Guyanese Words and Phrases II

Look at it – This is commonly used in reference to television and movies.

Example: “I liked that movie, I would like to look at it again.”

She – Used in place of “her.”

Example: “I’m going to meet she later today.”

Vex – Angry.

Example: “Sir, why are you so vex?”

Idinthearyou – Said all in one rushed breath, the phrase is literally “I didn’t hear you.” This is a simple request to repeat what you’ve just said.

Coming off/out? – Used commonly on the mini-buses. A passenger blocking your way off of the bus may ask you if you’re about to get off of the bus, this way they can be ready to move for you.

Dunce – Used commonly in place of “dumb” or “stupid.” I usually only here this word among the younger boys I work with, not on the street.

Example: “You dunce, boy!”

Ya win meh! – I only ever heard this used around school, but what it means is “you got here before me.”

Carry – Used most often to describe an adult being in charge of transporting a child somewhere.

Example: “Sir, carry me.”

By you – Often used to refer to one’s home.

Example: “Sir, can I go by you for Christmas?”

Biscuit – These are essentially cookies. When I first arrived in Guyana, I was annoyed that the boys would refer to cookies as biscuits because that almost makes them sound healthy. In many cases, they come in small packs of four and somewhat resemble Oreos.

Powder – Anything in powder form. Boys often refer to the “powder” that they put on their bodies after bathing as powder. However, I’ve also made pizza with boys before and they refer to the flour as powder, too.

Slippers – Sandals that slip onto your feet. Sandals that you strap onto your feet are still called sandals. There is no need for what we North Americans call “slippers” here in Guyana. So, any slipper you hear about is just a slip on sandal.

Cream – Any cream-ish substance you can think of. Many times, after swimming, boys would ask me if they could borrow some of my sunscreen, which they refer to as “cream.” Lotion, sunscreen, etc.

Burst – If something breaks or cracks or rips or is torn open a little.

Example: “I burst my head open when I was playing cricket.” The use of this word often makes the situation sound worse than it is.

Keep back – This simply means to make a person remain in the place where they are while everyone else leaves.

Example: “I will keep him back after school to make sure he copies down all of the social studies notes.”

Finished – This word is used to describe the end of something. It’s often used to refer to food.

Example: “The rice if finished” or “No, you can’t buy a shirt, they’re finished.”

Bathe – In reference to showering. I’ve never heard anyone say they were planning on showering or taking a bath. The phrase used here is “bathe.”

Example: “I need to bathe.”

Loose it – Used often when someone is holding onto something. “Loose it!” is often screamed by teachers who are trying to hit their students as the students grab the rods to prevent being hit.

Cuff – To hit or punch.

Example: “He cuff me!”

Thief – To steal or take something, but usually not as viciously as the word alludes to.

Example: “I’m going to thief the ball from the field later.

Not as yet – This is just how the Guyanese say “not yet”.

One thought on “Guyanese Words and Phrases II

  1. It’s alway interesting how the same meaning takes a different for in different places. Thanks for the information.

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