Cockey-O-Ko piggy back ride

Trini Phrase: Cokey-O-Ko

The cocks were crowing cokey-o-ko! Kokiyoko all over the village in Trinidad. When the priests heard the cocks crowing, he jumped up. “Time to say some prayers for Rama.” (Ladoo 1972:94)

In Trinidad and Tobago, the work Cokey-o-Ko is used as both an adjective and a verb.

  • Kokiyoko, Cokey-O-Ko (adv) – A cockcrow, describing the sound of a male fowl calling. Ewe kokolieko, Yoruba kekere-n-ke, Igbo kokorokoko, Lingala kokoliko, French coquerico, ‘sound of a cock crow’
  • Kokiyoko, Cokey-O-Ko (v) – Carry another person on one’s back, usually done with children for fun, or to relive the child when it is tired. Northeastern Kikongo koka ‘pick up and carry, e.g. scraps, leaves; kokila ‘hold the arms around the neck of another.

Cokey-O-Ko – Caribbean Usage

The phrase Cokey-O-Ko is mainly used in Trinidad & Tobago, Grenada and Anguilla.

Trini Phrases

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

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

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


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