Jamaican Bun is an Easter tradition but it is also a popular snack throughout the year. However, as with many things in the Jamaican culture, when we talk about ‘bun’ you have to learn the context in which it is spoken before responding. In local lingo, use of the word ranges from a harmless reference to food to relationship infidelity. Here are the top five ways Jamaicans use the word ‘bun’.
5. It bun me fi him isi! (“I am really bothered by him.”)
This is a phrase of contempt usually mean to express a feeling of hatred or disgust towards someone.
4. Mine yuh bun me up! (“Be careful, you might burn me!”)
In this context, ‘bun’ is a colloquial substitute for ‘burn’, speaking to fire, hot food, or anything that can cause burns.
3. Peppa a bun me man! (“These peppers are burning me.”)
Some Jamaican foods are very spicy thanks to copious amounts of scotch bonnet pepper. The use of this phrase refers to the burning discomfort from ingesting too much spicy foods.
2. Cyar one bun fi me when yah come! (Bring me a bun when you’re coming.”)
Thankfully, most times bun actually does mean bun! This phrase is used in reference to the actual food.
1. Bun him! Tek man pon him! (No words!)
This phrase puts the word ‘bun’ in a whole new context, meaning infidelity – usually when everyone except the other partner knows it is going on. Made popular in the 1990s, use of the word in this way appears quite often in songs and casual conversations to make fun of the person on the receiving end of the ‘bun’.
So next time you chat up a Jamaican and hear the word bun, do clarify the meaning if you’re not too sure!
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