Trini Dialect

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Standing with a smile and a confused look on his face, the nice English guy from upstairs asked “What?”
I replied, “I’ll organise to suit”.
He asked, “You’ll wear a suit?”
I laughed and said “No, I’ll organise to suit”
He asked, “Organise to suit?”
I said “Yes, organise to suit”
He laughed and asked again “What?”
I asked “Ya’ll don’t say that in England?”
He replied, “No, I don’t think so.”
I said “It means that I’ll plan accordingly”
He laughed and said “Yeah, we don’t say that (organise to suit) in England”

It’s moments like the above that remind me that Trini English is not British English. So, in honour of Trininess, and in the absence of a copy of Côté ci Côté la, I’ve compiled a short list of Trini slangs, things and phrases. Please feel free to suggest more or correct me.
Thanks! 🙂

Waz de scene jed?
How are things going?

Buh wham to you boy?
Is something wrong with you?

Steups (referred to by foreigners as kissing one’s own lips)
Sign of disapproval/Kiss my ass

Yuh dotish awah?
Are you stupid?

Dan/Hoss
Friend

To Lime (verb. -no relation to ‘lemon’ or ‘orange’)
To hang out

Scene/Zeene
Okay

Dungo/Chupid
Stupid

How yuh go see a bess darkie/reds/ting like dat and not hail de woman out?
How can you see a hot woman and not call her?

A rell mad scene.
A crazy event.

Tong
Port-of-Spain

Buss a good__________
Do ___________ enthusiastically.

I cyah take he dotishness nah/oui.
I cannot cope with his stupidity.

Buh wah de jail is dis?
What stupid/crazy thing are you engaging in/is happening?

Macoin
Eavesdropping

Tanks
Cheers (if I reach back to Trinidad and anyone hears me say ‘cheers’ instead of ‘tanks’ then I’ll have to give you permission to tap me on the head and steups)

Bus
Bus (pictured) or Big Maxi

Organise to suit
Plan accordingly

Potung/pothound
Dog of no specific breed

Maxi
Transportation van with two coloured stripes reflective of region (north, west, Tobago, central, etc)

Ways!/Way sah!
OMG!
_______________
Additions based on comments. 🙂
you nuh fer real- Are you serious?
is diss yuh dissing me or wah- Are you trying to insult me?
I doh know na- I don’t know.
wha de jail is dis – What manner of nonsense is happening here?
well look at dis bachannal here- Notice the drama that’s unfolding.
yuh too wotless -You are too lazy/nasty/perverted/bad (usually said in a positive way/not as an insult)
None ah dat! -I will not accept that response.
relax yuhself nah-Calm down!
padna-pal
dat ting rell dread- That’s really cool!
I dey, wham boss- I’m okay. What’s up with you?

3 thoughts on “Trini Dialect

  1. [ Smiles ] I live in Trinidad and Tobago and I am yet to fully understand those slangs.

    May I also point out that Dennis “Sprangalang” Hall could write an entire book on Trini dialect!

  2. When I first moved from Trinidad to the Netherlands I would say much of the above and then have to hold myself back realizing I am not a Trinidadian at all. I still however call large vans with people “maxi-taxi’s”, I ask people if we should “lime”, and tell people “yuh rel dotish”.

    And I am proud to say that my boyfriends father thought I was a Trini. He had to tell his father that I am a wannabe Trini.

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