Jamaican Patois, is expressive, colourful and, to a non-Jamaican, often confusing. The Jamaican language is greatly a derivative of Spanish, English and African impacts on the nation through its colonial history. Back the official language the Jamaica is English, plenty of Jamaicans speak Patois in casual day-to-day conversation. Right here are 15 Jamaican Patois phrases to know and use ~ above your following visit come Jamaica.

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A beneficial expression to understand when making use of crowded buses or taxis; small up yuhself quite literally means to make part room.


This Jamaican expression method literally: i’ll be right there. Yet if you’re told mi quickly come, don’t be fooled. Island time is lot slower 보다 the remainder of the world and also this expression need to be interpreted as meaning anything from a few hours come a few days.

Literally interpreted as ‘what are you saying’, however actually definition ‘how space you doing’. For example: Weh yuh a seh? Mi deh shot call yuh means, ‘How space you doing? I’ve to be trying to call you.’


Used when saying goodbye. The literal translation would be ‘In the tomorrows’, an interpretation ‘see friend later’.

Bob Marley sang around them in Duppy Conqueror and also Ian Fleming mentions lock in Live and also Let Die. In a land whereby superstition reigns by day and also duppies (spirits) haunt through night, religious beliefs is much more than simply saying your prayers before you walk to bed in Jamaica. This expression implies a fearless human being overcoming obstacles and difficulties. The literal meaning translation is ‘ghost conqueror’.


This phrase method damage or destroy. For example, Mi mash up mi fone way ‘I’ve broken my phone’. This is a popular expression and even road-signs will advise chauffeurs to mash increase yuh brakes. Definition slow down.

Religion peppers all elements of Jamaican life and wishing civilization a great day is often done by making use of the expression bless up. Blessing can likewise be used.

This is most likely the most famous Jamaican greeting and was also used by us President Barack Obama during his inaugural visit to Jamaica. Wah Gwaan is a casual greeting to enquire exactly how somebody is or those up.

Impress locals through this handy expression which is regularly used in response to Wah Gwaan. The mystery is in the pronunciation and the trick is to say it fast – practically as one word. While the literal translation is ‘I to be here’, the implied meaning is ‘everything is ok’, or ‘I’m doing well’.

Guzumba means Obeah, which is comparable to Haiti’s Voodoo and also is the practise of black magic. Obeah-men have the right to still be found practising this outlawed craft in Jamaica. An Obeah-man can actors or break a spell, go into a shamanic trance or, it is said, even carry someone earlier from the dead.


Meaning check out ‘you later’ or ‘goodbye’. Because that example, mi check out yuh likkle much more den – I’ll see you later on then.

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John-crow is a Jamaican bird, recognized commonly across North America together the turkey buzzard. The expression yuh waan flap a wing, no doubt acquainted to dancehall aficionados, is a term used to asking a girl come dance.