list below where you will find commonly used words and phrases along with their meaning.

Bahamas Words to Know

Bey or Ma’ bey - Used as boy, man, person.
   Example 1 - “Hey bey look here.”
   Example 2 - “Ma’ bey I ain’t playing.”

Conch (pronounced Conk) - This is a mollusk that is used in many Bahamian dishes, the most
Queen Conch
famous being conch salad which is a blend of conch, lime, salt & pepper, tomato, sweet green pepper, and hot bird pepper. Some conch vendors also offer other ingredients such as mango. Other conch dishes popular in the Bahamas are conch fritters, cracked conch, conch chowder, and even conch burgers.

Crawfish - The Spiny Lobster is known as crawfish by the local Bahamians. These crustaceans are found under the sea on reef beds and are caught with traps or by spearing. The crawfish is tasty in any recipe and loved by all.

Spiny Lobster Crawfish

Dat - Short for that

Dem - Short for them

Dred - Another word for dude or guy.
   Example - “Bey! You see where dat dred go?

Fish Fry - This is an event or a place where fish and other seafood is fried and served usually in a group setting. The most known Fish Fry in the Bahamas is located at Arawak Cay, on New Providence Island, where many local Bahamians and tourists gather for food and entertainment.

Irie Nuts - At some traffic light locations on New Providence Island you will find people, usually Rasta’s, selling bags of irie nuts. No need to wonder, this is just a name - the bags contain roasted peanuts in the shell. Yum!

Jitney - This is the local word used when referring to a bus. These buses don’t really run on a set schedule. There are bus stops where one just waits until the next one passes by which could take a few minutes 10 - 15 minutes. The jitneys run from 6:00 in the morning to 6:30 in the evening.

Juk - To stab or pierce the skin.
   Example - “Bey juk dat fish man!”

Bahamas Junkanoo

Junkanoo - This is a parade of local Bahamians dressed up in costumes they designed and created as they play music from their instruments. The costumes are made from cardboard cutouts decorated with colourful craft paper, beads and feathers. The people are organized into groups, play on drums, cowbells, horns and whistles, and compete against each other for best costume, best music, and best theme. The most notable teams are the Valley Boys and the Saxons. The main Junkanoo parades are held on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) and New Year's Day with smaller ones held during the summer months.

Mudda Sick - This phrase is usually uttered after sucking teeth in frustration or disappointment. It can also be used when excited.
   Example 1 - disappointment - You can’t go wit me! “Mudda Sick man! I really wanted to go.”
   Example 2 - excitement - The carnival reach already. “Mudda Sick! I ready to go now!

Potcake - A potcake is a local Bahamas dog which is a mix of a lot of different breeds. These dogs can be spotted at different locations usually trying to find some food. The potcake was given it’s name from when cooking rice and it got burnt and caked up - this was fed to the dogs. The potcake is the official dog of the Bahamas.

Reverse back - When giving someone directions reverse back is often used when guiding someone backwards.
   Example - “Reverse back some more.”

Suck teet - Short for suck teeth - Usually accompanied when showing annoyance or disappointment

Spry - a light rain
   Example 1 - “She just start to spry?
   Example 2 - “No man. She been sprying all day.”


Switcha - This is the slang name for homemade limeade

Teif (pronounced teef) - Stolen. Short word for thief or rather something that was taken by a thief.
   Example 1 - “Man they tief my car dred.”
   Example 2 - “Stop tieffing!”

Tings - Short for things

Tree - Short for three

Those were the local words we thought you should know. We hope your crash course in Bahamian slang words was helpful. If you have any other words or phrases you think should be included in this list please leave a comment below.


Damianos Realty said...

Wonderful lol thanks for sharing :)

Bahamas Wedding Planner said...

Such a treat. Thanks for breaking it down.