Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Yeah it's 4 something in the morning and I'm awake, yet again. Anyway....

So even though I was raised in The Bahamas from the age of 7 and I have been a citizen since 1991 and if someone asked me where I was from, I would say The Bahamas, I'm actually Jamaican. At least that is where I was born anyway. Falmouth, Trelawny deep in the country part of Jamaica. All my close ties and friends and allegiance is to The Bahamas but all of my relatives and history is 100 percent Jamaican - parents, uncles, aunties, cousins and everyone before them.

Yesterday, I was watching the Lausanne track meet online with my good friend and training partner, Aubrey Herring, on this remote website that he found the meet on and we had a good time as we watched Dave tear it up over there and beat World record holder and Olympic champion from Cuba, Dayron Robles.

Now on this website, as the video is streaming, you can post running commentary with all the other people that are watching too and this makes it pretty interesting. Clearly some of the other viewers were from Jamaica due to their written vernacular. It was quite funny because if you've ever heard Jamaican "patois" (pronounced pa-twaa), it's not the easiest thing to understand, but reading it presents an even bigger challenge. One time Aub had to ask me what the one guy was saying and I gave him the full breakdown, lol.

Anyway, I can't remember exactly what I "translated" for him but I thought I would give you a couple examples of what written patois looks like and how hard it can be to read. I'll write something first in patois and then translate it below and you can see how or if it makes sense.

1. PATOIS: "Dis eh pickney need fi go dung a road an' nyaam sum'tin. She too mawga!"
ENGLSIH: "This child needs to go down the road and eat something. She's too skinny!"

2. PATOIS: "Hard ears pickney bite rock stone."
ENGLISH: "Hard headed children will pay the consequences."

3. PATOIS: "Look 'ere no massa, no mek mi haffi draw mi han' back an' give you two buffu lick in a you mout! Is who you tink you a talk to?"
ENGLISH: "Look here mister, don't make me have to slap you. (Literally written - draw my hand back and give you two big hits in your mouth.) Who do you think you're talking to?"

4. PATOIS: "You too own way."
ENGLISH: "You're too selfish."

5. PATOIS: "So you tink me a wuk fi you? Cum and pick up you carrouches an' gu wey."
ENGLSIH: "So you think I'm working for you? Come and pick up all of your stuff and go away."

Well that's my Patois lesson for the day. Hope you had fun trying to say the few random sentences I came up with. By the way, yardie is the term used by Jamaicans to refer to people who are from Jamaica. Aub, thanks for the inspiration!

PS. Joice, I figured you'd enjoy this one!


Anonymous said...

that was jokes! I'm mad that I hardly needed your translation lol. Reading it is way funnier than hearing it actually spoken, for sure. Although I still get a kick out of it when I hear people from back home speak

dejanae said...

i swear that shit aint based in no damn english

Brianna said...

it's like pig latin on steroids!

anonymousnupe said...

So what's it mean when they call you a "blood clot" (see the classic Steven Seagal movie "Marked for Death")? It's obviously not a compliment, but what's its etymology?

Joice said...

I take offense (lol)
What just because I'm from London (yardie population kinda high) you think I understand.

I'm the one who goes to the Yardie hairshop in Peckham and dont understand a damn thing the woman says to me. :)

Sometimes cheap aint best.

So you think I can understand the written version? Please!!!


Jackie Edwards said...

anonymousnupe: the phrase you wrote, is actually very derogatory. it actually isn't as you wrote it, even though that's how it sounds, it's from the phrase "blood cloth", which without me specifically saying what that is, I will just say that it references a shall I say this delicately....a female sanitary napkin. yeah, not so nice if someone was to use that phrase in conversation with you....

anonymousnupe said...

Oh no! Sorry I axed! Didn't mean to bring down the room.

Gerakis100 said...

Ms. Edwards... did you competer in the 06' Pan American games in Colombia?

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

gone have to use number 7 lol

have a great weekend jones

Jackie Edwards said...

gerakis 100: I did compete in the Pan Am Games, but they were in 2007 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I competed in Colombia this year in the CAC Championships in Cali.

Gerakis100 said...

Oh OK cool... cause when I was backpacking in Central and South America in 06', I was on a plane from Panama to Cartagena, with lotsa athletes from the caribs, including from your country so I thought maybe I was in your presence once :)

rebecca said...

The Fountain


Into the sunshine,

Full of the light,

Leaping and flashing

From morn till night!


Into the moonlight,

Whiter than snow,

Waving so flower-like

When the winds blow!

Into the starlight,

Rushing in spray,

Happy at midnight,

Happy by day.

Ever in motion,

Blithesome and cheery,

Still climbing heavenward,

Never aweary;

Glad of all weathers,

Still seeming best,

Upward of downward

Motion thy rest;

Full of a nature

Nothing can tame,

Changed every moment

Ever the same.

Ceaseless aspiring,

Ceaseless content,

Darkness or sunshine

Thy element;

Glorious fountain!

Let my heart be

Fresh, changeful, constant,

Upward like thee!

~~~by runescape gold