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A : prep. to as in “go a shop,” from Spanish
A GO : aux w/v. going to do, as in “Me a go tell him”
A DOOR : outdoors.
ACCOMPONG: n. name of Maroon warrior, Capt. Accompong, brother of Cudjo; also name of town. From the Twi name for the supreme deity
ACKEE : n. African food tree introduced about 1778. From Twiankye or Kru akee
AGONY : the sensations felt during sex
AKS : ask
ALIAS : adj. (urban slang) dangerous, violent
AN : than
ARMAGEDDON: the biblical final battle between the forces of good and evil
ASHAM : n. Parched, sweetened, and ground corn. From twiosiam
BABYLON : 1. the corrupt establishment, the “system,” Church and State 2. the police, a policeman
BAD : good, great
BAD BWAI: (bad boy) 1. refering to a bold man; a compliment 2. One who has committed a crime. (rude bwai, ruddy, baddy)
BADNESS : hooligan behavior, violence for its own sake
BAFAN : clumsy; awkward
BAFANG : a child who did not learn to walk the 1st 2-7 years.
BAG-O-WIRE: a betrayer
BAGGY : underpants for a woman or child.
BALMYARD: n. place where pocomania rites are held, healing is done, spells cast or lifted
BAKRA : white slavemaster, or member of the ruling class in colonial days. Popular etymology: “back raw” (which he bestowed with a whip.)
BALD-HEAD: a straight person; one without dreadlocks; one who works for babylon
BAMBA YAY: by and by
BAMBU : rolling paper
BAMMY : a pancake made out of cassava, after it has been grated and squeezed to remove the bitter juice.
BANDULU : bandit, criminal, one living by guile (1) a BANDULU BIZNESS is a racket, a swindle.
BANGARANG: hubbub, uproar, disorder, disturbance.
BANKRA : a big basket, including the type which hangs over the sides of a donkey.
BANS : from bands; a whole lot, a great deal, nuff, whole heap.
BANTON : a storyteller
BASHMENT: party, dance, session
BAT : butterfly or moth. English bat, the flying rodent, is a rat-bat.
BATTY : bottom; backside; anus.
BATTYBWOY: a gay person
BEAST : a policeman
BEEF : desirable woman
BEENIE : little
BEX : vex (verb), or vexed (adjective).
BHUTTU (BUHTUH): an uncouth, out of fashion, uncultured person Use: Wey yu a go inna dem deh cloze? Yu fayva buttu
BIG BOUT YAH: Large and in charge. Superlative indicating status (power, fame, money, talent, etc) within some social group
BISCUIT: a particularly attractive woman
BISSY : cola nut.
BOOPS/BOOPSIE: Boops is a man, often older, who supports a young woman; boopsie refers to a kept woman
BLACK UP: To smoke weed. Like somene would ask “You Black up today?” Meaning did you smoke today?
BLACKHEART MAN: a rascal, a hooligan
BLOUSE AND SKIRT: common exclamation of surprise.
BLY : chance, “must get a bly”, “must get a chance”.
BOASIE : adj. proud, conceited, ostentatious. Combination of English boastful and Yoruba bosi-proud and ostentatious
BOASIN TONE: Swollen penis or testicles
BOBO : fool.
BOBO DREAD: a rastafarian sect based on the teachings of Prince Emanuel Edwards distinguished by turbin-like headdresses, flowing white robes and communal living
BODERATION: Boderation comes from the word bother and that’s basically what it means. If something is a boderation then it’s a bother.
BONG BELLY PICKNEY: a greedy child who ate too much.
BOONOONOONOUS: Meaning wonderful.
BOX : To smack or to hit in the face.
BRAA : from BREDDA; brother.
BRAATA : a little extra; like the 13th cookie in a baker’s dozen; or an extra helping of food. In musical shows it has come to be the encore.
BREDREN : one’s fellow male Rastas
BRINDLE : to be angry
BRINKS : title given to a man who is supplying a woman with money
BUBU : fool.
BUCKY : home-made gun (2) slave
BUCKY MASSA: master over the slaves
BUD : bird.
BUFU-BUFU: fat, swollen, blubbery; too big; clumsy or lumbering.
BUGUYAGA : a sloppy, dirty person, like a bum or tramp.
BULL BUCKA: a bully
BULLA : a comon sugar and flour cookie or small round cake, sold everywhere in Jamaica.
BUMBA CLOT,(TO GET) BUN: to have one’s spouse or girl/boy-friend cheat on oneself, to be cheated out of something
RAS CLOT,BLOOD CLOT: curse words
BUCK UP : meet
BUMBO : bottom; backside. A common curse word, especially in combination with CLOT (cloth), a reference to the days before toilet paper.
BUTOO : a person of no class
BUN : burn
BUNGO : n. racially pejorative. Crude, black, ignorant, boorish person. From Hausa bunga-bumpkin, nincompoop
BUNKS : to knock or bump against, from “to bounce”
BUNKS MI RES: catch my rest, take a nap.
BWOY : Boy
(THE) CAT: a woman’s genitals
CALLALOU: A spinach stew.
CARD : to fool someone
CEASE & SEKKLE!: stop everything and relax!
CEPES : (n.) – beard
CERACE : a ubiquitous vine used for boiling medicinal tea, and for bathing. It is proverbial for its bitterness.
CHA! or CHO!: a disdainful expletive (1) pshaw! (2) very common, mild explanation expressing impatience, vexation or disappointment.
CHAKA-CHAKA: messy, disorderly, untidy.
CHALICE or CHILLUM: a pipe for smoking herb, usually made from coconut shell
or CHALEWA: and tubing, used ritually by Rastas
CHAMPION: female of sexual prowess
CHANT : (v.) – to sing, especially cultural or spiritual songs
CHEAP : just as cheap, just as well.
CHI CHI MAN: a gay man
CHIMMY : chamber pot.
CHO : very common, mild explanation expressing impatience, vexation or disappointment.
CLAP : hit, break, stride
CLOT : 1. cloth, an essential part of most Jamaican bad words, such as bumbo clot, rass clot, blood clot, etc. The essence of Jamaican cursing seems to be nastiness, rather than the blashemy or sexuality which is characteristic of the metropolitan countries.
2. to hit or strike – from the verb “to clout”.
3. literally means a used tampon
COCO : a potato-like edible root, known elsewhere as the taro or the eddo. It was brought to Jamaica from the South Pacific. This is completely distinct from cocoa, usually called chocolate.
COIL : money
COLD I UP: humiliate or be-little
COME DUNG: come down, get ready (as to prepare to play a tune)
COME EEN LIKE: to seem as if; to resemble.
CONTROL : to be in charge of, responsible for, to own; to take
COO ‘PON: v. (origin unclear) Look upon!
COO YAH : v. (origin unclear) Look here! (7) pay attention
COOL RUNNINGS: usually used at a time of departure on a long journey meaning have a safe trip
COOLIE : the traditional Jamaican epithet for East Indians. It is never used It is never used for Chinese Jamaicans. Usually in the form coolie-man or coolie-oman. It is not considered polite today anymore than the term nega, but it is still used widely in rural areas.
COLLIE : n. (urban slang) ganja
COME YAH (cumyu): come here.
CORK UP : jammed, filled, crowded
CORN : 1. marijuana 2. money 3. a bullet
COTCH : verb (cotch up), to support something else, as with a forked stick; to balance something or place it temporarily; to beg someone a cotch, can be a place on a crowded bus seat or bench; or it may mean to cotch a while, to stay somewhere temporarily.
COTTA : a roll of cloth or vegetation placed on top of the head to cushion the skull from the weight of a head load.
CRAB : aside from it’s usual meaning, it is a verb meaning to scratch or claw.
CRAVEN : greedy
CRAVEN CHOKE PUPPY: someone who wants everything but when they get it , they can’t manage it.
CREATION STEPPER: means you step it in and throughout Babylon without fear – cuttin’ edge, livin’ on the edge, fear no foe. Lookin justice in the eye and saying, What are you doin ?”!!
CRIS : crisp; popularly used for anything brand-new, slick-looking.
CRISSARS: crisp, brand-new
CROMANTY: adj. from Corromantee, Blacks from the Gold Coast believed to be rebellious
CROCUS BAG: a very large sack made of coarse cloth, like burlap
CROSSES : problems, vexations, trials; bad luck, misfortunes.
CRUCIAL : serious, great, “hard,”, “dread”
CU : verb, look!
CU DEH! : look there!
CU PAN : look at.
CU YA! : look here!
CU YU : To say “Look at you.” To the person you are refering to.
CUDJO : n. name of famous Maroon warrior; mn born on Monday, from Fante, Twi kudwo
CULTURE : reflecting or pertaining to the roots values and traditions highly respected by the Rastas
CUSS-CUSS: a quarrel or fracas, with lots of cursing.
CUT YAI : to cut your eye at somebody is a very common means of expressing scorn or contempt, for example; one catches the other person’s eye, then deliberately turns one’s own eyes as an insult.
You can also cut your eye at somebody in a friendly way.
CUTCHIE : pipe for communal smoking.
CYA : 1. to care; “donkya”, don’t care, careless; “no kya” means no matter, as in “no kya weh im tun”, no matter where he turns. 2. to carry.
CYAAN : can’t.
CYAI : to carry.
CYAN : can.
D.J. : a person who sings or scats along with dub music, sometimes called “toasting”
DAAL : split peas, usually a thick soup, from Indian cuisine, from Hindi.
DADA : father
DALLY : executive zig-zag movements on wheels (2) or on foot (6) to ride a bicycle or motorbike with a weaving motion, as when ones weaves around potholes.
DAN DADA: the highest of DON’S
DAN : than
DARKERS : sunglasses
DASHEEN : a big soft yam-like root, often slightly greyish when cooked. It is related to the coco, but one eats the “head” instead of the tubers.
DAWTA : a girl, woman, “sister,” girlfriend
DEAD HOOD: (the H is silent) = A man that can’t perform sexually. Impotent.
DEADERS : meat, meat by-products
DEGE or DEGE-DEGE: adjective, little, skimpy, measly, only, as in a two dege-dege banana.
DEH : there (place)
DEY : v. to be, exist, as in “No yam no dey”. From Ewe de or Twi de – to be
DEY ‘PON: (aux. v.) – to be engaged in action or continuing activity (35) literally “there upon” As in “it dey pon de table”.
DI : the
DILDO MACCA: dangerous macca or thorn that will bore you up
DINKI : a kind of traditional dance at funerals or “nine nights” (“set-ups”); now popular among school children.
DIS or DIS YA: this
DJEW : as a verb, rain a djew; as a noun, djew rain.
It means a light rain or drizzle.
DOGHEART: a person who is especially cold and cruel
DOLLY : executive zig-zag movements on wheels
DON : one who is respected, master of a situation
DONKYA : from “don’t care”; careless, sloppy, lacking ambition, etc.
DOONDOOS: an albino.
DOWNPRESSOR: preferred term for oppressor
DOTI : “Dutty” means dirty, dirt or earth
(TO) DRAW CARD: the act of fooling someone
DREAD : 1. a person with dreadlocks
2. a serious idea or thing
3. a dangerous situation or person
4. the “dreadful power of the holy”
5. experientially, “awesome, fearful confrontation of a people with a primordial but historically denied racial selfhood”
DREADLOCKS: 1. hair that is neither combed nor cut 2. a person with dreadlocks
DREADY : a friendly term for a fellow dread
DUB : a roots electronic music, created by skillful, artistic re-engineering of recorded tracks
DUB PLATE: A pre-release copy of a record, often produced exclusively for a specific sound system (see “sound system”).
DUCK-ANTS: white ants, or termites.
DUKUNU : sweet corn-meal dumplings boiled in wrapped leaves.
DUNDUS : an albino.
DUNGLE : n. legendary West Kingston slum surrounding a garbage dump, now cleared.: From English dunghill
DUPPY : a ghost
DUTCHY : dutch cooking pot, low round-bottomed heavy pot.
DUTTY : irty
EASE-UP : to forgive, to lighten up
EVERYTING COOK & CURRY: all is well, all is taken care of
FALLA FASHIN: Copycat
FAS’ : to be fast with, meaning to be rude, impertinent, to meddle with sombody’s business, to be forward, etc.
FASSY : eczema-like scratchy sores on the skin;
also a verb meaning to cause oneself to be covered with fassy by scratching.
FAASTI (FIESTY): impertinent, rude, impudent
FAYVA : to favour, resemble, or look like; “fayva like” also means “it seems as if”.
FE (FI) : the infinitive “to” as in “Have fe go”
“a fe” Have to “fe dem” their
FEEL NO WAY: don’t take offense, don’t be sorry, don’t worry
FENKY-FENKY: (from finicky) choosy, proud, stuck-up.
FENNEH : v. to feel physical distress, pain. From Twi fene-to vomit; Fante fena-to be troubled; Lumba feno-to faint
FI (FE) : possessive. “fi me”-“mine” (7) Can also mean “for” or “to”, as in “I ha’ fi”, I have to.
Yu num fi du dat = You are not to do that.
Fe is Fi as in fi ar means hers
fi im – his
fi dem – theirs
fi you – yours
fi me – mine
FIESTY (FAASTI): impudent, rude, out of order, cheeky.
FIRST LIGHT: tomorrow
(HIM A) FISH: a gay person
FIT : when used of fruits and vegetables, it means ready to pick, full grown, though not necessarily fully ripe. (5) also means in good shape. (“You haffe fit!”)
FORWARD : 1. to go, move on, set out 2. in the future
FRONTA : tobacco leaf used to roll herb
FUCKERY : wrong, unfair
FULLNESS, TO THE FULLNESS: completely, absolutely, totally
FUNDS : Money
GAAN A BED: an adverbial phrase; following a verb of liking or loving, it has a superlative meaning; Can be used in any context, such as “I love hafu yam gaan to bed!”.
means very much as in liking very much
GALANG : go along.
GANJA : herb, marijuana
GANSEY : t-shirt, any knit shirt
(TO) GET SALT: to be thwarted, to encounter misfortune
GATES : home, yard
GENERAL : cool operator
GI : give
GIG : spinning top.
GILL : unit of measure like pint.
GINNAL : n. trickster, con-man, an Amnancy figure as in “Sunday Ginnal”-a preacher or clergyman
GLAMITY : a woman’s genitals
GOODAS : female of impeccable reputation
GORGON : outstanding dreadlocks (1) a dragon
(DON) GORGON: outstanding dreadlocks, a person who is respected
GRAVALICIOUS: greedy, avaricious.
GRINDSMAN: one who displays great prowess in bed
GROUNATION: large, island-wide meeting and celebration of Rastas
GROUND : home, yard
HACKLE : to hassle, bother, worry, trouble. As a noun, hackling.
HAFFI : to have to…
HAIL : a greeting
HARBOUR SHARK: “Mr. Want-All” glutton, greedy, someone who wants it all.
HARD : excellent, proficient, skillful, uncompromising tough
HARD EARS : stubborn, doesn’t listen
HEETCH : itch. Many such words could be listed under H, as initial H is added to scores of words at will.
HEAD MAN JANCRO: n. albino buzzard
HERB : marijuana
HIEZ-HAAD: ears-hard, thick skulled, stubborn, unwilling or unable to hear.
HIEZ : ears.
HIGGLERS: higglers, who are primarly woman who buy and sell goods that they have imported into the country. Some higglers,
however, do not make trips out of the country to buy goods, but sell the goods that others import.
The connection between higglers and dancehall culture is crucial as they form one of the strongest international links between JA, North America, and the Caribbean.
HITEY-TITEY: upper class, high tone, “stoosh”. (5) someone who pretends to be better than they are
HOMELY : to be relaxed, comfortable, enjoying your home surrounding.
HOOD : penis.
HORTICAL (DON): respected, acclaimed
HOT-STEPPER: fugitive from jail or gun court
I-DREN : (n.)- male Rastafarian
I-MAN : I, me, mine
I-NEY : a greeting
I-REY : 1. a greeting 2. excellent, cool, highest
I-TAL : vital, organic, natural, wholesome; refers to way of cooking and way of life in colors, red, green and gold
I-WAH : hour or time
I : replaces “me”, “you”, “my”; replaces the first syllable of seleted words (1) I and I, I&I: I, me, you and me, we
Rastafari speech eliminates you, me we, they, etc., as divisive and replaces same with communal I and I. I and I embraces
the congregation in unity with the Most I (high) in an endless circle of inity (unity).
IEZ-HAAD: ears-hard, thick skulled, stubborn, unwilling or unable to hear.
IEZ : ears.
ILIE : adj. literally, “highly”, valuable, exalted, even sacred
IGNORANT: short-tempered, easy to vex, irate.
INNA DI MORROWS: tomorrow
INNA : In the
IRIE : A Greeting. excellent, cool, highest adj. powerful and pleasing
IRON BALLON: expression for singer who has not found his/her voice
ISES/IZES/ISIS: praises Praises to the almighty given by Rasta when calling on the name of Jah for strength and assistance for achieving progress in life.
ISMS and SKISMS : negative term denoting Babylon’s classificatory systems
ITES : 1. the heights
2. a greeting
3. the color red great
4. another word for irie. Or you use it to mean “OK” as in when someone asks you to do something for you, you would reply, “Ites.”
IWA : certain time or hour
JA, JAM-DOWN: Jamaica
JACKASS ROPE: homegrown tobacco, twisted into a rope.
JAH KNOW: Lord knows
JAH : God; possibly derived as a shortened form of Jahweh or Jehovah Jah Ras Tafari, Haille Selassie, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, conquering Lion of Judah; rastas revere Haile Selassie as the personification of the Almighty
JAMDUNG : Jamaica, “Jam” to press down “dung” down. Ironic reference to social and economic conditions of the masses
JAMMIN : to be having a good time, to be dancing calypso/soca
JANCRO : n. literally John Crow, buzzard
JANGA : shrimp, crayfish.
JELLY : a young coconut, full of jelly.
JON CONNU: n. (John Canoe). Bands of elaborately masked dancers appearing around Christmas. They ressemble the ancestral dancers of West Africa, but the ety. of the word is unclear.
JOOK : to pierce or stick, as with a thorn or a long pointed stick. also used in a sexual context
JOOKS : hangout, relax
JUDGIN’ : adjective, everyday or ordinary clothes or shoes worn in the yard or in the bush, as in “judgin’ boot”. Also as a verb, to judge, with a similar meaning.
JUU : as a verb, rain a juu; as a noun, juu rain. It means a light rain or drizzle.
KALI; COOLY: marijuana
KALLALOO: a dark, green leafy vegetable, very nutritious and cheap.
KASS KASS: n. quarrel or contention. From combination of English curse or cuss, and Twi kasa kasa-to dispute verbally
KATA : a roll of cloth or vegetation placed on top of the head to cushion the skull from the weight of a head load.
KAYA : see ganja
KETCH UP: grapple (28) get in a fight
KETCHY-CHUBY: It can be a sexual term meaning the man throw it and the woman catch it! It can also mean a game – life’s game, how to see through today to meet tomorrowand all the games of life as in “life is just a ketchy-chuby game.”
KEMPS : a little bit, a tiny piece, from skimps.
KIN TEET: “skin teeth” to laugh at someone or give them a plastic smile, sometimes used derogatorily as in “A little kin-teet bwoy.”
KISS ME NECK!: common exclamation of surprise.
KISS TEET: to kiss one’s teeth or to suck one’s teeth is to make the very common hissing noise of disappoval, dislike, vexation or disappointment.
KOUCHIE : bowl of a chalice or chillum pipe
KRENG-KRENG: an old-fashioned meat rack, hung up high over the fire to catch the smoke.
KUMINA : n. Ecstatic dance for the purpose of communicating with ancestors. From Twi akom-to be possessed and ana-by an ancestor
LABA-LABA: to chat, gab; gossip.
LABRISH : gossip, chit-chat.
LAGGA HEAD: Dumb acts as if you have no common sense. Stupid. “yu dam Lagga head bud”
LAMBSBREAD: a form of high-quality marijuana
LARGE : respected
LET OFF : pay out
LEGGO BEAS’: wild, disorderly, like a let-go beast.
LICK : To hit
LICKY-LICKY: fawning, flattering, obsequious.
LIKKLE : little
LILLY BIT : little bit, tiny.
LION : a righteous Dread (1) a great soul
LIKKLE MORE: see you later
(TOO) LIKKY-LIKKY: title given to those who like to eat any food they encounter , without discretion
MAAMA MAN: a gay person, an effeminate man, a weakling
MAAS : n. from master or massa. Now freed from its class origin; a respectful form of address to an older man. chill out, be by ones self for a while
MACCA : thorn, prickle. dangerous.
MACCA BACK: boney fish used to make fish soup
MADDA : mother
MAFIA : big-time criminals
MAGA DOG: mongrel
MAGA : thin (from meagre)
MAMPI : Fat or overweight
MANNERS : under heavy discipline or punishment. for example when Kingston is under “heavy manners”, they have a curfew or call out the army.
MARINA : a man’s undershirt, guernsey; a tank-top style.
MAROON : n. free black warrior-communities which successfully resisted British hegemony during eighteenth century and early nineteenth century. From Spanish cimmaron- untamed, wild
MASH IT UP: a huge success
MASH UP, MASH DOWN: destroy
MASSIVE : respected, used with LARGE to add emphasis
MATEY : mistress
MEK WE : Let Us.
MENELIK,RAS: n. Ethiopian nobleman who rallied his troops to resist Italian aggression. Defeated Italians at Adowa 1896
MONKS : amongst. (5)
MORE TIME: see you later
MR. MENTION : Talk of the town, originally talk of the females signifying someone with many female conquests
MR. T : the boss
MUS MUS : a rat
MY BABY MOTHER/FATHER: the mother/father of my child
MYAL : n. a form of benign magic oposed to Obeah, hence myalman. From Hursa maye-wizard, person of mystic power.
NAGAH : n. pejorative for a black person
NAGO : n. Yoruba person, practice or language. From Ewe anago-Yoruba person
NAH : adv. will not. Emphatic as in “Me nah do that”
NANA : midwife; nanny or nurse.
NANNY GOAT: “What sweet nanny goat a go run him belly” is a cautionary Jamaican proverb which translated means: What tastes good to a goat will ruin his belly. In other words – the things that seem good to you now, can hurt you later…
NASH : female genatalia
NATTY, NATTY DREAD, NATTY CONGO: 1. dreadlocks 2. a person with dreadlocks
NAZARITE: Ancient Hebrew meaning to “separate”, consecrated, set apart by choice and devotion
NICE UP : to promote and foster a positive feeling. to “nice up the dance” means to get the party going
NIYABINGHI: 1. “death to all black and white oppressors”
2. East African warriors who resisted colonial domination
3. large Rastafarian meeting and spiritual gathering
4. referring to orthodox, traditional Rastas
5. a variety of drumming
NIYAMEN: name for Rastas referring to Niyabinghi warriors of East Africa
NO CYA : no matter, as in “no kya weh im tun”, no matter where he turns.
NOTCH : Don or top ranking badman
NUH : interrogative at end of sentence; literally, “Is it not so?”
NUH NUTTIN: not a big deal
NUH TRUE?: isn’t it so?
NYAM : to eat.
(TOO) NYAMI-NYAMI: title given to those who like to eat any food they encounter, without discretion
NYING’I-NYING’I: nagging, whining.
O-DOKONO: boiled maize bread.
OBEAH : traditional African “science”, relating to matters of the spirit and spirits, spells, divinations, omens, extra-sensory knowledge, etc.
OHT FI : about to, on the vergeof, as in “it hoht fi rain”, it is about to rain, it looks like rain.
ONE DROP: A popular type of rhythm pattern used on countless reggae records
ONE LOVE: a parting phrase, expression of unity
ONE-ONE : adjective, one by one, thus any small amount.
ONGLE : only.
PAKI : calabash, gourd.
PAPAA : pawpaw, or papaya melon.
PASSA PASSA: gossip
PATTAN : pattern, style and fashion
PATU : owl.
PAYAKA : heathen craven, want it all
PYAKA : tricky or dishonest.
PEEL-HEAD: bald-headed, usually certain chickens or vultures.
PEENYWALLY: a kind of large fire fly, actually a type of flying beetle.
PEER : avocado pear.
PHENSIC : JA equivalent to Tylenol, Excedrin, etc.
PICKY, PICKY HEAD: brush haircut
PICKY-PICKY: 1. finicky or choosy
2. Used of uncombed hair just starting to turn into dreadlocks.
PIKNY : pickaninny, child.
PINDA : peanut.
PIRA : a low wooden stool.
PITY-ME-LIKL: a type of very tiny red ant whose bite is so hot and long-lasting it resembles a sting.
POCOMANIA, POCO: christian revival, distinct drum rhythm
POLYTRICKS: politics (by Peter Tosh)
POLYTRICKSTERS: politicians (by Peter Tosh)
POPPY-SHOW: from puppet show, it is used in the idiom, tek smadi mek poppy-show, which means to make fun of someone or shame them, making them look ridiculous.
PUM-PUM : a woman’s genitals
PUNAANI or PUNNI: a woman’s genitals
PUSSY CLOT: A curse word ref. to a woman’s sanitary napkin.
PUTTIN’ AWAY: a preposition, meaning “except for”, or “except”.
PYAA-PYAA: sickly, weak; feeble, of no account
PYU : from spew; verb used of running sores or anything similarly dripping or oozing.
QUASHIE : n. peasant, country bumpkin, coarse and stupid person; racial pejorative generic term for blacks; originally Twi name of a boy born on a Sunday
QUIPS : 1. nouns (from squips) a tiny piece or amount.
2. verb, the Jamaican art of washing clothes making a “squips-squips” sound.
RAATID! : a common mild expletive of surprise or vexation, as in “to raatid!”. It is likely a polite permutation of “ras”, a la “gosh” or “heck”.
RAGGA : A style of reggae that uses digital rhythms exclusively. A term sometimes used interchangably with dancehall, since the latter music has become heavily digitized as well.
RAGGAMUFFIN: jamaican ghetto dweller
RAM : full up
RAM GOAT: slang for someone who deals with nuff ladies
RANKING : highly respected
RAS or RASS: backside, rump; a common curse is to rass! or rass clot!a title used by Rastafarians meaning “lord” or “head”.
(TO) RAAS: “really?”, “damn!”
RASTA, RASTAFARIAN: a follower of Marcus Garvey who worships the Almighty in the person of haile Selassie
RAT-BAT : bat, the night-flying rodent.
RATCHET : a switchblade knife popular in Jamaica
RAW : unbearably hungry
RED : 1. very high on herb 2. mulatto color
RED EYE : to want another persons belonging, envious. “You too red eye”, meaning, you’re too envious.
RAHTID : expression of surprise, or to be enraged. From biblical”wrothed”
RENK : 1. foul-smelling, raw-smelling.
2. out of order, impudent, as in a rank-imposter. “Yu too renk!”. fiesty
RHAATID : a curse-exclamation, similar to “what the hell”
To rahtid —> Exclamination!!, i.e Wow! a milder form to Rass…excitement!!
RHYGIN : adj. spirited, vigorous, lively, passionate with great vitality and force; also sexually provocative and aggressive. Probably a form of English raging.
RIZZLA : brand of rolling paper
ROCKERS : reggae music reggae music as it is played today,the latest sound
ROOTS : 1. derived from the experience of the common people, natural indigenous
2. a greeting
3. name for a fellow Rasta
ROTI : flat Indian pan breads.
ROYAL, (RIAL): n. offspring of some other race and black, ass in “Chiney-Rial,” “coolie-rial”; humorous as in “monkey-rial”
RUDE BOY: a criminal, a hard hearted person, a tough guy
RUN-DUNG: food cooked in coconut juice, obtained after grating the dry coconut meat and squeezing it in water, thus extracting the coconut cream.
RUNNING BELLY: diarrhea
RYAL : royal.
SAL’TING: 1. dishes cooked with saltfish or meat.
2. that part of the meal which is served with the “food” (starchy food, ground food).
3. by some strange extension, the female organ, often simply called “sal”. the food that goes with the rice,
potatoes or starchy food; like calalloo, fish and sauce, sauces or gravy
SALT : adjective, broke, empty-handed, low on funds or food, as in “tings salt” or “i’ salt”.
SAMBO : the colour between brown and black; someone who is a cross between a mullatto (brown) and a black.
SAMFAI MAN: trickster, conman.
SHAMPATA: n. sandal of wood or tire rubber. Span. zapato
SANFI : A manipulator – dishonest person. A person that will sweet talk you out of love and money. “Dam Sanfi Bitch”
SANKEY : n. religious song of a paticularly lugubrious tone, sung in the long or common meter. From Ira David Sankey, evangelist and hymnalist
SAPS : a weakling, loser
SATA : to rejoice, to meditate, to give thanks and praise.
SATTA : sit, rest, meditate relax
(GO) SATTA: claim how spiritual you are
SCIENCE : obeah, witchcraft
SCIENTIST: occult practitioner
SCOUT : denoting inferior status
SCREECHIE: to sneak by
SCREW : to scowl, to be angry
SEEN : I understand, I agree
SEEN? : Do you understand?
SHAG : home-cured tobacco, straight from the field.
SHAKE OUT: leave without haste, casually
SHEG (UP): verb, to bother, as in “all sheg up”, all hot and bothered, or or spoiled up (as of work).
SHEG-UP : to be messed up, ruined
SHEPHERD: n. leader of revivalist cult; also proprietor of balmyard, healer and prophet
SHOOB : to shove.
SIDUNG : sit down
SIGHT? : do you understand?
SINKL-BIBLE: the aloevera plant.
SINSEMILLA, SENSIE: popular, potent, seedless, unpollinated female strain of marijuana
SINTING : something.
SIPPLE : slippery; slimy.
SISTER, SISTREN: a woman, a friend, woman Rastafarians
SITTIN’ : something.
SKANK : to dance to reggae music to move with cunning, ulterior motives
SKIL : kiln, as in “limeskil”.
SKIN : rolling paper
SKIN YOUR TEETH: smile (1) plastic smile
SLABBA-SLABBA: big and fat, slobby, droopy.
SLACKNESS: lewd, vulgar lyrics popular in DJ singing
SLACKY TIDY: unkept or messy
SLAP WEH: awesome, or great.
SMADI : somebody.
SO-SO : only, solely, unaccompanied. weak, pallid
SOFT : not well done, amateurish; unable to cope broke, no money
SOUNDBWOY: usually a derogatory way to refer to the selecter or other personality in another sound system. This term is most often employed in clashes,
on dub plates built for clashes, and so on. Sometimes it is not used in such a negative manner, but most of the time one refers to the someone
in the crew as a soundman, not a boy.
SOUND SYSTEM: Huge mobile stereo setups manned by DJs, who became celebrities as they traveled Jamaica to host open-air dances
SPLIFF : large, cone-shaped marijuana cigarette
SPRING : to sprout, as of yams or cocos, making them inedible.
STAR : common term of affection, camaraderie
STEP : to leave, to depart (1) briskly, quickly
STOOSH/STOSHUS: upper class, high tone, “hitey-titey”.
STRING UP: a muscial rehearsal
STRUCTURE: body, health
SU-SU : gossip, the sound of wispering.
SUFFERER: a poor person stuggling to survive
SUPM, SINTING: something
TACK : bullet
TACUMAH : n. character in Anancy tales. Said to be the son of Anancy. Twin’ticuma
TAKARI/TANKARI: stewed spicy pumpkin.
TALL : long
TALLOWAH: adj. sturdy, strong, fearless, physically capable. From Ewe talala
TAM : deep woolen hat, used by Dreads to cover their locks
TAMBRAN SWITCH: n. a flail made from the wiry branches of the Tamarind tree, braided and oiled. Effective and much feared in the hands of Babylon.
TAN’ : to stand; usually used in the sense of “to be”. “A so im tan”, “that is what he is like”; “tan deh!” or “yu tan deh!” means “just you wait!”.
“Tan tedy”, stand steady, means “hold still”.
TARRA-WARRA: a polite way of expressing omitted bad words, a verbal asterisk.
TATA : n. father. Affectionate and respectful title for an old man. Fram many african languages. Ewe, Ge, N’gombe
TATU : a little thatched hut, often made of bamboo.
TEETH : bullets
TEIF : a theif, to steal
THE I : (pron.) -you, yourself, yours
THRU’ : because
TOAST : (v.) – to rap or sing spontaneously over a dub track
TOTO : coconut cake.
TOPANORIS: uptown snobby person. wealthy but mean behind it
TRACE : to curse or speak abusively to someone.
TUMPA : from stump, as in “tumpa-foot man”, a one-foot man.
TUNTI : female organ.
UNO/UNU : you-all. pron. you, plural. In usage close to Afro-American y’awl. From Ibo unu, same meaning
UPFUL : postitive, encouraging
UPHILL : positive, righteous
UPTOWN : the upper classes
VANK : (v.) – to vanquish, conquer
VEX : to get angry
WA DAY : adverbial phrase, the other day.
WA MEK? : why?
WHAFEDOO: we’ll have to (make) do or we’ll have to deal with it
WAKL : wattle, a kind of woven bamboo work used to make house walls.
WARRA-WARRA: politely omitted bad words, same as “tarra-warra”.
WENCHMAN : a kind of fish, “hail brother john, have you any wenchman?” (from “Row Fisherman Row”).
WH’APPEN?: what’s happening?
WHATLEF : What’s left over
WHEELS : vehicle
WHOLE HEAP: a lot
WINE : “wine” appears in every West Indian dialect, and is literally a corruption of “wind.” It means to dance, sometimes seductively.
WINJY : thin and sickly looking.
WIS : vine, liana, from withe.
WOLF : a non-rasta deadlocks
WOOD : penis.
YA NUH SEE?: you know?
YA : hear, or here.
YABBA : a big clay pot.
YAGA YAGA: Dancehall slang. a way to big up a brethren; to express a greeting or attract attention, i.e. yo! or yush! true friend; bonafide; brethren.
YAHSO : here (place)
YAI : eye.
YARD : home, one’s gates tenement
YOUTH : a child, a young man, an immature man
YUSH : Yush talk is bad boy talk. Or it can be a way of saying “YO”. In other words it is a way for rude boys to hail each other up.
ZION : Ethiopia, Africa, the Rastafarian holy land
ZUNGU PAN: zinc pan.