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Monday, February 24, 2014

I have a few questions from church yesterday. What is otonde lamizik? Maybe something like syncopate? Does griyen dan mean to laugh? Does it mean anything else? What is dyak, or maybe it's djak? The woman used it in referring to receiving prayer for healing. Thanks!

otonde lamizik” (or “au ton de la musique” in French) – to the pitch/tune of the music

Dyak – deacon

Yes, “griyen dan” means to laugh, to laugh satirically, to joke or clown around

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


  1. Thank you! I am familiar with "dyak" as deacon, but the way this lady was using the word that didn't seem to fit. She saw me praying for someone else and came over to get some "dyak." If I remember correctly she said she wanted to "pran yon ti dyak." Or maybe "jwenn yon ti dyak." I asked the people standing there what this meant. A younger lady dismissed it as "Creole," then told me it meant "gras."

    1. Yes.... the way she used it meant she came to "get a lift" or "get a hoist .... from your prayer" - "pran yon ti dyak".

      Just like when you "jack up" (or hoist a car) to change the tires or something.
      Haitians might say:
      Ban m yon ti dyak. (Help me out)
      Dyake m. (Lift me up. Support me. Help me out)
      or in your friend's case:
      M vin pran yon ti dyak. (I've come to get some blessings)

  2. Also, google translate says "griyen dan" means growl. Is it used that way as well?

    1. Yes, it may be.
      More specifically it would be used to say "grimacing", "showing teeth", "laughing at someone".

    2. Thanks so much! I'm really glad to understand djak in that context. One more question: does griyen mean anything by itself?

    3. Yes it also means to laugh, to "reveal".

      Haitians use it often to say "griyen janm" (to show too much skin/legs) or "rad dan griyen" (a revealing dress)
      "Fanm nan griyen janm ni pou tout moun."
      "Li mete yon rad dan griyen pou l ka fe seksi."

      And, we also say "dan griyen", used more like an attribute.
      "Tout moun nan sal la te dan griyen."
      "Everyone in the room was jolly"