• Chiffonay (verb): Of a kite or a woman’s walk, moving gracefully from side to side (French chiffoner ‘crumple; crease’).
    • The kite flyer could make the kite “chiffonere” by firmly holding the thread in one hand making rapid but gentle tugs that made the kite and it cloth tail move gracefully from side to side in opposite directions to each other. “Chiffonere” was attributed to women who purposely swayed their bodies as they walked.

Leave us a comment below of Trini phrases you have heard.


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

Dotish is another Trinidad phrases commonly used on the island.

  • Dotish: Stupid; slow-thinking;incompetent.
    • Dotish men like you deserve what you get.  If you can’t work things out with your own woman, then stop complaining.  Sorf -soft- men like you should simply do as you are told.
Trinidad Phrase Dotish

Interestingly Trinidad phrases like dotish 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 conclusion, 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-laLight CandleSprawl OffJhortsSancocheBad John, Kaka-Nay.

Leave us a comment below of Trini phrases you have heard.


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

  • Lick Out: Devastate; destroy; damaged; take away; wear out; use up; spend money without restraints, recklessly
    • The school fees lick out my money.

Leave us a comment below of Trini phrases you have heard.


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

Chickpeas in a bowl.

Word of the Week: Ganga Channa

The word of the week is a compilation of  Trinidadian sayings -phrases and words- used on the island.