Languages You’ll Hear Visit Turks and Caicos

Lingo & Languages You’ll Hear When You Visit Turks and Caicos

When guests visit Turks and Caicos for their first time, they are often surprised that English is the official language here. Being as Turks and Caicos is a territory of the United Kingdom, nearly everyone in Turks and Caicos speaks at least some English. 

The influx of foreigners from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, and some parts of Europe means that you’ll hear many different dialects here.

While there are notable differences between each, when you visit Turks and Caicos, you’ll occasionally hear a mix of Creole dialects used in the common phrases, slang and lingo spoken by many of our locals. Following are a few examples you might hear during your visit:

What Ya Doing? 

For example, in Turks and Caicos Creole, “Das ya hat?” means “Is that your hat?”

What da wybe is?: What’s up? 

Een nothin: Nothing much

I straight: It’s all good

Axe: Ask

Gee: Give

Ga/Goin/Gern/Gun Go/Goin: Go/going

Wewoise or back-back: To go in reverse (drive in reverse)

Tink: Think

Tings: Things

Buck: Meet or met 

To wok: To work/at work

Tanpri/Tampri: Please

Tanks: Thanks

Mes/Mèsi: Thank you

Bon swé: Good night

Bon jou: Good day

Describe It!

When you visit Turks and Caicos, order a refreshing glass of “Switcha.” That’s the word that locals use describe delicious Caribbean lemonade or limeade.

Belonger: A term that native residents of Turks and Caicos use to refer to themselves as

Big eyed: Greed/greedy

Biggety: Bold, pretentious, showy

Big up: Pregnant

Break: No money/broke

Bust up: Intoxicated/drunk

Chile/Chilen: Child/children

Jam up: Busy

Jitney: Bus

Mout: Mouth

Musse: Must be

Penn on: Depends on

Switcha: Lemonade or limeade beverage

Me Myself and I…

Residents of Turks and Caicos are typically very friendly and gracious. When you visit Turks and Caicos, making eye contact and friendly gestures such as a warm “Hello,” “Good Morning” or “Good Afternoon” along with practicing your Ps and Qs will go along way in establishing good rapport with the locals.

Iyz (pronounced as eyes): I am

I een: I’m not

I gun: I’m going to

Een: Aren’t/is not/isn’t/don’t

Mines: Mine

Ya: You or Your

Yusse (pronounced as use): You are

Yawz: Yours

Yinna: You all

All a Ya: All of you

Ah own: Ours

Weez: We are

He own: His

Har: Her

Har own: Hers

Dey: They

Dey Own: Their own

Des/Ders: Theirs

Dis: This

Das: That

While the above isn’t a complete list of commonly used Bahamian and Turks and Caicos Creole, we hope it inspires you to engage with our friendly locals and even have fun using a bit of the local lingo when the opportunity arises (such as ordering a glass of “Switcha”). 

Check out these resources for more examples of locally-spoken Creole dialects and Caribbean proverbs and sayings: 

Turks and Caicos Creole:

Bahamian Creole:

Common phrases:

Caribbean proverbs and sayings:

Caribbean Dictionary:

When you visit Turks and Caicos, feel free to use the language you’re most comfortable speaking. Simple etiquette including a warm smile and a friendly “hello” goes a long way with the locals and other visitors alike. 

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