Jamaican Proverbs


No where and no residence are unique Jamaican proverbs so pronounced or articulated as in the Dry Harbour Mountains of St. Ann. Reasons the strong protestant ethic and individualism existing in these parts of Jamaica. Here are a few from my great grandmother of beloved memory, Louisa Rodney:

1. Follow Juanica , you sleep a ashes.

Interpretation/meaning: If you follow the wrong crowd or friends , you will suffer the consequences when they lead you astray. (incidentally, Juanica is a name of Latin American origin. Remember people from St. Annn went to Costa Rica, Pannama, Ecuador and Cuba from the 1880’s to the 1940’s)

ad proposal2. Once in a blue moon.


Meaning: Occuring very rarely

3.If you can’t catch Quaco, you catch him shut.

Meaning : if you cannot catch someone, or if someone is evasive, then you go after the next of kin/relative/sibling.

4. You put him down six foot six.

Meaning: You bury the person in the grave.

5. When chicken merry, hawk de near.

When there is too much excitement or optimism, danger lurks near.


6. Ugly like sin.

Extremely ugly.

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Winston Donald

My name is Winston Donald. I am currently completing a MA in Cultural Studies researching Street Art ( from a cultural studies perspective) I am Recruiting Officer and Enrollment Officer for University College of the Caribbean, New Kingston. I contribute to the Commonwealth Short StoryCompetition Columnist for the defunct Sunday Herald Newspaper Author on Marijuana : Export trade and Rural economics (manuscript being completed) Author on Rural Jamaican Cooking Creator of The Diaspora - Word Press blog Contributor to Sun Sentinel newspaper of South Florida Regular/Frequent contributor to the Gleaner and Observer newspaper

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