Who on earth can keep up with Jamaican slang terminology? As far as we’re concerned only 14 year olds and dancehall DJs have that special gift, but despite that, we’re still fascinated by the brilliantly inventive, lightening-quick, non-stop evolution of popular speech in Jamaica. Here are some of our favourite slang words/phrases of 2010:
An’ all dese tings – Seems to be the rough equivalent of “And so on/And so forth”. This year it seemed to TJL that everyone we spoke to (or at least the trendy folks) used the phrase “an’ all dese tings” like a full stop at the end of every sentence. E.g. “Trus mi dawg, 2010 was a miserable year. From drought, to flood, to Manatt, to JDX, to State of Emergency, an’ all dese tings”
It shot - Its great/excellent. E.g. “Yow, Kartel new tune shot!”
LUUUUUUU – That’s terrible/bad/awful. “Yow, Kartel new tune shot! LA Lewis new tune? Luuuuu” Directed towards a woman it means “She’s loose/promiscuous”.
To me ting – That’s what I’m having/That’s what I’m doing/about to do. E.g. “Ackee an saltfish wid likkle fry dumpling to me ting!”
OH! –We have the Dancehall Hero himself, the always quotable Vybz Kartel, to thank for TJL’s favourite slang of 2010. “OH!” was popular both in the streets and in the dancehall; so much so that it almost seemed to become a punctation mark, like a dancehall comma or full stop, in the sentences of hip young Jamaicans. Listen to Shawn Storm’s My Life for just one example of how it’s been used:
“Just in case you didn’t know
Ah my life
Mi work hard every day thank God just to make a little dough
Ah my life”
(Do yourself a favour and download it to get the proper effect)
“Set good like di ice inna freezer” – If there was an Oscar for Best Line of the Year this line from Vybz Kartel’s Dumpa Truck would’ve copped it. TJL just wishes we had thought of it first.
Pree – To watch/study/observe someone or something. E.g. “From the other day me notice you a pree mi. Wapm, yuh like me or supm?”
Stulla – Wukka man, Stamina Daddy. And if you don’t know what a Wukka man or Stamina Daddy is, then it likely means that no-one has ever described you in that way. And you therefore have our sympathies fella. We’re kidding (sorta). A wukka man, stamina daddy or stulla is a man with outstanding sexual skill and stamina. Stulla was introduced to the world by dancehall DJ Mavado in a song called Long Distance Stulla.
Build – To chill or scope out the scene. Some of you will recognise the line from dancehall DJ Chan Dizzy’s Nuh Strange Face which goes:
“Any weh me an mi dogs dem go
As we walk een we just hold our half an build…
Mi nuh want nuh strange face round me…”
(You know the drill - download and enjoy)