How To Speak Like a Bajan

How To Speak Like a Bajan

So you’ve finally checked in to your Yellow Bird studio or suite and are ready to explore! You’ve heard how warm and friendly Barbadians are and can’t wait to mix and mingle, but did you know that while the official language of Barbados is British English, locals also speak a dialect of sorts, called ‘Bajan’?  They speak very quickly when they’re chatting in Bajan and it can be quite difficult for a visitor to the island to understand. Once you learn a few phrases and sayings you’ll fit in just fine!
Here are a few local phrases and sayings that you’ll probably hear while you’re on the island:

You from hey? – Are you a local?
Wanna –  all of you
Wuh you want? – What do you want?
Wey you gine? – Where are you going?
I ain know! – I don’t know!
Wuh part you come from? – Where are you from?
Stan dey – Stand there
Gih she dah – Give her that
Mash up – Broken
Cheese on bread – an exclamation of shock, surprise or dismay
Now that you’ve had a crash- course in Bajan 101, here are some traditional Bajan sayings and proverbs that are sure to make you laugh:
  1. The higher the monkey climbs, the more he shows his tail – The more one shows off, the more his faults are brought to light.
  2. Wuh ain catch yuh ain pass yuh – Having escaped a particular misfortune doesn’t make you immune from it.
  3. Trouble doan set up like rain – Misfortune often happens without any warning signs.
  4. De sea en’ got nuh back door – Once you go into the sea there are no guarantees you will get back out safely.
  5. Duh is more in de mortar dan de pestle – There is more to the issue than appears on the surface.
Seems like too much to take in? No worries! Bajans are always happy to speak slower, making it easier for you to understand. Just ask!

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