The official language of Barbados is English, however many claim that the Barbadian dialect can be a whole separate language due to its limitlessness, ever increasing vocabulary and words which have multiple meanings. The dialect is a fusion of mainly British English and components borrowed from languages in West Africa. Some words or phrases (and meanings) that you may hear during your visit to Barbados are:
- Bajan - Of Barbadian decent
- Wanna - You all
- All two - both
- Dis - this
- Dat - that
- De- the
- Effin - a variant of ‘if’
- In-troot - Are you telling the truth?
- Bad feels - feeling ill
- flim or picture - a film/movie
- bassa bassa- A fight or uproar
- Big up - salutation/ kudos
- Cuh-dear - an exclamation to something that is cute
- Cuttah - Bun Sandwich
- Safe - cool, good, ok
- Lime - hang out in a group
- Whahappen - What happened?
- Wah part you from? - Where do you live?
- Wuk-Up - To dance by moving your waist and hips in a circle
- Caw Blen/ Cheese on bread / Crimons - Oh shoot!
- Uh? - Pardon me?
Barbadian Proverb 1. Ef greedy wait hot wud (would) cool- Patience will be rewarded
Barbadian Proverb 2. Cat luck ain dog luck- What one person may get away with may cause problems for another person
Barbadian Proverb 3. De higha de monkey climb, de more he show he tail- The more you show of the more you show your faults