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.

 

T&T Tours: Top Religious Sites

As we emerge from the holy week of Easter, citizens of Trinidad and Tobago return to their places of work, their schools, their everyday lives wishing for just one more day added to an already lengthy, long weekend.

Many know our twin-island republic as a “Fete Nation”. We’re known internationally as the party capital of the Caribbean, with endless parties revolving around Carnival, throughout the year. And don’t get me wrong, Carnival is a integral part of our heritage, our way of life, our culture – but it’s not the only thing we’re known for.

Trinidad and Tobago, due to various historical processes has undergone shifts and evolution in culture over hundreds of years of conquest and colonization. Intertwined with the passing of rule over many decades and mass immigration processes such as slavery and indentureship, our Twin islands has grown into what can only be described as a religious melting-pot, an oasis of cultural diversity, a hub of religious tolerance and acceptance.

The largest religious groups are the Protestant Christians (including Anglicans, Presbyterians, Methodist, Evangelicals, Pentecostals and Baptist), Roman Catholic Christians, Hindus, and Muslims.

Two Afro-Caribbean syncretic faiths, the Shouter or Spiritual Baptists and the Orisha faith (formerly called Shangos) are among the fastest growing religious groups.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (known as “Mormons”) has also expanded its presence in the country since late-1970s.

According to the 2011 Census, 33.4% of the population was Protestant (including 12.0% Pentecostal, 5.7% Anglican, 4.1% Seventh-day Adventist, 3.0% Presbyterian or Congregational, 1.2% Baptist, and 0.1% Methodist), 21.5% was Roman Catholic, 18.1% was Hindu, and 5% was Muslim.

A small number of individuals subscribed to traditional Caribbean religions with African roots, such as the Spiritual Baptists (sometimes called Shouter Baptists) (5.7%); and the Orisha (0.1%). The smaller groups were Jehovah’s Witnesses (1.5%) and unaffiliated (2.2%). There is also a small Buddhist community on the island.

So we’re encouraging our guests, and any tourists visiting Trinidad and Tobago to take the road less travelling. Step away from the sun, sea and sand for a moment and take a tour of our islands most prominent religious sites. You need to be affiliated with any of these religions to appreciate the rich cultural and religious diversity that exists on our islands.

1. The Temple in the Sea

This unique site is located in Waterloo, Trinidad. A symbol of resistance and built out of the desire to retain his religious culture, Siewdass Sadhu is the visionary behind this noble creation. After being jailed for building a similar temple on government owned sugarcane lands, this Indian indentured labourer decided that if he could not build his temple on land, then he would build it in the sea. It is said that Sadhu laid each brick himself, carrying the the materials he needed to build his temple on his bicycle. Laying each stone, he forged a path forward in spite of both public and government skepticism.

The temple, simple and stoic, sits on the shores at Waterloo, a defiant symbol of innovation, hope and serenity. It stands strong, as evidence of what human being can achieve despite their faith being challenged.

2. The Holy Trinity Cathedral

For those yearning for a trip back in time, to our island’s days under British colonial rule, this is a must-see. There are many magnificent cathedrals in our capital, Port of Spain, however of them, these are definitely in our top three! Built to reflect the Gothic style architecture of the Victorian Era, this Anglican church was built in 1809, by patronage of the British Parliament. TnT_PoS_Cathedral_of_the_Holy_Trinity_(back_view)

The magnificent hammer-beam roof is made of local wood and characterized by huge trusses. The altar is built entirely of selected local mahogany and backed by alabaster and marble mounted on a base of Portland stone. The stained glass windows showcase magnificent representations of the saints. The Cathedral is filled with interesting historical items such as the marble statue dedicated to former Governor and founder of the Church, Sir Ralph Woodford. Along the walls inside the Cathedral are Tablets placed “in the memory of” former members of the British elite of colonial days.

Source: Buzz TT

 

 

3. Moravian Churches, Tobago.

Moravian-Church-in-the-vi-010.jpgLet’s head over to Tobago! Spring Garden and Black Rock are two important villages for those seeking a bit of history about colonial Tobago. Early Moravian missionaries constructed two churches, in 1852 and 1859 respectively. These humble buildings are almost identical yet in their simplicity, these chapels are remarkable for their design. Each building incorporates wood-shingle walls and hipped roofs, resting on a foundation of coral limestone. These Moravian churches were bastions of colonial Tobago and their primary function was in ministering to plantation slaves and educating their children during pre-Emancipation times. Adding to their historical significance is the fact that these churches were two of the few structures that survived devastating Hurricane Flora that affected our twin-islands in 1963.

4. 85ft Lord Hanuman Statue

This is one for the record books! Many do not know, but Trinidad is home to the largest Hanuman murti outside of India. Built according to the Dravidian style of architecture of South India this 85-foot tall statue of the Hindu god, Lord Hanuman located in the village of Carapichaima, Trinidad.

A “murti” in Hindu culture is any embodiment of the divine. It refers to any embodiment, manifestation, incarnation or personification of a spiritual entity or deity. Worshiped by many who wish to gain courage and strength in their lives, Lord Hanuman is probably one of the most celebrated and revered figures in the Hindu Mythology.

The towering murti took years to design and construct and the result is truly a sight to behold – but don’t take our word for it. Check out this video!

5. Mohammed Ali Jinnah Memorial Mosque

tem

Source: The Trinidad Guardian

Finally, we couldn’t end without shining the spotlight on First Capital Apartment’s very own home – The Town of St. Joseph. Located just minutes away from our wonderful apartments is a majestic remnant of the island’s Muslim followers.

One of Trinidad’s finest mosques, which serves as headquarters of the Trinidad Muslim League. It is also regarded as one of the 50 most beautiful buildings in the world. It’s tall towers can be seen from the nearby main road. During the holy season of Ramadhan, many Muslim brothers and sisters gather to break their fasting daily, and on any given day residents and visitors to the area can hear the iconic call to worship as it echoes through the town.


So there you have it! These are just some of the many religious sites found in and around Trinidad and Tobago. If you find the time to venture away from the ordinary, take a moment to see the extra-ordinary. Dive into our rich culture, and experience a religious tour around the islands.

There’s lots to see but be on your best behavior! Our national is built on love, respect and unity in spite of diversity. So regardless of your religious affiliation, when visiting the different religious sites around Trinidad and Tobago, we ask that all who yearn for knowledge and understanding, also be gracious and respectful to both the sites and the people who you encounter on your journey.

For reservation inquiries and help planning your religious tour around Trinidad and Tobago, please send us an email. Check out the homepage for a direct message portal!