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Saturday, September 15, 2012

I am looking for examples of idioms in Creole. Phrases that when translated literally would not be understood very well. For example in English one can say, "I have a bone to pick" which has nothing to do with picking bones, but about confronting someon

I can think of a few.  Here they are:

gate san (used as a transitive verb)
literally: spoil blood
meaning: upset
Ou ap gate san'm.
You're upsetting me.

Sou de chèz (used as adverb)
Literally:  on two chairs
meaning: thoroughly, in depth, in great details, quickly
M'ap ba ou li sou de chèz.
I'll give it to you in great details.

Chape poul (used as verb)
Literally: to escape one's chicken
meaning: to escape, to run away, to flee
Li te chape poul li.
He ran away.

al bwa chat ( used as inrtansitive verb)
Literally: go wood cat
Meaning: to die.
L'al bwa chat. or (l'al bwachat)
He died.

Ale nan peyi san chapo (used as intransitive verb)
Literally: go in country without hat
meaning: to die.
Li ale nan peyi san chapo.
He died.

achte figi (used as transitive verb)
Literally: to buy one's face
meaning: to flatter someone
Mwen p'ap achte figi'w.
I will not flatter you.

met dlo nan diven (used as verb)
Literally: put water in wine
Meaning: calm down, simmer down, relax
Si'w pa met dlo nan diven'w, wa di bagay ou pa dwe di.
If you don't calm down, you'll say things you're not supposed to say.

pran nan twa wa (used as intransitive verb)
literally: take in three kings
meaning: to be in trouble, to be stuck, to be in a jam
Mwen pran nan twa wa.
I'm in a jam.

pran fil (used as intransitive verb)
literally: take thread 
meaning: to succeed, to become popular, to flourish
Biznis li a pran fil.
Her business is flourishing.

rache zèb anba pye (used as transitive verb) 
literally: cut grass under someone's feet
meaning: prevent someone from succeeding
Fè atansyon ak Fito, se zèb l'ap koupe anba pye'w.
Be careful of Fito, he's trying to make you fail.

tet nèg (used as adjective)
literally: head of man
meaning: expensive
Mont sa koute tèt nèg.
This watch is expensive.

Bat laponyèt (used as intransitive verb)
literally: beat arm (wrist)
meaning: masturbate
Gason kanson pa bat laponyèt.
Real man don't masturbate. (this is just a sentence example)

Haitian Creole ↔ English Reference, Look up Haitian Creole and English Words


  1. Replies
    1. :) O o! What is so sweet zanmi'm?!

  2. You don't wanna hear...lolllll ;)

    1. O o! Mezanmi! You're right. I don't think I want to know :)

      Pase bon jounen.

  3. I really enjoy these idioms. Could you please give more examples of idioms using bagay? Thank you!

  4. I really enjoy these idioms. Could you please give more examples of idioms using bagay? Thank you!

    1. Bagay has different meanings one means things, and the other one means sex