People Laughing & Communicating Among Each Other, Barbados Pocket Guide

Our Unique Language

English is the official language of Barbados but there is also a wonderful blend of various races on the island that have somewhat added an interesting twist to our language. Dialect being the most unique of them all, is often time referred to as ‘speaking Bajan’. This aspect of our language is predominantly used in informal settings but can easily be considered rude if used in more formal settings. This exclusive language is seen more and more as a work of art as our very own poets and calypsonians tend to use it quite frequently and freely in their compositions.


When speaking, Bajans often express questions as statements. However, speakers will raise their voices at the end of the sentence to indicate that they are asking a question. Instead of using the word "very" to emphasize an idea or get descriptive, Bajans have a tendency to repeat a word inorder to get across the same point. For example, if a meal tastes very good, a Bajan would say, "dis food taste good, good, good.


There is no real rule of thumb when it comes to our language as the options are seemingly endless. It can also be easily concluded that Bajans make up words along the way. A fine example I heard of very recently is the word ‘noc-cuh-late’. This word was used in a sentence structure to describe the overpopulation of a specific thing. Nowhere to be found in any dictionary as a possible twist of an original standard English word but very prevalent on the lips of the older folk of our island. As mentioned before, the options are indeed endless and words are simply created along the way.


For further information about tour language, please visit our Bajan Dialect page.


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