Trini Phrase of the Week: Santimanitay

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Estimated reading time: 1 minute

  • Sandimanitay, sans humanité, sandemanetay, santimanitay (n): A traditional Kalinda and Calypso challenge refrain. (French sans humanité ‘without mercy’).
    • None of the bands sang any properly composed songs, most of t the songs having a jingle of words uttered with lightning-like rapidity and ending with the monotonous sans humanité.
  • Verbal aggression and encounter, very much part of the Calinda traditions, remained as a central feature of thesans humanitésongs, whose refrain sans humanité is considered to have been a retention from the violent stick fighting. (Rohlehr 1990:57)


Growing up as a kid in Trinidad, I always heard the word santimanitay used by Calypsonians singing ex-tempo but never fully understand the meeting of the word until recently.


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

Featured Image by Robert Allmann from Pixabay

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