10 Things Your Jamaican Parents Have Done/Said To Discipline You

6. ‘Yuh think me and you a size?’

This, too, has several variations. When the child is younger, the reprove usually is: ‘yuh think me and you a size?’. But as the teen years arrive, the talk turns to: ‘Yuh think you a woman (or man) now?’, or ‘Yuh tink yuh big?’. It is a parent/guardian’s way of reminding children that no matter how old they get, how ‘adult’ they feel, the parent will always have seniority.

7. ‘How much time mi fi tell yuh … ?’

This is the parent’s cry of frustration, pleading with the child to please, please, please give them a break and not let them have to repeat the same things so many times. A hard-ears child might get sent to the shop three times in one day for the same items, and leave a tired mother saying, ‘how much time me fi tell yuh … ?’ A lazy son might leave dirty dishes in the sink, or forget to iron his clothes again, and leave his father saying, ‘how much time me fi tell yuh … ?’

8. ‘Who can’t hear, mus feel’

This one is a classic, normally repeated twice: once before the child experiences the ‘feel’, and then once after, for the parent’s satisfaction of being right. It also seems to occur mostly with small children who play in dangerous areas (jump on the bed, climb up on things, run in the house …)

9. ‘Long run, short ketch’

The gist of this saying is that if the child continues delaying to do what the parent has asked, there will be a ‘ketch’ (catch) very shortly thereafter. It can also mean that if, for example, the child is trying to deceive his/her parent, he/she will eventually be found out.

10. ‘If ah lick yuh, yuh see peenie-wallie’ (or ‘yuh fenneh’ or some other variation)

Because the force and strength of the hit would be such that the misbehaving child would definitely have an unwanted supernatural experience.


What Jamaican sayings do you remember from your parents? Add them in the comments below, or send them to us at dig@digjamaica.com so we can compile them and add them to this list. Walk good, and thanks for diGging down memory lane with us!