Guyanese Words and Phrases

Adjusting to the Creolese language around me has been no easy feat. Just for fun, here are a few of the words and phrases that have helped to make learning this “language” so interesting.

Gaffing- This word is used in place of words like chatting or, perhaps, gossiping. It’s a reference to light conversation.

Limein’- hanging out. “I’m just limin'” or “Come to my lime and barbeque next Saturday!”

Vex- angry, mad, upset. “I was very vex when it rained on my laundry.”

Fish- essentially, it means “oh boy”. It can be used while smacking one’s head with their Palm in exhaustion. “Oh, fish!” EDIT: Nope! This is also a derogatory name for a gay man.

Just now- I’ll be there soon, eventually. I won’t be there right now. “Sir, I’m coming just now.”

Not as yet- not now, not yet. “Want some water?” “Not as yet.”

Sour- a flavoring used on plantains, egg balls, and more. It comes in liquid form. Ironically, it ain’t sour.

By- Boy, but mostly used in frustration. “I dint do nuttin, By.”

Shakin’ off- a gesture of goodbye. Hand shake, waving, verbal farewell.

Me finished- “I’m not finished!”

Fire- derogatory term for a gay man, normally just shouted at seemingly random times from one boy at another. “Fire!”


Just for fun, there’s a handful of words and phrases. There are plenty more, maybe I’ll share them soon.

One thought on “Guyanese Words and Phrases

  1. My Dad had a word similar to the “just now”. His was “next” meaning next week, next month, next year. Some of the phrases make sense though getting used to them enough to automatically get the meaning might take some time. Others make no sense to me – fish? fire?

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