Tuesday, January 18

My Child is Crucian

Today, as I was getting Nyah out of the car from school she said something especially funny that caught my attention and made me start thinking. I am really love where I live. Not only am I in awe of my breathtaking surroundings, but I am also fascinated by the unique mixture of people who live here, the culture, and the dialect. So, I decided to make a list of my favorite Crucian (pronouced "Kru-shun") terms that my child has picked up on or that just make me smile when I hear them throughout the day. 

A "Kru-shun" (or Cruzan, like the rum but still pronounced the same way) is a native or inhabitant of St. Croix. Crucians have their own slang words, most of the time spoke in horribly broken English, but hey, it's their own.  I guess since Nyah lives here and goes to school here she will without a doubt pick up her surroundings and probably be able to speak Crucian with the best of them. When we travel to Indiana, a land with its own special type of slang and crazy pronunciations, some have told me Nyah has an accent but I can't hear it. George occasionally breaks into Crucian when speaking to friends but was made to speak proper English growing up so he usually keeps it pretty proper.

So, without further ado, here are some of my favorite Cruzan terms:

1. Mash up- to wreck, ruin, or tear up. This is the term Nyah used this today that made me just shake my head and laugh. I accidently dropped the flower she picked me earlier as I was getting her out of the truck, and she gasped, "Mommy, you mash up my flower!"

2. Limin'- which means to relax, hang out or go out. As in, "George and I rarely go limin'". I adore this word and think it sums up its action perfectly, definitely not an equivalent in the English language.

3. Chooked- which means to wound or puncture using a sharp object. As all the kids come kicking and  scream into the ER we often hear them say, "No Mommy, no Mommy, I don't wanna go, de dacta gone chook me!"   

Nyah got a doctor set for Christmas (yes, we are trying to brainwash and persuade her early) and she takes the fake needle and says, "Hold still Mommy, I'm gonna chook you".

4. Ba'na- another name for booty or backside of a man or woman as in, "Da man, she got a big ol' bana!"

5. Coo-Coo- I will let you figure it out but it is the only way Nyah pronounces going #2. Don't even try to call it something else around her because its coo-coo. 

Nyah used this term so matter of factly last night (in front of my mother in law) as we were playing with their dogs. She pointed to one of the dogs named Der (cool name, rhymes with care) who hasn't been "fixed". She of course had to laugh and repeatedly tell us as she was pointing to Der's manly parts and even bending down to get a better look as Der was wiggling on his back with legs sprawled that, "Eww, Der has coo-coo on his ba'na".

Finally, my favorites.

6. Good Mornin', Good Aftanoon, Good Night- everyone here greets each other with these words depending of the time of the day. If you don't begin a conversation or announce one of these greetings when entering a room full of people, like a packed waiting room or Post Office with the line winding out the door as it so often is, you are considered rude. And I love it because there is nothing better than giving a true "Mornin!" to someone first thing and having them respond with the same vigor back. 

There have been some men working at our condo for the past couple of weeks giving the place a new paint job and Nyah has made friends with a few and shouts, "Mornin!" to them as she gets in the truck before school like an old man. Its beautiful and it makes me so proud.

So those are some of my favorite Crucian terms that make me chuckle, especially when Nyah uses them in context, and I am sure Elsa will pick up on them soon. Hope you enjoyed. Now I am going to take my big ol' ba'na to bed. Good night.


  1. Hahaha. I LOVED this. You crack me up all the time. Your writing is fabulous. I love learning about the Crucian culture. I can't wait to experience it for myself. Miss you, sister. Love to all. (don't forget the new baby. =])

  2. I can't wait for you to see everything here, I think you will like it and or just be in complete disbelief. Life is definitely different here but wonderful. See you soon sister!

  3. sure made for some interesting scrabble games. "you know, 'burna,' like you take the pan off the burna!" Funny how Nyah picks it all up from the kids at school. It was weird for me getting used to saying "good night" as a greeting.

    Nikki - what are you waiting for?


  4. Ah, forgot about that Scrabble game. Can't believe there was actually a legitimate argument about if "bruna" was a word! Love it!

  5. Chris- I am going over the summer. Just waiting for a long enough break to enjoy and help out.


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