Top 15 Jamaican Patois words you should know


Top 15 Jamaican Patois words you should know | Jamaican Patwah Jamaican Patwah Logo

  1. “Likkle More „ English Translation: See You Later Definition This is one of the most popular goodbye expressions normally used by a Jamaican. If you ever had a conversation with a Jamaican, you’ve probably heard him utter this phrase at one point or the other. The literal translation of “likkle more” is “little more” but when used as a goodbye expression it means “see you later”. Alternatively, “likkle more” may also be said as “lilli more” Example Sentences (Patois) Mi deh leff, likkle more
    (English) I am leaving, see you later
  2. “Wah gwaan „ English Translation: What’s going on or what’s up Definition Pronounced as “waa gwaan”, the literal translation is “what’s going on” but when used as a greeting, it can also mean “What’s up”. Different variation of “Wah gwaan” may be used but they all have the same meaning. These include; wah deh gwaan, whatta gwaan or waguan (pronounced wa-goo-ahn). Example Sentences (Patois) Wah gwaan wid yuh todeh?
    (English) What’s going on with you today?
  3. “Pree „ English Translation: Check Out Definition To take notice or pay close attention someone or something. Example Sentences (Patois) Wen mi guh a club a bai man deh pree mi
    (English) When I go to the club a lot of guys are checking me out
  4. “Mi deh yah „ English Translation: I am here Definition Slang expression usually used in response to a greeting expression like “How are you doing” or “What’s going on”. While the literal translation for this term is “I am here”, its implied meaning is similar to the expressions “I’m good”, “Not much happening so I am just here”, “Everything is ok” etc… Example Sentences (Patois) Nothing nah gwaan adi paati but mi deh yah deh chill anyway
    (English) Nothing is going on at the party but I’m here chilling anyway
  5. “Pickney „ English Translation: Child Definition Means child or children. Example Sentences (Patois) Dem yah nowadays pickney waah fi bi like big people instead a actin dem age
    (English) These nowadays children want to be like grown-ups instead of acting their age
  6. “Irie „ Definition Rastafarian slang use to describe when one is feeling good; everything is alright Example Sentences (Patois) Mi nuh really hav much fi complain bout, mi life irie
    (English)I don’t really have much to complain about, my life is alright
  7. “Obeah „ English Translation: Spell Definition The witchcraft or black magic that is practice by some in Jamaica. Annie Palmer (The White Witch of Rose hall) was an infamous practitioner of this dark magic. Example Sentences (Patois) Nuh matta how haad mi try, mi cyaah get ova har, it cummin like she obeah mi
    (English) No matter how hard I try, I can’t get over her, it’s like she has cast a spell on me
  8. “Gyal „ English Translation: Girl Example Sentences (Patois) Yow bredda! Who dah gyal deh ova deh suh?
    (English) Hey brother! Who’s that girl over there?
  9. “Yardie „ English Translation: Jamaican Definition Slang term used to refer a Jamaican or Jamaican descents that live aboard, typically in the United Kingdom. Additionally the term “yardie” may refer to a gang consisting predominantly of Jamaicans criminals who are involved in activities such as dealing drugs and acquiring illicit money. Example Sentences (Patois) Get mi a beef patty fram di yardie restaurant
    (English) Get me a beef patty from the Jamaican restaurant
  10. “Bredren „ English Translation: Brethren Definition Slang for anyone who is a friend or colleague. Example Sentences (Patois) Mi bredren and mi did a party di wul nite
    (English) My friend and I was partying the whole night
  11. “Jamrock „ English Translation: Jamaica Definition Slang term for the country Jamaica. Example Sentences (Patois) Mi ago a Jamrock fi mi summer vacation
    (English) I am going to Jamaica for my summer vacation
  12. “Duppy „ English Translation: Ghost Example Sentences (Patois) Yuh nuh think yuh too ole fi believe inna duppy?
    (English) Don’t you think you are too old to believe in ghosts?
  13. “Big up „ English Translation: Give respect / Give props Definition To give respect, encouragement or to acknowledge someone Example Sentences (Patois) Mi hav fi big up John fi everything him duh fi wi
    (English) I have to give John respect for everything that he did for us
  14. “Badmind „ English Translation: Envious Definition Slang expression use to describe someone who is jealous of others and is constantly being a critic on other people’s life. This person is extremely envious of the success of others; wishing/plotting for their downfall or failure. Example Sentences (Patois) Him badmind mi kaaz mi a drive Benz
    (English) He’s envious of me because I drive a Benz
  15. “Rasta man „ English Translation: Rastafarian man Definition A male that practices Rastafarianism (may or may not wear a dreadlocks). Example Sentences (Patois) Bob Marley did a Rasta man suh mi nuh think him did nyam pork
    (English) Bob Marley was a Rastafarian so I don’t think he ate pork

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