Missa Samuda Pull Rank Pon Guardy

Two spelling systems are used for the Jamaican language below. The first, ‘Chaka-Chaka,’ is based on English spelling, which is notoriously irregular. The second, ‘Prapa-Prapa,’ is the consistent, specialist system designed by the Jamaican linguist Frederic Cassidy. It has been updated by the Jamaican Language Unit at the University of the West Indies, Mona. After the two Jamaican versions, there’s an English translation.

CHAKA-CHAKA SPELLING

Mi nah lost mi pass go call di honourable Karl Samuda ‘Massa.’ A ‘Missa’ mi seh. Mi do know seh di honourable Nigel Clarke go inna Parliament an run up im mout bout ‘massa’ nah nutten fi do wid bakra inna dem ya time. Ascorden to im, ‘massa’ simple mean ‘power.’ An it look like seh nobody inna fi im party nuh tell im seh im a form fool. Dem a gwaan like seh im a chat sense.

Inna Jamaica, massa an bakra cut offa di same claat. Full a blood an sufferation. Dat a fi wi history.  An it still a gwaan.  So me nah romp wid di word ‘massa.’ Next ting, it outa road seh mi a call Missa Samuda bakra massa. Notn nuh go so.  From wat mi can see, Missa Samuda a nuh nuh bakra.  Im no white to dat. Im might a pass fi white inna Jamaica.  Not eena foreign.   

‘RIDING A HIGH HORSE’

Massa or nuh massa, mi nuh like how Missa Samuda a treat di security guard dem.  Im a minister a labour an social security.  An it look like seh im nuh business wid di security guard dem social security more than suh.  All Gleaner editor a fi a haul im up.  See dis ya headline Wednesday gone:  “Riding a high horse.” Gleaner seh, “If Mr Samuda has not yet changed course, he should be ordered by Prime Minister Andrew Holness to dismount the high horse and engage [with] security guards, who claim they are being pressured by employers to sign away their rights to keep their jobs.”

Hear how Cambridge dictionary explain “come/get (down) off your high horse:” “to stop talking as if you were better or more clever than other people.”  Seet deh now! Ascorden to Gleaner, Missa Samuda seh di security guard dem “officious and rude” fi keep up demonstration front a im office.  Wa im mean?  After dem a nuh pikini!  Dem a big man an big woman.  Tings hard wid dem.  An dem a fi mek noise bout fi dem situation.

FLY PASS YU NEST

Inna English, di first meaning a ‘officious’ a good sinting. It come from Latin, ‘officiosus.’  Same root lacka ‘office.’ An it mean seh yu do yu work good.  Time pass, an ‘officious’ tek on one next meaning, weh nuh good at all: force up yuself pon people a gi advice weh dem nuh aks fa. Dat a kind a like how wi use di word inna fi wi Jamaica language: fly past yu nest. 

Di security guard dem “officious” inna di old-time English way.  Dem a do fi dem work an a look after fi dem business same time.   An Misa Samuda im well “officious and rude,” inna fi wi language, wid im outa order self, a gwaan like seh im better than di security guard dem. Mi a wonder now if Missa Samuda tink seh im a massa fi true. Long time aback, a ongle bakra massa did ride horse. Jack Mandora mi nuh choose none.

PRAPA-PRAPA SPELIN

Mi naa laas mi paas go kaal di anarebl Karl Samuda ‘Maasa.’  A ‘Misa’ mi se.  Mi du nuo se di anarebl Nigel Clarke go ina Paaliment an ron op im mout bout ‘maasa’ naa notn fi du wid bakra ina dem ya taim. Azkaadn tu im, ‘maasa’ simpl miin ‘powa.’  An it luk laik se nobadi ina fi im paati no tel im se im a faam fuul.  Dem a gwaan laik se im a chat sens.

Ina Jamieka, maasa an bakra kot aafa di siem klaat.  Ful a blod an sofarieshan. Dat a fi wi ischri.  An it stil a gwaan. So mii naa ramp wid di wod ‘maasa.’ Neks ting, it outa ruod se mi a kaal Misa Samuda bakra maasa. Notn no go so.  Fram wat mi kyan si, Misa Samuda a no no bakra.  Im no wait tu dat. Im maita paas fi wait ina Jamieka.  Nat iina farin.  

DI ANAREBL KARL SAMU

‘RIDING A HIGH HORSE’

Maasa ar no maasa, mi no laik ou Misa Samuda a chriit di sikyorti gyaad dem.  Im a minista a lieba an suoshal sikyoriti.  An it luk laik se im no bizniz wid di sikyoriti gyaad dem suoshal sikyoriti muor dan so.  Aal Gleaner edita a fi a aal im op.  Si dis ya edlain Wenzde gaan:  “Riding a high horse.” Gleaner se, “If Mr Samuda has not yet changed course, he should be ordered by Prime Minister Andrew Holness to dismount the high horse and engage [with] security guards, who claim they are being pressured by employers to sign away their rights to keep their jobs.”

Ier ou Cambridge dikshaneri eksplien “come/get (down) off your high horse:” “to stop talking as if you were better or more clever than other people.”  Siit de nou! Azkaadn tu Gleaner, Misa Samuda se di sikyoriti gyaad dem “officious and rude” fi kip op demanschrieshan front a im afis.  Wa im miin?  Aafta dem a no pikini!  Dem a big man an big uman.  Tingz aad wid dem.  An dem a fi mek naiz bout fi dem sityuwieshan.

FLAI PAAS YU NES

Ina Ingglish, di fos miinin a ‘officious’ a gud sinting. It kom fram Latin, ‘officiosus.’  Siem ruut laka ‘office.’ An it miin se yu du yu wok gud.  Taim paas, an ‘officious’ tek aan wan neks miinin, we no gud at aal: fuos op yuself pan piipl a gi advais we dem no aks fa. Dat a kaina laik ou wi yuuz di wod ina fi wi Jamieka langgwij: flai paas yu nes. 

Di sikyoriti gyaad dem “officious” ina di uol-taim Ingglish wie.  Dem a du fi dem wok an a luk aafta fi dem bizniz siem taim.   An Misa Samuda im wel “officious and rude,” ina fi wi langgwij, wid im outa aada self, a gwaan laik se im beta dan di sikyorti gyaad dem. Mi a wanda nou if Misa Samuda tingk se im a maasa fi chruu. Lang taim abak, a ongl bakra maasa did raid aas. Jak Manduora mi no chuuz non.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION

MISTER SAMUDA PULLS RANK ON SECURITY GUARDS

I wouldn’t dare call the honourable Karl Samuda ‘Massa’ (Master).  It’s ‘Mister.’   I do know that the honourable Nigel Clarke rattled on in Parliament, claiming that, these days, ‘massa’ no longer exclusively means bakra (a white person). According to him, ‘massa’ simply means ‘power.’  And it seems as if no one in his party has told him he’s forming the fool.  They’ve been acting as if his argument makes sense.

In Jamaica, massa and bakra are cut from the same cloth. Full of blood and hardship. That’s our history.  And it’s our present.  So I don’t use the word ‘massa’ lightly.  The next thing you know, it’s all over the place that I’m calling Mister Samuda bakra massa. Not at all.  From what I can see, Mister Samuda is not bakra.  He’s not all that white. He might pass for white in Jamaica.  Not abroad.   

‘RIDING A HIGH HORSE’

Master or not, Mister Samuda is not treating security guards appropriately.  And I don’t appreciate it.  He’s minister of labour and social security.  And it seems as if he doesn’t give a damn about the social security of security guards.  He was even hauled over the coals in a Gleaner editorial last Wednesday, headlined, “Riding a high horse.” It said, “If Mr Samuda has not yet changed course, he should be ordered by Prime Minister Andrew Holness to dismount the high horse and engage [with] security guards, who claim they are being pressured by employers to sign away their rights to keep their jobs.”

This is how the Cambridge dictionary defines “come/get (down) off your high horse:” “to stop talking as if you were better or more clever than other people.”  There you have it! According to the Gleaner editorial, Mister Samuda said the security guards were “officious and rude” to hold a demonstration outside his office.  What does he mean?  They are not children!  They are adults.  Times are hard and they have to protest about their circumstances.

CLIMBING ABOVE ONE’S STATION

In English, the first meaning of ‘officious’ is positive. It comes from Latin, ‘officiosus.’  The same root as ‘office.’ And it means that you do your job efficiently.  Over time, ‘officious’ took on another meaning that’s quite negative:  imposing on others and giving unwanted advice. That’s somewhat like how we use the word in our Jamaican language: climbing above one’s station.

The security guards are “officious” in the original English sense of the word.  They are doing their job and also defending their own interests. And Mister Samuda himself is rather “officious and rude” and out of order in the Jamaican sense, acting as if he’s better than the security guards.  I’m now wondering if Mister Samuda thinks that he’s actually massa. In the old days, it was only bakra massa who rode a horse. Don’t shoot the messenger!

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