A Trini's choice of words to describe a breadfruit falling from
a tree, will fully describe the state of ripeness of the fruit,
and where it fell. A ripe fruit falling to the ground, will fall,
"BLAF!" whereas a ripe fruit, falling on a galvanised roof, will
fall, "BLANG!" A green fruit on the other hand, will fall to the
ground, "BUDUFF!" and that same fruit, falling on the same roof,
will fall, "BLAGADANG!"
- A door will open, "Kreekes" and will close, "Badam! or "Clit-ticks!"
depending on the force used to close it.
- A dripping water tap will drip, "plunks, plunks!" but when WASA
reduces the water pressure, the water will drip, "chirrip, chirrip!"
- A gunshot will sound, "Potow!" but if the bullet ricrochets,
the sound changes to, "Peeoweeeee!"
- Horses gallop, "Broogoodook! Broogoodook!"
- Depending on its size and the depth of water, a stone could
fall, "Plunk!" or "Ploonks!" or "Ploochunk!" or "Splashaw!"
- A Trini's cry in pain, will denote the acuteness and intensity
of the pain he or she is undergoing and can vary from, " WooY!",
"OOOOOOOOHH!", "Ohyoyoy!", "SSSSSSSSSSS" and "AHYAYAYE!"
-His expression of Surprise: "Aha!"; "O Gawd!"; "Bon Jay!"; Oui
-His expression of Disgust: "Ah Chut!" (usually accompanied with
a stamping of the feet)
- His expression of Joy- "Geez an ages!"
- His Salutations- "Woy!"; "Hey Man!"; "Chile!"; "All YUH"; "Breds"
and even, "Stranger!"
- How does a Trini swallow a drink? "Gloodocks!"
- A sudden shower of rain falls, " Schwa!"
Trini women call each other, "chile"; the men call each other
"boy" and the boys, call each other "man". If you think that confusing,
they refer to any older person of the male sex as "uncle" and
of the female sex, as "tantie." Individuals of two generations
and older are called, "Granny," "Ma" or Pa" depending on their
Trini words come from all languages, example, from French like
- oui, laingniappe, la diablesse, petit pot chambre, toute bagaille,
mouche coocoon, fete, farine, flambeau, camboulay, drievay, etc.
From Hindi- dhal, bhagee, channa, juta, bowgee, daroo, gobar,
barra, chunkay, kari, paisa, etc.
Similarly, words are used from Spanish and other ethnic languages
in everyday speech.
are words that only Trinis use and understand, for example, birds,
"ramajay"; people, "dingolay"; crabs, " caray"; rude people, "steupse";
careless people perform,"vie-ki-vie".
Only Trini's know, "Nancy Stories".
Boys have a, "totie"; men have a, "butu"; girls have a, "toonkooloonks";
women have a, "tuntun"; your sweetheart is, your "doo-doo"; a
Venezuelan is a, "Pyol"; a bull's sex organ is a, "bull pissel".
When Trinis hang out, they, "liming" and only in Trinidad you
can find a, "douglah" who is a "shugs"; or eat "farine and Zaboca."
You won't find these Trini body parts in any biology book- "Tot-tots,
bam-bam, bumsee, tun-tun, toonie, pokie, totie, butu and nable";
Two people may get together to make," pakotee" or "zamee" but
don't let them catch you eavesdropping, because the are sure to
call you a, "mako". A physically challenged person is a, "brokofoot";
a fat woman is a " boobooloops"; a giddy head is called, "bazodee"
and if you should fall into a fit of convulsions, you are considered
to have "caught Malkadee."
Politically incorrect words of other cultures are words of endearment
to fellow Trinis, like, "Coolie" or "nigger." Nicknames are commonly
used amongst family, friends and neigbours and usually originate
from a trait, habit or preference of the individual. Some examples
are:- Rathead, Dr. Rat, Broko, Cheesey, Dazzler, Stinkin' toe,
B-Flat, Finny Hand, Yampee, Slim, Stinky, Walking Dead, etc.
For a Trini, every situation or thing has a comparison to be drawn
on from his surroundings. Here's how he describes the following:
- The blind- " Blind like a bat."
- Illogical Behaviour- " Mad like Mahal."
- A cheapskate - " So cheap, he wouldn't buy a glass of water
- Lowly Behaviour - " So low, he could pass under a razor blade."
- Ugliness - " Ugly like sin" or "So ugly de mirror will break."
- Shamelessness - " When God was sharing shame, she went to de
- Stupidity - " He went to school in August."
- Trust in God - " God doh sleep."
- Karma - " Monkey say, 'cool breeze' "
- A Non- happening - "Wen cock get teeth."
A Trini's punctuality is atrocious and is recognised worldwide....his
judgement of time and space is phenomenal i.e. phenomenally off.
Tell him to arrive at eight and for sure he will be there for
half past late! His idea of NOW is, 'Here'; LATER. is " Tomorrow
sometime "; and YESTERDAY, propels an attack of amnesia. Ask a
Trini when he he would likely finish a project and he will surely
reply, " just now " or " later "- that could mean, in a few minutes
or years hence.. Likewise, he lacks a sense of dimension in terms
of linear measurement. A tall, overweight person will be described
as, " tall as a lampost and wide like a bus."
is another confusing proposition and again, linear measurements
do not apply. Somewhere can be reached either by foot or by some
means of transport, other than one's own volition. Any place that
can be reached by foot is, "Just dey, " "not too far" or " just
round de corner." Street names are hardly commited to memory so
there is a tendency to use landmarks as reference points when
giving directions. A typical example of directions given to find
Mahase's house in an unfamiliar area will be like this:- "Yuh
follow dis road 'til yuh reach a standpipe on de right .....Right
after de standpipe, yuh go come to ah small dirt road on de right
....yuh pass it and continue straight until yuh get to a next
one .......opposite to dat road, yuh will see a big, mako Mango
Rose tree ....next to it, is ah nodder trace .....take dat trace
and yuh could arkse anybody yuh meet, where Mahase living ....Real
easy to find man!"
Another thing about Trinis is that when they talk, they must articulate
with their hands and body. Observe two Trinis carrying on a heated
discussion and you will understand where the Japanese got their
Karate moves. They stab the air with their hands, sometimes pointing
up, down, sideways, make circular motions, touch, push, and shake
the other party. It is like watching a silent movie with sound...
Trinis have a special gait when walking that have special names
too...like, " bump,"
"bump and grind ," "drag slipper," and " jock waist." Trini women
walk with a unique sway of the hips, however, put her in the spotlight
in a sexy new outfit and that sway, becomes a "jock waist".....
enough to eroticize any male.
It is said that Tinis love all the "F's" i.e. Food, Fun, Fete
and Fashion. Their food must be spicy and varied.......Fete must
be "long and hard," - " 'til yuh drop".........Fun, they must
have, at work or play and Fashion, must be the latest, sexiest
and most colorful.
A Trini in love, is at his best ..... Courting is redefined to
an art form and is literally, a labour of love. More often than
not, the woman will draw the man's attention by "sagashiating"
her body. When she gets his attention, she starts to play, "hard
to get." How does the Trini man react? If he's interested, he
starts to "play dead to ketch corbeau alive" ......all the while
checking her out, so as not to,"buy cat in bag." The courtship
ritual could vary and may start by, "giving sweeteye", touching,
pinching or even throwing pebbles at each other. The latter is
called, "Tobago Love". During courtship, several names of endearment
are used, for example, "Doods", "Doo-Doo", "Dahlin", "Pumkin",
"Sugar", "Shugs", "Sugar-plum", "Sweetie" and even, "Toolum."
Oftimes, the love turns sour and so does the names.....she becomes
a"jagabat" or a "yardfowl" and he, a "peong" or a " hornerman."
A jilted lover who has not got over the relationship is considered
to be in a state of "tabanca", which has worsening stages. Ordinary
"tabanca" is bad enough but "tabaca tajari" is worse and "tabanca
najar" is the very worst. At this last stage the afflicted usually
ends up in, "St.Anns." Some people retaliate to being jilted by
resorting to "obeah" to "put a lite" on their ex-lover.
Get a Trini vex, well, you better had hide! In spite of his
good naturedness, he can get " bad like a crab' and behave like
a real 'canal conch. The very worse thing you can tell a Trini,
is something about his natural mother. Worst of all, if one
refers to her sexual organ in condemnation. That place is his
Holy of all Holies, his Mecca, his place of Sanctity. Many acts
of violence have resulted in defence of its desecration.
Trinis embrace life with the Spirit of Nature and in this way
acknowledge their reverence of God and their fellowman. If he
takes a liking to you, you are sure to know, for it will be
reflected in his word and deed. However, if he chooses to ignore
you, well ....... "Crapaud smoke yuh pipe!"