Trinbago Dictionary


Bake and shark – popular snack food consisting of fried shake stuffed in a “bake” (fried dough)

Beat book – to study hard

Better Belly Bus Than Good Food Waste – it is preferable to overeat rather than waste food

Bobol – corruption

Bois Bande – tea brewed from the bark of the bois bande herb; reputed to increase sexual prowess

Bongo Night – a celebratory funeral wake involving the beating of drums, singing and dancing

Broughtupsy – good manners; decorum

Bush Tea – a drink derived from a combination of locally grown herbs

Buss up Shut (Shot) – a type of paratha roti popular in Trinidad and Tobago


Cackahole – a particularly ignorant and selfish individual

Callaloo – a popular Caribbean dish made with okra and dasheen bush or water spinach

Cosquelle – overdressed and borderline tasteless

Crix  (n) – A popular wheat cracker manufactured in Trinidad and Tobago


Dhoti (n) – a traditional long loincloth worn by Hindu men

Doubles – popular street food consisting of curried channa served between two pieces of fried bread


Fete (n) – a party; fete (v) – to party;

Fetiquette – appropriate behaviour at a Canival fete


Grand Bazaar (n) – a large shopping mall in East Trinidad

Great Fete Weekend – a huge annual August beach party at Pigeon Point and other venues around Tobago


Harts (n) – a popular Carnival band

Heel and Toe – a traditional folk dance

HiLo (n) – a supermarket chain


Jam (v) – the art of dancing closely together

Jaray (v) – The casting out evil spirits by a pundit

Jook (v) – repeatedly thrust the pelvic region forward


La Basse (n) – Waste management facility located just outside Port of Spain

Las Lap (n) – the last jump up on Carnival Tuesday

Lime (v) – to hang out with friends; lime (n) – a gathering of friends


Maco (n) – a busybody; maco (v) – to mind other people’s business

Macometer (n) – a finely tuned internal radar which enables one to pick up on other people’s business

Maljoe  (n) – From the French mal yeux – “bad eye”. Also called the Evil Eye

Mas – Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago

Mother-in- law – pepper sauce


Ninyam – food


Pacro water – a drink made from boiling chitons (pacro), a common mollusk

Palance – a term used by Trinidadians originated from three words: PArty, Lime and dANCE. To palance means to party and have fun

Panorama – a national steel band competition

Parang – popular folk music, traditionally sung at Christmas time, originated in Trinidad and Tobago. Parang began with Venezuelan immigrants to Trinidad and is sung in Spanish.

Pastelle – a savoury meat-filled corn meal patty

Pelau – a “one pot” dish made with rice, pigeon peas, and any kind of meat

Pickney – child or children

Pigeon Peas – a perennial legume popular in Trinidad and Tobago

Play Whe (n) – a legal gambling game based on the Chinese game Whe Whe

Pomerac – a pear-shaped fruit with red skin and white flesh

Ponche Crema – a Trinidadian and Venezuelan cream-based liqueur

Puncheon – local moonshine


Roti – a type of Indian bread popular in Trinidad and Tobago


Sawine – a liquid dessert made with milk and vermicelli to celebrate Eid ul Fitr

Soca – a style of Caribbean music originated in Trinidad and Tobago

Sorrel – a perennial herb used to make alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks

Steups (v,n) – to suck one’s teeth

Stush – smart, wealthy, or snobbish

Swappi – Local music artiste


Vex money – sufficient funds to pay your passage home should the need arise


wine (v) – gyrate to music; wine (n) –  gyration to music

winery (n) – waist and backside gyration

wuk up – similar to wine, but more vigourous


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