Bajan sayings

Although we are an English speaking island, we have our Bajan sayings and dialect of broken English and colourful expressions. Bajan sayings while fun relay a wealth of wisdom to the wise or simply express how we feel about something or a situation.

My wife Jeanie (who was born in England) fondly reminisces about her introduction to her new school, days after arriving in Barbados. She recalls being asked what her name was by a class mate who said "wah ya name!!" with a strong Bajan accent, Jeanie thought the girl was speaking a new language and wanted to know what it was.

The class mate couldn't understand why Jeanie did not know what she was saying and proceeded ask "you from over and away?"(from another country) Well we laugh about it now but back then Jeanie wondered if she would ever understand the Bajan dialect.

I included a little glossary below to help you to translate some of these tricky words and navigate our dialect. Have fun trying them out for yourselves don't be surprise that Bajans have a good laugh when you do. Bajan dialect always sound funny when you have a different accent.

Sweet Fuh days

Bajans say this when something is so good that you could go on enjoying it for a very long time. Personally I like the phrase it has character and is my most favouite of expressions

Cat luck en' dog luck

This means what one person gets away with, you may not

When yuh en' got horse, ride cow

You should try to make use of whatever resources you have available.

De higher de monkey climb, de more 'e show 'e tail

The more you show off, the more your own faults are expose to others.

Common dog does bark in church

uncultured people will behave in a coarse manner no matter what social situation they find themselves in.

When a bird fly too fast, 'e does fly past 'e nest

Being over ambitious has its downside.

Eat soldier food, tek soldier blows

If you expect to share in the benefits you must be prepared to share in the problems as well.

Gih Jack 'e jacket

We believe you should give every man his due credit.

Yuh got plaster fuh evah sore

We say this to people who always have an answer for everything.

Glossary

De – the

Fuh - for

‘e – he

en’ – Is not

Gih – give

Yuh – you

Tek - Take

Evah – every


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