Thursday, October 9, 2014

Jamaican Patois & Rasta Talk In YouTube Comments About Jah Bouk's Videos

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post documents examples of Jamaican Patois [Patwa] and Rastafari Dread Talk [Iyaric) in selected comments from a number of discussion threads of Jah Bouks' videos.

Additions and corrections to the definitions of words and phrases would be greatly appreciated.

The content of this post is presented for folkloric, cultural, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Jah Bouks for his musical legacy. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this pages.

This post is related to the following pancocojams posts "Jah Bouks - Angola (video, lyrics, & partial American English "translation" of those lyrics)" and

These featured words and phrases The words are presented in alphabetical order.

The first comment example that comes from a particular video is given with a link to that video and its title.*
Any other comment example from that video is given with that video's title. Mutiple comment examples for one word are presented arbitrarily.

Unless otherwise indicated, these definitions are from "Dread Dictionary, Rasta words, expressions, and slang" 10-23-2008 posted by XXPANTHAXX

I've "translated" some of these comments into Standard American English and/or African American Vernacular English. Additions and Corrections are welcome.

*I didn't note from which video's comment thread I retrieved several of these featured comments. My apologies for that.

A, B
BAD = very good
Example: Sexxilyps Bchos, 2014
"Love yu baadd bouks"
"Jah Bouks reggae singer sing his hit tune Black Woman!" [hereafter given as "Jah Bouks: sings hit tune to Black Women"] Note: That song title is "Miss Dem Curves".
Translated to African American Vernacular English: [I] love you. You're bad (very good), (Jah) Bouks.
This Caribbean use of the word "bad" has the same meaning as the slang use of "bad" in African American Vernacular English. I
wonder if that usage was lifted from AAVE.

BIG UP = English Translation: Give respect / Give props Definition To give respect, encouragement or to acknowledge someone"
From "15 Jamaican patois words website"

Example #1:
romaine gabbidon, 2014
"Iley!!big up u self jah bouks angola.."
From "Jah Bouks - Angola (Director's Cut)"

Example #2: Alicia Williams, 2014
"Luv this song big up Jah bouks"
"Jah Bouks: "Never Really Know [Who Can't Hear Must Feel Riddim] - Island Life Records" [hereafter given as "Jah Bouks: Never Really Know"]

BIG TUNE = Great song [tune/rhythm]
Alicia Williams, 2014
"Big tune u need to cum to Trinidad to give us more of u Jah bouks" [Great song. You need to come to Trinidad to give of more of you [your performances], Jah Bouks
From "JAH BOUKS miss dem curves"

BLESS UP - a way of saying "[Jah's] blessings [to you]."

Example of "blessings":
Delroy Shaw, 2014
"Blessings jah bouks! Yuh deal wid it madd"
From From
"JAH BOUKS - Live at Rebel Salute 2014"
An African American Vernacular English translation of this comment [with probably outdated slang] is "Blessings Jah Bouks! You're really cookin'" [or "You're the bomb!".
Read the entry for "mad" below.

Example of "bless up":
Orrett Ricketts, 2014
"Jah bouks is on the right track bless up Rasta".
From "JAH BOUKS - Live at Rebel Salute 2014"
I think that "bless[ing] up" may also be written in short form with just the word "up" as in the following example:

The Liberator Magazine, 2014
"Jah Bouks - No Slave"

BREDDA = brother [usually given as mi bredda (my brother) = usually a referent from a Black person to a Black male]

shaneymack, 2013
"Jah Bouks - Angola (Director's Cut)"
In Standard American English, that comment would be:
[Your song is] great! Touring Europe is next for you. It's just a little while off [it's just a bump in the road]. You're sure to get bookings [from those who like your rebel positions (Rastafari beliefs)].

"English Translation: Brethren
Slang for anyone who is a friend or colleague."
I'm sure that definition should read "anyone who is male who is a friend or colleague."

Hugh Jah'vybz, 2013
"Good selection breddren...give thanks"
"Jah Bouks - Cry Fi Di Youths [Official Video 2013]"

C, D
CHUNE = tune (song, riddim [rhythm] When used alone or with the preceded by an adjective such as "Big", it means the same thing as the standard American English "Great record!" and the African American English "That's my jam!".

Example #1: Israelreggae, 2014
"Your chune moves us Rasta !!!! JAH !!!"

Example #2:
Dean Marinov, 2014
"big chuuune!"
From "Jah Bouks - No Slave"

Example #3: Countroyhifi, 2014
From "Jah Bouks - No Slave"

DEM = Them
Example: song title
"Jah Bouks - "Miss Dem Curves"
Here's a comment about the Patois word word "dem" from this YouTube video
"Basics on how to speak Jamaican (Patwa)":
Marvis Graham, October 2014
"Just to add... when we say "dem" it doesnt always mean "them"... We also use the word "dem" to pluralize things. Just like you said just now, "tell di gyal dem"... We dont mean "Tell the girls them". That's not proper English. It just means "tell the Girls". So we use the word dem to pluralize things"

E, F
FI = for
Example #1: song title: "Jah Bouks - Cry Fi Di Youths"

Example #2:
Eli Yahu, 2014
"the whole earth ah fi we"
"Jah Bouks -- Going Home"
Standard American English = The whole world is for us (is ours).

Example #3: NaturalMystic71, 2014
"+Eli Yahu tell dem again fi mi!"
From "Jah Bouks -- Going Home"
Read the entry for "Haile" and "Iley" for what I think is the meaning of "Eeeli". "tell dem again fi mi" = tell them again for me" in Standard American English.

Example #4: Kama Sohi, 2014
"truth but Africa we all looking to now to be the head of the united nation so we can say and do a lot to for world. A fi wi time now ( African) that is
From "Jah Bouks -- Going Home"
In Standard American English the beginning word means "You are speaking the truth" or "What you say is true". In African American Vernacular English "A fi wi time now = The time is for us now = It's our time now.]

Example #5: obbykil, 2013
"rasta fi guh a road. do road jah bouks"
I think that this means "Rasta, you need to go on a road trip [tour]. Do a tour Jah Bouks.
The word "fi" in that example reminds me of the African American Vernacula English word "fixin'" meaning "getting ready to", although I'm not sure that it means that in that sentencee I wonder did it come from the Jamaican Patois word "fi":

G, H
Definition #1: go on [an affirmative statement/exclamation of support]

Definition #2: Wa a gwaan? = What's going on? [What's happening?]

Definition from
"Wah gwaan -English Translation - What’s going on or what’s up - Definition Pronounced as “waa gwaan”, the literal translation is “what’s going on” but when used as a greeting, it can also mean “What’s up”. Different variation of “Wah gwaan” may be used but they all have the same meaning. These include; wah deh gwaan, whatta gwaan or waguan (pronounced wa-goo-ahn)"

Example #1 [Definition #1]
Ivan Cruz, 2014
"Gwan rasta beutiful music. [American English translation: Go On [Keep doing what you're doing], Rasta. [You make] Beautiful music.]
From "Cry Fi Di Youths"

HAILE = Haile Selassie's name; also used as an exclamation
..."Today, Haile Selassie is worshipped as God incarnate[142] among followers of the Rastafari movement (taken from Haile Selassie's pre-imperial name Ras – meaning Head – a title equivalent to Duke – Tafari Makonnen), which emerged in Jamaica during the 1930s under the influence of Marcus Garvey's "Pan Africanism" movement. He is viewed as the messiah who will lead the peoples of Africa and the African diaspora to freedom."...

"HAILEEEE blessing,
ups mama africa"
"JAH BOUKS - Live at Rebel Salute 2014"
I think that "ups mama africa" means that the song is raising Africa up.

Also note that [hereafter given as "term paper: Rastafari} includes this entry:
"HAIL: A Rastafarian greeting taken from the first name of the Emperor, Haile."

HIGHLY - "holy" (Haile) - from the name "Haile Selassie."

Read information about Haile Selassie under the entry for "Jah". Also, read the comment example under "Jah".

I, J
I & I = we

Ras Mrina, 2014
"I&I hear u Rasta, blessed." [in African American Vernacular English: We hear you Rasta. Be Blessed.] "We hear you" = We understand and agree with what you are saying.
From "Jah Bouks - "Cry Fi De Youth"

"From the Emperors name Haile, also meaning Ganja Herbs."

From "The Rastafarian community In Scouting"
"Ily", "illy", iley is also defined as "holy".
"Iley" (all of its spellings) is pronounced "i-LAY".

In a number of Jah Bouks' videos (but not all of his videos) that singer says "Iley!" as an interjection prior to beginning his song. In one video of a public event that was attended by the Jamaican Prime Minister, that interjection is given in a call & response pattern, i.e. the singer Jah Bouks says "Iley!" before beginning his song and the audience says "Iley!" immediately after he says it. "JAH BOUKS SINGS INFRONT OF THE PRIME MINISTER".

I wonder if it is a common practice in Rastafari gatherings for "Iley!" to be used as an interjection and for that interjection to be used in a call & response manner.

Commenters' examples of "Iley":
Example #1: Jah Bouks, 2013
From "Jah Bouks - Angola (Director's Cut)"

Example #2: Roberto Kelly, 2013
"Ileeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeyyyyyyyyyyyyy yes rasta i like the progress just keep up the hard work and your name will be on the lips of many far and wide"
From "Jah Bouks - Angola (Director's Cut)"
A pancocojams post on the Rasta word "iley" in YouTube comments and in songs will be published ASAP.

JAH - God
From term paper: Rastafari
"Jah: The name by which the Rastafari know the Creator to be called in his 72nd reincarnation upon the earth in the person of Selassie I. The name that carries the power of the Almighty this day; "Sing praises to the Almighty's name. Extol H.I.M. that rideth upon the heavens by HiS name JAH, and rejoice before H. I.M." Adapted from PSALM 68; Verse 4."

Example #1: shakadker, 2014
"Highly!!!!!!!!! Blessed young warrior, Jah will continue to guide and protect you on the journey you trod call Rasta..." [Praises to you! Blessed young warrior, God will continue to guide and protect you on your Rastafari life's journey.]

Example #2: boogie melody, 2014
real singer culture all the way jah jah
"Jah Bouks reggae singer sing his hit tune Black Woman! "
Note: This is the song "Miss Dem Curves"

K, L
From term paper: Rastafari
"LION: Righteous male in the Rastafari way of life. The lion is a symbol of "Kingliness" and is depicted on the Ithiopian flag. This is in keeping with Selassie's title, "The Lion of Judah"."

Example: trevorroots, 2013
"Mamma Afrika a fi we true bless up lion good work highly bless"
[Mama Africa and all of us truly bless you, Lion. You will be highly blessed [truely blessed] because of your good work.]
From "Jah Bouks - Angola (Director's Cut)"

M, N
MAD = Very good
Example #1: tennison phipps, 2014
From video "miss dem curves"
"Mad" is often used alone as shown above,with the implication that the person is saying that the tune or the singer or both is "mad".

Example #2: STAMMA TERROR, 2013
"mad thing"
From "Jah Bouks reggae singer sing his hit tune Black Woman!"
In comments on YouTube Caribbean videos, "thing" is usually spelled "ting".

NUFF RESPECT = a lot of respect; also used as a greeting
"NUFF: Plentiful; also used as a greeting with 'respect' as in 'Nuff Respect"."

Alagie Lawani, 2014
"big up jah bouks...nuff respect robo ranks.................gambia am from
"Jah Bouks at Tuff Gong live for Robbo Ranx"
In this sentence, given the use of the phrase "big up", the blogger from the West African nation of Gambia probably was saying that he or she has a lot of respect for Jah Bouks and greeting that singer.

O, P
PON = on, upon
don king, 2014
"Jah Bouks nuh fi sleep pon" [Don't sleep [on] Jah Bouks.
From "Jah Bouks: Cry For Di Youth"
This comment in Standard American English = Don't ignore (or forget about) Jah Bouk's records.

In African American Vernacular Engliish = Don't forget to check out Jah Bouk['s records. (because they are very good.)
From Cry For di Youth

Q, R
RASTA = A male or female who is a follower of Rastafari beliefs
From term paper: Rastafari
"RAS: From Amharic, meaning "Head", "Chief" or "King". This is the title a Rastafari uses before his name.

RAS Tafari The name of the Emperor before he was crowned Emperor. The name Rastafari knows as carrying the power this day."

Example #1: NaturalMystic71, 2014
"Sing it Rasta!!! BOOM!!!!"
From "Jah Bouks reggae singer sing his hit tune Black Woman!"
The "Sing it" portion of this comment reminds me of the use of that phrase in African American Vernacular English usage. The
word "Boom!" probably just indicates enthusiasm for that song. A number of Americans of different races and ethnicity [also ?] use the word "Boom!" for that purpose. "Boom!" may imitate the sound of dynomite or gun fire.

Example #2:
sean terrow
"one a di baddest rasta me herd in a long time
From "Jah Bouks: Never Really Know"]

"Riddim is the Jamaican Patois pronunciation of the English word "rhythm," but in dancehall/reggae parlance it refers to the instrumental accompaniment to a song. Thus, a dancehall song consists of the riddim plus the "voicing" (vocal part) sung by the deejay. The resulting song structure may be taken for granted by dancehall fans, but is distinctive in many ways. A given riddim, if popular, may be used in dozens—or even hundreds—of songs, not only in recordings, but also in live performances"

Example #1: papa rufus, 2014
"Both riddims used for this song are great. i go back and forth between them."
From "Jah Bouks -- Never Really Know"

Example #2: P1NkLoVe88, 2013
"I prefer the riddim he used when he performed it at magnum kings/queens"
From Jah Bouks -- "Never Really Know"

S, T
TING = thing
Read the example above for "bredda".

TUNE [Tunes] = same as "chune" [Note that "tunes" and "chune" refer to the total song and not just what American refer to as the song's music.]

Example #1: machino mckenzie , 2014

Example #2: Erykah J.O.P
From "Jah Bouks - "miss dem curves"

Example #3: Alicia Williams, 2014
"Big tune u need to cum to Trinidad to give us more of u Jah bouks" [Very popular (or very good) song. You need to come to Trinidad (on tour) to give us more Jah Bouks.)
From "Jah Bouks - "miss dem curves"
Note that on Youtube discussion threads of Reggae music the words "tunes or tunes" and "chune" are often written alone. Those words (spelled with or without an "s") usually refer to one song and indicates that the blogger really likes that song. A comparable sentence in African American English is "That's my jam!"

U, F
UTES = youths [young people]
Example: amar mac, 2014
"the artist badddd a so the utes dem fi a meditate" [That artist is bad (very good). The youth (young people) should (need to) meditate (think about) the messages in his songs.]
from Jah Bouks - "miss dem curves"

W, X
WEH = what
"Weh yuh deh pon
English Translation
What are you up

Slang expression used to greet a friend. It means “what are you up to” or “what are you going to do” "
However, the Standard American English translation of "weh" in the following sentene would be "that".

Blitz3677, 2014
"Jah Bouks just luv de style weh yuh have TUUUUUUUNEE !"
Jah Bouks, (I) just (really) love your style. TUUUUUNEE (This is a really great jam or this is my favorite ["jam", "tune", "song")]
From Jah Bouks reggae singer sing his hit tune Black Woman!

WICKED = great, very skillful, talented [similar to the meanings given above for "bad" and "mad"]

Example #1: Natural, 2013
"Wicked Star!!!!"

Example #2: DJ CAMRAN, 2013
"THIS ARTISTE MAWWWDDD !! LYRICS DEEP .. VOICE CONTROL WICKKIIIIDDD ON KEY !!!" [This artist is mad [very good]!! [His] lyrics (are deep (profound). [His[ voice control is wicked [He has great voice control. [He's] on key. [Is this the same as the AAVE phrase "being on point" (doing everything just thee way it's supposed to be done)?
From "Jah Bouks - Angola (Director's Cut)"

Y, Z
YOUTHS = youth (Note that in Jamaican Patois/Dread Talk, this word is usually given with an "s". [young people]

Example: Song title: "Jah Bouks - Cry Fi Di Youths

Also, read the example for "utes" above.

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  1. Notice that in a number of these selected comments from discussion threads of Yah Bouks videos, commenters use of additional letters as an intensifier (to convey enthusiasm for what is being communicated), This custom is characteristic of internet writing and text messaging.

    Bloggers on these and other Caribbean YouTube video comment threads also exhibit other writing styles that are characteristic of a lot of internet writing and text messaging such as not using punctuation marks (or inconsistent use of punctuation) within a sentence or at the end of a sentence. Another characteristic of a lot of internet writing and text messaging that is also found in a number of comments on these Caribbean YouTube video comment threads and on other Caribbean YouTube comment threads is not capitalizing the first word in a sentence or names, or the inconsistent,,sporadic use of capitalization.

    I think that the reason for all of those customs that I've mentioned is that on the internet and in text messaging speed trumps grammar.

    However, there appears to be far less use of acronyms (abbreviations) such as "lol" [laugning out loud) and "rofl" ("Rolling on the floor laughing" in these Caribbean YouTube video comment threads.

    Come to think of it, it occurs to me that internet/text messaging acronyms may be used much more often by non-Black Americans than by Black Americans. My sense is that most Black Americans who are in the age group which most often uses those acronyms-probably under 40 years old - would consider those acronyms to be "lame" and "wack" (to use an older term "uncool"). And the widely used -among many non-Black Americans aacronym "omg" probably would also be consided sacriledge by many Americans regardless of their race/ethnicity and would also be considered sacriledge by Rastas.