Hello friends of the Inn,

Following our recent virtual experience tutorial to speaking like a Jamaican, we thought it best to follow up our session with a few more phrases to brighten your next Jamaican vacation,. When planning a vacation in Jamaica, it’s a good idea to learn some of the phrases and sayings Jamaican people use in their daily conversations.Learning a few sayings will help you have a more positive experience as you travel.The idea is not to master the local language so you can speak it fluently, it’s simply a courteous way to interact with  the local people you meet during your trip.

‘Wah Gaan’

A popular Jamaican phrase,used commonly as a greeting which means “What’s up?” or “How are you?”

Gud Mawnin

In Jamaica it is important to have manners and respect, it is considered improper to pass someone without acknowledging them.


The Jamaican saying “irie” is often used to mean “everything is alright and fine.” Note that Jamaica has numerous variations when it comes to greeting someone. When someone asks “How are you feeling?” or “How yuh stay?” an appropriate response would be, “Mi irie.”


My or me. In patois we often interchange the letter e in English with the letter i.

‘Small Up Yuhself’

When moving around and visiting different sites in Jamaica, you may need to board a bus or taxi. However, there are times when the buses and taxis are crowded and there’s inadequate space. This is where this Jamaican expression becomes useful. “Make room” is what the phrase means, and when you want to have some space so you can pass, it’s what you might want to say: “Small up yourself!”

Ya Mon’

“Mon” is a Jamaican word that’s particularly important to the locals and is often used when talking to anyone, whether it’s a child or adult. The English translation for the Jamaican saying “ya mon” is “no problem” or “okay.”

Now that you’ve learned and know some of the more common Jamaican phrases, it’s time you started meeting and interacting with the locals. On your next vacation, ensure you use a few of the phrases you’ve learnt today and get ready to learn more from the locals themselves as you have first-hand conversations!

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