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Ya Know Ya is a Bajan When......Jokes

You 'tink you is a real Bajan?

Whether you're a Bajan or simply a Bajan at heart, you'll recognise and appreciate the unique flavour of the Bajan dialect. Think you're a real Bajan? Read on to find out.

A funny email continues to circulate to fellow Barbadians all across the globe with famous Bajan sayings, and we have some of them right here on this page.

Totally Barbados would love to credit the authors for their fine collection, but unfortunately we haven't been able to source the person/persons who took the time to pull this classic list together. So, to whoever contributed to the list below, we thank you! We've also added a few of our own home grown favourites for you to enjoy.

Ya know ya is a Bajan when ...

-- You refer to a national/public holiday as a bank holiduh or a 'bank'

-- You know to 'curse' someone doesn't mean putting a spell on them

-- Ya does move 'scruffy'

-- 'Cheese on bread' ain't got nuttin' to do wid being hungry

-- Ya does use words like fowl, cock, rock stone and ram goat

-- Every childhood game can be played for 'licks'

-- Soup is water, nuff dumplings, potatoes, yams, eddoes and any other ground provision ya could find

-- You consider any hot beverage to be 'tea' - cocoa tea, coffee tea, tea tea, green tea

-- You finish your sentences wid de word 'dennnnnn'

-- You call an avocado a 'pear'

-- You take sick people to the 'horse-pit-al'

-- You say 'dat eaaaaasy' instead of 'no problems'

-- You have a bad fall and ya either 'lick up' or 'breck up'

-- You play football on the 'parse-ture'

-- 'Horning' has no association with jazz music

-- You wonder why people are always 'playin' de fool', doing 'bare foolishness' or 'sky larking'

-- Anything in the distance is 'yonder'

-- De cardinal points are eass, wess, norf and sowf

-- Yuh constantly explaining dat de dolphin you does eat is not 'Flipper'!

-- A 'cutter' is not a sharp utensil

-- You call a machete a 'cutlass'

-- A 'snakebite' meks you drunk or tipsy - depending pun how much
bites yuh have!

-- Yuh just cyant guh town an' 'doan see someone yuh know

-- When people see ya up pun de road they ask ya if ya still living

-- Yuh call everyone either 'boss man', 'boyyyyyy',
'partner' or 'skipper' (or variations of these)

-- You wouldn't dream of going out anywhere at the slightest sign of 'rain falling'

-- Yuh call a man a 'Johnny' and de man name Kevin

-- You know de 'Banks' is not only good for keeping ya money

-- In moments of disbelief, yuh does say either 'Waaaaait?!' or 'fuh chu?!'

-- Making 'sport' hardly ever has anything do wid sports

-- If ya say ya 'did de dawg', it has nothing to do wid a canine

-- You understand the phrase 'don't off-set me!'

-- You distinguish between publicly and privately-owned transport by 'bus' and 'van'

- You can 'go up St Lucy' and 'go down St Lucy' without changing direction

-- Words like 'hard' and 'bad' have too many meanings to count

-- You speak of 'the van stand' and everyone knows what you're talking about, even though there are three of them!

-- Yuh know dat a 'hard wine' ain got nuttin tuh do wid liquor

-- Hell is both de worse and the best place ever - you could look good as hell, dem fishcakes could be oily as hell, that garbage could smell stink as hell ...

-- You know the licence plates of all public transport, and you're on a first name basis with all de drivers

-- Yuh does live 5 minutes from de beach and does get a sea bath 5 times a year, if you're lucky!

-- Yuh don't have to be an athlete to know 'bout de 'runnings'

-- Yuh know dat liming ain't got nuttin' to do with de orchard

-- You tell the host "good night" when you first arrive at someone's home in the evening

-- When someone sympathises with you, you comment 'Yuh tink it easy?'

-- You suck all the marrow from the chicken bone and chew the ice when you finish your drink

-- You have to have black cake at Christmas

-- You give directions like this: bubble up the street, wiggle 'tru and go so. Make a right at the mango tree. Go straight straight straight till you get to 3 rude boys liming on the block. You'll see an Esso - don't turn there, make a left. You will see a green house. That not it, go straight. It's the blue house in front of the two dunk trees.

By: Brett Callaghan
Feedback and Reviews
Back to: Culture
Visitor Rating: 9.00 from 5 users
Information Assumed Accurate On: Jul 15, 2015
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Visitor Comments:

By: Edwina
My sister in law uses to say "two poor cows can't make rich dung," meaning try to find a partner who has more money than you. (lol)
Date: Nov 20, 2015

By: Shayeeka
Sounds really similar to being Jamaican 😄
Date: Nov 17, 2015

By: Mac
All she does is skin she teet and don't say nutting
Date: Jun 1, 2015

By: Cheryl
Dat is bare stupidness!
Date: Apr 4, 2015

By: Cheryl
Ya two hard-ears!
Date: Apr 4, 2015

By: Cheryl
Wait bowzee, ya gen tek all, ya ain't leaving nun fa nabody? Ya conshunts dead!
Date: Apr 4, 2015

By: Juan
brooka dun borehog
Date: Feb 28, 2015

By: vere walcott
check utube....."{that bugs me"....by vere walcott..on nick namesq
Date: Feb 28, 2015

By: phyllis
brings back so many thoughts of time when many of these saying was used.
Date: Jan 1, 2015

By: Deryck
Tek ya time an walk fass!
Date: Nov 15, 2014

By: Divapat
Utterly, screamingly hilarious!
Date: Nov 14, 2014

By: Allison
O ma Gaug, I laff till I cry
Date: Mar 13, 2014

By: Karen in Los Angeles
Here's another one: "Watch pot can't boil"
Date: Mar 13, 2014

By: Althea
Ya paying the same coolie man $5 a week for the past 10 years (ok, maybe 5) and all ya got to show for it is a 200-thread count sheet set.
Date: Mar 13, 2014

By: nolaboard
Now if someone could please translate these sayings for us non Bajans who love the place and would love to know better!
Date: Mar 13, 2014

By: marcia, new jersey usa
man i aint no d las dey i laff so much. this use to crack me up, i dead wid laugh and favorite all time, reverse back; dont fuhget to remember...fuh get how sweet bajan talk is.
Date: Feb 8, 2014

By: Cierra Riley
Me real real happy tuh read de jokes . Me is American . But love de bajans much much. Hopin I talkin de words right eh?
Date: Dec 10, 2013

By: tony
HILARIOUS .this is so funny .Don't forget the duppy and the steel donkey.
Date: Nov 25, 2013

By: Claire
Loved this!! My hubby is English but his parents Bajan + we got married there. Took me years to realize when my father in law was speaking to me, cos just didn't understand him. Much better now. My mother in law reckons I was Bajan in a past life, cos love the food. I call coucou 'belly-therapy';-)
Iza bajan in me heart...but sadly have German passport. Nevermind cant wait to return to BIM.
Date: Nov 12, 2013

By: Debbie
I am reading this and crying!!!!! LOLLLLLLLL This is soooooo funny I have to share it with my friends!!!!! Everything is so true, I live here so I hear it everyday!!!
Date: Jul 31, 2013

By: Peggy
Man. tell me I en late. I jus see this now now and it good eh? Man I laff til ma side hut.I like it good Mek you talk mo.
Date: Jan 23, 2013

By: Joan
... you live in uh upstairs,downstairs wall house
or include one in your directions.
Date: Dec 18, 2012

By: Stacey
I tell ya, I laugh so hard I almost peed myself. The tears still running down my face. I especially love the "half idiot" one, whichin, you know you really gone cause we all know that the other half (aka the good "not idiot" half) should kick in and tak over, right?
Date: Nov 13, 2012

By: Maureen
oh laud, i laff and laff, man i miss home bad bad bad....wish i cud ga back mo offen...keep it up --Buffalo, NY
Date: Oct 24, 2012

By: Al Wright
Wha evva part uh yuh body hurt "yuh got gas"
Date: Jul 29, 2012

By: Noami
bajans real malicious doh, and dem is a bajan, love dat one
Date: Jan 20, 2012

By: Peter
You have a bad fall and ya either lick up, break up, skin up or catspraddle

Nutun cant beat dis one. I don kay wha ena say. Lou Drayton from the Draytons 2 (my persoanl friend) still talk like this to me even after 30 yrs away from Bim.
Date: Jul 24, 2011

By: gwen
I love it. My father was from Barbados. I was raised in the US. I grew up with many bajan sayings. The words were always in my ears. I plan on going to BIM, soon.
Date: Jul 18, 2011

By: Maxine
This had me in stitches, they say you can tek me out of Barbados, but you can't tek Barbados outta me.
Date: Mar 2, 2011

By: Natasha
Had me dying uh laff. Hilarious but true.
Date: Feb 6, 2011

By: Baj boo
Fuh true den, wunna fuhget bout 'pushin wunna lips', de bajan women does love to grunt and and skin up she mout. De 'pushin' could mean: 'hol on, go so, get tru, don't come back, ask he'... in de end even a real bajan is perplexed on what she does really mean doh....
Date: Jan 21, 2011

By: Patricia
I'm British born my parents are bajan, this made me laugh til I cried.
Missing bajan direction
'GO SO'.
Date: Jun 15, 2010

By: sanchia
u forgot when giving directions we does say when u go down the road (right) meck a left (right) and u would see a mango tree (right) den mek a right (right) a jamacian man draw this to our attention had all the people in the van breaking down (lauging) lol.. he does dont know where to go when done...

Date: Sep 17, 2009

By: Kelly-Ann
I wuh eat some stew dumplings right now den. I home sick foh tru doh.
Bronx, NY
Date: Jun 21, 2009

By: peter white
I is a bajan who born dey, I grow up dey,and now I living ovehey I missing dey.
Date: Jun 18, 2009

By: Annette
I love Bim and the Bajan ways. My favorite Bajan saying is "OK Denn"!
Date: Jun 10, 2009

By: Cheryl
My mother was Bajan and my daddy was Jamacian...I love this site. Daughter teethed on chicken bone. I love US!
Date: May 7, 2009

By: Glen S
My family are bajans when i read this forum im in tears with laughter......fantastic keep it up......
Date: May 2, 2009

By: Marie
Gosh, i find dat so funny....dey fugget .."I from BIM" LOLOLOL...and we is de onliest ones dat does end a sentence with "RIGHT" i love this so much, i gun and read it again......
Date: Mar 15, 2009

By: divapat
Too, too funny! I am a "Bajan Yankee", but my hubby (as well as my dad) was born in St. George. Reading these tell me we ain' bin home in too many years now -- but God sparin' life, we gine get dere dis summer, nuh?
Date: Feb 10, 2009

By: Chris
This was bare bashment, i like it bad, some ah dem had me deadin, only thing i wuh change is that for the directions u forgot the part, "if u see de big house nex to de church You Gone Too Far." dat line is key to de ting :P , much love n respect.
Date: Feb 5, 2009

truly funny i was breaking up hard and laughing wid tears in my eyes bajans r naturally funny even when they r not trying 2 b where a match 4 the jamaicans and the other islands were all one nuff jokes love and unite peace
Date: Jan 15, 2009

By: Poni
I need to go back lol, this had me skinnin' so hard.
Date: Dec 18, 2008

By: Vanessa
This is awesome! I talk Bajan dialect with my kids and dey tink it is so funny. After returning from a trip home two years ago my then 10 year old was in the classroom and something occurred that she wasn't aware of and she chimed in out loud "wait wuh gine on?" The kids all turned around and looked at her funny. She told me "mom I guess I had a little too much of Barbados on my vacation."
Date: Nov 16, 2008

By: april
My father is from Barbados and my mom is African American and Cherokee Indian.I know nothing about the Barbados culture. I would love to learn one day. I know the what the music is, but thats about it.
Date: Oct 14, 2008

By: Kate
Its been so long since i have heard these sayings....I am still laughing,,,now i know i have been away from Bim for too long....Delaware USA
Date: Jul 21, 2008

By: rose
I still use "yuh tink it easy" sometime. When I get together with my Bajan friends we would throw in a few and have a big laugh.
Date: Jun 13, 2008

By: Ryan
Boy I in Bim n de ting serious I laugh til I near bus my gut
Date: May 30, 2008

By: Makini
hey this is all true had a friend doin this years ago for independence...theres is lots mor to add...mayb when i get the time
Date: Apr 26, 2008

By: karen
Boy sucking all de chicken bones and marrow. Dat is so true. I still do it.

Date: Apr 5, 2008

By: Patsy
This was too sweet, bye fa now was missing. okay thenn should be added to the list.
Date: Apr 2, 2008

By: Julie
This was sweet boy, uh laugh til muh belly hurt
Date: Feb 28, 2008

By: Ann
I like reading this. It keep me in touch with my culture.
very funny stuff.
Date: Feb 2, 2008

By: michelle
It is all true ah laugh ma guts full
Date: Nov 18, 2007

By: Annette
I read this when ever I want a big laugh or I am home sick.Baltimore,MD
Date: Oct 22, 2007

By: Rene
Funny and true mek me homesick bout to look up some tickets it's been to long. Worcester MA, USA
Date: Oct 19, 2007

By: .
Great Website. Keep Barbadian culture alive. Lets not have it diluted with N.American and other cultures. It is important to acknowledge and highlight our ways. We have a great identity. I love Barbados. I am a proud and fortunate Barbadian.
Date: Sep 30, 2007

By: Tara
Those fact were so funny and so true. Cheese on bread i almost die laughing.
Date: Sep 27, 2007

By: Kimberley
Date: Sep 9, 2007

By: Antoinette
I could agree with Jessica. I laughed so hard I cried.The beach one is good because it does not have a back door.I have not heard these saying in years.I have to go backhome.
Date: Sep 7, 2007

By: Jacquie
This is so funny. It brings back memories. I've been out of the island too long!!!
Date: Jul 12, 2007

By: Patricia
I laugh so hard, it was real funny fuh tru. I read it with my son.
Date: Jun 21, 2007

By: Tricia
Man dis ting so funny and true fa real de best one was somebody giving directions to a house....... man i laught till i cry...I home sick now.
Date: Jun 4, 2007

By: Tim
This is really funny... Had my side hurtin'
Date: May 31, 2007

By: Toni
that was hilarious! I laughed my head off and the really funny thing is...its really true!!
Date: May 31, 2007

By: Jessica
I laughed so hard I cried. This is too funny. Boston USA
Date: May 16, 2007

By: Karen
I am surprise no one has commented...Boy! Did I laugh my head off at work...

Date: Apr 12, 2007

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