Every country has special terms and phrases that are unique to them. When it comes to the Spice Islands of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, it is no different. Every year, our islands are filled with vacationers most of whom are left totally confused by the colloquial expressions, which when coupled with our strong Grenadian accent, becomes even more bewildering. Due to this, we have created a list of commonly used Grenadian expressions that should help you understand us locals whenever you are here. Feel free to use them at any time.
Whenever you hear the word ‘tabanka’ used to describe what a person is experiencing, it simply means the state of depression following the breakup of a romantic relationship.
Sentence: When Shelly broke off their relationship, it was obvious that he had a serious case of tabanka.
If you’re ‘liming’ then you are either hanging out with friends, relaxing or ‘chillaxing’ as others say. It is not uncommon to hear ‘let’s make a lime.’
Sentence: We decided to go make a lime on Paradise Beach before the start of the Carriacou Parang Festival.
This is the term used to describe gyrations of the waist in a circular motion most commonly practiced with the sound of soca or calypso music.
Sentence: Upon arrival at the National Stadium, she was amazed to see the way that Grenadians whine whenever runs were scored during England’s Tour of West Indies.
If something is twisted, bent or contains dents, then it is described as cabusai.
Sentence: The box was so cabusai when it arrived, that we decided to call the shipping company to complain.
This is the feeling of intoxication or drunkenness.
Sentence: After J’ouvert in Hillsborough where alcoholic drinks are readily available, most of the band members appeared to be tight.
‘Sweet eye’ can be described as a seductive wink used to show affection. Some persons use it simply as a sign of approval.
Sentence: I knew he wanted to talk when he gave me the ‘sweet eye’ during the ‘Pure Grenada Nutmeg & Spice Cocktail Competition.’
This is the sound made when the tongue is placed between the teeth as an expression of anger or annoyance.
Sentence: After speaking with him about his disrespectful attitude to his supervisor, all he did was steups. It was very rude indeed.
Wah go/Wah say?
Term commonly used to find out how someone is doing in place of the question ‘How are you?’
Question: Wah say?
Response: I’m good.
This list can get quite extensive. What other Grenadian terms do you know of?