13 September 2018Cultural Component
The word I choose to discuss for this paper is “beyeh” (as it is recorded in the electronic Dictionary of Bahamian English-eDBE). “A term of address to a male peer”, as defined by the eDBE. This word is one of the most commonly used term in the Bahamas. I use this word daily just like any other Bahamian today. The use of “beyeh” for a Bahamian is as natural as breathing.
The dictionary (eDBE) says that “beyeh” is used to “address a male peer”, I don’t agree with that definition based on my own understanding of the word. It is wrong to say that it only addresses males, it can be used to address anyone male ore female, or anything in general. When I say that this word can be used to reference “anything”, it brings me to the point where “beyeh “can be used differently depending on the context it is used. Based on the tone one uses when using “beyeh” the word would have another meaning. In a video titled “Bahamian Translations” by Terrence Gilbert (a.k.a. King Kloud), the word “Beyeh” is used. The video is setup like an interview where a guy was asking a Bahamian to translate a few words and phrases. The first word was “hey” and the response was “beyeh”. The second word was “stop” and the response was “beyah”. As the video continued the Bahamian responded with “beyeh”, but each time he said the word his tone was different. Although the video is comedic it highlights the different way “beyeh” is used today apart from just being used to address someone.
From my understanding of the word “beyeh” it has changed a lot over the years. Not exactly the meaning, although it has changed a bit, but the word itself has changed. As you have seen throughout this paper the eDBE has the spelt “Beyeh”. This is different from how I and others today spell this word. Personally, I spell the word “bei”, and I have seen it spelt a few different ways, examples include: bui and bey. I believe that this word evolved over time and stems from the word “boy”, and because of our dialect it became “boi” and as time pass it became the word that I know today. In addition, the way this word is written on the eDBE is new to me. Based on what was stated about the origin of the word, the spelling on the eDBE suggest to me that a Bahamian didn’t write the entry. If necessary I will use different variants the the word, but for this paper I will continue to use it as it is on the eDBE.
A child that’s just learning how to speak would know how to use “beyeh” without being told what the meaning is. This can reflect how heavily the word is used in the Bahamas today. From my own personal experience, I was never told what this word meant. I had figure that out on my own by listening to others using the word. Based on this the only group of people I would say are unfamiliar with the word “beyeh”, are visiting the Bahamas for the first time.
My grandmother works in the straw market and I used to go with her on the weekend to help her out. The straw market is always flooded with tourist and because of the time I would spent there I became friends with a lot of them. During the times I would be interacting with tourist there were numerous times where someone would ask me what a certain word I had used meant. The most commonly used word they would as about is “beyeh”. Most of the time these tourists are American, so when I explain what the word meant I word relate it to some they use commonly. This would include words like bro and dude, from this simple explanation they would come to understand the meaning of “beyeh” quickly.
Earlier in this paper there have been a reference to a video that highlighted “beyeh” being in different context. A good example of this word being used in context can be found in a song name “HA’d Go” by an artist named Daynez. In the first verse of the song he states: “So you ein believe one day I was walking, this bey come up to me wearing brand new Jordans, and Ralph Lauren, asking me for money, basin, liking man early in the morning, anyway, this bey say ket him a slow ten, I’ll give you a fast five, back hand side”. In this verse he used the word “bey” twice. Here you can see that he used “bey” to address the person that came to him to borrow money.
“Beyeh” is a commonly used word in the Bahamas that is used to address another person. It can also have a different meaning depending on the tone used. This word is deeply rooted in our culture today and never be lost in time.
“Beyeh.” electronic Dictionary of Bahamian English, 12 Sept 2010, http://www.cobses.info/EDBEWW/index.php?action=artikel;cat=2;id=331;artlang=en;highlight=bey, 6 Sept 2018.
@khingkloudklown. “Bahamian Translations.” Instagram, 18 July 2018, www.instagram.com/p/BlZJsEXB4Aa/?utm_source=ig_twitter_share;igshid=1cplmovlt0lbu, 10 Sept 2018.
Daynez. “HA’d Go.”,2013, Soundcloud, soundcloud.com/daynez-mitunezz-rahming, 13 sept 2018.