So you’re coming to the beautiful island of Barbados for a relaxing holiday getaway, why not come prepared?  Have a little fun and practice your Bajan dialect.  The locals will be surprised at your mastery of the local language! All languages are beautiful and immersing yourself in local culture wherever you go is an amazing experience! Barbados is an English-speaking island but our dialect is referred to as “Bajan”. Bajans tend to shorten words….a lot! You can expect to hear dialect like this:

“Ya want uh taxi?” and “Lemme show ya!”

Need an interpretation?

“Would you like a taxi?” and “Let me show you!”

In general Bajan dialect, “th” is often replaced with a “d.” For example, “the” turns into “de;” “this,” turns into “dis;” “that,” turns into “dat;” “then,” turns into “den.”

Barbadians are some of the friendliest people in the Caribbean and while it may take a whlle for you to get the “slang” right, don’t give up! Our quick guide will have you speaking like a local in no time! “Yuh onstan rite?”

The most common Bajan words are:

  • “Ope-it-en” – Open it
  • “Lemme” – Let me
  •  “Pun” – On
  •  “Yuh” – You
  •  “Looka” – Look here
  • “ovadayso” – Over there
  •  “Wuh”- What
  •  “Wunna” – All of you
  •  “All two” – Both of you
  •   “Onstan”  – Understand
  •   “Cuh-dear” – A phrase said when something is cute, or sweet
  •   “Safe” – Cool/good
  •   “Lime” – Hang out
  •  “Wha part you is?” – Where are you?
  •   “Wuk up” – Dancing by moving your waist and hips
  •   “Caw blen” or “Cheese on bread” – a phrase when something happens – good or bad


PS: Did you know the following international celebrities are of Bajan descent?

  • Rihanna (of course!)
  • Stacey Dash
  • Nia Long
  • Meagan Good
  • Cuba Gooding Jr.
  • Tory Lanez
  • A$AP Rocky