Your Guide to Trini Slang

221c79d6347a86a8e60571108cf6d27dSo you’ve landed in sunny T&T, were met by who many call “the happiest people on earth”, but you can’t quite figure out what’s being said. Good news, you’re not alone.

In Trinidad and Tobago, many different dialects are spoken. Caribbean Standard English is spoken by many, but mostly in a formal or academic setting. What you’ll encounter most however, is Trinidadian English Creole – a style of talking that merges African, French, Spanish and English twangs, born from our nation’s multicultural history.

Trinidad and Tobago, for those who’d like a bit of history, has undergone many voluntary and forced migratory processes that have led to the island’s rich and diverse population characteristics and hybridized language dialects.

From Spanish, French, Dutch and British colonizers to African slavery, to the migration of Indian, Chinese and Portuguese during post-emancipation, indentureship schemes, one thing is for certain:

Our tiny islands have been shaped many different races, religions, cultures, ethnicity and their respective languages so much so that it is almost impossible to separate the modern-day manifestations of these influences, from each other.

So what you might hear when you’re browsing through the hustle and bustle on the streets of Port-of-Spain, or when you visit the Tunapuna market for some local meats and vegetables will be far removed, and much more unique from what you might be accustomed to.

Communicating with Trinis has the potential to leave you spellbound or completely and utterly confused – so let us help you out!

Here are a few Trini sayings or slang terms and phrases that you may encounter and their “Standard English” translations/definitions.


Bacchanal (n)

  • Pronunciation: bah-can-ah-l
  • Trini Use: “Ey, I have a bacchanal to tell yuh”; “That party had too much bacchanal”
  • Translation: drama, scandal, confusion; someone who likes drama, scandal or confusion.

Bacchanalist (adj)

  • Pronunciation: bah-can-ah-l-ist
  • Trini Use: “She/He is a real baccanalist”
  • Translation: someone who likes to cause, or being the center of drama, scandal or confusion.

Back chat (n, v)

  • Pronunciation: bah-c ch-ah-t
  • Trini Use: “Don’t back chat me”, “You know better than to back chat the teacher”
  • Translation: to reply a rude remark to a figure of authority (usually a child to an adult), an insolent response

Broughtupsy (n)

  • Pronunciation: br-or-t-up-see
  • Trini Use: “Yuh have no broughtupsy or what?”, “Dem children have no broughtupsee”
  • Translation: to have good behavior, to have manners , or have decorum

Chinksin (v)

  • Pronunciation: ch-ink-s-in
  • Trini Use: “Oh gosh, how yuh chinksin so”, “Come now, don’t chinks me”
  • Translation: to be miserly, to distribute less than one could, to be selfish (usually used when referring to the distribution of food)

Hoss (n)

  • Pronunciation: h-or-s
  • Trini Use: “Ey hoss…”
  • Translation: refers to a friend

Lime (n, v)

  • Pronunciation: l-ime
  • Trini Use: “You liming this weekend?”, “I having a lime, home by me”
  • Translation: a party, to hang out, a casual get-together

Fete (n, v)

  • Pronunciation: f-eh-t
  • Trini Use: “You going that fete?”, “That fete was real vibes”, “We feting”
  • Translation: a party, a public function usually held outdoors that usually has entertainment

Maco (n, v, adj)

  • Pronunciation: mah-co
  • Trini Use: “Stop macoing the people business”, “You are such a maco”, “That girl could maco!”
  • Translation: someone who likes to know other people’s business, to listen into someone else’s conversation, to eavesdrop or spy on someone

Mamaguy (n)

  • Pronunciation: mah-mah-g-ah-y
  • Trini Use: “You rel like mamaguy eh”, “She/He only mamaguying yuh”
  • Translation: to ridicule, to flatter or deceive by flattery, to make fun of by complimenting.

Parlour (n)

  • Pronunciation: pah-l-uh
  • Trini Use: “Check by the parlour and see if you get”, “The parlour was closed”
  • Translation: a small shop usually situated on the roadside

Tabanca (n)

  • Pronunciation: tah-ban-kah
  • Trini Use: “I have a tabanca”, “Why you being so? You have a tabanca or what?”
  • Translation: heartbreak, depression after the breakup of a relationship

Vaps (n)

  • Pronunciation: v-ah-ps
  • Trini Use: “I catch a vaps and went to the beach yesterday”
  • Translation: a sudden move, a spontaneous decision

Vibes (adj)

  • Pronunciation: v-ibe-s
  • Trini Use: “That party had rel vibes”
  • Translation: good spirits, festivities, very fun and enjoyable

D Other Day

  • Trini Use: “You know, that happened to me d other day!”, “Yes I see her d other day”
  • Translation: a period of time, not an accurate representation of events, can encompass a time in the past that may vary in days, months or years.

Dong D Road

  • Trini Use: “I going dong d road”, “I going by the parlour dong d road”
  • Translation: a place, not an accurate representation of where a person is, or where they are going, refers to an area that is in fairly close proximity to the user’s current location.

Doh Study It

  • Trini Use: “Here na, doh study it”, “I not studyin dat”
  • Translation: I am not doing to let that bother me, You shouldn’t let that bother you.

Waz D Scene?

  • Trini Use: “Ey, was d scene?”
  • Translation: a general greeting; What’s up?, How are you?, How are things going?

Like ting

  • Trini Use: “You like ting eh!”
  • Translation: usually said in jest or playfully; to enjoy drama, to be mischievous

Jeez-an-ages!

  • Trini Use: “Jeez-an-ages, you serious!?”
  • Translation: used in any context that requires an exclamation, used to show surprise, exasperation, annoyance.

You fuh real? or Yuh makin joke!

  • Trini Use: “You fuh real? She do that?”, “Yuh makin joke, these people not easy”
  • Translation: used to verify or to question a statement, used to express disbelief; “Are you serious?”, “Are you joking?”

Yuh fadda is a glass maker?

  • Trini Use: as is
  • Translation: used to express annoyance that someone is blocking you view; “You’re blocking”, “Can you move aside?.

Guys, the list can go on and on. So there you have it – just a few Trini slang terms and saying that you might encounter while on our beautiful island. You’ll definitely come across some that are not on our list – so if you’re confused, ask a question!

Until next time! See our homepage for a direct link for booking your stay with us.

 

Hidden Beaches of Trinidad & Tobago

Lately we’ve been exploring the road less taken – literally. If you know anything about Trinidad and Tobago then you’ve heard the words “Maracas Beach” and “Pigeon Point Beach” one too many times. It’s kind of a “been there, done that” scenario for many guests who return to our beautiful island.

So we’ve been thinking. Let’s say you want some of that signature sun, sea, and sand, but also want a new experience – what do you do? We’ve got it: Keep Reading. First Capital Apartment has just what you need: a guide to T&T’s Hidden beaches.

1. Hundred Steps Beach, La Fillet (Trinidad)

You’ve decided to take a trip to Maracas Beach for some Bake and Shark – this is a must. But let’s spice things up even more! Keep driving along the North Coast Road, pass Las Cuevas (one of our all time favourite, but not so hidden beaches) and you’ll find a secluded oasis.

Hundred Steps Beach truly a gem and boasts of crystal clear waters, silky-smooth sand and all the makings of a drool-worthy Instagram feed.

But don’t take our word for it, check out what Destination TT has to say about it!

Situated at the base of a cliff, the beach is accessed via a short nature walk from Mitchell Trace to the top of a concrete staircase that leads to the beach. [Despite the name] a section of the staircase is missing and the completing your descent requires a climb done a rope tied to a tree.

But once you are passed the adventurous scramble down the cliff, you realize that this is a destination worth the effort getting to. You are greeted by a lovely beach comprised of fine golden sand with a gorgeous view of the Chupara Bay to the front and enclosed by rocks on either end.

The tranquil nature of the beach is a privilege to behold and you realize that you are experiencing something that few others have. 

Hundred Steps Beach great for tourists who need to “unplug”. Enjoy sun bathing, swimming, exploring, snorkeling – you name it! We advise that you go in groups due to the how secluded this beach is. Safety first!

2. Pirate’s Bay, Charlotteville (Tobago)

pirate-s-bay-view-fromLet’s hop over to our better half, Tobago, for a bit. For the ultimate beach-goer, if you love Trinidad you’ll REALLY love Tobago.

Charlotteville is a small fishing village located on the northern side of Tobago. Here’s where the adventure starts: Pirate’s Bay is only accessible via foot or boat.

 

Named after the shelter that it provided to marauding buccaneers three centuries ago, this charming and isolated bay and beach is the [archetypal] deserted island beach and was used extensively in the original Robinson Crusoe filmed in 1952. (Visit Tobago)

Those walking from the town center can take a footpath and a concrete staircase all the way to the water’s edge. It’s only a 20-minute trek – so strap in and embrace the trek. On a sunny day, expect some sweat! But that makes the cool embrace of the emerald-green water all the more worth it, right?

Shoes or sandals can be worn for this walk, and make sure and pack some water, fruits and light refreshments for when you’re lounging. There aren’t any shops or vendors nearby so be prepared!

Chances are when you arrive, you’ll be the only ones there despite some boats being anchored off shore. For this hidden beach, we’d definitely recommend you go with a group – having company is not only more fun, but it’s also safer.3.

3. Gasparee Caves & Bombshell Bay

You know it’s on when the beach is called “Bombshell” – just saying. But for those who need more convincing, let’s break it down. You’ve got to do this one in phases so make it a whole-day affair!

Make sure you book a tour however because this on is definitely not a DIY adventure.  Here’s a link to book a tour on the Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA) Website – support locally trained guides and get the best bang for you buck.

Boat Ride Anyone?

Start with a 10-minute scenic boat ride from Chaguaramas where you can relax as the cool Caribbean breeze envelopes your trip up the islands off the North West coast of Trinidad. Boats will take you to Gaspar Grande, a small island off the coast where your adventure will begin.

Get your shoes on, it’s time for a Hike!

Jump off that boat and get going. It’ll take you just 25 minutes to get to the caves. Be careful, and stay hydrated as this trek is fairly steep. We know you’re a pro though, you’ll get there in no time! Once you go with a guide you’ll be briefed on all the history of the region and a few fun facts about the islands.

thumbnail60-990x660Bruce Wayne? Nope, but it’s still a pretty cool Cave.

Gasparee Cave can be entered from the top, and visitors can begin their descent down a metal staircase which leads to the eye-catching and enthralling cave system, 100 feet below. It’s a geographer’s paradise: with eerie limestone formations, sinkholes and a shimmering, glassy pool. You won’t be able to get enough of the array of colours.

Finally: Beach Time.

Once you’ve booked in with a tour, you can then leave by boat and zip off to Bombshell Bay on the Eastern side of the island. There you’ll find a private beach, salt water swimming pool and changing rooms. Relax on the golden sands and take a dip in the salt water. You’ll be able to purchase drink and food right there, so no worries!

End your day with the smooth, silky embrace of a Trini sunset.


So which will you choose? Let us know. Guests of First Capital Apartments will be given assistance to plan any excursion they like through out network of trained guides and taxi drivers – you name it and we’ll make a recommendation.

See our homepage for a direct link for booking your stay with us.