Fret not if you see two Jamaicans in dialogue – loud and animated with hands flying all around. Chances are, it is not a disagreement, though so it would seem to be. Jamaican ‘patois’ is expressed as much through gesture and drama as tone and rhythm. It is the way a very passionate people share ideas and feelings. So much more than a means of communication, the language emerged as the expression of a unique and proud people.
Patois emerged from the languages of those who came to the island. Centuries later what we have is a colourful lingo spoken by a people with a gift for vivid imagery, ridicule and irony, down-to-earth humour and bawdy cuss-words. A creative intermingling of words which primarily have their roots in the English, French and the African tongues.
Patois is a wonderful way of communicating the feeling of All Right.