Word of the Week: Work Jumbie

Here’s a few Trinidadian/Tobagan words that seem fun.  I cannot vouch for their autheticity however.  I also can’t speak to the etymology of these words but I’ll at least note that, given Trinidad’s mixed linguistic heritage, these words could be from English, French or French Patois, Spanish, a South Asian or African origin, or possibly Arabic,  Chinese, or an indigenous language (unknown to me). 

Belly Full – A very heavy cake made up of left-over cakes and was sold for four cents.  Also GRATATAN, CHES’ PROVOKER.

Gimmie-Gimmie – A ‘disease’ that strikes greedy persons who always want you to give them everything you have. 

Obzokee or Obzokie  – Clumsey.  Bull in a China shop.  Ungainly. Awkward in appearance. Anything bent or twisted out of shape. 

Vup – In cricket to swing the bat as hard as possible. A wild vup – to do the same but with the eyes closed, and hoping to hit the ball with some luck.

Wine – to rotate the waist and hips in a suggestive manner.  Winer gyul – Winer girl.  Any female who takes the art of wining to extreme ends, especially at Carnival time. 

Work Jumbie – A ‘work-a-holic.’

***

Taken from Cote ce Cote la: Trinidad & Tobago Dictionary by John Mendes circa 1986