When I first moved to Trinidad, I was a bit worried about understanding the accent here. I had listened to some Trini radio online before and, well, sat there dumbfounded while trying to figure out what was said three sentences ago.
It took a bit of time (and quite a few embarrassing repeated “What?/Say that again?/Sorry?”) to get it down, but I can understand most people now. However, what I’m still amazed at is the extent to which Trini slang differs from anything I’ve ever seen before–and how easy it was to fall right into using it.
So, in honor of me steupsing in traffic, giving cut-eye to bad parking jobs, and going bazodee at sushi today, I thought it might be time for a Trini slang lesson. Get your notebooks out or I’ll ketch your tail….
- cuteye/stinkeye–fairly self-explanatory; to give a mean look. Example: “I gave cuteye to the pervy man on the bicycle who was staring at me during my morning run,” or “the cashier gave me stinkeye when I asked her to pack my groceries into reusable bags.”
- steupse (pronounced “stoops”): a sound made by sucking your teeth in disapproval or dismay. Example: “Every time I see the price of strawberries, I steupse. I’m not paying US $6 for a pint of berries. Steupse. Steupse. Steupse.”
- ketch your tail: to get someone in trouble or give them a good telling-off/hiding. Example: “Next time I see the water pump repairman thiefing my mangoes, I’m gonna ketch his tail REAL good.”
- hear dis nah: a way of prefacing a story, preferably a salacious or gossipy one; like using “so….” or “you won’t believe this.” Example: “Hear dis nah: I saw the neighbor kissing her gardener, and her husband was in the house! Yes, girl…”
- bazodee (pronounced “BAZ-uh-dee): going really, really, maniacally crazy for something or someone. Example: “I go bazodee for nacho-flavored Doritos.”
- bacchanal: any general or specific craziness. Example: “The start of the Clico 5K race was total bacchanal, people lining up anyhow and taking off before the whistle.”
- macco: to gossip about others. Example: “I have no patience for people who go to the pool to macco and not to swim; they take up my lane and I want to bop them over their gossipy heads with my swimming board.”
- bamsie/bumper: the booty. Example: “If I do my Core Fusion for a month, I’ll have a REAL nice bamsie for so…”
So go forth and spread the good Trini word… and, if you don’t, at least do a little steupse at anything that bothered you today. I guarantee it’ll make you feel much, much better.
Missed previous Trini Tales Thursdays? Check out Office Life–insights on air conditioning, tea, and the correct way to open a door with a buzzer…
Foodery today included an out-of-body experience with the new oatmeal (steel-cut oats after weeks of quick Quaker crap? Be still my heart!):
And a green monster with about 1/3 cup of coffee added in (which, oddly enough, blended with the banana, soymilk, and spinach to turn my smoothie into a refreshing mix of chocolaty green goodness):
However, the key foodery event du jour was the sushi at More Sushi on Ariapita Ave. in Port of Spain, for which I dressed thusly:
And, speaking of that meal, Lord have mercy! I wish I could go around flaying fish for every meal, but until then, More Sushi will have to do–it was a pile of crazy, but a supremely inspired pile of crazy with chunky tuna, jalapeno, cucumber, some kind of roe, and a spicy chili sauce on top:
Trinis are great cooks, no matter the cuisine they make. How they manage to improve on regular ol’ sushi is beyond me, but boy oh boy… Trini cooks have a sweet han’ fuh so (great touch in the kitchen). May I live and learn…