Oh geed!…Yuh fada is ah glassmaker?He jus’ cat spraddle dry so. To the untrained inexperienced ear these words may mean nothing, but to the trained experienced ear of a person from the Caribbean, more so the twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago, these few expressions mean the world to them. The Trinidad Creole, or Trini Creole as we say, is really a language of its own and it is not Broken English as it may seem to some.
The Trini dictionary presented is an attempt to make known our peculiar wist on the English language and show how the different cultures, over the few hundred years, came together in this melting pot we call paradise and have influenced the very way in which we speak. I take no credits for this dictionary as others have done so before me, namely the noted storyteller extraordinaire Paul Keens Douglas and other websites, but being a true ‘Trini’ I just had to put in the words that were missing .
This is a compilation of the more common words and phrases used in our everyday speaking. The difficulty with our language is that we rely on intonation and hand gestures, especially while we are speaking, (hence the saying: if you want to make a Trini hush his mouth, tie his hands). So some words for me were really hard to spell and explain, but I did my best to come up with an approximate English spelling and explanation, e.g. Kelkete – you just have to see it to know what I mean; in some cases I spell the words just as they sound. As you peruse through the Trini dictionary, you will see the many influences which contribute to the Trini Creole, and maybe come to grasp a little of our culture as well.
As with all languages, the Trini Creole is also evolving; other influences have crept in our vocabulary and are a mainstay in everyday communication.
Click here for the Trini Dictionary