BUM- BO- CLAAT, a beautifully misunderstood Jamaican word.

And while we aren’t sure of its origin, we are quite sure of its popularity among Jamaicans in the island and in Jamaican communities across the globe. As a matter of fact, ‘Bumboclaat’ misunderstanding and misrepresentation as a ‘bad word’ is synonymous to the very negative labels that are often ascribed to Jamaicans.

By definition, it is an exclamation of shock and surprise for good and not-so-good happenings that will certainly draw the attention of everyone in the room.

When tourists visit the island, it’s the only Jamaican word they’re sure to perfect their pronunciation of before departing to their home country so they can chip a few ‘bum-bo-claat’ when they are angered or just in jest, as they see it fit.

In its purest form, it is just that, an expression of shock and surprise so why is it misrepresented as a curse word if without a context, it would not offend anyone?

Without a negative context (psychological, environmental factors that may trigger deviant behaviour), Jamaicans are beautiful, warm and passionate people. We aim for the highest honour, the greatest achievements and the longest commitments. We innovate in any areas we’re placed and while this is sometimes interpreted as an inherent need for attention. We’re simply a people of insurmountable ambition and that’s the truth that lazy and small-minded people purposely misrepresent….Yes! steer bumboclaatly at your screen and smile.

Jamaicans and lovers of Jamaican culture, we invite you to colour your vocabulary with all words native to our beautiful island because if we don’t, who the bumboclaat will?