Why Jamaicans haffi so nuff?

Daviot Kelly
Daviot Kelly

December 9, 2019

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I know I’m grumpy but there are just some things that kinda grind my gears.
Jamaican people have a tendency to annoy you, probably more than any other nationality.

You know the saying, if ah egg, we haffi inna di red? Well, that’s us. We have to be part of everything, even if (and especially if) it doesn’t concern us.
You ever see somebody eating, and at least one person HAS to say ‘lawd man tek time’ or ‘mine yuh choke’, even if the person wasn’t exactly wolfing it down?

My thing is, you felt the need to point out the dining habits because … ? For all you know, the individual has not had solid food for days. Plus, you’re going to now draw more attention to the individual and that might actually cause them embarrassment.

In an extreme case, the person might tell yuh bout your ‘you know what’, and quite frankly I would not fault them.

Or how about when you use the ATM and when you’re stepping out, someone says ‘hope yuh lef some fi di rest a we’. One day I swear I’m going to answer, ‘Oh no, I cleaned it out. I always have to walk with at least a million on me’. For all you know, the person went in there to buy credit. Does your recommendation still stand? By the way, if you see me standing right beside the ATM door, don’t ask me if I’m waiting to use it. On the wrong day, I’ll answer, ‘No, I hear the number 52 bus passes this way so I’m just looking out for one’.

How about when an individual who usually dresses conservatively decides to spice up the wardrobe a bit? Most people will say ‘yuh look nice man’ or something, usually in a quiet tone. But there’s always at least one person who haffi loud up di ting. “Raaay Cheryl, yuh find new man!” or some other statement. Groan.

Another one that irks me is if you’re driving, let’s say in the rural areas, you’re bound to pass fruit vendors and the like at some point. I really don’t like when one person in the vehicle says ‘look how yuh a drive pass all a di nice melon (or whatever produce) dem?’ First off, if you did not indicate that you wanted to buy anything along the way, then I wouldn’t know you want to stop. And two, why not just say ‘can you pull over so I can buy something?’ Simple.

As if that’s not enough, Jamaicans exaggerate like no other people. The phrase ‘you have nuff space’ means the exact opposite. The term ‘the line reach out a door’ more than likely means it’s just longer than five people. And of course, everyone knows that if the place ‘just round di corner’, prepare for a looong drive.

The point is there are some days that, dependent on what took place before, these little annoyances can turn into World War III. Hopefully, it never gets to that. Dear Lord, if I’ve ever annoyed anybody like this, I beg your forgiveness.

Link me at daviot.kelly@gleanerjm.com

Daviot Kelly


Daviot Kelly

Daviot Kelly describes mumbling and fumbling as two of his greatest obstacles in life, but not when it comes to penning his weekly column, Kelly’s World. A wizard with the pen, Kelly has been sharing his wit and unique perspective with the Flair since 2006.

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