TRINI SPOTTING - by Alloy - copyright 1999
Trinis are a unique lot of people who can be spotted "a mile off". They can be identified by their body language, speech, decorum, taste and even their judgement of time and space. They are very defensive of their peculiarities and feel offended when mistaken for any islander, other than a Trini.
a Trini!" - These are the familiar words uttered when one hears 'Trini
Speech'. Trinis speak with a three dimensional, stereo effect, set
to the rhythm of song. For clarity, their speech is punctuated with
sounds, eye, hand and body movements which together serve to remove any
miscomprehension of space, size, density, colour,
A Trini's choice of words to describe a breadfruit falling from a tree will fully describe the state of ripeness of the fruit, and where it fell. A ripe fruit falling to the ground will fall "BLAF!" whereas a ripe fruit falling on a galvanized roof will fall "BLANG!" A green fruit, on the other hand, will fall to the ground "BUDUFF!" and that same fruit, falling on the same roof, will fall "BLAGADANG!"
A door will open "Kreekes" and will close "Badam! or "Clit-ticks!" depending on the force used to close it. A dripping water tap will drip "plunks, plunks!" but when WASA reduces the water pressure, the water will drip "chirrip, chirrip!"
A gunshot will sound, "Potow!" but if the bullet ricochets, the sound changes to "Peeoweeeee!"
Horses gallop, "Broogoodook! Broogoodook!"
Depending on its size and the depth of water, a stone could fall "Plunk!" or "Ploonks!" or "Ploochunk!" or "Splashaw!"
A Trini's cry in pain will denote the acuteness and intensity of the pain he or she is undergoing and can vary from " WooY!", "OOOOOOHH!", "Ohyoyoy!", "SSSSSSSSSSS" and "AHYAYAYE!"
His expression of surprise: "Aha!"; "O Gawd!"; "Bon Jay!"; Oui Foute!
His expression of disgust: "Ah Chut!" (usually accompanied with a STEUPS or stamping of the feet)
His expression of Joy: "Geez an ages!"
His salutations: "Woy!"; "Hey Man!"; "Chile!"; "All YUH"; "Breds" and even, "Stranger!"
How does a Trini swallow a drink: "Gloodocks!"
A sudden shower of rain falls: "chwa!"
Trini women call each other "chile"; the men call each other "boy" and the boys call each other "man". If you think that confusing, they refer to any older person of the male sex as "uncle" and of the female sex, as "tantie." Individuals of two generations and older are called "Granny","Ma" or "Pa" depending on their sex.
words come from all languages. Example, from the French: oui,laingniappe,
la diablesse, petit pot chambre, toute bagaille, mouche coocoon, fete,
farine, flambeau, camboulay, drievay, etc. From Hindi: dhal, bhagee,
channa, juta, bowgee, daroo, gobar, barra, chunkay, kari, paisa, etc.
Similarly, words are used from Spanish and other ethnic
There are words that only Trinis use and understand, for example: birds "ramajay"; people "dingolay"; crabs "caray"; rude people "steupse"; careless people perform "vie-ki-vie". Only Trini's know "Nancy Stories". Boys have a "totie"; men have a "butu"; girls have a "toonkooloonks"; women have a "tuntun"; your sweetheart is your "doo-doo"; a Venezuelan is a "Pyol"; a bull's sex organ is a "bull pissel".
When Trinis hang out, they "liming" and only in Trinidad can you find a "douglah" who is a "shugs"; or eat "farine and zaboca."
You won't find these Trini body parts in any biology book: Tot-tots, bam-bam, bumsee, tun-tun, toonie, pokie, totie, butu and nable"
Two people may get together to make "pakotee" or "zamee" but don't let them catch you eavesdropping because they are sure to call you a "mako".
A physically challenged person is a "brokofoot"; a fat woman is a "boobooloops"; a giddy head is called "bazodee" and if you should fall into a fit of convulsions, you are considered to have "caught Malkadee".
incorrect words of other cultures are words of endearment to fellow Trinis
like "Coolie" or "Nigger". Nicknames are commonly used amongst family,
friends and neighbours and usually originate from a trait, habit or preference
of the individual. Some examples are: Rathead, Dr. Rat, Broko, Cheesey,
Dazzler, Stinkin' toe, B-Flat, Finny
a Trini, every situation or thing has a comparison to be drawn on from
his surroundings. Here's how he describes the following:
Trini's punctuality is atrocious and is recognized world-wide. His
judgement of time and space is phenomenal - i.e. phenomenally off. Tell
him to arrive at eight and for sure he will be there for half past late!
His idea of NOW is 'Here'; LATER is "Tomorrow sometime" and YESTERDAY propels
an attack of amnesia. Ask a Trini when he would
he lacks a sense of dimension in terms of linear measurement.
Another thing about Trinis is that when they talk, they must articulate with their hands and body. Observe two Trinis carrying on a heated discussion and you will understand where the Japanese got their Karate moves. They stab the air with their hands, sometimes pointing up, down, sideways, make circular motions, touch, push, and shake the other party.It is like watching a silent movie with sound.
Trinis have a special gait when walking that have special names too ..like, "bump", "bump and grind", "drag slipper", and "jock waist". Trini women walk with a unique sway of the hips. However, put her in the spotlight in a sexy new outfit and that sway becomes a "jock waist" ... enough to eroticize any male.
It is said that Trinis love all the "F's"; i.e. Food, Fun, Fete and Fashion. Their food must be spicy and varied. Fete must be "long and hard", "'til yuh drop". Fun, they must have, at work or play. Fashion must be the latest, sexiest and most colorful.
Trini in love is at his best. Courting is redefined to an art form
and is, literally, a labour of love. More often than not, the woman
will draw the man's attention by "sagashiating" her body. When she
gets his attention, she starts to play "hard to get." How does the
Trini man react? If he's interested, he starts to "play dead to ketch
corbeau alive" all the while checking her out so as not to "buy cat in
bag." The courtship ritual could vary and may start by "giving sweeteye",
touching, pinching or even throwing pebbles at each other. The latter is
called "Tobago Love". During courtship, several names of endearment
are used, for example: "Doods", "Doo-Doo", "Dahlin", "Pumkin", "Sugar",
"Shugs", "Sugar-plum", "Sweetie" and even "Toolum". Oftimes, the
love turns sour and so do the names. She becomes a "jagabat" or a
"yardfowl" and he a "peong" or a "hornerman". A jilted lover who
has not got over the relationship is considered to be in a state of "tabanca",
which has worsening stages. Ordinary "tabanca" is bad enough but
Get a Trini vex. Well, you better had hide! In spite of his good naturedness, he can get "bad like a crab' and behave like a real "canal conch". The very worse thing you can tell a Trini is something about his natural mother. Worst of all, if one refers to her sexual organ you in plenty trouble. That place is his Holy of all Holies, his Mecca, his place of Sanctity. Many acts of violence have resulted in defense of its desecration. Just the phrase "Yuh Mutha!" could lead to serious blows. Trinis embrace life with the Spirit of Nature and in this way acknowledge their reverence of God and their fellowman. If he takes a liking to you, you are sure to know, for it will be reflected in his word and deed. However, if he chooses to ignore you, well ... "Crapaud smoke yuh pipe!"
To stop speaking with someone or to terminate a friendship
Plenty of anything