Gossiping - Lady with hand over mouth

Trini Phrase: Maco


Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Everybody in Trinidad knows somebody that is a maco. What kind of Trini maco are you? Take the poll below:

Maco, macco, mako, makko, marko (v/n) – Gossip; peep at; look at something that is supposed to be private. Someone that is overly curious about other people’s affairs. Possibly derived from the French word ma commère (ma.ko.mè patios) ‘my child’s godmother’, hence ‘my very close friend’, this relationship resulting in an intimacy leading to gossip. There is also a derivation of the Hindi word jhānkanā (झांकना) – jhaake (v) which means to peep at; look at secretly. Do you macco?

  • Yuh well jhaake, de two ah yuh see everything.
  • Yuh come to macco meh business nuh.
  • Some people in this Barataria only know to marko other people and find out their business.

Macoing Guide

The number one rule for being a good maco is to not get caught!

Under Maco – Caribbean Usage

The word maco is practised throughout various other Caribbean islands including Dominica, Grenada, Belize and St. Lucia. There are different adjectives for the term maco used in the Caribbean and Trinidad: macocious, maccocious meaning Gossipy with a suggestion sometimes with the intention to create difficulty.

There is a maxim in Trinidad that your macometer may be huge if you have an interest in gossip all the time.

Trini macometer: A cerebral mechanism, especially unique to Trinis that permits for the detection, retention and repetition of other people’s business. (Source: http://www.skettel.com).

Trini Phrases

Various words and phrases from Trinidad & Tobago can be traced back to English, French, African, Hindi, and Spanish origins. For instance, growing up in Trinidad and Tobago is fascinating 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 emerged.

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 Maljo, Goat-Mouth, La Couray, and Take-in-Front.

Featured Image by Robin Higgins from Pixabay


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