Jamaican Proverbs From A – Z

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Check out our alphabetical listing of Jamaican proverbs and take heed, learn or laugh!
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A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
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A
A faas mek anansi de a house top.
A faitful pramise mek fool glad.
A good conscience is better than a big wage.
A greedy mek fly follow coffin go a hole.
A lawyer looks at you with one eye, but he looks at your pocket with two.
A little axe can cut down a big tree.
A little pepper burns a big man’s mouth.
A man with trousers that are too short should wear long suspenders.
A nuh all bush hate rabbit.
A nuh every chain you hear is rollin’ calf.
A nuh every day a Christmas. Continue reading

The Lord’s Prayer In Jamaican Patwah (Matthew’s Gospel)

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(Excerpt from Di Jamiekan Nyuu Testiment)
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9. So, a so unu fi prie:
‘Wi Faada we iina evn
mek piiple av nof rispek fi yu an yu niem.
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10. Mek di taim kom wen yu ruul inna evri wie.
Mek we yu waahn apm pan ort apm, jos laik ou a wa yu waahn fi apm iina evn apm.
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11. Tide gi we di fuud we we niid.
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12. Paadn wi fi aal a di rang we we du,
siem laik ou wi paadn dem we du wi rang.
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13. An no mek we fies notn we wi kaaz wi fi sin,
bot protek wi fram di wikid wan.’
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Matyu 6:9-13

(Translated the way how I use patwah/patois)
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9. So, this is how unu fi pray:
We Father whe inna heaven
Mek people have nuff respect fi yuh and yuh name.
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10. Mek the time come when yuh rule inna every way. Mek whe yuh want happen upon earth happen, jus like how a what yuh want fi happen inna heave happen.
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11. Today give we the food whe we need.
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12. Pardon wi fi all a the wrong whe we do, same like how we pardon them whe do we wrong.
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13. And nuh mek we face nothing whe will cause we fi sin, but protect we from the wicked one.
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Matthew 6:9-13
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The Lord’s Prayer In Jamaican Patwah (Luke’s Gospel)

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(Excerpt from Di Jamiekan Nyuu Testiment)
Jiizas Shuo im Falara dem ou fi Prie
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1. Wan die Jiizas did de somwe a prie. Afta im don, wan a im speshal falara dem se tu im se, “Laad, shuo we ou fi prie, laik ou Jan shuo fi im falara dem ou fi prie.”
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2. Jiizas tel dem se, “Wen unu prie, unu fi se:
‘Faada, mek piipl av nof rispek fi yu an yu niem. Mek di taim kom wen yu ruul iina evri wie.
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3. Evridie gi wi di fuud we wi niid.
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4. Paadn we fi aal a di ran we wi du, kaa we paadn piipl we du wi rang tu. An no mek we fies notn we wi kaaz wi fi sin.’
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Luuk 11:2-4

(Translated the way how I use patwah/patois)
Jesus Show ‘Im Fallower Dem How Fi Pray
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1. One day Jesus did de somewhere a pray. After ‘im done, one a ‘im special fallower dem sey to ‘im sey, “Lawd, show we how fi pray, like how John show fi ‘im fallower dem how fi pray.”
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2. Jesus tell dem sey, “When unu pray, unu fi sey:
‘Father, mek people have nuff respect fi yuh and yuh name. Mek the time come when yuh rule inna every way.
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3. Everyday give we the food whe we need.
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4. Pardon we fi all a the wrong whe we do, cause we pardon people whe do we wrong to. And nuh mek we face nothing whe will cause we fi sin.’
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Luke 11:2-4
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The Beatitudes In Jamaican Patwah

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The Beatitudes are eight blessings spoken by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.
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(Excerpt from Di Jamiekan Nyuu Testiment)
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3. Aal a unu we nuo se unu niid Gad iina evri wie, Gad bles unu, kaa di gud sitn dem we Gad gi wen im ruul piipl laif iina evri wie, a unu a-go get dem.
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4. Aal a uu a baal nou, Gad bles dem kaaz di taim a-go kom wen Gad a-go osh dem an mek dem api agen.
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5. Aal a uu ombl demself, Gad bles dem, kaa yu si di ort, a dem piipl de a-go kom get it.
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6 Uu waahn du wa rait iina Gad yai so bad, dat it komiin laik se a ded dem a ded fi onggri an dem chuot jrai laik se dem no jringk waata ou lang, Gad bles unu kaa unu a-go get unu beli ful.
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7. Unu we paadn piipl, Gad bles unu, kaaz im a-go paadn unu tu.
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8. Aal a uu onggl waahn fi du di sitn dem we mek Gad api, Gad bles unu kaaz wan die, wan die, unu a-go get fi si Gad.
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9. Gad ble aal a uu elp piipl fi liv iina piis, kaaz a piiple laik dem de Gad a-go kaal fi im pikni dem.
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10. Di piipl dem we ada piipl mek sofa jos kaaz dem liv ou Gad waahn piipl fi liv, Gad bles unu kaa di gud sitn dem we Gad gi wen im ron piip laif ou im waahn ron it, a dem sitn de unu a-go get.
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11. Gad bles unu wen piipl shiem unu, wen dem mek unu sofa an wen dem se aal kai-a wikid sitn bout unu we no chuu – bot se it jos kaaz unu fala mi.
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12. Mek unuself api wen dem sitn de apm tu unu; jomp op an dong wid jai iina unu aat, kaa nof gud sitn pudong iina evn fi unu. A siem so dem yuus to chriit Gad prafit dem we did de ya befuo unu kom.
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Matyu 5:3-12
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(Translated the way how I use patwah/patois)
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3. All a unu whe know sey unu need God inna every way, God bless unu, cause the good something them whe God give when ‘im rule people life inna every way, a unu going to get them.
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4. All a who a bawl now, God bless them cause the time is going to come when God is going to hush* them and mek them happy again.
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5. All a who humble themselves, God bless them, cause yuh see the earth, a them people deh a come get it.
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6. Who want duh what’s right in God’s eye so bad, that it come in like sey a dead them a dead fi hungry and them throat dry like sey them no drink water how long, God bless unu cause unu is going to get unu belly full.
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7. Unu whe pardon people, God bless unu, cause ‘im is going to pardon unu too.
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8. All of who only want to do the something them whe mek God happy, God bless unu cause one day, one day, unu is going to get fi see God.
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9. God bless all a who help people fi live inna peace, cause a people like them there God is going to call fi ‘im pickni them.
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10. The people them whe other people mek suffer just cause them live how God want people fi live, God bless unu cause the good something them whe God give when im run people life how ‘im want run it, a them something them unu is going to get.
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11. God bless unu when people shame unu, when them mek unu suffer and when them sey all kind of wicked something about unu, whe no true – but say it just ’cause unu follow me.
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12. Mek unuself happy when them something there happen to unu; jump up and down with joy inna unu heart, cause nuff good something put down inna heaven fi unu. A same so them use to treat God prophet them whe did de ya before unu come.
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Matthew 5:3-12
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* Hush means “don’t worry” or “to comfort” in Jamaican patois.
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The Red-billed Streamertail Hummingbird – Jamaica National Bird

1894 Jamaica Humming Bird

1894 British Royal Natural History, Jamaica Humming Bird

Introduction

Order: Apodiformes
Family: Trochilidae
Genus: Trochilus
Species: polytmus

The red-billed streamertail or red-billed streamertail hummingbird (Trochilus polytmus) is indigenous to our island and it is the national bird of Jamaica. This bird is the most abundant and widespread member of the hummingbird family in Jamaica, and it is also known as the Doctor Bird, Streamertail, Swallow-streamertail, Scissor-tail or Scissors tail Hummingbird, Western Streamertail, and Longtail Hummingbird.

The Tainos – the first inhabitants of Jamaica, who used bird feathers in their ceremonial head-dress and body decorations, also called the red-billed streamertail the ‘God Bird’, because they considered it to be the reincarnation of dead souls.

The great 19th century English Naturalist, Philip Henry Gosse, who came to Jamaica in 1844, described the red-billed streamertail as the “gem of Jamaican ornithology“.  And in “For Your Eyes Only” (1960) – a collection of short stories by British author Ian Fleming, it states “The most beautiful bird in Jamaica, and some say the most beautiful bird in the world, is the streamertail or doctor hummingbird.” Continue reading

Selected Photographs Of Jamaica (S.D.)

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Fifteen photos taken from Stéphane Damour’s album of his 2015 visit to Jamaica.

Tides against rocks at Folly Point Lighthouse, Portland

Enjoying the Blue Lagoon

Continue reading