For a printed version of this book, please contact:
The Bermuda Book Store
AACE BOY 1) generic for of addressing somebody: "Hey, ACE BOY, pass de black" 2) a close friend, when used in the possessive: "Zeppy's my ACE BOY" ACT UP 1) become agitated: "He got drunk and started ACTIN UP". "She got angry and ACTED UP". "The weather ACTED UP and they got wet". 2) Malfunction: "I'm gonna be late 'cause my bike's ACTIN UP". ACTA Someone who corns others. AFFERT Strenuous exertion: "Dis book vas a real AFFERT to write". AG SHOW The annual Bermuda Agricultural Exhibition held in the Botanical Gardens in April. AX-PACT Just what you'd expect. ARRYBODY All persons: "I'm gonna have a big party and inwite ARRYBODY." ARRYWUN See ARRYBODY. ARRTHING The entire Universe. AUNNGH (Gutteral sound) affirmative: "More rum?" "AUNNGH!" AUNT HAGGIE'S CHILDREN Stupid, frustrating, dopey people. AX 1) Interrogate; Question: "Don't AX me, I don't know". 2) motorbike or moped: "Don't AX me about my AX, it's got a flat." AX-PACT Just what you'd expect.
BBACKATAWN The section of Hamilton, north of Victoria street. BACKIN UP Gay. See QWER. BAILINS/ BAYTHINS Swimming coustume: "You lot got ya BAILINS?" BALCO Bermuda Electric Light Company. BANKS Challenger Banks or Argus Banks - shoals 30 miles to the south-west of Bermuda. BAY Bailey's Bay. BAYGON Perfume for cockroaches. B.B.C. Barely Broadcasting Company. BEACH Horseshoe Bay. BEER An omniverous mammal of the family Ursidae: "Polar BEERS and Grizzly BEERS are dangerous." BERMUDA ROT A rash-like circular flaking on the skin caused by too much sun. NOT the usual peeling experienced by the novice sunworshippers. BERMUDA TIME Late, as usual. BERMEWJUN From Bermy. BERMY Bermewder, De Rock, Home. BESS The superlative of Val: "Bermy is de BESS place in de vurld." BIN Past tense of to be: "Where you BIN?" BIRD 1) Form of addressing friends used mainly by older Bermudians. 2) Facial hair. THE BIRD CAGE Where the policeman stands to direct traffic on Front street. BIRFDAY The day you was born. BLACK RUM 1) Half a Dark 'n Stormy. 2) A panacea. 3) Great for temporary relief of occasional minor irregularities. 4) To put in fish chowder. BLACK Black Seal Rum. BLINDS Sun Glasses. BLOCK, DE The backatawn section of Court Street. "You vant some some herb, go ron DE BLOCK." BONG-EE 1) A very large marble (often a steel ball-bearing) 2) Bong-ee like: "Shis got some girt big BONG-EE eyes!" BOSS Generic form of addressing someone other than your employer. BREFFALIZER A device the police use to prove that the average motorist has more than twice the legal limit of alcohol in his blood. BURR An alcoholic beverage made from barley and hops: "Heineken and Amstel are good BURRS." BUSH 1) Third world: bush mechanic or bush-doctor. 2) Of poor quality: "Bye, wear dyu get dat BUSH wideo?!" BYE 1) A male child. 2) Plural BYES: "WE BYES wrote this book and US BYES and THEM BYES and we sold it to YOU BYES." BYE-NO-BYE Surely you jest (shocked and amazed).
CCATCHERSELF Slow down and conside the consequences of your actions: "You bess CATCHERSELF or I'll mass you up!" CHINGAS 1) Shucks 2) Wow! CHUR A piece of furniture upon which to sit at a table. CHYL-UP Impregnate. COALWUN A beer. COCKROACH A rum drink. As in, "I'll have me a COCKROACH and ginger." COCKROACH KILLERS Pointy-toed shoes. COLLA Rad and yallow are COLLAS. COLLEGE, DE The Bermuda College - Department of Academic Studies. COLLEGE WEEKS The time of year when the first longtails arrive. CONCRATE Cement. CONTRA-SEPTICS Birth control devices. COOL-COOL I'm fine, everything's okay. COCONUT ROCK A local establishment, hidden away for locals. CORK To be hit on the head: "I got CORKED by a golfball yesterday." CRACK-UP Laugh hard. CRAWL Crawl Hill. CRICKET A game played around Crown & Anchor tables. CRISP See COOL. CRUCIAL Very nice; excellent: "That karate movie was CRUCIAL." CUPMATCH A national holiday on the Thursday and Friday nearest August 1st during which Somerset plays St.George's and the rest of us play Crown and Anchor or go camping. CURVE, DE Curving Avenue. "I live ron DE CURVE." CUT LOOSE Sever all ties; no longer associate with: "If you act up, I'll CUT YOU LOOSE." CUTTIN-HIS-EYES-AT Looking malevolently at.
DDAHN Not up: "DAHN de road." DAHN-DE-COUNTRY Eastwards, towards St. George's. DARK 'N STORMY Bermuda's national drink - Black rum and gingerburr. DE The definite article: "DE birds and DE bees." DEAL 1) A common surname - "Sir Bayard DEAL" 2) A type of pickle - "I love DEAL pickles." DEAL-WIF Handle vigourously, without mercy: "Don't mess wif me else I'll DEAL-WIF you!" DEAL, DE 1) "What's DE DEAL? - What's going on? 2) "You know DE DEAL" - You know how things work. DECKED OUT 1) Well dressed. 2) TOOK A DACK. DEDDY Biological father )not necessarily the guy who lives with your mother." DEN Then: "You alright, DEN?" DICKTY See CRUCIAL. DIDDLY-BOP A teenager riding his blade. DIPPIN Swerving in and out of traffic on a bike. DIS HERE/ DAT DARE or DIS HUR/ DAT DUR This & that. DOCKS Docksiders; boat shoes. DOLLAS Something with a high price: "That stereo costs some DOLLAS!" DONE 1) Tired 2) Drunk/Stoned. DUCKING STOOL The costal park area north of Black Watch Pass - where the ducking stool was before they moved it to St.Georges.
EEEZ Sex: "I'm gonna go ron my skirt's gates tonight and get some EEZ." EEZ-ME-UP Give me a break, do me a favour: "I know I was speeding, your honour, but EEZ-ME-UP." ELACKSHUN A time when people that you haven't seen for four years or so come to your house and ask if everything's okay. EMPIRE Officials at cricket/ softball games: "The EMPIRE'S blind!" ENH-ENNHH 1) See BYE-NO-BYE. ERS, 1) Things on the sides of your head for hearing. 2) Airs - "putting on ERS." EX-PATS Foreigners, mainly English, here on a working vacation.
FFAT Same as the 'F' word, but can be said in the presence of your mother, aka FACK and FATTEN. FEEL CHEAP Embarrassed. THE FLAGPOLE The flagpole on Front Street at the bottom of Burnaby Hill. FLOP DE LIZARD Urinate (males). FOR DAZE A very long time: "My momma ain't been seen FOR DAZE!" FORTY The Forty Thieves Club, last known as Scandals Nightclub. FOX See FAT. FRAWG Toad (Ohglius flatae) FRIENDSHIP GOBLET A cedar goblet with a loose ring around the stem, carved from a single piece of wood. Also, MARRIAGE GOBLET: same, but with two rings. FULLISH Crazy; Out of your mind: "You're leaving this party to go home to your wife? You must be FULLISH!" FUR 1) Fair "Vitney vahtsit FUR." 2) Fear: "I could see FUR in his eyes!"
GGARRL Feminine of BYE. GATES House: "Come round my GATES for a drink." GAWN MISSIN Disappeared through no fault: "My golf clubs have GAWN MISSIN." GEE (Pronounced with a hard "G"); Someone of Portuguese descent. See PORTAGEE. GET ON MY LAST DROP OF NERVE Close to running out of patience. Being pushed too far. GET NEXT TO Become intimate with: "I;d like to GET NEXT TO dat longtail?" GINGER BURR The other half of a Dark 'n Stormy. GIRT Of immense size; huge: "He caught one GIRT marlin!" GIRT BIG Larger than GIRT: "Chingas, what a GIRT BIG marlin!" GO HEAD You must be kidding; I don't believe you!: "Politicians really care about you." "Bye, GO HEAD!" GOMBEYS Street performers dressed in colourful costumes, capped with peacock feathers - who dance on public holidays to a distinctive beat. GO EUROPE Vomit: "What happened to Ralph?" "He's GONE EUROPE, hah! hah!" GOT-IT-COVERED Under control: "Need help?" "Nah, GOT-IT-COVERED" GOTCHYEW-COVERED I understand, no problem: "Do you know what to do?" "GOTCHYEW-COVERED!" GOT SOME CRUST Cheeky, too big for your britches. GREEZE 1) Food in general/ "Goin shoppin for some GREEZE" 2) A meal, especially large and fulfilling and always good: "Man, I'm hungry! Let's go for a GREEZE!" 3) To eat: "Don't bother me while I'm GREEZIN" GRIBBLE Irritable, Disagreeable: "Bye, you're always GRIBBLE first thing in de mornin."
HHAAD (Rhymes with God) 1) Tough: "Mike Tyson is HAAD" 2) See CRUCIAL. HAD YOUR CHOCKLITS To lose out, reach the end of the line, run out of luck, get in trouble, worn out, tired, finished, the end. HAMMA A greeting usually used by someone older than the person being addressed. HEEL A natual rise or elevation: "Gotta go up de HEEL" THE HOOD Robin Hood Pub and Restaurant. HOOK 1) Turn: "Go to de top f de heel and HOOK lef" 2) Travel very fast" "He came HOCKIN ron de corner nn struck de wall." 3) Fight. 4) The anchor in Crown & Anchor: "Put $5 on de HOOK." HOOK ME UP Do me a favour: "I need a dollar. HOOK ME UP." HOOKER Modified muffler and downpipe for a moped. HORSPITTLE King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) HOT Drunk: "I'm HALF HOT nawh, but a couple of more burrs and I'll be FULL HOT!" HOWSIN What the PLP thinks the UBP doesn't care about. HOW YOU HANLIN ME Stop giving me a hard time, stop treating me like a stepchild. HUR 1) Not THUR 2) What bald people don't have. HURT MY HEAD Cause brain strain, great mental anguish: "Most garrls HURT MY HEAD."
IIGGRUNT Stupid. I'M I have: "I'M gotta wideo." I'M BIN I have for a long time/ a long time ago: "I'M BIN had a wideo." "I'M BIN seen that movie." IMMYGRAHNT What St. David's Islanders call people who move to St. David's to live. INNA/INNIT Is/was that not so: "That was good, INNA?" I'M TELLIN YOU Added to a statement for extra emphasis. "You shoulda bin up Oasis last night, I'M TELLIN YOU." I WANT TO HAVE HIS BABY "I think I like him."
JJAMMIN See RINGIN. JUST COOL Quite well, thank you: "Wopnin?" "JUST COOL." JUST-FOR-THE-PURPOSE Solely to cause trouble or be difficult: "We bye wrote this book JUST-FOR-THE-PURPOSE."
KKARKEY Dust coloured, dull yellow, tan: "KARKEY shorts are part of summer uniform." KICKS Shoes. KILLICK An anchor, home-made, with a big rock and a rope. KNOTS What Almond Joy's have but Mounds don't.
LLACKS-TRISIRY What you pay BALCO for. LARGE A V.I.P. - "I'm LARGE ron Court Street." LICK 1) Move quickly 2) Act quickly: "They can really LICK up those pre-fab houses, inna?" LID Crash helmet. Also SKIDLID. LONGTAIL Young, unattached female tourists. LYE-BERRY A place with lots of books in it.
MMANGAS Mangoes. MARRIED BY TEN PARSONS A woman with huge breasts. MAKE A RUN Go somewhere to get something which you need immediately: "We've run out of rum n cigarettes!!! Who'll MAKE A RUN?" MAKE IT Get out of here. MAKE THE NIP 1) Successfully negotiate a difficult maneouver, usually while driving: "I couldn't MAKE THE NIP an I struck de wall." MAKE OFF Become agigtated and verbally abusive, more than just ACTIN UP: "Gandhi acted up but he didn't MAKE OFF." MASS Untidy: "Bye, dis place is a MASS." MATE See BIRD. MAY 24TH Now officially called Bermuda Day - was formerly the Queen's Birthday. Traditionally the first day Bermudians go swimming. MICEIN See MYSIN. MINDRAL Carbonated soft drink, soda pop: "I like grape MINDRAL." MINJAL See MINDRAL. MINES That which belongs to me. MOHAWK St. David's Islanders or someone acting like one. MORNING PAPER The Royal Gazette; the only daily paper. MY BOY 1) Refers to the person being discussed, always in glowing terms: "I went to see Gene and MY BOY lent me $100." 2) See ACE BOY. MYOMMA My mother. MYSIN Not paying attentionm daydreaming: "That cat's MYSIN. He doesn't see the dog coming."
NNAHW Now. NAWER Never. NO-BYE-NO See BYE-NO-BYE.
OOASIS The nightclub overlooking Hamilton harbour from Front Street. Good for picking up tail. OHGLY Unattractive in the extreme, more than just ugly: "That longtail is OHGLY!" OH-DE-PAIN What a terrible shame, it hurts to hear it: "Trojans lost to Vasco? OH-DE-PAIN!" ONE-TIME In one motion: "Dat beef-pie was good. I ate it ONE-TIME!" ON A MISSION Going somewhere to do something: "Can't stop now, I'm ON A MISSION." ONION A Bermudian, born and bred: at the turn of the century we were exporting onions and Easter lilies. We'd rather be called onions. ONLIEST The most only: "I went to a party last night and I was the ONLIEST one I knew." OUTSIDE CHILDREN Illigitimate offspring.
PPACIFIC Definite, certain: "We'd like to be more PACIFIC but it's a hard vurd to define." PAHND Unit of English currency. PAINK Paint: "Many Bermudians PAINK their houses pink." PAPER BERMUDIAN Not a born Bermudian. An ex-pat who has ben granted status. PARISH BULL A man who has several outside children. PEEZIN 1) Sneaking: "I cam PEEZIN into the house at 4 a.m." 2) Throwing hard, very fast, usually at something/someone" "Rioters like PEEZIN rocks at police." 3) DUCK 'N PEEZE: Beat a hasty retreat. PIE Beef pie: "You want some maynaise to your PIE?" PINT Spanish Point. PITCH A HOT Get drunk. PAWN, DE 1) Atlantic ocean: "I'm going 'cross DE PAWN to do my Christmas shopping" 2) Pembroke Marsh. PAWN DOG 1) Uncouth slob. 2) Someone who lives near de pawn (not necessarily both). PLENTY MUCH (Portuguese-Bermudian) Sufficient. POP See BURR. PORTAGEE BEER Any beer in quart size bottles. POSSE Your friends. PULL Chat up or corn a girl to leave with you. PURR 1) Two-of-a-kind: "She's got a nice PURR!" 2) Type of fruit: "Awocado PURR." PUT THE HURT TO Make someone TAKE LICKS or FEEL CHEAP: "New Zealand PUT THE HURT TO Dennis Conner in the 1995 America's Cup." PUT THE MUNCH ON Kiss aggressively. (Unacceptable in daylight). PUT THE PRICE UP Go whoring in New York.
QQWER Gay (we don't mean happy).
RRACK ROAD Wreck Road. Sandy's Parish. RAD Extremely drunk or high: "I was so RAD I couldn't talk." RANK Bad, awful: "Bye, dis food is RANK." "Don't tell RANK jokes in front of females." RAWNG Naughty, bawdy, prankish: "Bye, you're RAWNG, Bye." RESAPSHUN An event held after a VADDIN with lots of booze and food. RINGIN 1) Travelling very fast. 2)Stinging, hurting: "my deddy dealt me a RINGIN slap that hurt for daze." ROACH COACH Originally the lunchwagon in the parking lot on Front Street, opposite King Street, now any lunchwagon. ROAD RASH A skin disease common amongst tourists brave enough to rent mopeds. ROCK, DE 1) Bermuda. 2) The rock 200 yards out at Horseshoe Bay from which you dive if you're haad. 3) Coconut Rock. You know, de one on de "Pubs of Bermuda" tee shirt. ROCK FEVER A psychological problem resulting from being on the island for too long a stretch (i.e. more than 10 months). Depression and lethargy become over-powering often resulting in mad drinking binges, sudden screaming for no apparent reason, staying out all night then going straight to work without a shower, etc... this malady can only be contracted by those who have been off the island and can only be cured by getting off again. RON Round, around: "RON de corner." RON-DE-ILAN-RACE Annual Bermuda Powerboat Association Race around the island. ROSA'S Rosa's Cantina - the onliest Mexican restaurant on de rock. Good for the "after effects". RUDE DRINK A stiff alcoholic beverage.
SSAHN Harrington Sound: sometimes called the Great Sound. SALLY BASSETT DAY A hot oppressive summer day such as that on which Sally Bassett was put to death. SACK Warwick Secondary School. SANDS 1) Sandy's Secondary School. 2) Sandy's Parish. SASHUN Party. SAWF Not HAAD. SCAAF Rectangular piece of cloth worn on the head: usually over curlers. SEA-PUDDIN A sendentary sea thing that looks a bit like an old piece of tyre and squirts water when you squeeze it. SED-DEE The day before Sunday. SET See SASHUN. SHAIDS Sunglasses. SHARK OIL An old Bermudian method of weather prediction. Usually more accurate than modern technology. SHARP See SPORTY. SHARRY-PAPPAHS A splash of spice to enhance your black-rum and fish chowder. SHE Third person singular (all genders): "Harry won a lot at Crown and Anchors Sed-dee. SHE's a skiller, I'm tellin you!" SHIT-BIBBLER Bream (type of fish). SHOT Well done: "You got a longtail last night? SHOT!" SHREE 3. SHREW/ SHREW DE TREES All the way: Specifically:- 1) Get married. 2) Get laid 3) Get full hot 4) Die "He went SHREW DE TREES last night." SILVER CITY Somerset to Westenders. SILVER GREY That model of Mobylette with the gas tank under the seat, no matter what colour it is: "Check that red SILVER GREY!" SIXTH-FORM See DE COLLEGE. SKANKIN/ ON THE SKANK Looking for a one night stand: "Arrybody goes SKANKIN during College Weeks!" SKEEMA Someone trying to be a HONEY. SKILLA Someone who is SHARP, STIFF, CRUCIAL or HAAD: "My boy's a SKILLA!" SKIN CLOFF Face cloth, wash cloth, etc. SKIRT 1) See Daughter. 2) Girlfriend. SKURD Frightened. SKUTTLE 1) Octopus 2) Derogatory term. SKWALK Laugh or smile: "Reading this book will make you SKWALK." SKWER An equilateral rectangle. SLACK Not HAAD. SLAPPED To have been asleep: "That movie was so boring I SLAPPED right shrew it." SLYT See SLACK. SOMETHIN STRANGE A sexual encounter with someone other than your regular partner. SORE Past tense of see: "I SORE you on de street and you didn't even wave!" SPADED Neutered: "You get your dog SPADED and his license will costes less." SPARROW A young unattached local female. SPEAK To greet/acknowledge in public not necessarily vocally (waving, horn tooting, etc.): "I saw you in tawn an you didn't even SPEAK!" STAR See SPORT. SPORTY See STIFF. SQUIGGLY Pretty, available women, or, more commonly, pretty women that you wish were available. STAR See BOSS. STATUE (Portuguese-Bermudian) hello: "Hey Joe, STATUE?" STINKY Slut or slutish: "Bye, she's a real STINKY!" THE STOCK MARKET The collection of Crown and Anchor tables under a tent at a cricket game. SUCK-ROCK A sea creature that looks like a headless armadillo sucking on a rock. SWEETS ME Pleases and impresses: "Good fish chowder SWEETS ME." SWIZZLE A deadly rum punch.
TTACKIN See LICK. TAKE A DACK Fall down, unintentionally: "De road wuz vet and I TOOK A DACK." TAKE AN ATTITUDE Become irritable and uncooperative, GRIBBLE: "She TAKES AN ATTITUDE too quick." TAKES LICKS Be throughly trounced or beaten: "Iraq TOOK LICKS in de Golf war." TAIL See LONGTAIL. TALCO Bermujun Ma Bell. TAN 9 + 1 TAWN/TAHN The city of Hamilton. THANKYOUVERYMUCH/ IWANNATHANKYOU I just proved myself right; You've got some crust doubting me. TIRED 1) Lazy: "Most Bermudians are TIRED." 2) Slow: "That bike is TIRED" 3) Of inferior quality 4) See SLACK. TITE Too bad, tough luck. TO Refers to location; In, on or at - rather than motion: "Bye, put some more rum TO that drink!" "Where are my keys TO?" THE TRAFFIC LIGHTS Only refers to the lights at the Paget junction of Middle Road and South Shore Road - for many years, they were the only set of traffic lights on the island. TUNIN See RINGIN 20 M.P.H. 30 m.p.h (or more).
UUNDER HEAVY MANNERS Subservient to one's lover/spouse/parent to the point of the subject of ridicule: HE:"Isn't this a great party?" SHE:"Let's go home now." HE:"Yes, dear" He is UNDER HEAVY MANNERS. UM UM Has no particular meaning. It's just inserted into conversation to give the speaker time to think of something to say. UP DE COUNTRY Westwards, towards Somerset: "Cup Match is UP DE COUNTRY this year."
VVADDIN A nuptial ceremony. VAL Very satisfactory: "This wahoo tastes VAL." VANSADEE Midweek, humpday. VATCH 1) A piece of jewellery for the wrist. 2) To look at: "Vatch watchu doin before I whale on you!" VE The same as us. VEDGY Girls - not to be confused with the abbreviation of vegetables, as in: "If you want to be big and strong, yous gots to to eat lots of veggies." VEELS Method of transportation: "I can't come out tonight; I got booked and they took my VEELS." VERSE What it gets before it gets better. VEXT Very angry: "I got caught speedin. Bye, fack I'm VEXT!" VOOMAN Angry reference to a female: "Look VOOMAN, watcha do to my car?!" VOOSE Throw hard. See PEEZIN. VOT Interrogative pronoun. WURDS Vot you're reading. VURLD Bermuda is another VURLD.
WWALLY A large green lizard that hangs around on the walls of your house (outside, hopefully). WARM 1) To quickly beat the crap out of: "He struck me, so I WARMED him!" 2) To quickly have the crap beaten out of: "Mike Tyson WARMED just about all his opponents." WAXT See VEXT. WEAR YOU TO Where are you? WEBB To peek illicitly: "Stop WEBBIN at my cards!" "Mirrored shades are crisp for WEBBIN at de longtails." WHAAT?! Are you kidding!: "Did I whale her? WHAAT!" WHALE 1) See WARM 2) To fornicate vigorously: "Bye, Phil just WHALED that longtail!" WHATCHANAME Thingamajig, whatchamacallit, dooflicky, etc. WASHENAME? What is his/her name? WHERE YOU STAY What is the location of your domicile? WIDEO Video cassette recorder or video cassette tape: "Ve vatch WIDEOS on our WIDEO." WHO BEAT Who won? WOFFLESS Completely without value. WOPNIN ?que pasa? WORD Strange, unusual: "Boy George is WORD."
XTHE X The Ex-Artillerymen's Club
YYOU LOT The group to whom you are speaking: "Wopnin YOU LOT?" YOUR BOY Refers to the person being discussed, usually in unglowing terms: "I went to see Gene and YOUR BOY wouldn't lend me any dollahs." Also used when the speaker is less familiar with the subject than the speakee (compare with MY BOY) YUCK 1) Snatch or pull quickly: "To get your kite up yous gots to give lots of little YUCKS on de string. When de vind dies dahn, yous got to give it some big YUCKS." 2) To turn hard: "This bus was comin at me an I only just YUCKED out of de way in time." YURRS 1) Not MINES 2) Many months.
ZZAPPNIN See WOPNIN.