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Trini Phrase: Mother-Giver

Mother is a respectful form of address especially among rural folks in the Caribbean to an old woman, followed by her first or last name. Mother-giver is a derivation on the word mother.

  • Mother-giver (n):  At a wedding, the groom’s mother or other older female relative.

The image of mother-giver and nurturer of life: teacher and instiller of values and mores – has indeed become the most persistent of Caribbean archetypes.

Liddell (1990:322)

The various words and phrases from Trinidad & Tobago can be traced back to English, French and Spanish origins. Mother-giver 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.

Trini folklore such as Papa Bois is an oral tradition meant to pass on the stories to the next generation. Other Trini phrases in the vernacular are Sancoche, Kaka-Nay, Rum Jumbie.


Click here now for other Trini expressions and leave us a comment below of phrases you have heard.

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

Featured Image by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

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