English is the language of Jamaica which is taught in the school system. However, on a social scale around the island and across many islands, Patwa or Patois Jamaican Style is widely known and spoken. Remember, Patois or Patwa is simply a broken English, not the Queen’s English as some people would say. So, as Jamaicans speak Patois among themselves, the pronunciation and the spelling of some words are spelled the same as the English spelling. Therefore, someone who is not from Jamaica but trying to following along in a conversation would understand some words and maybe able to get the message. Then there is the other side of the Patwa which I considered the raw authentic version which even some Jamaicans would have a hard time understanding. These Jamaicans would be wondering, what language were they speaking?
Speaking Patois Jamaican Style is unique, some Jamaicans says it’s kinda “having an identity.” It allows the natives to isolate themselves from mainstream and speak Patois Jamaican Style. A similar style of Patois is spoke in some Southern States United State.
In New Orleans Louisiana, Patois New Orleans style and Southern Style is call Geechee (Gee-Cgee). Geechee is said to be a mixed between the Bajan language of the island of Barbados and the Patois of Jamaica. However, it’s interested to know that historians and linguists have designated Geechee as a Creole Language. Creole Language is said to be a mixture of European and Africa.
So Patois Jamaican Style is widely known in Jamaica but the Patois Language, the Geechee Language or the Creole Language are a mixture of languages that are spoke in several places around the world. While spending time around many Jamaicans, or visiting a Jamaican Restaurant, Patwa are often spoken fully or mixed in between the Queens English.
Here are some Jamaican Phrases and some Jamaican words used while speaking Patwa:
Jamaica, No Problem
Cool Runnings (Easy going)
Ackee & Saltfish and Roast Breadfruit (Jamaica National disk from the Ackee tree and Breadfruit Tree)
Jamaica is Rum Punch & Red Stripe Beer
Jamaica is Bulla Cake and Pear (cake and avocado)
Jamaica is bun and cheese
Jamaica is “Blouse and skirt (Oh Crop)
Jamaica is Rhattid (Ah shit)
Cease and Sekkle (nice & easy)
Jamaica is “Wi Likkle but Wi Tal-a-wah (We are small as a country but we strong)
Wah-a-Gwan (How is it going)
Kiss Mi neck back (A broad term for are you kidding me)
Jamaica is Irie (Everything is cool)
Jamaica is Ital Stew (cooking without salt & meat)
Strong back-an-Cheny Roots (Natural Juice boiled with special roots from specific trees)
How about “The Sensi-Melia Spliff” (Marijuana cigarette)
Listen keenly (listen carefully)
Jamaica is Arts is and Craft Walk Like a Jamaican, walk with a Bop, in rhythm, just cool
Getting a lady’s attention: “Its Psst (Grip the teeth and let the sound out in air while lips automatically open”
Brethren, yu nuf fi check mi, cho (You must come see see me, like really)
Soon Come (a few minutes to days base on the sentence)
Ear Mi nuh bass, a weh yu a seh (listen man, what are you saying)
Wah pen yu cah gi de I a change (What’s happening, can you give me some money)
Mi deh yah ah tink (I’m here thinking)
Yuh tek mi fi fool (You think i’m stupid)
Dat a idiat ting (That’s idiotic)
Nuh bada wit the susu ting uhnu fi mine uhnu bizniz (Stop the rumors and mind your business)
Jamaica is Sorrel & Fruit Cake[/Tab}