What is patois?

Who speaks patois?

Patois, or Patwah or Jamaican Creole, is an English-based creole language with West African influences spoken in Jamaica. It is the dialect spoken by Jamaicans to one another. Even native English speakers visiting the island have difficulty understanding the dialect.

Is patois broken English?

Contrary to popular belief, Jamaican Patois is not “Broken English”. It is actually a combination of English, French, Various West African Languages, Spanish and many others. Jamaican Patois came into existence during slavery when the slaves were denied use of their native tongue and forced to learn English.

How do you say hello in patois?

‘Wah Gwaan’



This is probably the most well known Jamaican greeting and was even used by US President Barack Obama during his inaugural visit to Jamaica.

Is Jamaican patois a language?

Jamaican Patois, also known as Patwa and Jamaican Creole, is the most widely spoken language in the country. Compared to a reported 50,000 Jamaicans who speak English, there are 2.7 million who speak Jamaican Patois, a type of English creole that arose during the slave trade.

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What does crosses mean in patois?

crosses (Noun)



Meaning/Description: problems, causing trials.

Why do Jamaicans say hush?

Hush” in Jamaican is actually a way to give someone sympathy. Even if it’s said in the most hurried way, it’s still meant with good will, and so it should be taken in that way. It might shock you the first time you hear it, but try to remember not to take offence. It means “I’m sorry”.

Is patois easy to learn?

It’s actually quite difficult to acquire the accent of a Jamaican, unless you’ve lived in Jamaica for many years, and even then, speaking patois fluently is not guaranteed. But with a little practice, you will be able to have at least a basic understanding of Jamaican Patois.

What is the English word for patois?

Patois (/ˈpætwɑː/, pl. same or /ˈpætwɑːz/) is speech or language that is considered nonstandard, although the term is not formally defined in linguistics. As such, patois can refer to pidgins, creoles, dialects or vernaculars, but not commonly to jargon or slang, which are vocabulary-based forms of cant.

Why was patois invented?

Patois developed in the 17th century when slaves from West and Central Africa were exposed to, learned, and nativized the vernacular and dialectal forms of English spoken by the slaveholders: British English, Scots, and Hiberno-English.

Why do Jamaicans say me instead of I?

I words. I replaces “me“, which is much more commonly used in Jamaican English than in the more conventional forms. Me is felt to turn the person into an object whereas I emphasises the subjectivity of an individual.

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What does Chargie mean in patois?

chargie. A friend, home, bro, side or die friend. For instance, a person says ‘what’s up chargie‘ it could mean ‘what’s up brother or what’s up friend.

Why do Jamaicans say yeah mon?

Mon” is a Jamaican word that’s particularly important to the locals and is often used when talking to anyone, whether it’s a child or adult. The English translation for the Jamaican sayingya mon” is “no problem” or “okay.” When someone offers you a rum runner, for example, it’s what you might want to say: “Ya mon!”

What is the main religion in Jamaica?

Religion of Jamaica



Most Jamaicans are Protestant. The largest denominations are the Seventh-day Adventist and Pentecostal churches; a smaller but still significant number of religious adherents belong to various denominations using the name Church of God.

Do white Jamaicans speak patois?

“Even wealthy white Jamaicans often have better command of patois than English,” said Professor Hubert Devonish, the head of language, linguistics and philosophy at the University of the West Indies (UWI), who is leading the campaign for patois rights.

Are there white Jamaicans?

White Jamaicans are Jamaicans whose ancestry lies within the continent of Europe, most notably Great Britain, Ireland, Spain, Germany and Portugal. In 2018, the population was said to be 12,382 people, equating to 0.4% of the overall population.

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