Take A Likkle Trip Throught This List & Discover The Most Popular
& Widely Used Rasta/West Indian Words & Phrases…

A GO : “Me a go tell him”

A DOOR : outdoors.

AGONY : emotional and physical sensations experienced during sex

ALIAS : dangerous, violent

AN : and

ARMAGEDDON : the biblical final battle between the forces of good and evil

ASHAM : n. Parched, sweetened, and ground corn

BABYLON : 1. the corrupt establishment, the “system”, Church and State 2. the police, a policeman

BAD : good, great

BADNESS : hooligan behavior, violence for its own sake

BAGGY : underpants for a woman or child.

BAKRA : white slavemaster, or member of the ruling class in colonial days. Popular etymology: “back raw” (which he bestowed with a whip.)

BALD-HEAD : a straight person; one without dreadlocks; one who works for babylon

BANDULU : bandit, criminal, one living by guile a BANDULU BIZNESS is a racket, a swindle.

BANGARANG : hubbub, uproar, disorder, disturbance.

BATTY : bottom; backside; anus.

BATTYBWOY : a gay person

BEAST : a policeman

BOBO : fool.

BREDREN : one’s fellow male Rastas

BRINKS : title given to a man who is supplying a woman with money

BUBU : fool.

RAS CLOT, BLOOD CLOT : curse words

BUMBO : bottom; backside. A common curse word, especially in combination with CLOT (cloth), a reference to the days before toilet paper.

BUNKS MI RES, catch my rest, take a nap.

(THE) CAT : a woman’s genital

CARD : to fool someone

CEASE & SEKKLE! : stop everything and relax !

CHA ! or CHO ! : a disdainful expletive pshaw ! very common, mild explanation expressing impatience, vexation or disappointment.

CHALICE or CHILLUM : a pipe for smoking herb, usually made from coconut shell or CHALEWA : and tubing, used ritually by Rastas

CLOT : 1. cloth, an essential part of most Jamaican bad words, such as bumbo clot, rass clot, blood clot, etc. The essence of Jamaican cursing seems to be nastiness, rather than the blashemy or sexuality which is characteristic of the metropolitan countries. 2. to hit or strike – from the verb “to clout”.

COIL : money

COME DUNG : come down, get ready (as to prepare to play a tune)

COOL RUNNINGS : a greeting; things are going smoothly

CROSSES : problems, vexations, trials; bad luck, misfortunes.

CRUCIAL : serious, great, “hard,”, “dread”

CULTURE : reflecting or pertaining to the roots values and traditions highly respected by the Rastas

CUSS-CUSS : a quarrel or fracas, with lots of cursing.

CUTCHIE : pipe for communal smoking.

CYAAN : cannot, can’t

DADA : father

DAN DADA : the highest of DON’S

DAN : than

DARKERS : sunglasses

DAHTA : a girl, woman, “sister,” girlfriend

DEADERS : meat, meat by-products

DI : the

DJEW : a light rain or drizzle.

DOGHEART : a person who is especially cold and cruel

DON : one who is respected, master of a situation

DOWNPRESSOR : preferred term for oppressor


DREAD : 1. a person with dreadlocks 2. a serious idea or thing 3. a dangerous situation or person 4. the “dreadful power of the holy” 5. experientially, “awesome, fearful confrontation of a people with a primordial but historically denied racial selfhood”

DREADLOCKS : 1. hair that is neither combed nor cut 2. a person with dreadlocks

DREADY : a friendly term for a fellow dread

DUNS/DUNSA : money

DUPPY : a ghost

DUTCHY : dutch cooking pot, low round-bottomed heavy pot.

EASE-UP : to forgive, to lighten up

EVERYTING COOK & CURRY : all is well, all is taken care of

FAS’ : to be fast with, meaning to be rude, impertinent, to meddle with sombody’s business, to be forward…

FEEL NO WAY : don’t take offense, don’t be sorry, don’t worry

FENKY-FENKY : (from finicky) choosy, proud, stuck-up.

FIESTY : impudent, rude, out of order, cheeky.

FIRST LIGHT : tomorrow

(HIM A) FISH : a gay person

FUCKERY : wrong, unfair

FULLNESS, TO THE FULLNESS : completely, absolutely, totally

FUNDS : Money

GANJA : herb, marijuana

GANSEY : t-shirt, any knit shirt

(TO) GET SALT : to be thwarted, to encounter misfortune

GATES : home, yard

GENERAL : cool operator

GLAMITY : a woman’s genitals

GORGON : outstanding dreadlocks

GRAVALICIOUS : greedy, avaricious.

GRINDSMAN : one who displays great prowess in bed

GROUND : home, yard

HACKLE : to hassle, bother, worry, trouble. As a noun, hackling.

HAIL : a greeting

HARD : excellent, proficient, skillful, uncompromising

HERB : marijuana

HITEY-TITEY : upper class, high tone, “stoosh”.

HOOD : penis.

HOT-STEPPER : fugitive from jail or gun court

I-MAN : I, me, mine

I-NEY : a greeting

I-REY : 1. a greeting 2. excellent, cool, highest

I-TAL : vital, organic, natural, wholesome; refers to way of cooking and way of life in colors, red, green and gold. I : replaces “me”, “you”, “my”; replaces the first syllable of seleted words. I and I, I&I: I, me, you and me, we. Rastafari speech eliminates you, me we, they, etc., as divisive and replaces same with communal I and I. I and I embraces the congregation in unity with the Most I (high) in an endless circle of inity (unity).

IGNORANT : short-tempered, easy to vex, irate.

IRIE : adj. powerful and pleasing

JA, JAM-DOWN : Jamaica

JAH KNOW : Lord knows

JAH : God; possibly derived as a shortened form of Jahweh or Jehovah Jah Ras Tafari, Haile Selassie, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, conquering Lion of Judah; Rastas revere Haile Selassie as the personification of the Almighty

JAMMIN : to be having a good time, to be dancing calypso/soca

KASS KASS : n. quarrel or contention. From combination of English curse or cuss, and Twi kasa kasa-to dispute verbally

KISS ME NECK ! : common exclamation of surprise.

KOUCHIE : bowl of a chalice or chillum pipe

KU DEH ! : look there !

KU PAN : look at.

KU YA ! : look here !

KU : verb, look !

KYAAN : can’t.

KYAI : to carry.

KYAN : can.

LARGE : respected

LILLY BIT : little bit, tiny

LION : a righteous Dread (1) a great soul (2)

LITTLE MORE : see you later

(TOO) LIKKY-LIKKY : title given to those who like to eat any food they encounter , without discretion

MADDA : mother

MAFIA : big-time criminals

MAGA DOG : mongrel

MAGA : thin (from meagre)

MAAS : n. from master or massa. Now freed from its class origin; a respectful form of address to an older man.

MASSIVE : respected, used with LARGE to add emphasis

  1. T : the boss

NASH : female genatalia

NATTY, NATTY DREAD, NATTY CONGO : 1. dreadlocks 2. a person with dreadlocks

NIYABINGHI: 1. One Of The Key ‘Houses’ or Tribes Of Rastafarians 2. East African warriors who resisted colonial domination 3. large Rastafarian meeting and spiritual gathering 4. Referring to orthodox, traditional Rastas 5. a variety of drumming

NYAM : to eat.

ONE LOVE : a parting phrase, expression of unity

PAYAKA : heathen

PIKNY : pickaninny, a child.

POLYTRICKS : politics (by Peter Tosh)

POLYTRICKSTERS : politicians (by Peter Tosh)

PUM-PUM, PUNAANI or PUNNI : a woman’s genitals

RANKING : highly respected

ROCKERS : reggae music (1) reggae music as it is played today, the latest sound.

ROOTS : natural indigenous.

RUDE BOY : a criminal, a hard hearted person, a tough guy

RYAL : royal.

SALT : adjective, broke, empty-handed, low on funds or food, as in “tings salt” or “I salt”.

SAMBO : the color between brown and black; someone who is a cross between a mullatto (brown) and a black. Creole People.

SANKEY : n. religious song of a paticularly lugubrious tone, sung in the long or common meter. From Ira David Sankey, evangelist and hymnalist.

SATA : to rejoice, to meditate, to give thanks and praise.

SATTA : sit, rest, meditate ,relax.

SEEN : I understand, I agree

SEEN ? : Do you understand ?

SIDUNG : sit down

SISTER, SISTREN : a woman, a friend, woman Rastafarians.

SKETELL : A very loose girl, a ho, Jezebel.

SKIN : rolling paper.


SO-SO : only, solely, unaccompanied. Weak, pallid.

SOFT : not well done, amateurish; unable to cope, broke, no money.

SPLIFF : large, cone-shaped ganja cigarette.

STAR : common term of affection, camaraderie.

SUFFERER : a poor person, struggling to survive.

TATA : n. father. Affectionate and respectful title for an oldman. From many african languages. Ewe, Ge, N’gombe.

TRANSPORT : vehicle.

TUNTI : female genitals .

UPHILL : positive, righteous.

UPTOWN : the upper classes.

VEX : to get angry.

WHEELS : vehicle

WOLF : a non-rasta deadlocks

WOOD : penis.

YARD : home, one’s gates tenement

YOUT : a child, a young man, an immature man

ZION : Ethiopia, Africa, the Rastafarian holy land