Trini Phrase: Tonnere


To set all doubt at rest, they sent for a hatchet to open the box, but on helping down the porter, so pronounced was its weight that he laughingly exclaimed: “Eh, eh, tonnay these tomatoes heavy, too.

  • Tonnere, tonnay, tonnier (intj): Exclamation of surprise, vexations, annoyance. (<French Creole <French tonnere ‘thunder’, an expression of anger)
    • Tonnerre! It have plenty people in this fete. (Baptiste 1993:157)

Trini Phrases: Tonnay

The various words and phrases from Trinidad & Tobago can be traced back to English, French and Spanish origins. Tonnay is one such word that has its roots in the English language. Growing up in Trinidad and Tobago is interesting because the slangs can change over time. I have lived in the United States for 20 years now, and every time I travel back to Trinidad and Tobago, I have to reacquaint myself with the words and phrases that have evolved.

Oral Traditions

There are various other words, phrases and sayings in the Trinidad oral traditions such as Obzocky, Dingolay, Doux-doux.

Want to learn another Trini slang?  Then click Trini for an alphabetical listing of all the slangs.

Source: Dictionary of the English/Creole of Trinidad & Tobago by Lise Winer

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