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Dialect of Barbados

Barbadian Dialect

"Get your Coconut water, Good for your daughter, Make you strong like a lion, Give you plenty of iron !!!!"

By Irving Burgie , 1950's
While English is the official language spoken in Barbados, Barbadians speak with an accent best described as a combination of the African and British languages. The Bajan dialect uses words in a colorful, expressive, fast paced manner that can be a bit tricky to follow at times.

Bajan Dialect English Meaning
Pompasettin Showing off
Wuking Up A gyrating, energetic dance often done to Calypso music
Sea Bathing Swimming
Ignorant To be aggressive
Malicious Nosy
Duppie Ghost
Lime To hang around
C'dear Awww (sympathetic)
Licking ya mout Talking too much
Sweet fa so Very nice
Tha fa' lik ya Serves you right!
Trouble don' set up like rain You cannot always see trouble coming
The sea en' got no back door Once you get into a situation, you might not be able to get back out.
Pretty-pretty things does fool li'l children Superficial things impress nave people

Barbados has cultivated a number of outstanding and talented writers, playwrights and poets. Some of our poets and writers such as Adisa (Aja) Andwele, Edward Kamau Brathwaite and George Lamming are internationally known. Books on Barbadian Poetry are available at leading bookstores and at The Barbados Museum & Historical Society. A very funny email continually goes around to fellow Barbadians around the world about famous Barbadian sayings called "Ya Know Ya is a Bajan When..." Author:
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Information Assumed Accurate On: Oct 14, 2013
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Visitor Comments:

By: jd
"white in your eyes' usually refers to fear. I could see the 'white in your eyes" . I could see that you were afraid. see :http://barbadosdialect.page.tl
Date: Jun 22, 2008

By: CA
Thank you for your answers. I have one last doubt. What does the expression "white in your eyes" mean?
Date: Jun 13, 2008

By: KW
In answer to CA the correct term is to " unpick muh teet' this means to have nothing to say to the person
Date: Jun 10, 2008

By: jd
the expression is "unpick ones teeth". Example: "I in unpick my teeth to she". = I did not say a word to her or I did not speak to her.
It also means, I did not say a word; I kept my mouth shout.
Date: Jun 10, 2008

By: CA
Does anyone know what the expression "pick my teeth to someone" means?
Date: Jun 5, 2008

By: jd (author)
There is a new book out called "From Bajan To Standard English". Anyopne interested in Bajan dialect should get one. It is available in Pages and Days Book Stores.
Date: Apr 14, 2008

By: Baybee
I have a Bajan boyfriend...now I can understand when he is talking to me
Date: Jan 21, 2008

By: JBailey
Its a really good short article to let people know abit about colorful Barbadian words and phrases.
Date: Mar 10, 2007

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