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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Learning to Speak Cayman (The Letter B)

As mentioned in the first post (Learning to Speak Cayman - Letter A), my hope once a week or so is to share with you a little Caymanian vocabulary. Many of my readers are no doubt ex-pats who reside here in the Beloved Isle Cayman - and while each of us are required to speak English when you arrive on island, there is no such requirement to learn words & phrases unique to Cayman...now that the pressure's off, there is no better time like the present.

So here we go - straight outta the Cayman Islands Dictionary - some of my favorite Caymanian terms from the Letter B.

Bad Up (bahd-upp) Verb.  1. To vex or agitate the mind or emotions for the purposes of furthering progress or "getting the ball rolling." Used especially with customer service at restaurants or in long queues. Eg. "Anytime I orda from "Fake Cayman Restaurant mentioned as such because I don't want to offend anyone," I usually have to bad up because they take their time otherwise."
>> I appreciate this one especially because I can't find an suitable equivalent in the English vernacular. "Instigate" maybe, but that isn't necessarily confined to hurrying up customer service. Sometimes, you just gotsta "bad up" (or patiently love them like Jesus...wah-wah).

Banga Langa Langa (baing-ah laing-gah laing-gah). Interjection. 1. You're gonna get it; 2. You're in deep trouble; 3. Song of impending doom for a child. 
>> It just rolls of the tongue. Not only is it fun to say on the domestic side, I can see this one catching on in the workplace. As in: "What? You forgot to submit your TPS reports to Mr. Livingstone?!! It's banga langa langa for you."

Beast (bee'ce) Noun. 1. Obsolete or untrendy technology
>> Helpful for some of us here in Cayman who don't have the quickest access to the latest and greatest. For instance, I just upgraded to a digital watch with a calculator on it! Beast no longer, my friends!

Brand-new-Second-hand (brahn-n'yoo-seh-hun-hahn). Noun. 1. Previously owned by someone else but still in excellent, near-perfect condition. Eg. "My friend is selling the Blackberry his work just gave him because he wants an iPhone. It's brand-new-second-hand."
>> Two spectacular aspects about this gem (oversell?? Wait for it...). (a) Anyone who has ever been in sales, as I have been so blessed, recognizes the need to sell something that's basically new but you can't call it new. Options: "Floor model" (mmm...that means hundreds of hands have touched it); "Very good" (too sentimental - now I know it's not very new but because it served you so well that you now have an emotional attachment - making it more valuable in your mind than it really is); "Used only a handful of times" (oh yeah, whose hand?). You get the picture, the alternatives are scarce; (b) Brand-new-Second-hand provides the ideal alternative.

Broughtupsy (brot-up-seh). Adjective. 1. Having good manners as a result of a positive upbringing.  Eg. "I don't like watching that child, all his parents do is stick him in front of an iPad so he can't talk to adults. He has got no broughtupsy."
>> This term allows you to, in one word, simultaneously evaluate the child (because let's face it you need to) and build up/tear down the parents who have raised him. 
>> Plus, I like words that end in "sy" like "funsy" or "onesy."

Bunkey (bung-kih) Noun. 1. gluteus maximus
>> A Caymanian classic. Once had opportunity to even utilize this word, affectionately, in a sermon I gave.

Go forth in the confidence that you can drop one of these little beauties on someone today - impress a friend or a co-worker...or better yet, confuse a family member or spouse.

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