One of the best parts about shows at the New Vic is that we get to welcome visiting companies from around the world to 42nd Street. Just this year, we've hosted shows that were developed in Australia, Scotland, Tanzania, Italy and more! But our latest selection, Bob Marley's Three Little Birds—developed by Adventure Theater MTC in Maryland—takes this global approach to a new level by presenting a show set entirely in Jamaica!
Bob Marley's Three Little Birds transports kids and adults alike to an island paradise, while also educating audience members about Jamaican culture. From food to folklore—oh, and let's not forget traditional Reggae music—there's a lot to take in! So, we put together this glossary of terms and ideas that you will see in the show. Print it out and read it through ahead of time to prep for the show, or refer back to this post after your trip to the New Vic to keep the conversation going with your kids!
Bob Marley's Three Little Birds Show Glossary
A yasso nice! An expression used when one is having a good time.
Ackee, Mango: Two fruits mentioned throughout the show that are central to the food in Jamaica.
Bad like yaz. A phrase to say that something is really cool.
Big man ting. Meaning, "grown up business."
Blue Mountains: A mountain range that covers the Eastern third of the island of Jamaica.
Brown Girl in the Ring: A Jamaican kids' game. Also, a traditional children's song in the West Indies, thought to have originated in Jamaica.
Chaka chaka: A word/phrase meaning messy and untidy.
Cheddar: A slang word used in Jamaica meaning money.
Cockroach no business in a fowl fight! A phrase meaning don't meddle in things that don't concern you.
Dandy Shandy, Puncinella Likkle Fella, Stucky Freezy, Stucky Ketchy, Simon Says: Jamaican kids' games.
Deh'pon: A Patois word meaning "on," as in "we deh'pon street again."
Dreadlocks: Also called "dreads," this hairstyle is created by allowing hair to matt into locks. Long dreadlocks are associated with wisdom, knowledge, patience and other virtues.
Duppy: This creature from Jamaican and West African folklore is portrayed as a mischievous bird spirit in Bob Marley's Three Little Birds. Duppies can take on a variety of forms, but are generally classified as evil spirits or ghosts.
Hawk, dey near. A phrase meaning to be careful when things are going too good, as its always possible that danger is around the corner.
Hurricanes: Characters in the show often refer to hurricanes and the bad luck they bring. That's because Jamaica is situated in warm water, and is often plagued by these dangerous storms that bring heavy rains and strong winds during summer months.
Jerk Chicken: "Jerk" is a style of cooking native to Jamaica which uses a heavy spice mixture used to marinate meats. Traditionally, chicken or pork is used, but you can also find jerk shrimp, tofu, beef, lamb and more.
Jonkonnu: A traditional Jamaican dance.
Likkle muore: Meaning, "see you later."
Mongoose: You may not be familiar with this animal, a medium-sized, carnivorous and furry mammal that can be found in the Caribbean, Asia and Africa.
One coco full basket. A phrase to say that every little bit adds up.
Patois: Pronounced "Pah-twah." You can probably recognize certain words, phrasing and grammar choices from Bob Marley songs that are sung in this Creole dialect, and you will hear certain Patois words and phrases throughout the show. ie: See "deh'pon."
Pickapeppa Sauce: A popular tomato and vinegar-based Jamaican condiment.
Reggae: A style of popular music with a strongly accented beat, originating in Jamaica. Reggae evolved in the late 1960s from ska and other local variations on calypso and rhythm and blues, and became widely known in the 1970s through the work of Bob Marley.