Words and Phrases to Know in Jamaican Dialect

For some, visiting another culture is about really immersing yourself in the food, the traditions, and the language. A fantastic place to experience a unique and beautiful culture is Jamaica. From food, music, dress, history, traditions, local personality, and even the language, you won’t be disappointed. Yes, English is the official language of Jamaica, but with a local dialect that visitors won’t be able to understand, it’s good to have an idea of how people communicate. To experience the true beauty of Jamaican culture, get away from the beach and the resorts with a rental car from Timeless Mobay Car Rental.

Get a taste of Jamaican Patois or the Jamaican dialect by reading some of these expressive and entertaining phrases.

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Fit in with the locals wherever you go and express your feelings as they do.

  • Backfoot: Surprise
  • Blouse an skirt: Surprise or wonder
  • Cho/Cho man: Annoyance or frustration
  • Gweh!: Go away!
  • Kiss mi neck!: Surprise or wonder
  • Ku deh!: Look at that!
  • Move frah ya!: Get out of here!
  • Massi mi Gad: Lord have mercy!
  • Rahtid! Surprise
  • Tan deh!: Stay there


You won’t be hungry for long on this island. No matter where you are, you can order up your favorite bickel without looking like a tourist.

  • Car RentalBickel: Food
  • Eat good: Tastes nice
  • Food/Hard Food: Yams, potatoes, or dumplings
  • Fresh: Not enough sugar or salt
  • Ital: Natural
  • Long: Watery
  • Moreish: The food is so good, you want more
  • Nyam: Eat, or eat a lot
  • PawPaw: Papaya
  • Pear: Avocado


Car RentalThe beautify of Jamaica is apparent the moment you step off the plane. Get to the know the four-legged or winged locals, too.

  • Anansi: Spider
  • Bat: Moth
  • Bud: Bird
  • Cubby: Young donkey
  • Patoo: Owl
  • Peenywally: Firefly
  • Swims or Swimps: Shrimp


To get to know the local, you have to think like a local! Here are some common phrases, the translation, and what it means.

  • Pop story gi mi! Translation: Tell me a story! Or, tell me what’s going on, I don’t believe what I’m hearing.
  • Gi laugh fi peas soup. Translation: Give laughs for peas soup. Or, to joke around.
  • Enough fi stone dawg. Translation: Enough to stone a dog. Or, having an abundance of something so much that you will do lazy things with it such as stone a dog.
  • Yeye mek four. Translation: Eyes make four. Or, to make eye contact with someone.
  • A mi fi tell yu! Translation: That’s right. Or, agreeing with something someone told you.

There is so much to learn, see, and do during your visit to Montego Bay, Jamaica. Learning some of the language, from common words to phrases, even if you don’t actually get to use them, can help prepare you to fall in love with the culture and the locals. At Timeless Mobay Car Rental, we want you to experience a side of Jamaica that few get to see. With a rental car to get you where you want to be without worrying about unreliable transportation, contact our car rental company to reserve your ride today. Likkle more! (See you later).