TT Vernacular & Folklore Characters

February 4, 2009


Since we were talking about African-American vernacular, here’s some of the common Trinidadian terms and phrases I’m used to: 


  Never see come see – someone who is unaccustomed to certain things.”I dey” – I’m fine   

Same khaki pants – things never change

“He/she doh eat nice” – to say a person is arrogant or formidable

To take basket – to be manipulated into doing something

Basket doh hold water – all threats are idle

Take chain up – to be manipulated into doing something

“You can’t play sailor and ‘fraid powder” – you must face the consequences of your actions.

To get horrors – to become upset over something

Band your belly – to prepare for hard times

Playing dead to catch Corbeau alive – to act stealthily to achieve something

Fire de wuk – to quit a job

Moon does run until daylight catch up with him – people who do wrong will eventually meet justice

Cockroach have no right in fowl party – people should stay where they belong

To ‘throw ‘way’ child – to have an abortion

Stone fall in your garden – to be guilty about something

Monkey know what tree to climb – people who are up to no good know who to interfere with

Gopaul luck eh Seepaul luck – not everyone has the same luck or chances

Money ‘a pocket, back no ground – only when you get rewards must you have sex

“He/she ain’t right here” – to say a person is crazy

Forming the ass – to play the fool

All skin teeth eh laugh – do not be deceived by friendly appearances

Behind back is ‘Dog’, before face is “Mr Dog” – people will say bad things when your back is turned

Monkey say “cool breeze” – to act unaffected by something

Bam ba yuh go see am – wait and see

Corbeau can’t eat sponge cake – people with no class cannot appreciate certain things

“He/She does touch” – to say someone is a thief

“I Payap!”  – an exclamation of wonder or disbelief

to have “goat mouth” – when everything a person says comes true, especially bad things

Yuh fadder is ah glassmaker? – to tell someone they are blocking your view

Loll off – to relax when there is work to be done

Lick dong – to knock someone down


Trinidadian Folkloric Characters explained…





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