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( September 2013) Leeward Caribbean Creole English, is an consisting of several varieties spoken on the islands of English-based creole language , Antigua , Barbuda , Montserrat , and Nevis . Saint Kitts
There are subtle differences in the language's usage by different speakers, and islanders often use it in combination with
. The tendency to switch back and forth from Creole to Standard English often seems to correlate with the class status of the speaker. Persons of higher Standard English tend to switch between Standard English and Creole more readily, due to their more extensive formal education in the English-language school system. Creole usage is more common, and is less similar to Standard English, as speakers descend the social status . This is an example of a socioeconomic ladder . Creole continuum
Many Creole words are derived from
or English origins. The creole was formed when African owned by English planters imitated the English of their enslavers but pronounced it with their own inflections. This can be easily seen in phrases such as "Me nah go," meaning "I am not going," or in "Ent it?," presumably a cognate of "Ain't it?" slaves
Vocabulary is widely influenced by British vocabulary, due to centuries of association with
Bonnet refers to the of a car. hood
Chips refers to . However, French Fries fries is commonly used as well.
Form is used instead of the American high school grade. (7th Grade-1st Form; 11th Grade-5th Form)
Car park instead of parking lot.
for flaky folded Patty , unlike the American patty, meaning pastry patty. hamburger
is used instead of the US Mongrel . mutt is used instead of the US Biscuit . cookie
However, in other cases the American form prevails over the British one, due to the islands' close proximity to the United States:
Apartment is used instead of the British flat. Elevator instead of the British lift.
Because of the influx of other Caribbean nationals to Antigua, due to natural migration and to the
, Antigua's everyday vocabulary is being influenced by CSME , Jamaican Creole , Bajan Creole and Guyanese Creole . This is even more common among the youth. Examples:
Yute and star meaning young man.
Breda (derived from Brethren and Partner) meaning close friend. Sell off meaning excellent or very good.
Examples of un-derived words and phrases
ahyue: collective address in the manner of "you all" or "y'all"
ah wah mek: why
sudden/subben/leff dee 'ooman sudden/leff dee 'ooman subben: can refer to an object or thing/ leave her things alone
cassy/cassie: a thorn, such as from a rosebush
t'all: no, not me, not at all
ah wah dee/da joke yah tarl/ah wah me ah see ya tarl: what in the world is going on?
leh meh lone: leave me alone
ah good/tek dat/ah baay/inna ya battum ho'al: that's good for you/take that
tap lie: stop lying
tap ya chupitniss: stop being silly
ah true/choo: it's the truth
ahnna true/choo: it's not true
look yah: look here
look day: look there
kum ya: come here
a fu you: Is it yours?
move from dey: get away from there
ah wat a gwaan/ wa gwaan: what's going on?
luk day: look there!
ah huffa daag dat?: whose dog is that?
a fu you ee fah?: is it yours?
e dutty: it's dirty!
me nuh eeben know way dadday day: I don't know where it is.
atta: at (Example: me guh laff atta you; I am laughing at you)
naal: not (Me naal do um; I am not doing that)
dung: down (Bredda man, kuum dung fram ahffa pan tappa up day; Hey, get down!)
yaad: (my, her, his) house (She ah go day'ya she yaad; She's going home.)
min: used to indicate the past tense of a verb (example: me min nyam; I ate | Ya min cook; Did you cook? | She min day'ya sleep, She slept.)
dun: strictly used to tell that something has finished (E dun?; Is it finished? | Ya dun?; Are you finished?)
siddung: sit down
git up: get up
tun rung: turn around
tun um ahn: Switch it on (Example: Tun de light ahn; Switch on the lights)
tun um ahf: Switch it off
gwaan/gwaan head: go ahead
innaddy: in (de sudden innaddy bax; it's in the box)
cunchee: countryside (he libba cunchree; He lives in the countryside)
tung: town or city (usually referring to the country's capital; Example: Me ah go tung/Me a go'ah tung; In going into the city)
see you: see you later
jack: used to show annoyance (see you jack: See you later (with an attitude))
bruk: to break, broke (E bruk?; Did it break? | Muh bruk; I'm broke | She bruk um/She min bruk um; She broke it)
muh nuh nuh: I don't know
muh nuh; muh dun nuh: I know; I already know, I knew that already
Mek she nuh go find she own man: why does she not get a man of her own?
Knuckle: cheating ( something widely and frequently discussed on Antiguan Twitter)