15 Trinidadian Slang Words (2022)

Bismillaah بسم الله… In the name of God

Assalaamu ‘alaikum السّلام عليكم… Peace be with you

Hiya Readers :),

How’s it going? I’ve been putting off the writing of this blogpost for years now, simply because, some days I don’t have the zeal to write about my country. Today, you’re in luck though, because I’d like to share some slang words, from the vernacular of English which I adore speaking daily, and that is, Trinidadian English (TE). Enjoy!!!

(Video) Translating Trini Slang (prt 1) 🇹🇹❤️

15 Trinidadian Slang Words (1)

Trinidad is the sister isle of the picturesque Tobago. It is part of an amazing archipelago, which is situated in the Southern Caribbean, adjacent to Venezuela—the northernmost country of South America. Trinidad—the fifth largest island of the West Indies—is a cultural stew of Africans, East Indians, Chinese, Middle Easterners (Syrians and Lebanese), Europeans, Amerindians (Caribs and Arawaks), Venezuelans, Multiracials, et cetera. The island is approximately 80 km long and 65 km wide. Unlike its other half Tobago, which is known for tourism, Trinidad is a hub for business in the Caribbean. Both of these scenically beautiful Caribbean islands are uniquely charming in their own little way! The official language of the inhabitants of T&T is English, but the islanders take pleasure in speaking their local dialect, Trinibagianese—a very colourful (colorful) creole language. Port-of-Spain, is the capital and largest city of Trinidad and Tobago on the west coast of the island of Trinidad. It is also one of the most vibrant commercial centres (centers) in the Caribbean!

15 Trinidadian Slang Words (2)

The source of the following information, is the Wikipedia article: “Trinidadian English”…

“Trinidadian English (TE) or Trinidad and Tobago Standard English is a dialect of English used in Trinidad and Tobago. TE co-exists with both non-standard varieties of English as well as other dialects, namely Trinidadian Creole in Trinidad and Tobagonian Creole in Tobago.

Trinidadian English was originally based on a standard of British English. Located in the Americas, TE now uses many Americanisms, including “apartment” and “trunk” (of a car). It is understandable by speakers of international Standard English, although it uses a number of terms that are unique to it (perhaps coming from Trinidadian Creole), such as "to lime”, meaning “to hang out”. Speech in Trinidad (and, to some degree, in Tobago) may vary by location and circumstance and is often remarked for its so-called “sing-song” (i.e. a rising and falling inflection) intonation.“

(Video) Trini Slang

15 Trinidadian Slang Words (3)

Trinidadian Creole has a primarily English-derived vocabulary, but it is influenced by French, Spanish, West African languages, Chinese, and Bhojpuri.

Adapted from:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinidadian_Creole

15 Trinidadian Slang Words (4)

Maracas Bay, Trinidad (Wikimedia Commons)

(Video) Trinidadian Slangs || Learn to talk like a true Trini

Fact:

"Creole languages of the Caribbean are the product of contact between, in the first instance, speakers of West African languages and European languages. The bulk of the vocabulary of Caribbean Creole languages comes from the European language involved in contact at the time of formation of the particular Creole language. Thus, there are French Creole, English Creole, Spanish/Portuguese Creole and Dutch Creole languages. The European label simply refers to the source from which these languages took most of their vocabulary.”

Source:

http://www.mona.uwi.edu/dllp/linguistics/creole.htm

(Video) 10 Trinidad Sayings and their meaning

15 Trinidadian Slang Words (5)

The following are 15 of my best-loved Trinidadian slang words:

  1. Ax- This is a Trinidadian’s way of saying “ask”. E.g. Ax de boy wey he going= Ask the boy where he is going.
  2. Bacchanal- This is a popular word in Trinidad. It means: “confusion”, “arguments”; “scandal”; “loud quarreling/quarrelling”, etc. E.g. Ah hear it ha’ plenty bacchanal in town= I heard there’s a lot of confusion happening in the area.
  3. Back Chat- This is what we call an insolent answer especially from a kid to a grownup. It’s also an argumentative and cheeky (offensively bold) response. If you’re a Trini, probably your parents, or teachers used to tell you this when you gave them trouble as a child, “Doh gimme no back chat dey eh!”.
  4. Boof (Buff)- A Trinidadian slang verb meaning, “to scold”. E.g. Ah boof dat young man dey!= I scolded that young man.
  5. Broughtupsy- A Trinidadian slang word that means: “upbringing”; “conduct”; “character”; “manners”, etc. E.g. We famlee doh know nothing 'bout he broughtupsy= Our family doesn’t know anything about his upbringing.
  6. Buss it- This is more of a Trinidadian slang expression. It means, “to leave”. E.g. Ah bussing it from here, yes!= I’m definitely leaving this place.
  7. Commesse- A Trinidadian slang noun associated with the word, “bacchanal”. It relates to the confusion, controversy and bacchanal associated with arguments and gossip. E.g. Dah is commesse, oui!- That is a controversy, yes!
  8. De, Dat (Dah), Dem, Dis- The 4 D’s of Trinidadian English… learn them well :). De, Dat (Dah), Dem, Dis= The, that, them, this
  9. Dotish- A Trinidadian slang adjective meaning, “silly” or “stupid”. E.g. Doh act dotish nah!= Don’t act sillily (silly)!
  10. Dougla- This is a common term which is used by some West Indians, to describe a person of mixed race, especially a person of African and East Indian ancestry. An example of a person of dougla descent, is Nicki Minaj.
  11. Eh- This is a Trini word or expression of African origin that can be used in multiple ways: 1: In place of “isn’t”- Dat eh right. 2: In place of “didn’t”- She eh come. 3: At the end of a plea or threat in place of “okay”- Bring some for meh, eh, or Watch out, eh. 4: On its own as a query to mean, “what was that?” or “what did you say?”
  12. Fass- This is a Trinidadian’s way of saying the adjective “nosy”. E.g. Ah met yuh cousin yesterday, she eh play she fass fuh days!= I met your cousin yesterday. She is very nosy!
  13. Lime- If you have Trini friends probably they’ve asked you to go on a lime with them before. As a Trinidadian slang noun, this word means, “get-together”. E.g. Leh we plan ah lime, nah!= Let’s plan a get-together. “Lime” as a Trini slang verb, means, “to hang out”.
  14. Maco (Macco, Macomere)- A very nice Trini word to describe someone who meddles in other people’s business (affairs), simply put, a “busybody”. “Maco”, is also a Trini slang verb, meaning “to spy on”. As you can see, it’s a very versatile word!
  15. Mamaguy- This word comes from the Spanish phrase, “mamar el gallo”. As a Caribbean slang verb, “mamaguy” means, “to falsely compliment someone with the hope of indirectly persuading them in your favour”, or “to deceive or tease, either in jest or by deceitful flattery”. In some cases, you could use it in place of “butter up”. “Mamaguy” in the noun sense means, “an instance of deception or flattery”. E.g. Yuh trying to mamaguy meh?= Are you trying to flatter, or trick me?
15 Trinidadian Slang Words (6)

Voilà, so you guys got my 15 faves! Please feel free to use some or all of these when you are speaking with your Trinidadian family, or friends, InshaaAllahإن شاء الله‎ (God willing). Trust me, they’ll be impressed that you are speaking like a true Trini! :) Do you plan on visiting our shores soon? If so, try them out on your visit to sweet TnT, InshaaAllah إن شاء الله‎! :)

Sources and Further Reading:

Okay guys, ah really hope dat you guys enjoyed dis post, InshaaAllah إن شاء الله. I was very glad to share a part of my culture with you all. Stay safe, Wassalaam 'alaikum و السّلام عليكم… and peace be with you :) :-h

(Video) 5 Trini INSULTS you NEVER heard before!

Happy to be a Trinidadian girl…

Sam سام

15 Trinidadian Slang Words (7)

FAQs

How do Trinidadians talk? ›

Although the official language of Trinidad and Tobago is English, the most commonly spoken languages are Trinidadian Creole English and Tobagonian Creole English.

What does a a mean in Trinidad? ›

Ah. A substitute for both the first person singular "I" and the article "A". For example, ah going to get ah cokes - I am going to get a coke. Ah Chuts! A expressing of annoyance, vexation, exasperation, disappointment or disgust, similar in meaning and use to "Oh shucks".

What is a cockroach in Trinidad? ›

The three main types of cockroaches commonly found in homes in Trinidad include the German cockroach, Brown Banded and American cockroach.

How do you say words like Trini? ›

The words I is now a Trinidadian we say is but we should really say I am so instead of saying I am a

How do you say friend in Trinidad? ›

Explanation: “Hoss” represents a friend in the same way as “padna” (Trinidadian word literally meaning “partner” but understood as “friend”) — just as a horse is your riding partner. Over time, the word “hoss” has taken on new meanings in Trinidad and Tobago.

What is a Meggie in Trinidad? ›

If you don't know what a meggie is, take a look at the illustration. The meggie is a gesture produced by bringing the tips of the thumb and four slightly arched fingers together, which is then pointed in the direction of the recipient — a simple yet deadly tool of subterfuge and derision.

How do you say Mom in Trinidad? ›

Mooma - Mother. Mout open, tory jump out - Start to speak and everthing is revealed. Mouter - A boaster.

What does Jeez and ages mean? ›

Jeez-an-ages!

Translation: used in any context that requires an exclamation, used to show surprise, exasperation, annoyance.

What does sweet in a goat's mouth mean? ›

Parents use to say what sweet in goat mouth is sour in he bambam". In other words, all the sweetness that the young lady went out for and got had consequences that she did not anticipate.

What does Rass mean in Trinidad? ›

An expression of shock, surprise, frustration, or annoyance.

What does Zess mean in Trinidad? ›

The Trinidadian slang 'zesser' or 'zess' originates from the English word zest or zesty which means to be appealingly, appetizing or sharp.

What rumpled means? ›

transitive verb. 1 : wrinkle, crumple. 2 : to make unkempt : tousle.

What does SCN mean in Trinidad? ›

The Special Committee on Naturalization (SCN) has jurisdiction over petitions for acquisition of Philippine Citizenship by administrative proceedings in accordance with Republic Act No. 9139 (RA No. 9139), otherwise known as "The Administrative Naturalization Law of 2000."

What is a Watchekong? ›

1. Noun. Canvas soled tennis shoes. clothes.

Is Inno a word? ›

hymn [noun] a (usually religious) song of praise.

What do Trinidadians call a party? ›

allyuh: all of you people. A fete: to fete; feting: Not to be confused with an informal “lime”, a fete is a full-blown party with copious amounts of food and drink. The more crowded the fete, the better. Music and dancing are essential elements.

What is a Poowah in Trinidad? ›

Poowah... father's sister. Mousie... mother's sister. Mamoo....

What does a Lagahoo do to you? ›

According to Caribbean folklore, the Lagahoo is a mythical, shapeshifting monster that is said to roam lonely areas at night while stalking their prey. Many people tell the tale of hearing the sound of heavy chains dragging in the bushes while they walked home, as the Lagahoo stalked them…

How does a Lagahoo look? ›

It seems like a normal human by day, but this creature takes on the form of a man with no head, who roams the night with a wooden coffin on its neck. On top of the coffin are three lighted candles and the long loose end of a heavy iron chain, noosed around its waist, trails behind him.

What does Bulla mean in Trinidad? ›

Noun. A homosexual male. antiman, batty bwoy, batty man, boeler, bugga bwoy, bugga man, bulla man, chi chi, chi chi man, fish, gussy pa, mama man, poptart, punguy, sissy. derogatory.

How do you say daddy in the Caribbean? ›

How to say "FATHER" / "HAPPY FATHER'S DAY" in Jamaican Patois

Is it OK to say geez? ›

The term geez can be used in both negative and positive contexts, but it's more often used negatively to express frustration with what someone has said or done. Geez comes from a shortening of Jesus, which makes it a euphemism—a milder way of saying something that may be considered offensive, blasphemous, or harsh.

How do Trinidadians greet each other? ›

Social Conventions. The common greeting for both men and women in Trinidad and Tobago is a handshake. Well-acquainted persons may hug and kiss each other on the cheek.

What does Billy Goating mean? ›

noun. The act of hiking a long trail, such as the Pacific Crest Trail or the Appalachian Trail, simply for the enjoyment of being outdoors. The desire to enjoy the trail outweighs the motive of thru hiking.

What does Giddy goat mean? ›

What's the meaning of the phrase 'Act the giddy goat'? Behave foolishly.

What does sweet as a pie mean? ›

very kind, friendly, and charming. She really is sweet as pie, as well as being original, honest and very funny.

What is Chocho called in Trinidad? ›

Christophene–probably the most widely used vegetable in the Caribbean, each country with their favourite recipe for it–also called Cho-Cho or Chayote–is a rough skinned, pear shaped vegetable, upon slicing open you'll find a very pale green, and watery interior, with a soft white seed, almost squash like in appearance, ...

What does Wotless mean in Trinidad? ›

adj. A Caribbean word describing the state of being good for nothing, usually alluding to promiscuity but also being generally saucy or troublesome. Originally from “worthless”.

What does Incapacitator mean? ›

incapacitator|incapacitators in English

noun. something that disables; disqualifier (Law)

What does Methy mean? ›

Noun. methy (plural methies) (US, Canada, dated) The burbot.

What is a Trinidadian accent? ›

Trinidadian English was initially based on a standard of British English, including having a non-rhotic accent. In the Americas, TE now uses many Americanisms, including apartment and trunk (of a car).

How do Trinidadians greet each other? ›

Social Conventions. The common greeting for both men and women in Trinidad and Tobago is a handshake. Well-acquainted persons may hug and kiss each other on the cheek.

What do Trinidadians call themselves? ›

Trinidadians and Tobagonians, colloquially known as Trinis or Trinbagonians, are the people who are identified with the country of Trinidad and Tobago.

How do you say girl in Trinidad? ›

Gyul - Trini pronunciation for Girl.

What is Trinidad English called? ›

Trinidad English Creole is the native language of the majority of the population and is used as a means of internal communication. Since 1975, Creole has been accepted in the classroom at primary level.

What does Horn mean in Trinidad? ›

That said, Lise Winer's dictionary of the English/Creole of Trinidad and Tobago provides a definition. To horn is to cuckold; commit adultery; have a relationship outside of an official one.

How do you say welcome in Trinidad? ›

Permítanme comenzar extendiéndoles a todos una cálida bienvenida a Trinidad y Tobago.
...
welcomebienvenido
Trinidadla Trinidad
andy
TobagoTobago
1 more row

How do Tanzanians greet? ›

Saying “jambo” (hello) and shaking hands are the most common forms of greeting in Tanzania and shaking hands is considered very important to social etiquette. It is important to remember that the right hand is used for eating because the left hand is used when going to the bathroom.

What is hello in Caribbean? ›

Ello is the most common way to say hello in Jamaican patois. It is very similar to the English version but they don't pronounce the 'h' at the start. What's up? – Wah gwaan.

What is Trinidad famous for? ›

Trinidad and Tobago is well known for its African and Indian cultures, reflected in its large and famous Carnival, Diwali, and Hosay celebrations, as well being the birthplace of steelpan, the limbo, and music styles such as calypso, soca, rapso, parang, chutney, and chutney soca.

What an Indian in Trinidad is called? ›

Indo-Trinidadians and Tobagonians or Indian-Trinidadians and Tobagonians, are people of Indian origin who are nationals of Trinidad and Tobago whose ancestors came from India and the wider subcontinent beginning in 1845.

What race is a Trinidadian? ›

Abstract. Among its neighbours, the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago stands out due to its ethnic makeup. The population of most Caribbean nations is mainly of African descent; similar to Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago is evenly divided between Afro-Trinidadians and Indo-Trinidadians.

What does dougla mean in Trinidadian? ›

The word Dougla originated from doogala (दोगला), which is a Caribbean Hindustani word that literally means "two-necks" and may mean "many", "much" or "a mix". In the West Indies, the word is used only for Afro-Indo mixed race.

Who was the first people in Trinidad? ›

The first settlers in Trinidad and Tobago are reported to have been two First Peoples (aka Amerindian) tribes as early as 5000BC, often described as the Arawaks and the Caribs, though new research has provided a number of alternative narratives.

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