Bahamian English

Bahamian English is a variety of English spoken in the Bahamas and by Bahamian diasporas. The standard for official use and education is British-based.[1]

Bahamian English
RegionThe Bahamas
Language codes
ISO 639-3


The Bahamian accent is non-rhotic.[1][2]

The realization of vowels in the Bahamian English. The vowels below are named by the lexical set they belong to:

  • The Kit vowel: The same as in American English, the default [ɪ].
  • The Dress vowel: The vowel is [ɛ].
  • The Trap vowel: This vowel is mostly [a] or [æ].
  • The Lot vowel: As mostly of the US, this vowel is usually [ɑ].
  • The Strut vowel: It is the same as in the US English, [ʌ].
  • The Foot vowel: It is [ʊ].
  • The Fleece vowel: It is [i] or a diphthong [ɪi].
  • The Face diphthong: It is generally [eɪ] or [ɛɪ].
  • The Palm vowel: It is mostly [ɑ].
  • The Thought vowel: The vowel is [ɔ].
  • The Goat diphthong: It is generally [ɵʊ] or [oʊ].
  • The Near diphthong: It is [eə] or [iə].
  • The Square diphthong: It is [eə].
  • The Start vowel: It is [ɑː].
  • The North diphthong: usually [ɔə].
  • The Force diphthong: usually [oə].
  • The Cure diphthong: usually [uə].
  • The Bath vowel: This vowel is mostly [a] or [æ].
  • The Cloth vowel: It is mostly [ɔ].
  • The Nurse vowel: It varies among [ə], [ɜ] and [ɜi].
  • The Goose vowel: It is mostly [ʉː].
  • The Price/Prize Dithphong: It's generally [ɑɪ].
  • The Choice diphthong: It is [oɪ] or [ɑɪ].
  • The Mouth diphthong: It varies among [ao], [aɵ] [aɛ] and [ɑə].
  • The happY vowel: It is pretty much the kit vowel: [ɪ].
  • The lettEr-horsEs-commA vowel is [ə] (schwa).

There is poor distinction between the [v] and [w] sounds in Bahamian English.[3] The contrast is often neutralized or merged into [v], [b] or [β], so village sounds like [wɪlɪdʒ], [vɪlɪdʒ] or [βɪlɪdʒ]. This also happens in the Vincentian, Bermudian and other Caribbean Englishes.

Dental fricatives are usually changed to alveolar plosives (th-stopping):

  • Voiced th becomes /d/, e.g. "That" turns into "dat"; "Those" > "Dose"; "There" > "Dere"; "They" > "Dey".
  • Unvoiced th becomes /t/, e.g. "Thanks" becomes "tanks"; "Throw" > "Trow"; "Three" > "Tree".


  1. ^ a b Ammon, Ulrich; Dittmar, Norbert; Mattheier, Klaus J. (2006). Sociolinguistics: An International Handbook of the Science of Language and Society. Walter de Gruyter. p. 2069. ISBN 978-3-11-018418-1. British-based standard Bahamian English is the official language [...] Although standard Bahamian is non-rhotic, many Bahamians view r-full American pronunciations as "correct" and try to imitate them, even to the extent of introducing a hypercorrect /r/ in [...] Baharmas.
  2. ^ Wells, J. C. (1982). Accents of English. 3: Beyond the British Isles. Cambridge U. Press. p. 570. ISBN 978-0-521-28541-4. The accents of Trinidad and the other Windward and Leeward Islands, and of the Bahamas, are non-rhotic. Jamaica and Guyana occupy intermediate positions, with variable semi-rhoticity.
  3. ^ Childs, Becky; Wolfram, Walt (2008). "Bahamian English: phonology". In Schneider, Edgar W. Varieties of English. 2: The Americas and the Caribbean. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. pp. 239–255.

Anglo-America (also referred to as Anglo-Saxon America) most often designates to a region in the Americas in which English is a main language and British culture and the British Empire have had significant historical, ethnic, linguistic and cultural impact. Anglo-America is distinct from Latin America, a region of the Americas where Romance languages (Spanish, Portuguese and French) are prevalent.

April 19

April 19 is the 109th day of the year (110th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. 256 days remain until the end of the year.


Bahamian may refer to anything of or from The Bahamas, an island country located in the Atlantic Ocean northeast of Cuba.

Bahamians, citizens of the Bahamas and descendants of the Bahamian diaspora

Bahamian English, a dialect of English spoken in The Bahamas and by Bahamian diasporas

Bahamian Creole, English-based creole language spoken in the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands

Culture of the Bahamas, a hybrid of African, European, and other cultures

Demographics of the Bahamas, population, ethnicity, and other aspects of the population of The Bahamas

Bahamian Americans

Bahamian Americans are Americans of Bahamian ancestry. There are an estimated 56,498 people of Bahamian ancestry living in the US as of 2015.

Bahamian Creole

Bahamian Creole (known as Bahamian dialect or Bahamianese) is an English-based creole language spoken mainly in the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands.

Bahamianese is spoken by both white and black Bahamians, although in slightly different forms. Bahamianese also tends to be more prevalent in certain areas of the Bahamas. Islands that were settled earlier or that have a historically large Afro-Bahamian population have a greater concentration of individuals exhibiting creolized speech; the creole is most prevalent in urban areas. Individual speakers have command of lesser and greater creolized forms.

Bahamianese also shares similar features with other Caribbean English-based creoles, such as those of Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, Saint Lucia, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Guyana, and the Virgin Islands. There is also a very significant link between Bahamian and the Gullah language of South Carolina, as many Bahamians are descendants of slaves brought to the islands from the Gullah region after the American revolution.In comparison to many of the English-based creoles of the Caribbean region, limited research has been conducted on what is known as Bahamian Creole. This lack of research on Bahamian Creole is perhaps because for many years, Bahamians have assumed that this language is simply a variety of English. However, academic research shows that this is not the case. In fact, there is much socio-historical and linguistic evidence to support the proposal that it is a creole language.

Bahamian cuisine

Bahamian Cuisine is to the foods and beverages of The Bahamas. It includes seafood such as fish, shellfish, lobster, crab, and conch, as well as tropical fruits, rice, peas, pigeon peas, potatoes, and pork. Popular seasonings commonly used in dishes include chilies (hot pepper), lime, tomatoes, onions, garlic, allspice, cinnamon, rum, and coconut. Rum-based beverages are popular on the island. Since the Bahamas consist of a multitude of islands, notable culinary variations exist.

Bahamian cuisines are somewhat related to the American South. A large portion of Bahamian foodstuffs are imported (cf. economy of the Bahamas). International cuisine is offered, especially at hotels.Many specialty dishes are available at roadside stands, beach side, and in fine dining establishments. In contrast to the offerings in the city of Nassau and in the many hotels, "shack" type food stands/restaurants (including Goldies and Twin Brothers) are located at Arawak Cay on West Bay Street about 15 minutes from downtown Nassau and 25 minutes from Atlantis Paradise Island resort.This is a very organized and safe place to enjoy fresh seafood and all local Bahamian dishes. Travellers Rest Restaurant, in Nassau, is known for serving authentic "local" foods.Bahamian cuisine is showcased at many large festivals, including Independence Day (Bahamas) on July 10 (during which inhabitants prepare special dishes like guava duff), Fox Hill Day (second Tuesday in August), and Emancipation Day. Some settlements have festivals associated with the traditional crop or food of that area, such as the Pineapple Fest in Gregory Town, Eleuthera.

Bahamian traditions and food have been exported to other countries with emigrants. Coconut Grove, Florida celebrates the Goombay Festival in June, transforming the area's Grand Avenue into a Carnival (Caribbean Carnival) in celebration of Bahamian culture, Bahamian food and music (Junkanoo and 'Rake'N'Scrape'). Fantasy Fest in Key West, Florida includes a two-day street party known as Goombay held in Key West's Bahama Village neighborhood. It is named after the goombay goatskin drums that generate the party's rhythms and held in celebration of the heritage of Key West's large Bahamian population with food, art, and dancing.

Black Bermudian

Black Bermudians, African Bermudians or Bermudians of African descent, are Bermudians with any appreciable Black African ancestry. The population descend primarily from blacks who arrived in Bermuda during the Seventeenth Century as indentured servants or slaves. The first influx of blacks in any numbers came in the mid-Seventeenth Century, when free blacks, most presumably Spanish-speaking Catholics, chose to immigrate to the Bermuda from former Spanish West Indian colonies that were captured by England and incorporated into its growing empire. As with most of the white settlers, few could afford the cost of their transport and so arrived as indentured servants. The continued reliance upon indentured servitude until the dissolution of the Somers Isles Company in 1684 meant that Bermuda's economy did not come to rely on slavery during the 17th Century. Black and Native American slaves continued to trickle in Bermuda, however, due to privateers using the colony as a base of operations. Black and Native American slaves captured aboard enemy ships were considered property, and returned to Bermuda for sale along with ships and cargoes. Bermuda was also used as a dumping ground for peoples ethnically-cleansed from their homelands by the expanse of the English Empire. This included particularly Algonquian peoples from New England, such as Pequots and Wampanoags, and native Irish Gaels, following the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland. All of these peoples were shipped to Bermuda and sold into bondage. Whites (excluding the Irish) remained the majority in Bermuda at the end of the Seventeenth Century. Although fears of blacks and Irish especially led to the discouragement of black immigration, the prohibition of the importation of Irish, and continual efforts to encourage slave-owners to export their slaves and free non-whites to emigrate or risk enslavement, the blacks, Irish, Native Americans, and some part of the white Anglos merged into a single demographic during the course of the Eighteenth Century which was known as coloured (anyone who was not entirely white). Intermarriage and extramarital relationships between the coloured and white populations continued to shift the ratio of coloured to white Bermudians as a child of a coloured and a white parent was generally considered coloured. By the 19th century the coloured population surpassed the white population and became Bermuda's largest ethnic group. As in the United States and Britain, the term "coloured" came to be seen as offensive in Bermuda by the mid-Twentieth Century and fell out of official use. It has been replaced by the terms "Black" and sometimes "African-Bermudian". The small numbers of Asians and other non-African minorities in Bermuda had always been included in the "coloured" demographic, but are now listed separately. Although the majority of Bermuda's ancestry doubtless remains European, given that all but a negligible few black Bermudians have European ancestry and that Portuguese immigration since the 1840s has contributed to 10% of the current population (although Portuguese have historically been defined as a separate racial demographic group from both white and coloured Bermudians), but with only those of entirely-European extraction being considered white and anyone with any black ancestry considered black, and with considerable black immigration from the West Indies during the course of the 20th Century, blacks have remained in the majority since the 19th Century.

Currently, the majority of Bermuda's ethnic make-up is black, accounting for 54% of the territory's population.

Caribbean Community

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM or CC) is an organisation of fifteen Caribbean nations and dependencies whose main objective is to promote economic integration and cooperation among its members, to ensure that the benefits of integration are equitably shared, and to coordinate foreign policy. The organisation was established in 1973. Its major activities involve coordinating economic policies and development planning; devising and instituting special projects for the less-developed countries within its jurisdiction; operating as a regional single market for many of its members (Caricom Single Market); and handling regional trade disputes. The secretariat headquarters is in Georgetown, Guyana. CARICOM is an official United Nations Observer.Established mainly by the English-speaking parts of the Caribbean, CARICOM has become multilingual in practice with the addition of Dutch-speaking Suriname on 4 July 1995 and Haitian Kreyòl- and French-speaking Haiti on 2 July 2002. Furthermore, it was suggested that Spanish should also become a working language. In July 2012, CARICOM announced that they were considering making French and Dutch official languages. In 2001, the heads of government signed a revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that cleared the way to transform the idea of a common market CARICOM into a Caribbean (CARICOM) Single Market and Economy. Part of the revised treaty establishes and implements the Caribbean Court of Justice.

Conch (people)

Conch , was originally a slang term for native Bahamians of European descent.

David Barnhart

David K. Barnhart (born 1941) is an American lexicographer who specializes in new words. He began his career helping his father, Clarence Barnhart, edit the Thorndike-Barnhart dictionary series.In 1980 he founded Lexik House Publishers. In the 1980s Lexik House published ТРОйКА--The TROIKA Introduction to Russian Letters and sounds (c. 1980) by Reason A. Goodwin, the Dictionary of Bahamian English (c. 1982) by John A. Holm with Alison Watt Shilling, and in 1987 The Dictionary of Gambling and Gaming by Thomas L. Clark.

In 1982 he, with his father, began work on The Barnhart Dictionary Companion, a quarterly publication documenting appearance of new words, new meanings and new usages in English. This carries on the tradition of the Barnhart Dictionary of New English series (edited by his father, brother Robert Barnhart, and Sol Steinmetz), which was last published in 2001. He wrote Neo Words: A Dictionary of the Newest and Most Unusual Words of Our Time (1991). He created The Barnhart New-Words Concordance (1994) and its Supplement (2006), an index to the words contained in numerous new word dictionaries, which has been updated quarterly since 1994.

With Allan A. Metcalf, he wrote America in So Many Words: Words that have shaped America (1997). He has worked as a teacher, lecturer, and as an expert witness reporting on usage and meaning in English words.

His collection of political words of the last couple of decades was published in December 2016. The title is Barnhart's Never-finished Political Dictionary of the 21st Century and the publisher is Lexik House Publishers (Hyde Park, N.Y.).

He is a member and past president of the Dictionary Society of North America and the International Linguistic Association. He is a member of the American Dialect Society.

Greek Bahamians

Greek Bahamians (Greek: Ελληνομπαχαμιανός) comprise Bahamian citizens of either full or partial Greek heritage. Most residents, if not the entire Greek community, are the descendants of Greek labourers who came to the Bahamas in 1880's to develop the sponging industry.

Haplogroup T-M184

Haplogroup T-M184, also known as Haplogroup T is a human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup. The UEP that defines this clade is the SNP known as M184. Other SNPs – M272, PAGES129, L810, L455, L452, and L445 – are considered to be phylogenetically equivalent to M184. As a primary branch of haplogroup LT (a.k.a. K1), the basal, undivergent haplogroup T* currently has the alternate phylogenetic name of K1b and is a sibling of haplogroup L* (a.k.a. K1a). (Before 2008, haplogroup T and its subclades were known as haplogroup K2. The name K2 has since been reassigned to a primary subclade of haplogroup K.) It has two primary branches: T1 (T-L206) and T2 (T-PH110).

T-M184 is unusual in that it is both geographically widespread and relatively rare (considering that it originated around 40,000 years ago).A living male from Armenia is reportedly the only known case of basal T* (T-M184*). (That is, an example of T-M184* that does not including mutations identifying T-L206 or T-PH110.)

As a whole, T-M184, is found at its highest frequencies among some populations in parts of the Horn of Africa, East India, Madagascar, Kazakhstan and Sicily. Some sources suggest that the arrival of the lineage in these regions is due to relatively recent migrations. T-M184 occurs at frequencies of greater than 30% (in large samples) from populations as diverse as Dir clan ethnic Somalis of Djibouti, Antemoro of Madagascar, Bauri, and Yerukula of East India, Argyns from Kazakhstan and rural Sciaccensis from Sicily.

T2 (T-PH110) is very rare and has been found in three distinct geographical regions: the North European Plain, the Kura-Araks Basin of the Caucasus, and Bhutan. None of these regions, however, now appears to feature populations with high frequencies of haplogroup T-M184.T1 (T-L206) – the numerically dominant primary branch of T-M184 – appears to have originated in Western Asia, possibly somewhere between northeastern Anatolia and the Zagros Mountains, and spread from there into the Arabian Peninsula, East Africa, South Asia, Southern Europe and adjoining regions. T1* may have expanded with the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B culture (PPNB). Most males who now belong to haplogroup T-L206 carry the subclade T-M70 (T1a), a primary branch of T-M206. Now most commonly found in North Africa and the Middle East, T-M70 nevertheless appears to have long been present in Europe, having possibly arrived there in the Neolithic epoch with the first farmers. This is supported by the discovery of several members of T1a1 (CTS880) at a 7,000 year old settlement in Karsdorf, Germany and two members in 5800-5400Bc neolithic site in Malak Preslavets, Bulgaria. Autosomal analysis of these remains suggest that some were closely related to modern Southwest Asian populations.

Index of Bahamas-related articles

The following is an alphabetical list of topics related to the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.

John A. Holm

John Alexander Holm (May 16, 1943 – December 28, 2015) was an American academic. He was Chair of English Linguistics and History of Civilizations at the University of Coimbra, Portugal.Holm was born in Jackson, Michigan and graduated from Jackson High School in 1961. He received a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of London in 1978 with his thesis "The creole English of Nicaragua's Miskito Coast : its sociolinguistic history and a comparative study of its lexicon and syntax." He is a specialist on the history and languages of the Caribbean peoples, and the author of many books and articles on those subjects. He is editor with Susanne Maria Michaelis of the series Contact languages : critical concepts in language studies. Thanks to the study of creoles, he showed that because of its importance in Barbados, the white population is the starting point of most of the english creoles that are spoken by the Indian, white and black peoples in most parts of the Caribbean and Carolina.

He also wrote the only one dictionary of Bahamian English. He died on December 28, 2015 in Azeitão, Portugal from prostate cancer.

List of dialects of English

The following is a list of dialects of English. Dialects are linguistic varieties which may differ in pronunciation, vocabulary, spelling and grammar. For the classification of varieties of English in terms of pronunciation only, see Regional accents of English.

Dialects can be defined as "sub-forms of languages which are, in general, mutually comprehensible." English speakers from different countries and regions use a variety of different accents (systems of pronunciation), as well as various localized words and grammatical constructions; many different dialects can be identified based on these factors. Dialects can be classified at broader or narrower levels: within a broad national or regional dialect, various more localized sub-dialects can be identified, and so on. The combination of differences in pronunciation and use of local words may make some English dialects almost unintelligible to speakers from other regions.

The major native dialects of English are often divided by linguists into three general categories: the British Isles dialects, those of North America, and those of Australasia. Dialects can be associated not only with place, but also with particular social groups. Within a given English-speaking country, there will often be a form of the language considered to be Standard English – the Standard Englishes of different countries differ, and each can itself be considered a dialect. Standard English is often associated with the more educated layers of society, as well as more formal registers.

British and American English are the reference norms for English as spoken, written, and taught in the rest of the world, excluding countries where English is spoken natively such as Australia, Canada, Ireland and New Zealand. In many former British Empire countries where English is not spoken natively, British English forms are closely followed, alongside numerous AmE usages which have become widespread throughout the English-speaking world. Conversely, in many countries historically influenced by the United States where English is not spoken natively, American English forms are closely followed. Many of these countries, while retaining strong BrE or AmE influences, have developed their own unique dialects, which include Indian English and Philippine English.

Chief among other native English dialects are Canadian English and Australian English, which rank third and fourth in the number of native speakers. For the most part, Canadian English, while featuring numerous British forms alongside indigenous Canadianisms, shares vocabulary, phonology and syntax with American English, leading many to recognize North American English as an organic grouping of dialects. Australian English likewise shares many American and British English usages alongside plentiful features unique to Australia, and retains a significantly higher degree of distinctiveness from both the larger varieties than does Canadian English. South African English, New Zealand English and the Hiberno-English of Ireland are also distinctive and rank fifth, sixth and seventh in the number of native speakers.

Regional accents of English

Spoken English shows great variation across regions where it is the predominant language. This article provides an overview of the numerous identifiable variations in pronunciation; such distinctions usually derive from the phonetic inventory of local dialects, as well as from broader differences in the Standard English of different primary-speaking populations.

Accent is the part of dialect concerning local pronunciation. Vocabulary and grammar are described elsewhere; see List of dialects of the English language.

Secondary English speakers tend to carry over the intonation and phonetics of their mother tongue in English speech. For more details, see Non-native pronunciations of English.

Primary English-speakers show great variability in terms of regional accents. Some, such as Pennsylvania Dutch English, are easily identified by key characteristics; others are more obscure or easily confused. Broad regions can possess sub-forms as identified below; for instance, towns located less than 10 miles (16 km) from the city of Manchester, such as Bolton, Rochdale, Oldham and Salford, each have distinct accents, all of which together comprise the broader accent of Lancashire county; while these sub-dialects are very similar to each other, non-local listeners can identify firm differences.

English accents can differ enough to create room for misunderstandings. For example, the pronunciation of pearl in some variants of Scottish English can sound like the entirely unrelated word petal to an American ear.

For a summary of the differences between accents, see International Phonetic Alphabet chart for English dialects.

Staniel Cay

Staniel Cay is an island located in The Exuma Cays, a district of The Bahamas.

Staniel Cay is located roughly 120 km (75 mi) south of Nassau and 400 km (250 mi) southeast of Florida. The island has a population of less than 118 full-time residents and has an area of less than 5 km2 (2 sq mi). Staniel Cay is inhabited by a small Bahamian village which lies on the western shore. The village is composed of residential housing, a church, a post office, a library, three small retail stores and marine supply shops. Staniel Cay is protected by the Bahamas National Trust, the organization in charge of the conservation and preservation of places of historic interest and natural beauty in The Bahamas.

The Bahamas

The Bahamas ( (listen)), known officially as the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, is a country within the Lucayan Archipelago. The archipelagic state consists of more than 700 islands, cays, and islets in the Atlantic Ocean, and is located north of Cuba and Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic), northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands, southeast of the U.S. state of Florida, and east of the Florida Keys. The capital is Nassau on the island of New Providence. The designation of "the Bahamas" can refer either to the country or to the larger island chain that it shares with the Turks and Caicos Islands. The Royal Bahamas Defence Force describes the Bahamas territory as encompassing 470,000 km2 (180,000 sq mi) of ocean space.

The Bahamas is the site of Columbus's first landfall in the New World in 1492. At that time, the islands were inhabited by the Lucayans, a branch of the Arawakan-speaking Taíno people. Although the Spanish never colonised the Bahamas, they shipped the native Lucayans to slavery in Hispaniola. The islands were mostly deserted from 1513 until 1648, when English colonists from Bermuda settled on the island of Eleuthera.

The Bahamas became a British crown colony in 1718, when the British clamped down on piracy. After the American Revolutionary War, the Crown resettled thousands of American Loyalists in the Bahamas; they brought their slaves with them and established plantations on land grants. Africans constituted the majority of the population from this period. The slave trade was abolished by the British in 1807; slavery in the Bahamas was abolished in 1834. Subsequently, the Bahamas became a haven for freed African slaves; the Royal Navy resettled Africans there liberated from illegal slave ships, North American slaves and Seminoles escaped here from Florida, and the government freed slaves carried on US domestic ships that had reached the Bahamas due to weather. Today, Afro-Bahamians make up nearly 90% of the population.

The Bahamas became an independent Commonwealth realm in 1973 with Elizabeth II as its queen. In terms of gross domestic product per capita, the Bahamas is one of the richest countries in the Americas (following the United States and Canada), with an economy based on tourism and finance.

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