Six Things You’d Know If You’re An Authentic Jamaican

“He kept talking with the little Jamaican accent he got from his parents or maybe his neighbours. I didn’t have to hear him shorten Montego Bay to Montego, instead of Mobay, to know he wasn’t a real Jamaican.”

Marlon James: A Brief History of Seven Killings


Did you know that there are people walking around pretending to be Jamaicans?

I didn’t. Not until I met up with Pet somebody in Dubai and she told me that a certain group of people (don’t want to call names, but it starts with A and ends N and rhymes with Vatican) were passing themselves off as Jamaicans.


At first, I was like nuh-uh. Not in my cabinet! But then I thought about it. Who wouldn’t want to associate themselves with the awesomest, bestest, biggest, little country in the world?

I decided it’s only fair to give my brothers and sisters a bly — to allow it — this one time! But, I still believe we need to compile a list of things that will help to determine an authentic Jamaican from a fake one. I went ahead and started one for you.


If, like my sistren Tara, you say: “I would bax down a dutty gal and some dumplings right now.”

And the response is: “Oh my God. Who trouble you?”

I don`t care how good his/her Jamaican Patois is. You need to conduct a swift investigation followed by immediate deportation.


Send them off to Ochi or sup’m because every authentic Jamaican knows a dutty gal is this:


Best served with this:



If you walk into a wholesale — shop — store — supermarket — any place where a person of Asian descent is the proprietor and a Jamaican walks in and greets him/her by a name other than Mr. or Miss Chin.


Do some digging. This may not be an authentic Jamaican.


If you go to Mr. or Miss Chin’s shop and ask for a jar of petroleum jelly instead of Vaseline, if you ask for a pack of scouring-pads instead of Scotch-Brite, if you ask for bottle of nail polish instead of Cutex


The lie detector determines that you are not an authentic Jamaican.

If you send for an apple and they bring back this:


Instead of this:


And if you ask for a pear and they bring back this:


Instead of this:

Avocado with leaves

Who sent you? Where are you from?!! You are not Jamaican!



If they invite you for Sunday dinner and they serve you this:


Instead of this:




Or this!


I don`t care how them look. I don`t care how them sound. Them is not Jamaican!

Speaking of “them is”. If you`re talking to them and they keep proper subject/verb agreement rules, if they don`t add Hs to words that don`t require them and drop a few Hs from words that require them. If they respect rules that guide gender and refer to a man as him and a woman as her. If they pluralize words the correct way instead of saying boy dem, dog dem and puss dem.


Disingenuous. Totally DUPLICITOUS. They are not authentic Jamaicans.


Till next time, feel free to add more to the list. Also, join me next week when it’s back to regular programming. I’ll continue the series on Jamaicans across the world by sharing a story about a JAMAICAN IN DUBAI.

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