Trini Phrase: More In Mortar Than Pestle


When police shoot police, it has more in the mortar than the pestle. Indicating that there is more than appears on the surface.

More In Mortar Than Pestle (phrase)

  • In Trinidad & Tobago, the phrase means something is hidden usually negative.
  • Lower-class men in Trinidad are strongly concerned about the fidelity of their wives. Colourful phrases are sometimes used to refer to a wife’s infidelity for example, “someone’s putting pepper in your rice,” or “there’s more in the mortar besides the pestle.”

More In Mortar Than Pestle – Caribbean Usage

More in mortar than pestle is a popular phrase mostly in Trinidad & Tobago and is not used widely on other islands.

Trini Phrases

The various words and phrases from Trinidad & Tobago can be traced back to English, French and Spanish origins. More in mortar than pestle 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 Bus Bamboo, Douen, Mother Giver and Reds.

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

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