Dec 31, 2019

50 Creole words that you already know in English

English has had a large influence on many languages, and Haitian Creole is not an exception.  The occupation by the United States (July 28, 1915 – August 1, 1934) had several significant effects on Haitian language.  Words like chany, or shoe shiner, and kannistè, or canister were introduced into the Haitian Creole language during the occupation.

More recently, the massive emigration to the United States and access to the internet and cable television have helped English replace French as the second language in many sectors of the population, especially in the IT field.

Due to the rapidness with which technology changes, Haitians tend to just adopt the English words for new technology and developments into Creole rather than coining a new native term.  Considering how hard it is to translate new inventions and developments, it is more convenient to simply keep the original English name.

The influence of the English language goes beyond a Haitian American speaking Krenglish. English has invaded Creole to the point that we have created blended words. An interesting example is how the suffix -man (pronounced as mann in Creole) is often placed in combination with a Creole word to describe someone (usually a male) who is an expert in an area or who takes part in an activity. For example, daso means to crash a party and a dasomann is someone who crashes a party.

Here is a list of 50 words that we borrowed from the English language. By recognizing the English, it will be easier for you to remember the Creole translations.

1.      Blackawout Blackout


2.      Chany


Shine (Shoeshiner)


3.      Bway




4.      Bakòp To Backup
5.      Biftèk Beefsteak
6.      Blenndè Blender
7.      Bokit Bucket
8.      Bòs Boss
9.      Chòp Shop
10.  Chòt Shorts
11.  Choublack Shoe-black Plant
12.  Dach Dashboard
13.  Daypè Diaper
14.  Delòk To unlock
15.  Dil Deal
16.  Djake To jack
17.  Djonp Jump drive
18.  Djèskanm Just come (New arrival)
19.  Drayklinin Dry cleaning
20.  Dwoum Drum
21.  Estat To start
22.  Filing Feeling
23.  Flach Flashslight
24.  Flayè Flyer
25.  Flòch To flush
26.  Frizè Freezer
27.  Gedj Gauge
28.  Glòs Gloss
29.  Gòl Goal (sport)
30.  Ennvètè Inverter
31.  Djakèt Jacket
32.  Kach Cash
33.  Kannistè Cannister
34.  Kanntè Canter
35.  Kèp Cup
36.  Kibòd Keyboard
37.  Klòtch Clutch
38.  Konmpitè Computer
39.  Lirik Lyrics
40.  Lòk Lock
41.  Makèt Market
42.  Mikse To mix
43.  Mòp Mop
44.  Playwoud Plywood
45.  Plòg Plug
46.  Sètòp Set up
47.  Tank Tank
48.  Tcheke To check
49.  Tepe To tape
50.  Tiz Tease

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