Waa Gwaan Jamaica?

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Waa Gwaan Jamaica? Meet Our Jamaican Talk - What is Patois? The term patois comes from Old French, patois "local or regional dialect" (earlier "rough, clumsy, or uncultivated speech"), possibly from the verb patoier, "to treat roughly", from pate "paw",from Old Low Franconian *patta "paw, sole of the foot" + -ois, a pejorative suffix. The language sense may have arisen from the notion of a clumsy or rough manner of speaking. "Carlos speaks patois"

Fret not if you see two Jamaicans in dialogue – loud and animated with hands flying all around. Chances are, it is not a disagreement, though so it would seem to be. Jamaican ‘patois’ is expressed as much through gesture and drama as tone and rhythm. It is the way a very passionate people share ideas and feelings. So much more than a means of communication, the language emerged as the expression of a unique and proud people.

Patois emerged from the languages of those who came to the island. Centuries later what we have is a colourful lingo spoken by a people with a gift for vivid imagery, ridicule and irony, down-to-earth humour and bawdy cuss-words. A creative intermingling of words which primarily have their roots in the English, French and the African tongues.

Patois is a wonderful way of communicating the feeling of All Right.

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