The Jamaican Lexicon

 PHRASE         _   MEANING

Everything Bless – All is well

Wa e pre, Y pre – What’s Up?

Bredren  –  Good Friend

Hail,  Ises –  Hello

I & I   –  We, Us

Satta, Ends out –  Relax

Bill Back (Build back) – Resting

Frig(gery), Sheg(gery) – What no Jamaican wants to be or get {Fuck}

The Jamaican Lexicon 

Around the world, “well” means a) fine, b) healthy c) better than good. When a Jamaican puts it before a word,like..

Da bwoy deh (That boy/man) well boasy (boastful)

                          well clean (dapper)

                          well chupid(stupid)

                          well skill

You get the drift.

The Jamaican Lexicon 

When a Jamaican says you’re “Bummy“,

What does he mean?

You’re on edge, edgy, quick to do foolishness. 

The Jamaican Lexicon

What is a Tegge-Reg?

 A virago, a cantankerous person

The Jamaican Lexicon 

What is “Bringle

 (rhymes with jingle) ?

Extremely vexed, to vex extremely 

eg _ I-Man bringle – I’m vex/vexed 

Don’t get mi bringle – don’t get me mad.

The Jamaican Lexicon

What is Badaration ( Botheration)?

Da bwoy ya a badaration – This boy/man is a problem/trouble. 

What a badaration!  – Woe is me!

                                    What a problem! 

The Jamaican Lexicon 

Gladys, a nice, decent female name but, when a Jamaican calls you a Gladys, what are you?

Never-see-come-see, a bumpkin,  not used to new things or not up-to-date, a Johnny-come-lately.
 The Jamaican Lexicon 

Oonu remember when sneakers was only Pro-Keds & everything else was “Tracky“?

Track shoes, sneakers.
The Jamaican Lexicon 

Cuparchie, Copaachie:-

A corruption of compadre, 

A Tight-piece, Tight-man,

A Bredren, Friend ;

Someone you hang with regularly. 

(same meaning for tightpiece, tightman).
The Jamaican Lexicon 

Us against the World Edition:-

While it is a wonderful thing around the world for people to flatter people, 

When a Jamaican say him a go flatter you,  RUN!

Flatter – to whip your butt, kick your ass, knock you silly, knock you flatter than a pancake.  

The Jamaican Lexicon

Every woman loves him, 

Every man denies him. 


Do you know him? 

BowCat – a cunnilinguist
The Jamaican Lexicon 

How much “dunkya” people you know? You a one (are you one)?

Dunkya:- worthless; derived from “don’t care”.
The Jamaican Lexicon 

Jamaican “Silly Season (Election time)” Edition:-

Who say Showw (a la shower)?

Who say Poww (a la power)?


Who say Poww (PNP)?  

Who say Showw (JLP)? 

PowwShoww (everyone else)! 

Whether you HiUp (JLP slogan)or you a Stand Firm (PNP slogan)

Whether you a Power or you  a Shower;

The Jamaican Lexicon

When Last Edition :-

When last yu belly “operate” yu?

(When was the last time you had “the runs”?
Real World Lexicon 

Jamaican Edition :-

This one has a special meaning for me because, being a “Teacher pickney” I always used to correct people’s grammar. This one taught me that sometimes you have to just “let it be”!

     C e r f i t i c a t e :- Jamaican corruption of C e r t i f i c a t e.  

Also – 

Satches – corruption of Sausage .

Metches – corruption of Message 

Simmit – corruption of Smith

Sinake – corruption of snake.
The Jamaican Lexicon 

Rhygin – horny, high sexual appetite. 

Junjo – moldy, diseased. 

Galang – going on, go ahead on. 

Real World Lexicon 

Jamerican Edition:-

Hood – In other parts of the World , this is a criminal, a hat-like extension or part of a car. 

In Jamaica however, it’s a COMPLETELY different thing altogether…

ps – ask a Jamaican Woman for the answer, because, if yu ask a man about hood, it naa go pretty (wont be nice)! 

Hood – Jamaican term for penis.


Selecta Selecta! 1                                        My Week in Song: 3/25 – 4/2

[1] “Other girls I look at, 

But them I don’t touch! 

We’ve been together for so long

What we have is much more than that!”

Be Strong- Barrington Levy 
[2] “I need your name and number and where you reside, 

I need you by my side!”

  Love at First Sight – Turbulence  
[3] “Just one a dem day-ay a-a-ehyays

Just one a dem days!”

[4 ] “Man a nuh idlers

Mi nuh ha nuh time fi waste!”

Dollar Sign – Kartel  
[ 5] “She say har  man insecure

And fraid  a me

Him nuh listen Kartel  

And him hate Addi

But she tell mi love mi totally

And everything weh come out a har mouth a mi!”

Cake Soap – Kartel  
[ 6] “Everyman do his thing

A little way different, 

No matter what Color, Race or Creed

That he may be, 

So don’t watch mine, 

No no no no no no no 

Check yours!”

A Little Way Different – Errol Dunkley 

[ 7] “Looks like Jah Sun 

It doesn’t shine for me

Because I’m living

Yet I can’t be free

But Freedom is a must

I know

No matter how they fuss and go on

Because I read these things in Prophecy!” 

Prophecy – Little Roy  
[ 8] “If you see my Mary, 

Tell her to get ready, 

You can tell her 

That it’s Mr. Dynamite, 

Sure gonna visit her tonight, 


Mus’ haffi get a check tonight!” 

Mary – Gregory Isaacs  
[9/10 ] Modern Day Judas / 

Here Comes Trouble 

Jesse Royal / Chronixx  
[11] “Whoa, it’s been a long, 

Long time, 

I got this message 

For you Girl, 

But it seems like 

I was never on time, 

Still I got thru to you girl! 

On Tie aye ya Yie time, 

On tie ya yie ya yie ime!”

Turn Your Lights Down Low – 

Bob Market & Lauryn Hill  
[12] “Babylon dem a weeping 

And a mourning yaa, 

Weeping, and can mourning; 

Becaa dem brother dem a drop out, 

And dem nuh know to come over. 

Only Dread can come over! 

JahJah Live Forever! Yaaas!”

Whip Them Jah – Dennis Brown  
[13] “Arlene a mussy dream 

You a dream! 

Arlene a mussy dream 

You a dream, 

Yu shouldn’t soil mi Gabardine, 

Woey yuh yoey, 

Yu shouldn’t soil mi Gabardine!”

Arlene – General Echo/Ranking Slackness 
 [14] “I’m an alien, I’m a legal alien, 

I’m a Jamaican in New York! 

Woe- Oh 

I’m an alien, I’m a legal alien, 

I’m a Jamaican in New York!” 

Jamaican in New York – ShineHead.

​Selecta Selecta! 2                                  My Week In Song: 4/2 – 4/9

1) “The World is confused 

They don’t know what to do 

Listen to me what I say to you 

The people are confused 

They don’t know who to choose 

Even if they listen 

To the headline news! 

It’s gunman, standing over me 

With their guns, 

And their bayonets 

Mi shout out we all a go feel it 

Mi shout out 

Mi all a reveal it 

Woey, e woeyi woey”

Gunman – Michael Prophet 
2) “She never been unfaithful to me 

As far as I can see, 

Never been unfaithful to me- hee

So we will always be!

She gave me love 

In the morning, 

And in the evening too, 

She gave me love 

When I’m lonely 

So I’ll never feel blue 

So ride on Cassandra ride on 

Ride on ride on!” 

Cassandra – Dennis Brown 


3) “Yu pretty looks can’t control me 

Yu pretty looks can’t control me

Nuh true yu si mi so simple 

With mi whole heap a dimple 

Mi say mi coming 

From the Shaolin Temple 

Mi say mi come 

Fi set a better example 

Wid mi whole heap a dimple

Ti woey e woey woey e 

Woe oh oh 

To woey e woey woey e 

Woe oh oh”

Shaolin Temple – Barrington Levy
4) “Why boasteth thyself 

O evil men 

Playing smart 

And not being clever, oh no! 

I said you’re working iniquity 

To achieve vanity, if a so a so! 

But the goodness of JahJah 

Idureth for-i-ver 

So if you are a big tree 

We are the small axe 

Sharpened to cut you down 

Well Sharp! 

Ready to cut you down!”

Small Axe – The Wailers 
5) “Too much oppressors

In this town 

Too much, too much, too much 

Too much, too much, (repeat)

Every little I do 

I can’t seem to get thru, 

And every little thing I try 

Babylon yu try to stop me why

Babylon yu try to stop me why?

I’ve got to leave out of Babylon 

Can’t stand it no longer 

In this pollution 

The RastaMan him can’t even 

Make a plan, 

All because of the Babylon man

The Babylon man 

Oppression mek a wise man mad 

But I won’t be mad!”

Oppressors Oppression – Sugar Minott 
6) “I can see them coming

I can see Dreadlocks running

I can hear them saying 

This is the time 

For which we’ve been praying 

Seven miles of Black Starliners 

Coming in the Harbour, 

Seven miles of Black Starliners coming in the Harbour haa”.

Seven Miles of Black Starliners – 

Fred Locks 
7) “Thank you Mama for the

 nine months you carry me, 

Thank you Mama cause 

You never throw way me, 

My Mother! 

Ohu woe ohu woe .

Mi Muma Muma 

Mi say mi love har forever 

Mi Muma Mi Muma 

Mi loved har more than Mi Pupa” 

Mi Muma – Barry Brown & Briggy Levi

Selecta Selecta! 3                               My Week in Song 4/9 – 4/16

“Are you ready to stand up and fight the right revolution?

Are you ready to stand up and fight it just like soldiers?

Many are called, few are chosen

Many are called, few are chosen”

Revolution – Dennis Brown 
“Render your heart and not 

Your garments,

The truth is there 

For who have eyes to see!_

Partiality has no place 

In this judgment, 

Listen the words 

The words of prophecy, 

Children run come to 

Truths and Rights 

Teach it to the children 

You know the Truths and Rights 

That’s what I’m about!” 

Truths & Rights – Johnny Osbourne 
“Pass the kutchie pon the lef’ hand side

Pass the kutchie pon the lef’ hand side

It a go bu’n, it a go bu’n, Jah know!

In front a station 

Weh di ganja pipe a bu’n

Smoke from the chalice 

Mek di Babylon eye run 

Babylon get vex and go 

Clean out him gun 

Come in the dance 

Fi come shoot Dreadlocks dung. 

It haffi bu’n! 

Jah know, it haffi bu’n!” 

Pass the Kutchie/It Haffi Bu’n! – Mighty Diamonds/Brigadier Jerry.
“Mischief maker, Heartbreaker’s 

Some girls a Trickster Yeh e ay 

Trickster di girl dem a Trickster 

A lot a dem a Trickster

Like money goes 

From hand to hand 

Women go 

From man to man 

You will give them 

Your heart and soul 

They pretend you are acting cold

They will take your heart away 

They will take it night & day 

And even if you cry 

They’ll pretend 

They don’t know why!” 

Trickster – Junior Delgado
“I say woe now now!

I say woe right now!

Stop yu fussing and fighting 


Now’s the time for uniting 


A chain is as strong 

As its weakest link 

Each one his brother’s keeper 

Unity is the foundation 

Of survival 

Got to let Jah love 

Come shining in 

So stop yu fussing and fighting 


Stop yu Fussing & Fighting – Dennis Brown 
“I work so hard 

Just to keep her satisfied 

But no matter what I do 

She is still not satisfied 

I tried my very best 

Just to make her understand 

But she keeps on haunting me 

And I’m not a money man, 

Yu better ride on, 

Young Girl, ha hi! 

Wa do the chick? 

She mussy sick! 

She mussy want a phensic!” 

Johnny Clarke & Tappa Zukie. 
“Some wi tell yu 

That them love yu 

But them have an ulterior motive 

Oh what a shame! 

Some wi tell 

That them love yu 

But they got an ulterior motive 

Personal gain 

Sorry fi mawga dawg 

Dem tun round bite yu 

After working so hard 

Dem waan fi treat yu 

Like bhuttu 

7 days a week

Yu try to make the 2 ends meet 

Sad to see

Still dem cut dem 10

And a kiss them dem teeth 

Yu wonder what the world 

Is coming to 

And all that I got to say is true 

I & I man deh ya 

Feeling the waterloo!” 

Ulterior Motive – Luciano

Selecta Selecta! 4                              My Week in Song 4/16-4/23

“Baby I’ve gotta call you up 

I feel the need for you tonight 

Out a my little apple 

I’ll surely take a bite 

My poor body’s calling 

And needs attention fast 

Till you’re here beside me 

Is how long it’s gonna last 

You better come back home!”

“Hello Mama Africa,  

How are you?

I’m feeling fine 

And I hope you are too!

Hello Mama Africa, 

How are you? 

I hope when you hear 

These words, 

Your greys turn blue

Greys turn blue oo-ooh!” 

Come Back Home/Mama Africa 

Beres Hammond/Garnett Silk
“Wake up Everybody 

No more sleeping in bed 

No more backward thinking 

Time for thinking ahead 

The world has changed 

So very much 

From what it used to be 

There is so much hatred 

War and poverty 

And the world 

Won’t get no better 

If we just let it be 

Nana na naa naa naa na 

We gotta change it yeah 

YOU & ME!” 

Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes 
“Bless my eyes this morning 

Jah Sun is on the rise once again

Way earthly things are going 

Anything can happen 

We see men sailing 

On their ego trips 

Blast off on their space ships

Million miles from reality 

No care for you no care for me

So much trouble in the world

Still man a deejay bout girl 

So much trouble in the world 

And man a fret over 

Diamonds & pearls!” 

Bob Marley & The Wailers and Bobo General. 
“Friends may try to hurt us 

Scandalize our names 

But no-one, 

No-one can keep us apart 

You’re the nearest to my heart! 

I love you darling 

And that’s no lie, Oh o o oh 

Stick by me & I’ll stick by you 

When you cry 

I’ll cry too Oh o o oh 

Stick by me, I’ll stick by you!”

John Holt
“Begging you a 5 cent, Sir 

Begging you a 10 cent, Sir 

Cannot help, no, cannot help! 

Cause if you all keep on doing 

What you all are doing 

You will end up, up up, In jail, 

Skylarking, Skylarking 

Cannot help, no! Cannot help!” 

Horace Andy 
“The way you say it 

In your kisses, darling, 

And everything you do ooh 

I just have to talk about you 

Talk & talk & talk 

You’re there when the Sun 

Comes aw-u-up, 

At nights you make 

My dreams come true oo ooh

Those little things that you do 

And when I go away 

For more than a day or two ooh 

Each night I close my eyes 

I say a little prayer for you! 

We got a surefire love 

Sure Fire Love! 

The more I think of you”

Maxi Priest 


“Just because you live 

High on a hill, 

And I live down here 

On the ground, 

All the things that are going on 

Indirectly affects you, 

Whether you know it or not! 

We’re all in this thing together, 

We gotta work it out, 

We gotta work it out!” 

The O’Jays. 

Selecta Selecta!  5                              My Strong in Song 4/23 – 4/30

“Just take these chains away 
and set me free, 

Release me out of bondage 

and we will all agree 

Too long I’ve been a slave 

I don’t wanna be no more 

I’d rather dig my grave 

than be locked behind a door!”

“I will always do the good I can 

War & hatred I can’t stand! 

And I hope you feel 

the same way too, 

The goodness of your works 

will carry you through! 

Do good unto others 

and Jah will do the same for you 

Give it a try my friend 

And you will see that 

what I’m saying is true! 

Love is the answer 

There ain’t no other 

Oh oh Love is the answer 

The Love of the Father!”

Unchained – Bob Andy 

Love is the Answer – Garnett Silk

“I and I hold I own

I and I hold I faith

I and I reconsider

I and I see upful that

Christopher Columbus is a 

Damn blasted liard!

Christopher Columbus is a 

Damn blasted liard

Yes Jah

He’s saying that, he is the first one

To discover Jamaica

I and I say that,

What about the Arawak Indians and the few Black man

Who were around here, before him

The Indians couldn’t hang on no longer

Here comes first Black man and woman and children,

In a Jam Down Land ya

A whole heap of mix up and mix up

A whole heap a bed up, bed up,

We have fi straighten out,

Christopher Columbus is a 

Damn blasted liard

Christopher Columbus is a 

Damn blasted liard!”

Christopher Columbus – Burning Spear

“I remember the times 

when we used to 

Sit in the park, 

holding hands together, 

I never should have gone away 

and left you like I did girl, 

But I thought you’d take me back

But I was just a 

little too late 

Aye aye aye, I was born a 

We ee ee ee  ee  ee ner 

Aye aye aye I was born a 


Winner – Alton Ellis/Freddie McGregor. 

“Stop pushing me, 

Pushing me, pushing me, 

Like you wanna 

Push me out a my job 

Mr. Bossman, 

I’ve got 2 kids & a wife 

Working for to keep them alive 

In this time, 

Without me working for them 

They will drop down 

and starve for hungry, 

So get off my back 

Mr. Bossman!” 

Mr. Bossman  – Linval Thompson

“Jah command me 

to love my enemy, 

Bless those that curse me; 

Do good unto those 

that woulda hurt me, 

and them that do me wrong. 

Though they woulda do 

all manner of evil against me, 

They woulda even try to hurt me, 

They woulda do me 

all sorts of wrong,  

Jah! You promise to protect me! 

Deliver me Deliver me 

Deliver me!

From my enemy, From my enemy

Make me Strong 

Make me Strong 

Make me Strong 

So I can live long!” 

Tony Tuff – Deliver Me 

“You feel that you hurt me 

You hurt nobody but yourself! 

The things you do 

Are surely gonna hurt you too 

The seeds you sow 

I’m sure you gonna reap 

Let me tell you 

Give it up give it up give it up 

Aw ah aah! 

You know you hurting me, Hah!

Young girl, pretty young girl 

Walking up the street 

Oh, you looking so sweet, 

Can I walk with you, 

Hold my hand, 

Can I talk with you, 

Please understand 

Natty Dread a weh yu want

Natty Dread a weh yu want Oh 

A Tappa Zukie wah she want 

A Tappa Zukie wah she get 

Yu shoulda see her ina bed 

She just a gwan like she red 

Yu shoulda see her pon di floor 

She just a bawl out fi more Bow! 

Hurting me – Alton Ellis 

Natty Dread A Wah She Want – Horace Andy & TappaZukie 

” Coming from the country 

with a bag a collie, 

Buck up pon a DC 

who waan fi hold me e eeh

Don’t you run now Youthman, 

You won’t get away 

Cause if yu slip yu will slide 

And if yu run yu can’t hide

Cause I’ve got my stick 

Right here on my hip now 

Woe oh oh DC ,

Don’t yu take my Ishens 

Woe oh oh DC 

Don’t you take my collie!” 

Mr. D. C. – Sugar Minott

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