Top 10 things we hear everyday from our Jamaican teachers


All of our fore parents heard them and we heard them and our kids heard them and the teachers are still saying them. New teachers adapt …. Or they just remember it being told to them. But these spoken words have been in our tradition for decades. Guess we can say it’s now embedded in our culture.

I can remember vividly my aunt telling me that I am a disgrace to her alma mater…..said back in the days students of her school has class …. Smiles… I used to wonder what she was trying to say because to me that school was like a prison and we were obedient prisoners.

BUT….since becoming an adult and seeing students attend my old school and the way they behave, I understand clearly what my aunt was saying….now…..I wonder what she has to say about this generation.

No wonder why “is the worst set a Pickney dem ya me eva teach” made it to #1…lol

Comment your school name below and the name of the teacher who had a positive effect on your life.

Westwood…..Mr Gabbidon

Julie mango tree which refuses to be

‘As you sow, so shall you reap’ is an adage that has always resonated with Elsworth Johnson, with the understanding that everything that happens to one in life is a result of earlier actions – whether good or bad. But in recent times, the retiree has had good reasons to question the literal aspect of this age-old saying, as a result of the fruits of his labour at his Havendale residence in St Andrew.

It all started eight years ago when the lifelong farmer planted the seed of a Julie (St Julian) mango from which he had cut the flesh and left it to dry, recalling that “it never tasted so good”.

Now he’s delighted that the tree, which has come into full bearing, is yielding some very big and tasty mangoes, but puzzled as to why they are not the Julie variety.

“It is very nice, tastes like an East Indian and has hairs like East Indian, but is not East Indian and is not Julie. St Julian is the original and this is a by-product or different species, it is a tougher mango and lasts longer on the shelf,” he shared with The Gleaner during a visit on Friday. And the response of others who know the story?

marvel at hybrid

“They marvel, even me marvelling still,” Johnson admitted. “I ate the Julie, planted the seed, but this is St Julius because the right name is St Julian and this is a part of Julian, so I call it St Julius,” Johnson said in explaining his naming of the hybrid variety. He is yet to get a proper explanation for what might have caused this positive mutation, given that the fruits are much bigger than the mother fruit and while sweet and juicy, the flesh is very fibrous, unlike that of Julie mangoes.

And then there is speculation that Johnson could have had a much bigger story to tell but for the dramatic decline in rainfall in the Havendale area.

“Normally, we have good rainfall. I came here on the 18th of January 1959 and the rainfall was good up to four years ago. Rain used to fall nearly every day or every other, in the evening, but all that changed some four years ago. Now rain is a scarce commodity. All of a sudden, no rain for all three months,” he disclosed.

Despite this setback, the Havendale resident remains committed to planting a wide range of crops within the confines of his yard, with potted cacti among his horticultural pursuits. Then there is callaloo, scallion, Scotch bonnet pepper and okras from the vegetable garden, with mango, guava, naseberry and pomegranate among the tree crops and, of course, bananas.

For this reason, whenever it rains, Johnson harvests the precious commodity, storing it in four 45-gallon containers where it is guarded zealously and used judiciously.

“Keep planting or start planting” is his advice to all Jamaicans, irrespective of where they live or the size of their holdings.

10 Things Jamaican Mothers say

A Jamaican Mother is the epitome of greatness. She embodies the definition of being an exceptional being. She is tough when she needs to be but even at those moments you still know that she love you more than herself, puts nothing above you, and thinks of your well being first. She grows you up on old proverbs, all of which you didn’t understand as a child but you knew they were all important.

1. Yuh gwaan, idle Jackass follow cane bump go a pound

2. Wah serve too long serve two masta

3. Wen mi a fi u age mi couldn’t do dat

4. Yuh couldn’t wash up d two likkle plate dem?

5. Hog did ask him muma a wah mek him mout suh long, him se “ah mi child a come yuh a come yuh wi soon see”

6. mek mi spit yasso and yuh nuh come back

7. Children fi be seen and not heard

8. Likkle piss’n tail pickny u tink mi n u a size an companion?

9. Learn fi dance a yaad before yuh can dance abroad

10. fowl weh feed a yard huh hard fi ketch.


Jamaicans are the most creative when it comes to coining their own terms and sayings. How much of these do you know?

1) “Good fowl gone a market, sensei fowl seh him waa go too.”
An able individual being copied by some one less fortunate.

2) “Gi mi sponge fi go dry up sea”
Giving one an impossible task to do.

3) “A nuh every mango hav maggige”
Not every one of the same caliber have the same bad ways.

4) “Pound a fret cyaa pay a ounce a debt”
Worrying solves nothing

5) “If yuh nuh go a fowl roost, fowl cyaa shit paa yuh”
If you don’t put yourself in a bad situation you can’t feel the effects.

6) “Dawg a sweat and long hair hide it”
Things are not always what they seem.

7) “Yuh shake man han, yuh nuh shake him heart”
Appearances are not always what they appear to be.

8) “Bucket wid hole a bottam nuh have no business a riverside”
Don’t put yourself in situations that do not concern you.

9) “Rockstone a river bottom nuh know sum hot”
Individuals who are sheltered do not know the true hardship that lies above.

10) “So much mout cyaa set fi tell the same lie”
If there a lot of persons saying one thing then there must be some truth to it.

Jamaican Proverbs/Sayings

1. Jackass

Idot or foolish person

2. Man a yard

Man of the house

3. Teck wey yu self:

Remove yourself from a bad situation

4. Jim-screechy:


5. Sorry fi mawga dawg, him tun round and bite yuh:

You help ungrateful people, they will turn on you when they are in good standing.