A

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

  • a (2)
    copula /a/ [W Car. from Proto-Creole copula da or na; cf. Twi na idem (Alleyne 1980:89)] equates two noun phrases. Rare: No, Booky, dat a ...
  • a (3)
    indefinite article  1. [Car.; OED, indefinite article; before a vowel-sound an] before vowel sounds: 1918 A apple (Parsons 12). 1936 Havin' mo' fun dan a ...
  • a (1)
    preverbal progressive marker. Also spelled are. /a/ [Car.; from the covergence of an African preverbal marker (e.g. Ewe a habitual marker WES) and arch. Engl. ...
  • aback
    /abák/ [Caribbean; cf. Scots aback of time: ago EDD] adverb, ago: Five years aback. (Black) ...
  • Abaco
      /ábakow/ [probably Lucayan, but cf. also Spanish ábaco abacus and Twi abako shea-tree (Turner 1949:43)] n. a major island of the Bahamas: 1500 Habacoa (Craton ...
  • abarrass
    /abáras/ [from embarrassed by denasalization of initial vowel] adj. embarrassed: 1970 O how Jessie was abarrass! (Wallace 47). ...
  • about, 'bout
    /(a)báwt/ [OED, approximately] prep. 1. replaces at with times: This happen just about 7:02 p.m. (Black)2. after certain verbs: We start discussing 'bout the problem. ...
  • Abraham bush
    /éybram bush/ [etym?] n. 1. a shrub, Xylophylla epiplzyllanthus: 1920 (Britton 220). = HARD HEAD 3, (Gen.) 2. SWORD BUSH [cf. ABRAHAM CASSAVA] a shrub ...
  • Abraham cassava
    /éybram kasáva/ [etym?] n. a variety of bitter cassava. (Black) ...
  • abroad
    /abróhd/ [W Car.; OED, out of one's house (arch. in US)] adv. not at home; out: 1832 Some of our people gon abroad to see ...
  • acara (1), accra
    /akára, akrá/ [Pan-Creole; cf. akara 'fritter made from ground blackeyed peas' throughout English-speaking Car., Martinique Fr., Brazilian Port. (Hancock 1969:48, 70); cf. Haitian akra malanga ...
  • acara (2)
    /akára/ (Adelaide); acara-cara /akàrakará/ (Inagua) [cf. use of okra in ACARA1 (Williams 1976:49 quot.) and also Krio akarakuru (from Yoruba 'cake eaten by warriors on ...
  • ace on
    [OEDS II ace US: a person outstanding in any activity] adj. excellent at; outstanding in: He ace on dancin'. He ace on hellishness (Nassau). ...
  • a company
    [from accompany, reanalyzed as indefinite article + n.] n. phr. a companion; company: 1918 I want him for a companee with inc in de fiel's ...
  • acrost, crost
    [cf. OED cross prep. →1821 and US dial. (a)crost idem ADD] prep. across: 1966 Lay acrost the bed (Crowley 87). A thought flash crost my ...
  • act your head
     [cf. act your age, use your head] phr. to use common sense: You a twenty-year-old woman and you can't act your head (Nassau). ...
  • add on
    phr. to show off: She like to add on when she see people looking at her (Nassau). (Black) ...
  • admire
    [cf. idem dial. Brit. Mid. EDD, US South ADD] v. to like: They leave cause they ain't admire their situation (Eleu.). ...
  • advantage
    advantage [Car.; from to take advantage] v. to take advantage of; to cheat: He advantage him (San Sal.). (San Sal., Inagua) ...
  • advices
    [count noun from mass n.] n. pl. pieces of advice. cf. BAGGAGES, FURNITURES (Nassau) ...
  • African Words
    It is now clear that a great deal more African culture survived in the New World than had been believed until very recently. Along with ...
  • after
    /áfta/ [W Car; DJE, introducing an expression of protest; OED, subsequent to and notwithstanding, esp. in after all] conj. even though: You want your supper ...
  • after (2)
    I ain't after you. [cf. Brit. dial, to be after to court North, Mid EDD] phr. I'm not trying to please you. (Eleu., Exuma) ...
  • afternoon star
    [from evening star by hypercorrection of evening afternoon] n. the planet Venus. (Nassau) ...
  • after when
    [Car.] conj. when: 1966 After when morning, we'll saddle up our dray and go (Crowley 65). (Andros). ...
  • again
    [Atlantic; cf. OED, any more →1611; also dial. Irel. (L. Todd p.c.)] adv., any longer (after a negative): She don't love him again. (Black) ...
  • against
     /agíns/ [cf. DJE bigens idem; OED, in preparation for such time as conj. arch, or dial.; ADD idem] conj. in preparation for when: 1918 His ...
  • ager
    /éyga/ (Black), hager /héyga/ (White) [Car.; cf. W3 ague /éygyuw/, dial. or arch. /éyga(r)/; as book word /eyg/] n. fever with chills: She must be ...
  • agidi
    /agídi/, agiri /agíri/ [Atlantic; cf. Yoruba agidí prepared meal of Indian corn DYL] n. cornmeal mush: 1976 Agidi was always wrapped in almond leaves (Eneas ...
  • agree
    See GREE. ...
  • Agriculture
    The plantation system of the Caribbean proper and the American South was never successful in the Bahamas because of the thin soil and uncertain rainfall. ...
  • American pear
    [from US origin] n. the northern pear, Pyrus communis, as opposed to the avocado pear. = BARTLETT PEAR, FALSE PEAR (Eleu.) ...
  • agua
    /ágwa/ [Sp., water] n. water (generally known on southern islands and used when speaking to Cubans). (Inagua, Mayag.) ...
  • ain't (1)
    negator. /eyn/ [Gul., US Black idem (Burling 1973:71); cf. OEDS II ain't dial. and vulg. var. hain't have not] 1. did not: I ain' see ...
  • ain't (2)
    question marker. /eyn/ [Atlantic; from convergence of Eng. ain't (e.g. Ain't you comin'?) with African sentence-initial question markers, e.g. Mandinka kóri or Yoruba njé (Holm ...
  • argie
    /ági/ (Gen.); áhgi (Andros); áygi (Exuma); hági (Eleu.)/ [cf. Scots idem CSD, US dial. Mid., South idem DARE] v. to argue (with): 1954 Don't argee ...
  • architeck
    /áhchitek/ [Belize idea: (Dayley 1979); spelling pronunciation] n. architect. (Nassau) ...
  • apple
    [by shortening] n. I. pineapple: 1885 The apples, as they always call the pines here (Brassey 342). (San Sal.) 2. the SUGAR APPLE or JAMAICA ...
  • akee, ackee, achee
    /ákiy/ [from Kru a-kee W3] n. a tree, Blighia sapida, or its edible fruit: 1889 Akee . . . a handsome tree, 30 feet high ...
  • appetizing
    [OED, exciting a desire or longing, esp. for food] adj. (of persons) appealing. (Exuma)  ◊ The Bahamian usage of appetizing carries no connotation of sexual attraction ...
  • alarm
    /(a)láhm/ [OED, to sound like an alarm 1839 only] v.i. (of alarm clocks) to go off: 1918 He must set the clock to alarm at ...
  • alawis
    See ALOES. ...
  • ale domi
    /aléy dowmi'y/ [Haitian from Fr. allez dormir idem] phr. Go to sleep! (used by Bah. to Haitians). (Inagua, Mayag.) ...
  • all
    [Car. also US Black (Loman 1967:40); OED, even →1808] adv. even, emphasizing the unusual or extreme: 1918 He had a feast, and he sent for ...
  • all in one flush
    [all of a sudden + in a flash] phr. suddenly. (Nassau, Mayag.) ...
  • all of that
    [Car; cf. Brit. dial. North like all that very well EDI)] phr. Yes indeed! You're absolutely right! (Black) ...
  • all right
    /oh ray/ [Car.; cf. OEDS II, used to indicate approval; colloq.] phr. 1. a salutation said in passing or parting: "Good afternoon, Miss Mabel!" "All ...
  • all through
    /ohl truw/ [from prep. phr., e.g. all through the night] phr. during the entire period: It was raining all through [the week] (Nassau). (Black) ...
  • all two
    [Pan-Creole; cf. Port. Cr. túdu dos or tudos (lit. all two) idem, vs. Port. ambos (Meintel 1975:216); OED obs. → 1420] phr. both: 1918 So they ...
  • alligator apple
    [W. Car.; etym? but see quot.] n. a tree, annona palustris, and its fruit: 1889 Alligator apple . . . unpalatable to man, liked by ...
  • alligator pear
    [from Sp. aguacate avocado + PEAR from shape] n. the avocado: 1889 Alligator pear (Persea gratissima) (Gardner 403). = AVOGADO, PEAR (Black) ...
  • almaco
    /óhlmakow/ [cf. W3 albacore a fish, Thunnus germo and related sp. including bonitos, jacks] n. a jackfish: 1968 Almaco jack, Seriola rivoliana (Bohlke 341). We ...
  • American guava
    [from color] n. the white guava, Psidium sp., with yellowish fruit. (Gen) ...
  • almond
    /áhman/ [Trin. (Winer p.c.); OED different sp.] n. a tree, Terminalia catappa, or its fruit: 1827 The almond ... [is] common here (Culmer 32). 1936 ...
  • almond beefwood
    [probably from its resemblance to ALMOND and BEEFWOOD] n. a tree (sp?): 1977 (Albury 25). (Gen.) ...
  • aloes, alawis, hallavis
    /álawis, álavis, hálavis; áluz; álowz/ [cf. W3 aloes /álawiy; álow(z), álaz/] n. a plant, Aloe vera, whose succulent, spike-like leaves are used medicinally: Ya know ...
  • along of
    prep. 1. [OED idem. arch. and dial. South; also US dial. ADD] because of: 1929 They were ready to assure me that I need have ...
  • along with
    [cf. ALONG OF 2 and Pan-Creole merger of prep., with and conj. and, e.g. Pap. ku, Sra. nanga (cognate of along of), and Haitian ak; ...
  • am
    copula 1. [cf. A2 idem (the bilabial nasal /m/ may have resulted from the following bilabial stop /b/ in the quot.) but cf. also Brit. ...
  • amaze
    See MAKE A MAZE. ...
  • amber jack
    [Car.; cf. almaco jack, Seriola rivoliana] n. a fish, Seriola dumerili: 1972 (Chaplin 20). = OCEAN JACK (Gen.) ...
  • American rake
    [probably from US origin of many manufactured goods, but cf. Brit. dial. West American rake machine for raking hay EDD] n. a factory-made rake as ...
  • American roach
    n. 1. (from color] an albino cockroach (not unusual) (San Sal.) 2. [from size] the small one-inch cockroach (Blattella gernzanica) as opposed to the three-inch ...
  • ammonia
     n. pneumonia: Take off them wet clothes fore you catch ammonia (Nassau). (Gen.) ...
  • anady
    /(a)nádi/ [W Car. nata idem; from Carib onoto via Am. Sp. anate DJE] n. a shrub, Bixa orellana, with red berries producing a dye: 1966 ...
  • Anancy, Anansi, Annancy, Nansi
    /(a)nánsi/ Also Nanza, Nassy, Nasty [Pan-Creole; cf. Haitian annasi idem TDKF; cf. US Black Ann Nancy ... spin her house (Backus 1898:289); cf. Twi ananse ...
  • anchobe
    [cf. Sp. anchova anchovy] n. the young of the pilchard, a fish related to the sardine. (Eleu.) ...
  • and
    /an/ [OED, used to connect the unit numbers with the tens when they precede ... as in one and twenty] conj. (in numbers): 1895 Ninety-an'-nine ...
  • and ... not
    phr. without (doing something): You hardly go out and don't make a day's pay. (Black) ...
  • and see
    /an siy/ [cf. SEEING THAT] phr. because: I put water in dere and see no water was dere. (Black) ...
  • and them
    /an dem/ [Car.; cf. AND THOSE] phr. and associates: They forever talking bout the gov'ment corrupt and the ministers and them doing all the damage ...
  • and thing
    /an ting/ [E Car., Gul.; cf. Yoruba ati gbogbo nkan miràn (lit, and all other things) 'etc.' (Oyedeji p.c.)] phr. etcetera: 1936 But I only ...
  • and those
    /an d(h)owz/ [cf. US dial. South Mr. Smith and those Mr. Smith and the others of his family WSC; hypercorrection (by analogy of DEM PEOPLE ...
  • Andros
      /ándrows, ándras/ [cf. quot., also the Greek island Andros] n. the largest island of the Bahamas. Its earliest names include Isla Santa (1501 Cantino map), ...
  • Andros-descent
    [descended from Andros people, who are supposedly irascible] adj. short-tempered: She Andros-descent! (Nassau). ...
  • Angola
    [from the name of the area in Africa; from ki-Mbundu ngola a tribal name, via Port. (Alvarez Nazario 1974:254); cf. GULLAH ] n., Obs. a ...
  • annum
    /ánam/ [cf. ON of, and colloq. 'ern them] prep. phr. of them: It was two annum (Eleu.). ...
  • another one: and you're another one
    [Car.] phr. You're an additional nuisance (used as a mild rebuke): He's make me mad, and you's another one (Nassau). ...
  • answer back
    [Car.] v. phr. to reply (not neces-sarily impertinently): 1918 De dawg answered de man back (Parsons 166). (Nassau) ...
  • anthem
    /ántem/ [Gul. idem "Slave songs or ant'ems, as they were sometimes called in Georgia before the Civil War (Parrish 1942:5); OED, a composition, in prose ...
  • ants
    /(h)ants/ [Atlantic; from pl. ants] n. sing. or pl. ant or ants: 1895 Hants here! (Edwards 64). This ants... them antses (Nassau). (Gen.) ...
  • apass
    /apás/ [OED appassed , apast past participle past by ... often used as adv. or prep. obs. →1450] adv., Obs? past; across: 1918 Le' po' ...
  • appendits, appendints, pendick
    [cf. DARE appendix taken as pl.] n. appendix (in anatomy). (Gen.) ...
  • argiment
    /áhgimen/ [cf. ARGIE and OED argument to argue obs. →1637] v. to argue: 1936 Me an' Unkle Gabe wuz stannin' up by d' market tawkin' ...
  • arm
    /ahm/ [W Car.] n. armpit; upper arm, as opposed to HAND hand and arm below the elbow. (Gen.) ...
  • arm-hole
    /áhmowl/ [W. Car.; Brit. dial. North, Mid EDD] n. armpit: She have plenty hair in her arm-hole (Nassau).(Black) ...
  • aroot
    /áruwt/ [from Arawak aru-aru meal of meals, assimilated to arrow and root, the tubers having been used to absorb poison from arrow and other wounds] ...
  • arsenicker
    /ahsníka/ [etym. uncertain, but cf. Sp. asnico little ass, perhaps from its cry] n. the great blue heron, Ardea herodias: 1880 (Cory 166). = MORGAN ...
  • ary
    /ári/ [US dial. idem from e'er a ever a DARE] adj., Obs.? any: 1895 Dey ain't ary man in de worl' can pull me in ...
  • ascare
    [cf. US dial. South ascared ADD; from hypercorrection of scared by analogy with fraid afraid] adj. afraid. (Gen.) ...
  • ashes
    [Atlantic; from pl. ashes] n. sing. or pl. ash or ashes. (Mayag.) ...
  • ashes water
    [W Car.; cf. ASHES and US Black "Ashes takes up from de body de disease" (Smiley 1919:358)] n. water mixed with ashes to bathe the ...
  • ashes wood
    [DJE different sp.; cf. ASHES] n. a shrub, Cassia alata?; the wood is burned, then ground into a powder applied on ringworm. = RINGWORM BUSH ...
  • ass
    [Car.; cf. Vir. move you rass and Cr. Fr. ko (from Fr. corps body) in bougé ko-ou same meaning (Highfield p.c.) and Trin. Sp. cuelpe ...
  • asue
    /eysuw/ [cf. Trin. sou-sou cooperative savings (Ottley 23), Cam. susu , isusu thrift and loan society; from Yoruba èésú, èsúsú thrift club DYL. Among the Yoruba ...
  • at
    prep. 1. [also Guy. (Rickford 1976:34) and US Black (Parsons 1917b:224); cf. OED at to obs.→ 1601] to: 1918 He came at the gate, started ...
  • a'ter, arter
    /áhta/ [Atlantic; Brit., US dial. idem OED, ADD] prep. after: 1936 Dey cum out laffin' an' tawkin' like li'l chillun wen dey hear d' teacher ...
  • August Eve (night)
    [from earlier celebration on the eve of August 1] n. a holiday commemorating the abolition of slavery in the Bahamas on August I, 1834: 1895 ...
  • August grass
    [from time of blossoming] n. a plant (sp?) with small pink flowers. (Black) ...
  • August Monday
    August Monday (Black), August Holiday (White), August Day (Nassau) [from celebration on the first Monday in August] n. phr. a holiday commemorating emancipation. cf. AUGUST ...
  • aunty
    /áhnti/ n. 1. Obs? [US a colored woman DAE; SA idem; cf. Réunion Cr. Fr. tãtin idem (Chaudenson 1974:100)] a term of address to any ...
  • Aunty Wicky
    [cf. Vicky, diminutive of Victoria, and /w, v/ alternation, plus AUNTY 1] n. an affectionate name for Queen Victoria, popularly associated with emancipation, which occurred ...
  • autograph tree
    [from custom of writing one's signature on its leaves] n. a tree (Clusia rosea) whose leaves retain permanently the imprint of marks, writing, etc. = ...
  • average
    [from judging from the average] v. to guess; to calculate: They see your clothes and they average you rich (Nassau). You could never average who ...
  • avogado
    /avagáda, abagáda (Inagua); abakáda (Exuma); apakáda (Mayag.); alvakáda (Inagua)/ [cf. Guatemalan Sp. avocate (in contrast to standard Sp. aguacate) WFF and OED avogato 1697] n. ...
  • away
    [E Car. (Ottley 61, Yansen 13); cf. Haitian laba idem HCEFD] n. abroad; overseas: 1966 We can't get no flour and rice from away (Crowley ...
  • ax
    /aks/ [Atlantic; OED ask "Old English acsian, axian ask survived in ax, down to nearly 1600 the regular literary form, and still used everywhere in ...
  • alligator tree
    [cf. preceding] n. the avocado tree: 1976 Gather the leaves. . . from the alligator tree. . . to make the pear-leaf tea (Eneas 13). ...