Dominica Dictionary

I’ve been thinking about how I am continually picking up new lingo in Dominica. When I first got here, I was a bit baffled by some of my interactions with the locals, not only because of their accent and fast speech but because certain words that mean one thing in the US mean something completely different in Dominica. That’s where the fun begins.

The inspiration for this post came from a recent encounter I had with a nurse in Roseau…

Nurse: “Didn’t I see you outside the theatre?”
Me:  (thinking she means movie theater)…”Dominica doesn’t have a theater.”
Nurse: “Yes at the hospital.”
Me: (looking dumb)
Nurse: “You were standing outside the theatre, surgery at PMH.”
Me: “OOOoohhhhh, yes that was me.” (laughing and embarrassed at the same time)

Apparently “theatre” in Dominica means the hospital surgical suite. I think this kind of terminology has British roots ?

So, here are just a few words you can plan on adding to your vocabulary during your stay in Dominica :

Bake = a fried bread similar to a biscuit
Bay Rum =  a rub for whatever ails you
Biscuits = cookies
Bobol = a person engaging in corrupt behaviour
Bush Tea = herbal teas/medicinal teas
Crayfish (sometimes locally referred to as river shrimp) = crawfish
Dolphin = Mahi Mahi
Fig = banana
Good day = hello
Good night = evening greeting like hello
Gumbo = okra
Jah = Jehovah/God
Jumbie = ghost
Pawpaw = Papaya
Patois (Patwa, Kweyol, Creole) = slang French
Pear = avocado
Plaster = bandaid
Sea bath = swim in the sea or literally a bath in the sea
Soucouyant = witch
Stupes = stupid
Tablet = sweet treat like pralines or peanut brittle
Washroom = Restroom
Wi = yes

Have you had any “theatre” experiences in Dominica ? Would love to hear about it !


About louisiana2dominica

Native New Orleanian lived on the island of Dominica for 8 years
This entry was posted in Creole Culture, Daily Life in Dominica, Dominica, Louisiana and Dominica and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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