Tobago, here I come!

I’m getting really, really excited as in a couple of days I’ll be on a 9h flight to Tobago (the smaller island of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago) which is so close to Venezuela I could probably reach mainland within a day!


So, as I do before any major trip, I take some time to prepare, to see what’s in the area and what the locals are eating and what language is being spoken so I won’t be totally lost when I get there. They have dollars but not your usual kind but TTUSD (100 USD is approximately 667.91 TTUSD).

By the way, their banknotes are amazing! and you can’t take more than 200 TTUSD out of the country without declaring them and you also have to pay a £10 fee to the airport / customs.


Well, it’s pretty laid back. Trinidad is the island with the night clubs, with the party life – I am going to Tobago – the island with the bird watching, golf – playing, beautiful sandy beaches and the oldest rainforest in the western hemisphere.

Tobago is just 8 miles wide and 26 long, but it takes a few hours to get from one end to the other. Another charm of Tobago is the lack of infrastructure. The best way to dodge the potholes, whizz around and have a whole lot of fun is by hiring a jeep. The most developed areas of Tobago are in the Lowlands – in the southwest. Here you’ll find A.N.R.Robinson International Airport, a few smart hotels along the Caribbean coast, Buccoo Reef, the fine white sandy beaches of Pigeon Point and Store Bay, and Scarborough – the colourful capital and port.

I’m a bit of a cheap sake so when I looked at the prices, I went with the cheapest possible option while avoiding the YH situation I had before in London. While I love backpackers, sharing a room with 20 of them, snoring though the night, washing occasionally, is a bit of a nightmare. So I found this place: Fish Tobago Guesthouse (26A# Buccoo Point, Buccoo Point, Trinidad And Tobago) and it cost me £174 for 7 nights. Now if you think that’s expensive, some of the other hotels charge that amount per night.

I had a look for things to do in the area and I’m surprised. I want to go for a hike around the island, see the rain forest, and then experience some culinary delights on the local food stores. I gained a few pounds recently so my desire is to be able to hike and use the bus only when I want to go back to the guest house.

On Sunday, I want to see the Sunday School party (I hope I can dance there even though I heard there might be male gigolos hitting on all women, even ones with partners).


I want to see how the people are:

Without any question of doubt, Tobago’s most endearing resource is its endemic population – the Tobagonians. Often initially somewhat offhand, it normally takes little to unleash their humour, hospitality and huge pride in the island. Once you have ‘connected’ with Tobagonians, the island is bound to capture a portion of your heart.

And see if I can learn some of the local slang before I go:


The complete Trinbago Alphabet – your guide to slang and colloquialisms on Tobago

The Creole dialect spoken by Tobagonians is a wonderful cosmopolitan mixture of words and expressions from many parts of the world, resulting from Trinidad’s rich ethnic mix.


Ah – Substitute for “I”

Allyuh – All of you people. A group

Ax (pron.Ask) – To ask a question

Aye-yah-yie – An expression of anticipation or pain, etc.


Bacchanal – Scandal, heavy quarrelling, big party, confusion

Back chat – Insolent response, especially from a child to an adult

Bad eye (cut-eye) – A look of anger, especially when looking from the corner of the eye

Ba-John – A bully or a really tough customer

Bamsee – The rear end, what you sit on

Bam-se Lambe – Rather attractive bamsee

Bol’face – A pushy person, unreasonably demanding

Broughtupsy – Showing that a person was properly brought up, decorum

Buh wait nah – But wait a minute, now hold on/it


Callaloo – A thick soup made from dasheen leaves, ochroes, coconut milk, seasoned to taste, invariably includes crab

Calypso – A musical and lyrical comment on any subject, usually composed for, but not limited to, the Carnival season

Calypsonian – One who sings calypsos

Cheups (Steups) – A noise made by sucking your teeth

Chinkee – Very tiny portions of anything

Chupid – Stupid

Chupidee – A foolish person

Coki-eye – Cross-eyed

Commesse – Confusion associated with arguments, gossip and slander

Cuff – Hitting someone or something with a clenched fist

Cyah – Can’t


Da is you? – Is that you?

Dan-dan – Any sharp looking outfit

Dat good for yuh – Serves you right

Dat – That

Doh – Don’t

Dotish – Silly, stupid, foolish and dumb

Dougla – Mixture of East Indians and African parentage

Drevait (dree-vay) – Wayward person who likes to “knock about”


Eh – What did you say?

Eh-eh – No, no way, oh no

Eh-heh – Oh really? I understand. Yes

En’less – Plenty, endless

Ent? – Is that not so? That’s true, isn’t it?


Fall out – To stop speaking with someone or to terminate a friendship

Faddah – Father

Fed up – The state of being bored

Fete – A party, loud music, lots to eat and drink, dancing to wee hours of the morning

Fig – Banana (ripe fig and green fig)

Flim – Film

Founkie (foong-key) – Foul-smelling, stink odour

Fuh true/troot? – Yes that is true. Is that really so?


Goin’orf – Someone who appears to be going out of their mind, acting strangely

Gun talk – Fighting words, to threaten verbally

Gyul – Girl


Harden -Disobedient

Hototo (hotoetoe) – A very large amount of anything


I eh payin’ tax fuh mih mout’ – I could say anything I want

In ting – To be involved in current activity

Is so? – Is that so?


Jeez-an-ages – Used for any reason where an outburst is appropriate

Jook – To stab at anything

Jumbie – Spirit, ghost

Jus’ now – In a little while

Jus’ so? – Just like that?

Jus’ so – Out of the blue, totally unexpected


Ketch – Catch

Klim – Any brand of powdered milk


Lef dat – Leave that

Leh – Let, let’s

Leh go – Let go

Leh we – Let us

Lick dong – To accidentally hit someone or something

Licks – A beating, physical punishment

Like t’ing – To be somewhat mischievous

Lil’bit – In small meaningless portions

Lime – When a small group of people engage in a sometimes pre-arranged activity

Long eye – A person who is envious of the possessions of others

Look nuh! – An expression of annoyance


Maco – A person who minds other people’s business for the purpose of gossip.

Macocious – A person having the trait of a maco

Maga – Very thin, skinny

Mamaguy – To make fun of, to ridicule

Mama Yo! – Expression denoting shock and surprise

Matter Fix – Everything is well organized

Mih han’ slip – An expression used when too much of an ingredient is used

Mooma – Mother

Mout’er – A boaster

Much up – To pamper, to butter up

Fig LeafN

Nah – No

Nastiness – An expression of disgust applied to a good-for-nothing person

Never see come see – Someone who has recently been exposed to something new and who overdoes it to ridiculous proportions

Ning ning – Tired eyes

Now fuh now – Instantly

Nowherian – A person who does not have any fixed place of abode


Obzokee – Awkward in appearance, anything bent or twisted out of shape

Oh geed! – An expression used when an offensive smell arises

OH gosh! – Expression denoting shock, surprise indignation and admiration

Oh gorm man! – as above

Oh shimps man! – as above

Ol’ talk – Idle chatter, social chit-chat

One set ah – A lot of anything

Own-way – Stubborn person


Pallet – Frozen lolly

Papa yo! – Exclamation of surprise

Pesh – Money

Pissin’ tail – A person of no class or importance

Planasse – To hit someone continuously with the flat part of a cutlass

Playin’ social – Someone who pretends to be of a higher social strata than they are

Pong – Pound

Po-po – Very small child, baby

Prim-prim – Disgustingly proper and formal


Quenk – An irritating person

Qualey – Withered, dried up


Raff – To grab suddenly

Ragadang – Broken down

Ram-cram – Packed to capacity

Rumfle – Ruffled or wrinkled


Saga boy/girl – Flashy dresser, dandy

Shades – Sunglasses

Shif’ yuh carcass – Move over, get going

Shub – Shove, move or cast aside

Skinnin’ yuh teet’ – Grinning

Skin up yuh nose – To turn up one’s nose at anything

Sometimeish – Moody

Strims – Shrimps

Sweetie – Any confectionary

Swell up yuh face – To look angry, to pout


Tabanca – The forlorn feeling one gets when a love affair is over

Tanty – Aunt

Tight – Intoxicated, drunk, stoned

T’ing – Thing

To besides – Besides which

Too-tool-bay – A confused state, in a daze, also head over heels in love

Tot tots – Female breasts


Umpteen – Plenty of anything


Vampin’ – An offensive smell

Vaps – To suddenly behave excitedly or in a strange manner


Wajang – A rowdy, uncouth person

Warap – A very weak mixture

Well yes! – An expression of disbelief

Whappen? – What’s the matter with you?

Wha-happenin’ dey? – What’s happening

Whey – Where

Whey yuh say? – What did you say?


Yampee – Mucus, found in the corner of the eye

You an’ all? – You too?

You so – People like you

Yuh faddah head – An  expression of annoyance

Yuh faddah is a glassmaker? – You are blocking my view

Yuh look fuh dat – It’s your own fault

Yuh makin’ joke! – You can’t be serious!


Zug-up – A rough and uneven cutting of anything

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Written by theFerkel