Jamaican Language, Jamaican words & Jamaican Slang!

When listening to the Jamaican language, here are some Jamaican words and Jamaican slang you are sure to hear while moving about in Jamaica! By far, the most popular greeting you will hear is -- Evryting Cool, Mon? or Evryting irie? Just smile and reply 'Yes Mon!'



Many words in the Jamaican language have been carried over from early English colonial days. A few terms come from slave days.

If you are like me, as you become familiar with the most common words and common Jamaican phrases, you find you have a better understanding of the Jamaican language.

Common words found in the Jamaican Language!

AGO: Means to go do something. "Me ago check him".

BABY MOTHER/FATHER: A person with children.

BADMIND: Jealous, covetous, or bad intentions.

BANDULU: A hustler, trickery or swindle.

BASHMENT: A large dance or party; anything fabulous.

BATTY: Backside, bottom or rear end.

BATTY RIDERS: Tight lycra hot pants for maximum buttock exposure.

BAWL: To call out or cry in anguish. "Him a bawl out over everything".

BEENIE: Small or dimutive.

BIGGUP: used to show respect "biggup to all mi fans".

BILLS: Jamaican 100 Dollar Bills. "Spare me a bills, nuh?"

BLOUSE & SKIRT: An exclamation of surprise.

BLY: A chance or opportunity; sometimes a feeble excuse.

BOMBA: Commonly used abusive term, usually allied with claat, as in 'Get de bomba-claat out mi way'.

BREDDAH: A friend, usually male.

BREDREN: Plural form of BEDDAH. Breds is the shortened version.

BROUGHTUPSY: Good manners from a good upbringing.

BRUK: Broken

BYAH: A boy.

CHARGED: Stoned or drunk.

CHECK: Pay a visit to or to appreciate.

CHO: An expression to show the speaker is becoming annoyed.

CRAVEN: Greedy

CRIS: From 'Crisp' meaning attractive or top notch.

CUSS-CUSS: Argument.

DALLY: Opposite of to linger; to go. "Me muss dally now!"

DAWTA: A respectful term for young woman.

DEALING: Being in a relationship. "She's dealing with him".

DREAD: A person with dreads. Not necessarily a Rastafarian. Also used to describe also a terrible situation.

DUPPY: A ghost.

DUTTY: Dirty, nasty or sleazy.

FACETY: Cheeky or impertinent. "De tourist facety to rass".

FLEX: How one behaves; to party wildly.

GINNAL: A swindler or a con artist.

GUIDANCE: A Rastafarian parting term, meaning 'May God be with you'.

GWAN: Go away.

GYAL: A woman.

HIGGLER or IGGLER -- A market vendor, usually female. Also a person who bargains.

HOL IT DOWN: Be cool and restrained. Keep a low profile.

IRIE: Alright, used to indicate that all is well. Also a greeting.

JAH: God; an Old Testament name, popular with Rastafarians.

JOOK: To pierce or stab. "De rass hook jook me".

KISS ME NECK: To express surprise.

LEVEL VIBES: No problem.

LICK: To strike a blow.

LICK SHOT: To fire a gun or used figuratively to show appreciation in the dancehall.

LOCK OFF: Cease, desist or stop.

MAAGA: Thin or scrawny.

MASH UP: To have an accident.

MASSIVE: A noun used to describe a crowd.

NATTY: Dreadlocks; also 'natty dread'; also used for a Rastafarian.

NUFF: Plentiful; also used as a greeting with 'respect' as in 'Nuff Respect".

OBEAH: Black Magic that incorporates the use of herbal medicines and witchcraft.

ONE LOVE: Parting expression meaning unity.

PICKNEY: Child or children.

POSSE: A group of young adults forming a clique.

RAAS: Loosely means backside. "Me fall down on me rass." An expletive when used with claat or hole. "Him is one nasty rasshole." Can also express surprise. "Wha da rass are you doing?"

RAGAMUFFIN: A no-good person.

RAHTID: Mild expletive or expression of surprise.

RAT-BAT: Large moth or regular bat.

REACH: To arrive.

RED-EYE: An envious or greedy person.

RENK: Foul-smelling; extreme rudeness

RENT-A-DREAD: Man with dreadlocks who makes his living through sexual relationships with tourists.

RESPECT: Probably the most common greeting or farewell in Jamaica.

RIDDIM: Jamaica's Reggae has it.

ROOTS: Coming from the people or communal experience.

RUDE BOY: A ghetto criminal or vandal.

SALT: To describe someone/something unlucky or gone wrong.

SCIENCE: OBEAH or Jamaican witchcraft.

SENSIE: Marijuana.

SHOTTA: Bad person with a reputation for crime.

SISTREN: A close female friend or sister. (Female version of Bredren).

SPLIFF: Marijuana joint.

SKYLARK: To dawdle or idle.

SUFFERAH: A poor but righteous person.

SWEETBOY: Well-dressed and attractive man. Maybe supported by his lover.

SWIMP: Shrimp.

TEA: Any hot drink.

TING: Object. Can be used to describe a woman. "My ting dat".

TRASH: To dress up, to be well turned out.

VEX: To be irritated or annoyed.

WIND/WINE: A suggestive dance movement.

WOLF: A Rastafarian imposter.

WUTLESS: A combination of worthless and maybe witless.

YAHSO: Here. "Come over yahso".

YARD: A Jamaican's home.

YARDIE: A gangster-type from the ghetto. Used by Jamaican's to mean anyone from Jamaica.

Of course, this is just a brief introduction to Jamaican words and Jamaican slang found in the Jamaican Language. Learn more about the

official language of Jamaica



Jamaican Language -- Back To -- Home Page



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