#learn-patois · 1 year ago

What Does "Wah Gwaan" Mean in Jamaica?

What Does

Jamaica is a country rich in culture and tradition, and one of the things that makes Jamaican culture unique is its language. Jamaican Patois, also known as Jamaican Creole, is a language that has its roots in English, African languages, and Spanish. It is a language that is spoken widely across the island and is an important part of Jamaican identity. One of the most commonly used phrases in Jamaican Patois is "Wah Gwaan," which translates to "What's Going On?" or "What's Up?"

The phrase "Wah Gwaan" is a greeting that is used to initiate conversation or to find out how someone is doing. It is a casual and informal phrase that is used among friends, family, and even strangers. In Jamaican Patois, words are often shortened or abbreviated, and "Wah Gwaan" is no exception. The phrase is a shortened version of "What's Going On," and it is pronounced as "Wa-gwaan."

Jamaican Patois is a language that is influenced by the African diaspora, and many of its words and phrases have their roots in West African languages such as Akan, Yoruba, and Twi. The phrase "Wah Gwaan" is no exception, and it is believed to have originated from the Akan language. In the Akan language, "Eti sen?" is used as a greeting that translates to "How are you?" In Jamaican Patois, "Wah Gwaan" is used as a similar greeting to ask how someone is doing.

The use of Jamaican Patois has gained popularity in recent years, and many Jamaican artists have used the language in their music, making it more mainstream. The popularity of the language has also led to the inclusion of Jamaican Patois in popular culture, such as movies, television shows, and even video games.

"Wah Gwaan" is a popular Jamaican Patois phrase that is used to greet others and to find out how someone is doing. The phrase has its roots in the Akan language and has become a significant part of Jamaican culture and identity. Whether you are visiting Jamaica or just interested in learning more about Jamaican culture, understanding the meaning and usage of "Wah Gwaan" is an essential part of communicating with locals and immersing yourself in the island's vibrant culture.


  1. If you are not familiar with Jamaican Patois, it can be challenging to understand the language at first. However, with practice, you can become more comfortable with the language and understand more of what is being said.

  2. If you are visiting Jamaica, it is a good idea to learn some basic Jamaican Patois phrases, including "Wah Gwaan," as it will help you communicate with locals and make your stay more enjoyable.

  3. You can find resources online that can help you learn Jamaican Patois, including websites, videos, and language learning apps.