10 Pieces of U.S. Virgin Islands Slang You Should Be Using

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To fully immerse yourself in the culture of the U.S. Virgin Islands, it helps to speak the lingo. English is the dominant language on the islands of St. Croix, St. John, St. Thomas, and the surrounding minor islands, but local culture and the dialect (Virgin Islands creole) varies slightly from island to island. You’ll have to visit each of them to learn the local slang from the people who speak it, but here are some words (mostly Crucian terms from the island of St. Croix) that you should think about incorporating into your daily vocabulary.

1. CARTO (noun): Cardboard box
Example: “I’m moving next week, so I grabbed a carto from the store on my way home from work.”

2. CHARBO (noun): Money, said to derive from the Old Spanish word, “ochavo”
Example: “Can I borrow some charbo? I’ll pay you back next month!”

3. COPA (adj.): An abbreviation of the word copacetic, copa is used to signify that everything is fine
Example: “How goes it?” “Everything’s copa.”

4. CURRENT (noun): Electricity
Example: “You’re gonna want to cut the current before you hang all of those Christmas lights.”

5. DON GIVE ME NO SIX FOR A NINE (proverb): An expression meaning, “don’t cheat me,” or “don’t give me just part of what I deserve”
Example: “I told the mechanic who was fixing my engine, ‘Don give me no six for a nine!’”

6. JUMBIE (noun): A ghost or spirit, usually of the evil variety
Example: “I don’t like to walk past that abandoned house at night. Wouldn’t want to run into any jumbies.”

7. MEHSON (noun): An Island resident's pronunciation of the phrase “my son,” this genderless term is used to address one’s peers, similar to the way “dude” would be used in a sentence
Example: “What are you doing, mehson?”

8. PISTARCKLE (noun): A gathering that has become out of control or chaotic
Example: “That political convention was a real pistarckle!”

9. SKANTY (noun): Bicycle
Example: “Instead of driving, I think I might ride my skanty to the grocery store later.”

10. SWEET EYE (noun): A flirty glance
Example: “He says he’s not interested in her, but I saw him giving her the sweet eye!”

Considering a visit to the U.S. Virgin Islands? Gorgeous beaches, rich culture, delicious food, and incredible history await you. Click over to VisitUSVI.com for more info about the Islands’ upcoming Centennial Commemoration.