Spinning Top

Lime Lingo: Dance Top In Mud

  • Dance top in mud (phr): Try something without chance of success; be frustrated by trying to do something in too difficult a situation. (From impossibility of making a top spin in mud) => spin top in mud.
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Circular Stair Well

Lime Lingo: Never-see-come-see

  • Never-see-come-see 
    • (n):  Of a person, unsophisticated and therefore excited about something ordinary.  (French just now coming to see something new.)
      • Yuh like a never see come see in yuh new car with alarm and stereo. (Baptiste 1993:116)
    • (adj): Showing off, particularly or something new to them.
Glass of water being poured.

Lime Lingo: Tobago Ice-Water

  • Tobago ice-water (n):  A humorous reference to sucking a dinner mint and drinking pipe water afterwards to give a cold water effect when ice is not available.  From denigration of living conditions from the view of a less sophisticated Tobago.
    • Yuh have to take Tobago ice-water, to wash down that doubles boi.
Bar with alcohol

Lime Lingo: Rum Talk

  • Rum Talk (n) – Saying or promising things when drunk that you would not do if sober.

Want to learn another Trini slang?  Click Trini for an alphabetical listing of all the slangs.


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

Photo by Eaters Collective on Unsplash

Top shelf scotch whiskey

Trini Phrase: Rum Jumbie

Trinidad rum jumbie is a now referring to:

  • Rum Jumbie (n) – Habitual drunkard; alcoholic.

Interestingly slangs like rum jumbie 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 Trinidad phrases that have evolved.

In Trinidad and Tobago, there are endless rum shops that can be found almost anywhere- by corners, beaches, main roads and back roads.

It is common to hear the terms “bar” and “rum shop” used simultaneously to refer to the same establishments, however, there are a few distinct differences between them.  To put it simply- rum shops are for the grass roots and down-to-earths, whilst bars are for the more, well, refined if you will.

Trini folklore such as Papa Bois is an oral tradition meant to pass on the stories to the next generation. Other Trinidad phrases in the vernacular are Kote-si Kote-la, Light Candle, Sprawl Off, Jhorts, Sancoche, Bad John,Kaka-Nay.

In conclusion, do you want to learn another Trinidad phrase?

Then click Trini for an alphabetical listing of all the phrases.


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

Photo by Marc Babin on Unsplash