I’ve been away from Belize for a month and my days now consist of speaking Spanish 99% of the time and the other 1% I quickly slip in some Creole with my mum when my brain gets tired of Spanish. It’s so weird going from hearing and speaking one language and by the next morning, you’re surrounded by people who don’t understand a word you say. I feel like a part of me is missing. However, that’s not too much of a problem considering the time we’re currently living in. That’s one of the many charms of the internet! I’m able to escape the Spanish world and dive back into Creole at just the tap of a button.
Many a times I’ve heard people say that they don’t like the sound of Creole because it sounds uneducated and ugly or that it’s “slave language”. No… I’m not even joking. People have indeed said this. Well I beg to differ because to me Belizean Creole sounds so rich and powerful! I love it when someone tells me a story in Creole because the expressions and exclamations they use make it a whole lot more fun to listen to. Don’t get me wrong though, English is still very important to learn as it is Belize’s official language. One of my all time favourite subjects in school was English and I am a bit of a grammar snob but Creole has a special place in my heart. It’s a little piece of home that I get to take with me everywhere.
One time I was helping my little cousin with her Language Arts homework about idioms and proverbs and I remembered how funny they all were! Ever since then I find myself using them quite often. There are some that I seem to use more than others. I think they make conversations more colourful… even if some of them are kinda used to tell someone off. Well at least they get told off in style.
I decided I’d share a few of my favourite ones with you all just so that if you ever decide to visit Belize, you’ll be able to have a better conversation using our lingo with the locals or if you ever hear people saying them you won’t be utterly confused.
My Top Ten Favourite Belizean Proverbs
Yuh cuda lie suga outta bun.
Meaning: To tell alot of lies.
If dah nuh suh, dah naily suh.
Meaning: It’s almost close to the truth.
When trouble ketch yuh pickney shut fit yuh.
Meaning: When you find yourself in trouble, you will try to get out in whatever ways you can think of.
Stick bruk ina yuh ears?
Meaning: Are you deaf? (Used when someone is being disobedient… or something to that effect)
Cow no bizniz ina haas galop.
Meaning: Mind your own business.
Fun bring bun and mek eye wata run.
Meaning: You’re playing too much and eventually you’ll get hurt.
If ih nuh bun ih nuh dun.
Meaning: Make sure the food is properly cooked
Ih talk big, but shit small.
Meaning: The person is all talk but no action.
Yuh wah know how bauley grow.
Meaning: Someone should be more appreciative of what they have before they lose it.
Wanti wanti nuh getti and getti getti nuh wanti
Meaning: You can’t always get what you want.
So these are my top ten favourite Belizean proverbs. Now be honest, these would sound completely different if they were said in English. Without a little bit of Belizean sass I don’t think they would have as much of an impact.
I hope you enjoyed them and you try to use them even if you’re not visiting Belize. They’re still fun to say.