PRONUNCIATION KEY:
é   ay
an   an, as in animal
ch   sh, as in shame
dj   as in jam
è   eh, as in yet
en   as in penny
ò   oh (nasal), as in hot
on   as in honey
ou   as in foot
tj   as in catch
In this lesson we take a look at exclamations, short punchy expressions. These add even more colour to an already colourful language that is Kwèyòl. These expressions have their origin in French, African and Kalinago languages. The popular word ‘awa’, for example, is derived from Kalinago and means no. Some of these exclamations are often responses to a given statement or sometimes function as cuss words. Some are onomatopoeic and have no English translation.

Vocabulary
Anhan       Yes
Yes wi!       Yes!
Anan         No
Awa, ayayay, wayayay       No!
Awa wi!     No! (literally, no yes!)

Ou ka alé an siwo la non? Awa.
Are you going to the party? Definitely no!

Gyal li ba y yon gwo pwel, wi.
His girlfriend made him lovesick.

Se bougla tape yon bwile. Awa wi.
They got very drunk. Oh no.
Fouti       Just, even. It emphasises a negative
I pa sa fouti danse.
He just cannot dance.
Woy!, Woyoyoy!       Wow!
Wi fout!     Oh, gosh!
An?         What?
A bon!       Oh good!
Alò         So, well
O o!       Uh oh! Sa w ka di mwen a?
What are you telling me?

Ebeh, mi maji!
Well what nonsense!

Mwen pa le tann bef. mwen ja fè lidé mwen. Mwen pa ka alé pyès koté.
I don’t want to hear anything. I made up my mind. I am not going anywhere.
Ki sa?     What?
Jezi!       Jesus!
Wi bondyé!       Oh god! Oh my god! OMG
Patat!       Literally, potato
Sakwé tonnè       Good grief! Literally sacred thunder!
Sati blè!       Sacrebleu!

It is said that King Louis IX of France made taking the Lord’s name in vain an offense punishable by having the tongue branded with a hot iron. To get around that courtiers substituted Bleu, the name of the king’s pet dog, for God (Dieu), leading to Sacré Bleu and Par Bleu.
Maman!     Mama! Oh my!
Sa ou ka di mwen?       What you telling me?
Ebeh mi bagay!       Well, look things!
Mach!       Go away! Scram!
Usually said to dogs



Ay!       Aïe! Ow! Ouch!
Ay! Bet la mode mwen.
Ouch! The insect bit me.



Bè!       Hah!
Mwen tape sa mwen, bè!
I got mine, hah!



"Higas!" is usually said to egg on a fight.
Sakwé gas!