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Encyclopedia > Rastafarian vocabulary
Haile Selassie I

Rastafarian vocabulary, or Iyaric, is part of an intentionally created dialect of English. The adherents of Rastafari teachings believe that their original African languages were stolen from them when they were taken into captivity as part of the slave trade, and that English is an imposed colonial language. Their remedy for this situation has been the creation of a modified vocabulary and dialect, reflecting their desire to take forward language and to confront what they see as the corrupt and decadent society they call Babylon. This is accomplished by avoiding words and syllables seen as negative, such as "back", and changing them to positive ones. Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Haile Selassie I The Rastafari movement (also known as Rastafari, or simply Rasta) is a new religious movement[1] that accepts Haile Selassie I, the former Emperor of Ethiopia, as God incarnate, called Jah[2] or Jah Rastafari. ... Map showing the distribution of African language families and some major African languages. ... This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... In general, the word colonial means of or relating to a colony. In United States history, the term Colonial is used to refer to the period before US independence. ... For dialects of programming languages, see Programming language dialect. ... For other uses, see Babylon (disambiguation). ...

Contents

I words

  • I replaces "me", which is much more commonly used in Jamaican English than in the more conventional forms. Me is felt to turn the person into an object whereas I emphasises the subjectivity of an individual.
  • I and I is a complex term, referring to the oneness of Jah (God) and every human. Rastafarian scholar E. E. Cashmore: "I and I is an expression to totalize the concept of oneness, the oneness of two persons. So God is within all of us and we're one people in fact. I and I means that God is in all men. The bond of Ras Tafari is the bond of God, of man. But man itself needs a head and the head of man is His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I (always pronounced as the letter "I," never as the number one or "the first") of Ethiopia." The term is often used in place of "you and I" or "we" among Rastafarians, implying that both persons are united under the love of Jah. See also: mysticism.
  • I-tal is spiritually blessed food that has not touched modern chemicals and is served without preservatives, condiments or salts. Alcohol, coffee, milk, and flavoured beverages are generally viewed as not I-tal. Most Rastas follow the I-tal proscriptions generally, and some are vegetarians. Even meat-eating Rastas abstain from eating pork, as pigs are scavengers of the dead, as are crabs, lobsters, and shrimp, though other kinds of seafood are a Rastafarian staple.
  • I man is the inner man within each Rastafari believer.
  • Irie refers to positive emotions or feelings, or anything that is good. Specifically it refers to high emotions and peaceful vibrations.
  • Ites derived from English "heights", means "joy" and also the colour "red". It can also be short for "Israelites".
  • Itesquake replaces "earthquake".
  • Irator replaces "creator", and Iration replaces "creation".
  • Idren or Bredren and Sistren refer to the oneness of Rastafarians and are used to describe one's peers (male - "bredren", female - "sistren").
  • Itinually replaces continually. It has the everlasting/everliving sense of I existing continuously.
  • Inity replaces "unity", demonstrating a general pattern of replacing "you" and similar sounds with "I".
  • Iya (higher): Rastafari vocabulary is full of references to the "iya man", "stepping higher and higher", etc., meaning either a reference to using cannabis, or the high aspirations, path etc. followed by the Rastafari. Iya is also used to refer to a friend. As in "Yes Iya", or "Cool Iya".
  • Iyaric is the self-applied term for Rastafarian language. It is formed by a combination of Iya (higher) and Amharic, the language spoken by Haile Selassie I.

This does not cite its references or sources. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... An entity is something that has a distinct, separate existence, though it need not be a material existence. ... Subject (philosophy) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... Jah (IPA: ) is a name for God, most commonly used in the Rastafari movement. ... Haile Selassie Haile Selassie (Power of Trinity) (July 23, 1892 – August 27, 1975) was the last Emperor (1930–1936; 1941–1974) of Ethiopia, and is a religious symbol in the Rastafarian movement. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... I-tal or ital means Vital. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For other uses, see Coffee (disambiguation). ... A glass of cows milk. ... A variety of vegetarian food ingredients Vegetarianism is the practice of a diet that excludes all animal flesh, including poultry, game, fish, shellfish or crustacea, and slaughter by-products. ... For other uses, see Pork (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Pig (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Crab (disambiguation). ... Subfamilies and Genera Neophoberinae Acanthacaris Thymopinae Nephropsis Nephropides Thymops Thymopsis Nephropinae Homarus Nephrops Homarinus Metanephrops Eunephrops Thymopides Clawed lobsters comprise a family (Nephropidae, sometimes also Homaridae) of large marine crustaceans. ... Superfamilies Alpheoidea Atyoidea Bresilioidea Campylonotoidea Crangonoidea Galatheacaridoidea Nematocarcinoidea Oplophoroidea Palaemonoidea Pandaloidea Pasiphaeoidea Procaridoidea Processoidea Psalidopodoidea Stylodactyloidea True shrimp are swimming, decapod crustaceans classified in the infraorder Caridea, found widely around the world in both fresh and salt water. ... Spaghetti with seafood (Spaghetti allo scoglio). ... Not to be confused with the Aramaic language. ...

Other words

  • Dreadlocks describes the locks they wear, now universally called dreadlocks in English. The word is related to the fear of the Lord, as well as the fear locksmen inspired in the early stages of the movement.
  • Babylon is an important Rastafarian term, referring to human government and institutions that are seen as in rebellion against the rule of JAH (Zion), beginning with the Tower of Babel. It is further used by some to mean specifically the 'polytricksters' who have been oppressing the black race for centuries through economic and physical slavery. Rastafari is defiance of Babylon, sometimes also called Rome — in part because of the 1935 Italian invasion of Ethiopia, then ruled by Rastafari's 'Living God,' Haile Selassie I, and partly because as the head of the Roman Catholic church the Pope is considered an opponent of Selassie I and Rastafari. Babylon the Great and Whore of Babylon are apocalyptic terms from the book of Revelation that may have been used to describe the pagan Roman Empire, which often persecuted Christianity. Babylon is also sometimes used by some Rastas with the more specific meaning of "police", insofar as they are seen as executive agents of Babylon's will.
  • Politricks is a Rasta term replacing English "politics", because so many politicians, etc. turn out, they say, to be more like tricksters.
  • Everliving replaces "everlasting", particularly in the context of Life Everliving. The "last" in "everlasting" implies an end (as in the term "at last"), while the life the Rastas have will never end according to them, they being immortalists.
  • H.I.M. (His Imperial Majesty), pronounced him, and referring to Haile Selassie I.
  • Downpression replaces "oppression", because oppression holds man down instead of keeping him up (pronounced op in Jamaican patois.) Similarly "downgression" = "violence" (from aggression).
  • Livication replaces "dedication", to rid itself of a connotation of death.
  • Outvention replaces "invention", because mechanical devices are seen as outdated, and because it is the inner experience of being a Rastafarian that is invention.
  • Overstanding (also "innerstanding") replaces "understanding", referring to enlightenment that raises one's consciousness.
  • Aprecilove replaces "appreciate" because of the similarity to hate.
  • Amagideon is a Rasta theological concept meaning the general state the entire world is in now, and has been getting progressively deeper in since 1930, and especially since 1974. This is a slight mutation of "Armageddon", a name appearing in Revelation.
  • Zion refers to either Ethiopia or the whole continent of Africa, after the Day of Judgement, as well as a state of mind one can enter through Rastafari.
  • Know replaces "believe", as Bob Marley sang. Rastafarians do not believe Haile Selassie is God and that they the Rastas are the chosen people. They claim to know these things, and would never admit to believing them.
  • Whore of Babylon is the Revelation character sometimes considered to be Queen Elizabeth II, who is still the Head of State of Jamaica; and/or the papacy.

Rastaman with long locks Dreadlocks, sometimes simply called locks or dreads, are interlocked coils of hair which tend to form by themselves, in all hair types, if the hair is washed regularly and allowed to grow naturally without the use of brushes, combs, razors, or scissors for a long period... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... This article is about the Biblical story. ... For other uses, see Rome (disambiguation). ... The Roman Catholic Church, most often spoken of simply as the Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with over one billion members. ... For the architectural structure, see Church (building). ... For other uses, see Pope (disambiguation). ... Babylon occurs in the Christian New Testament both with a literal and a figurative meaning. ... The Whore of Babylon rides the seven-headed Beast. ... Visions of John of Patmos, as depicted in the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. ... For other uses, see Roman Empire (disambiguation). ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Relation to other religions Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is a monotheistic[1] religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament. ... Patois, although without a formal definition in linguistics, can be used to describe a language considered as nonstandard. ... The Whore of Babylon rides the seven-headed Beast. ... Visions of John of Patmos, as depicted in the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. ... Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor; born 21 April 1926) is Queen of sixteen sovereign states, holding each crown and title equally. ...

Popular impact

Several Rastafarian words have migrated into mainstream English usage, or even widespread global usage. The term dreadlocks, for example, is used worldwide to denote the unique hairstyle which was popularized by the Rastafari. Rastafarian usage of words like Zion and Babylon has entered hip hop culture through Caribbean-American and Caribbean-British rappers/musicians. Some criminals in Europe, perhaps influenced by popular culture depictions of or actual encounters with Afro-Caribbean 'rudeboy' gangs, use the term babylon to refer to the police. Most often this is in the context of a shouted warning, indicating the arrival of officers at the scene of a crime. Hip hop is a subculture, which is said to have begun with the work of DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, and Afrika Bambaattaa. ...


Radio station WOCM/98.1 FM in Ocean City, MD bills itself as "IrieRadio", and is owned by the Seacrets Night Club in Ocean City, which calls itself "Jamaica, USA." 98.1's transmitter is located in Salisbury, MD.


References

Johnson, Ken (1972). “The vocabulary of race.” In: Rappin’ and Stylin’ Out: Communication in Urban Black America. Thomas Kochman, ed. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, pp. 140-151.


Legman, Gershon (1964). The Horn Book: Studies in Erotic Folklore and Bibliography. New Hyde Park, NY: University Books.


Legman, Gershon (1975). Rationale of the Dirty Joke: An Analysis of Sexual Humor. Second Series. New York: Breaking Point.


Levine, Robert M. (1980). Race and Ethnic Relations in Latin America and the Caribbean: An Historical Dictionary and Bibliography. Metuchen, New Jersey: Scarecrow Press.


Mills, Jane (1989). Womanwords: A Dictionary of Words about Women. New York: Free Press.


Paros, Lawrence (1984). The Erotic Tongue: A Sexual Lexicon. New York: Henry Holt.


Partridge, Eric (1984). A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English: Colloquialisms and Catch-phrases Solecisms and Catachreses Nicknames and Vulgarisms. Paul Beal, ed. New York: Macmillan Publishing.


Partridge, Eric (1989 [1950]). A Dictionary of the Underworld. Hertfordshire, Great Britain: Routledge & Kegan Paul.


External links

  • Annotated bibliography of Rastafarian speech

  Results from FactBites:
 
Rastafari movement - Academic Kids (5246 words)
Rastafarians see themselves as conforming to a vision of how Africans should live, reclaiming what they see as a culture stolen from them when they were brought on slave ships to Jamaica, birthplace of the movement.
Their religion is difficult to categorise, because Rastafari is not a centralised organisation; and it is left to the individual Rastafarians to work out the truth for themselves, resulting in a wide variety of beliefs entering beneath the general umbrella of Rastafari.
Emperor Haile Selassie I, whom the Rastafarians call Jah, was crowned "King of Kings, Elect of God, and Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah" in Addis Ababa on November 2, 1930.
Rastafarian vocabulary at AllExperts (885 words)
Their remedy for this situation has been the creation of a modified vocabulary and dialect, reflecting their desire to take forward language and to confront what they see as the corrupt and decadent society they call Babylon.
Rastafarian scholar E. Cashmore: "I and I is an expression to totalize the concept of oneness, the oneness of two persons.
Babylon is an important Rastafarian term, referring to human government and institutions that are seen as in rebellion against the rule of JAH (Zion), beginning with the Tower of Babel.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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