In my previous post, cmo suggested maybe a pidgin post. Thanks for the blog topic idea!
Speaking pidgin was something we all learned from small-kid-time, albeit unconsciously. It wasn’t until quite recently that I came to my own conclusion of how or why Pidgin English came about.
My theory is that back in the days of the plantations, when our grandparents or great-grandparents came to Hawaii to work in the plantations, they didn’t speak English. They only spoke their native language from where they immigrated from. And because of that, they lived in “camps” based on ethnicity. For example, there was the Portuguese camp, the Japanese camp, the Filipino camp, etc. And everyone could communicate with each other fine and dandy provided they lived in the same camp.
But it’s when they tried to talk to another person from a different camp that didn’t speak their native language, that they had to come up with a neutral or common language that they could both understand. And thus was born: Pidgin English.
There are some words that I use that I didn’t even know was pidgin. For example, “bobora”. We used it as a slang to refer to Japanese tourist. But I found out that it’s a Japanese word meaning “Pumpkin”. Or so I thought. Actually, it’s not even a Japanese word. It’s pidgin! It’s based on the Portuguese word abóbora which means Japanese squash.
And I also found that it’s not only the words that makes up Pidgin English, but it’s also the structure. For example, ever heard a sentence ending with the word “was”? Like: “Da finga-nail clippah? – ova by da TV was“. It took me a little while to grasp what the person was saying.
Let’s see how many pidgin word, phrases, or sentences we can come up with. Let me get started with:
- Bumbye – means later on okay (wea you heard dat befoah?)
- Bocha – take a bath
- Da kine – can mean anything
- Bobora – Japanese tourist, pumpkin
- Buggah – usually referring to someone or something
- Fut – fart
- Shaka – I don’t know where this word was derived from. Could it be “shocker”?
- Howzit – How is it
- Lai dat – Like that
- K-den – Okay then
- Right on da kinipopo – Exactly
- How you figgah? – How’s that?
- Make A – Make ass, embarrassed
- No scared ‘um – Don’t be afraid
- Wasamatta you? – What wrong with you?
- Wassup Wit Dat? – What’s up with that? or Bruddah Lance’s blog
- Try come, Try wait, Try help – Asking for your cooperation
- Like beef – Do you want to fight
- No act – Stop being boastful
- You goin’ get slaps – Usually follows “No act”
- Lickins’ – Discipline – usually from your faddah
- Faddah – Father
- Maddah – Mother
- Brah– Bro
K-den, wattchu get fo’ add to da list?