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  • Travel English: A Guide to English Spoken in Jamaica

    The English spoken in Jamaica is a mixture of American English, British English, creole (an indigenous or native version of English) and Rastafari terms from Jamaica’s well known religious movement and ideology.

    If you are planning a trip to Jamaica, here is a travel English guide to vocabulary in that country that may help you.

    Social

    All fruits ripe means that everything is ok.

    If something is cool it is called bashy.

    A good friend is called a key.

    Food and Drink

    Bob Marley

    Ackee is the national fruit of Jamaica. It is pink and leathery in appearance.

    Bammy is a deep-fried bread that is normally served with fried fish.

    Gungo peas are a popular side dish of green and brown peas.

    A bulla is a type of cookie.

    Guava is a type of fruit.

    Irish moss is a health food drink made from seaweed.

    Jackfruit is a yellow fruit.

    A cho cho is a type of potato that is eaten boiled.

    A jew plum is a type of plum with a prickly seed.

    A patty is a traditional Jamaican food that consists of a dough case with a savory spicy filling.

    Clothes

    A t-shirt is called a gansey.

    Random

    A haggler is an informal vendor.

    If something looks expensive, it is called bling.

    Your home is called your gates.

    A child might be called a pickney.

    The dollar might be called strong money.

    As we learn the vocabulary used in Jamaica, let’s listen to the country’s best known musical export, Bob Marley with Could You Be Loved.

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