Speak like a Trini

For anyone who has never been to Trinidad, I’m sure you’ll have a similar experience to James the first time he heard a full blown Trini accent. Not only do we speak quite fast, but we also decide to add/remove letters to words, mispronounce words, or just plain make up words. It truly is a language of its own and if you’re completely unfamiliar it can be quite difficult to follow.

Trinidad and Tobago

Considering one of my flatmates is planning to visit the good old T&T soon, I figure I should create a little T&T dictionary for him to reference too. Also this year the homeland made it on Vogue’s 2017 Top 10 Travel Destination list, so I’m sure there will be many tourists visiting for the first time!

**General note – Yes our national language in Trinidad is English. Yes, we do learn how to speak, write and read proper English in school. No, we do not speak it regularly. Imagine a Jamaican accent, but different if you want to try to imagine what a Trini accent would sound like.

Your official Trini Dictionary:

  • Trini – Short for Trinidadian.
    • Context: I am a Trini
  • Baigo/Baygo – Short for Tobago.
    • Context: Are you going to Baigo this long weekend?
  • Lime/Liming – Essentially our slang for hanging out, spending time with friends/family.
    • Context: You want to lime?
  • Allyuh – Essentially means “all of you.”
    • Context: What allyuh doing?
  • Fete – A party. A lime is a much more casual word, whereas a fete is a huge blowout party.
    • Context: Allyuh going to the fete tonight?
  • Hair – here/hair/hare/hear. It can mean anyone of them, depends on context.
  • Ax – “Ask”
    • Context: Ax your mum if you can lime tonight?
  • Crapo – Frog.
    • Context: I hate crapos!
  • Hops – Bread / rolls.
    • Context: I could go for some hops right now.
  • Bacchanal – drama/scandalous behavior etc.
    • Context: That gyul is always in bacchanal.
  • Gyul – Girl.
    • Context: That gyul is always in bacchanal.
  • Nah – no.
    • Context: Nah I am not in the mood to eat.
  • Coo nu moonoo – Idiot.
    • Context: That boy is a coo nu moonoo.
  • Leh we go/ Leh go – Lets go.
    • Context: Leh go to the mall.
  • Ahse – Ass.
    • Context: You are an ahse.
  • Boomsie – Bottom.
    • Context: That girl has a nice boomsie.
  • Bam Se- Bottom.
    • Context: That girl has a nice bam se.
  • Yuh makin joke – You have got to be kidding.
    • Context: Yuh making jokes, I can’t believe that!
  • Wha happenin – What’s going on?
    • Context: Wha happenin tonight?
  • Zaboca – Avocado.
    • Context: I want to eat a zaboca.
  • Beiganne – Eggplant.
    • Context: Do you like to eat Beiganne?
  • Doh – Don’t.
    • Context: Doh do that.
  • Po po – a little child.
    • Context: Po po you are so cute!
  • Look nuh – Look now. (Usually used when annoyed)
    • Context: Look nuh, doh tell me I doh treat you like a good friend.
  • Boof – To yell at.
    • Context: My mum boof me up.
  • Now fuh now – Right now.
    • Context: I can have this car fixed now fuh now.
  • Ting – Thing.
    • Context: What is that ting?
  • Humbug – Bother me.
    • Context: My brother only humbugs me.
  • Magga – extremely thin.
    • Context: That girl looks so magga, I think she’s anorexic.
  • Teef – theif. (can be used as a noun/verb)
    • Context: That boy teef my bag!
  • Vex – Vexed/angry.
    • Context: Why she vex? (we also drop verbs / use incorrect pronouns in regular speak)
  • One set ah – a lot of something.
    • Context: One set ah bacchanal comes with this girl.
  • Chupid – Stupid.
    • Context: I feel so chupid right now.
  • Yuh – You.
    • Context: What yuh doing tonight?
  • Eh eh – a filler word for surprise.
    • Context: Eh eh, yuh doh say!
  • Ova – over
    • Context: Move ova
  • Shif yuh – move.
    • Context: Shif yuh bag ova.
  • Lef – left.
    • Context: Make a lef turn in 5 minutes.
  • Badjohn – A bad person/gangster/bully.
    • Context: That man always behaves like a badjohn.
  • Jus now – Just now.
    • Context: I am going to do it jus now mum.
  • Maljo – evil eye.
    • Context: I doh think she likes me, she always give me maljo.
  • Ent – Isn’t it so
    • Context: Ent that gyul went to school with you
  • Coki Eye – Cock eyed.
    • Context: That boy is coki eyed.
  • Fall out – Stop speaking with someone.
    • Context: Those two had a falling out.
  • Harden – Disobedient.
    • Context: That child is so harden.
  • Buh wait nuh – Hold on a minute/One minute/ Wait.
    • Context: Buh wait nuh why you vex with me?
  • Cyah – Can’t.
    • Context: That gyul cyah help but leave she room messy.
  • Ketch – to catch (either a ball or to catch in the act)
    • Context: My mum ketch me lying.
  • Licks – to get hit / physical punishment.
    • Context: My mum gimme licks when she ketch me lying.
  • Maco – someone that minds other people’s business.
    • Context: She only macos what I’m doing.
  • Preshah – pressure/worrying/rough times.
    • Context: How are you feeling? Preshah, one set ah trouble these days man.

 

 

There you have it – you’re official Trini dictionary list! Now save this for a rainy day and when in the good old T&T refer to this so you’re not so confused 🙂

 

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Trinidad & Tobago

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17 thoughts on “Speak like a Trini

  1. What an interesting combo of languages that seem to have contributed to this vocabulary and slang! had no idea….. But I had a professor in college from T&T and have always been curious about it

    Liked by 1 person

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