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The Sandy Times

5 Bahamian Words and Phrases to Learn Before Your Trip

Sep 21, 2021

While English is the official language of the Bahamas, locals speak with a Bahamian dialect that has birthed many unique slang words and phrases. Before your trip, you may want to familiarize yourself with the island lingo. Here are five of the most common phrases you’ll hear around the Bahamas.

Well Mudda Sick

This expression is used in moments of excitement or surprise. It is interchangeable with "you’re kidding," "wow," or "oh my gosh," and often shortened to "mudda sick.”

Sip Sip

While sipping an island beverage is a favorite pastime in the Bahamas, we use the phrase "sip sip" to describe the word on the street or the gossip around town. You may catch a little sip sip as it is passed down the grapevine at a fish market or over a game of dominos.

Switcha

Switcha is the Bahamian word for lemonade. In the Bahamas, switcha goes with just about anything. You can buy it freshly squeezed on the street or bottled at a market or gas station. Switcha is often made with key limes instead of lemons and mixed with sugar and water. If you want to bring your switcha into happy hour, rum is also a popular addition.

Potcake

While your first guess for this phrase may be a tasty snack, it actually has a much cuter translation. In the Bahamas, the word "potcake" is used to describe a mixed breed of stray dogs. You will find these friendly pups throughout the Caribbean islands, recognizable by their short hair and folded ears. Locals often feed the dogs scraps of leftovers, like peas ’n rice caked at the bottom of pots—this is where the nickname "potcake" originates.

Jam up

In the Bahamas, we say "jam up" to describe a place that is jam-packed, crowded, or full. Check out our dining guide and make your reservations, so a "jam up" restaurant doesn’t hinder your dinner plans.


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