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Posted by on Nov 13, 2015 in W.I. Word of the Week | 0 comments

West Indian Word of the Week: Mehkase

Since childhood, I have been a dawdler. My parents always seemed to be a hurry. But me? Not so much. I took my time with EVERYTHING. I ate slow (it takes time to pick all those peas out the rice!) I took long showers  (leaving my little brother with very little hot water for his shower, lol.) I even took forever on the toilet (cuz I was reading books at the same time so no matter how many times little brother banged on the door yelling that he had to pee, he had to wait until I had finished my chapter).

As a result, I would constantly hear my parents yelling ‘Come nuh!  Mehkase! Mehkase nuh gyurl!’, as they impatiently waited for me get in the car, out the bathroom, down the stairs, etc. And though no one had ever explicitly told me that mehkase means to hurry up it was easy enough to deduce.

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As a teen I started to become interested in the origin and development of the language, accents and dialects of the Caribbean. One day I asked my mother how mehkase came to mean hurry up. I expected to hear that it was an Amerindian word or maybe a mashup of a Dutch and African or Hindu word. But no. Nothing quite so exotic. Mehkase is  simply two English words: make & haste. Just said quickly and with an accent.

Oh.

Well that makes sense. LOL.

Does your family say mehkase when trying to get you to hurry up? What other words West Indian words/phrases do you use to rush people along? Tell me nuh!

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