#Kwéyòl Archive


“My farm is in Venus, Millet. I grow quite a bit of produce like the ginger (jenjamn) and turmeric (tjitjima) that you can see here. The area is snake infested; we kill snakes (sèpan) and boa constrictors (tèt chyen) on a regular basis. Thank God for my ‘tosh’. I always keep one near by to

Bal fini, vyélon an sak.

Direct Translation The gala is over, the violin is in its bag (case).  In other words, it’s a done deal.  Something pleasurable has ended and something extremely bad may be coming. Application Elections are in the air.  Joe Blow is running for prime minister.  Joe has been known to be a very ruthless man who

Sa ki an fal ou ja sa ou.

Direct Translation What is in your stomach is already yours.  In other words, you should not pass up on what you have seen for what you have not seen. Application It was midday Sunday and mama was serving that Sunday lunch. Michael, my older brother who would have been going to a party that afternoon

Lè bab kanmawad ou pwi difé wouzé sa ou.

  Direct Translation When your friend’s beard catches on fire, water yours.  In other words, if a friend of yours is hit by some misfortune you should take heed and be prepared in the event that this same misfortune comes your way. Application Jack and Gary were two stevedores who worked weekly on the Geest

Tan fè tan. Tan kité tan.

Direct Translation Time creates time, time leaves time. Essentially, things change over time. Application It feels like only yesterday my son passed for Saint Mary’s College. I picked him up and paraded him through the town. I was such a proud father. It’s almost 25 years since he has graduated from college and now married with kids.

“Chak nonm, chak katjil.”

Direct Translation “Each man, each thought.” My father explained that this phrase originated from Soufriere over 2 decades ago.   The story goes that a man in his polished English stated “Each nonm, each katjil” implying that men all think differently. His audience understood what he was trying to say but laughed at him given that