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Thread: Jamaican "Respect"?

  1. #1
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    Jamaican "Respect"?

    What does it mean when Jamaicans say "respect"? As in I'll be approached on the beach by someone, not buy something, and yet they want to fist-bump and say "respect". Sometimes it seems friendly - sometimes not so much...

    So what exactly are they getting it? Is it like "have a nice day?" or is it something else?

  2. #2
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    Re: Jamaican "Respect"?

    Many years back, Third World was very popular in Jamaica and one of their hits was Reggae Ambassador. There was a part of the lyrics
    They come from, I'm a true Jamaican
    They call me Kingston, I'ma join a reggae band
    Me travel Africa and me travel Japan
    The mother from the Mr, she just love my man

    Oh, oh, oh, yeah
    I'm Mr. Reggae Ambassador
    Oh, oh, oh, yeah
    I'm Mr. Reggae Ambassador
    Hey

    Respect
    God bless

    I was living in Kingston at the time and my recollection is that is when I started to hear the word pass between people accompanied by a fist bump.


    Last edited by Accompong; 05-24-2014 at 10:14 AM. Reason: spelling
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  3. #3
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    Re: Jamaican "Respect"?

    On Da Beach it means stop let me tell you what I can offer you.

  4. #4
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    Re: Jamaican "Respect"?

    mostt times it means, "How u doing" as a greeting

  5. #5
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    Re: Jamaican "Respect"?

    I think it means "groovy"
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  6. #6
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    Re: Jamaican "Respect"?

    Maybe it means those things too, but I take it more literally, and still there are several uses or interpretations.

    Respect is one of the few things people, especially men can offer each other in such a challenging economy/culture.

    I still see Rasta's who are given "ultimate respect."

    If I see a friend who I haven't seen in a while there may well be a fist bump and a "respect" meaning I'm glad to see you and you are still cool with me'

    If someone tries to sell me something I don't need or want, I often say, "no man, I'm cool, respect." which I intend to mean "no thanks, I have what I need, but thanks for asking me and I still appreciate you as a human being."

    If I do buy something and I get a fair deal, I may conclude with "Tenks, respect."

    If I do the right thing like following through on a deal or tipping a cabbie appropriately, I may get a "respect coming back at me."

    If I'm being confronted in a potentially touchy situation, I may pepper my conversation with several "respects." . . or "irie."

    Jamaicans use respect often among their selves which tells you how important it is.

    In some ways it's a bit like namaste (kind of a stretch) which means "I honor the soul within you."

    Life can be hard in Jamaica. Simply expressing your respect for those you meet can go along way.

  7. #7
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    Re: Jamaican "Respect"?

    Excellent answer Kolya! Respect!
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  8. #8
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    Re: Jamaican "Respect"?

    I have seen it used by the same beach folk to a wealthy well known Jamaican and they have a different tone and look when saying Respect. They even drop the MON!

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