Thinking about visiting Charleston, SC?
There’s a unique language and culture you should learn about before visiting. That language is called Geechee. African Americans from Charleston, SC are Gullah and Geechee. (Majority of them identify as Geechee). Geechee is referred to as a Sea Island Creole Language that Africans (free and enslaved) created during slavery. This unique and sacred language is still spoken today. Here are some commonly used phrases and words you might hear while visiting Charleston, SC.
- “Wha goin on”
“Wha goin on”, is a Geechee phrase that means “How are you”. This term is used when greeting someone young. For example, Delquan would say “Good morning/afternoon/evening” when greeting an elder and say “Wha goin on” when greeting his friends or young family members.
- “Da Chuck, Chuck Town and Chawstun”
These are different Geechee terms that mean Charleston. You’ll hear a lot of Geechee speakers refer to Charleston as “Da Chuck, Chuck Town or Chawstun”
“Beenya”, is a Geechee term that means “Been here”.
This term is used to describe someone who is native to the area. For example, Kadesja was born and raised in Charleston, SC so she is a “Beenya”.
“Comeya”, is the opposite of “Beenya”. “Comeya” is a Geechee term that translates to “Come here”. This term is used to describe someone that is not native to the area. For example, Tyler is a “Comeya” because he just moved to Charleston last month. He aint even much from ya.
- “Dem Boi”
“Dem Boi”, is a gender-neutral Geechee phrase used to describe a group of people (female or male) or someone whose name you don’t know or remember.
Example: Kenzie: “Aye, dem boi say you aint even much from down ya. You a Comeya!”
Raquan: “Dem boi fool up innit, I Beenya!”
“Innit”, is a Geechee term of agreement
Example: TyTy: "Dis seafood rice bussin!
“Bussin”, is a Geechee term used to describe food that taste really good.
Example: "Dat red rice and fush been bussin!"
“Aye”, is a Geechee word used to add emphasis to the beginning of a sentence. Attention grabber.
Example: “Aye, wha goin on witcha?”
“Aye, wha ya name is?”
“Aye, daddy say get off dat phone”
- “Look Ya”
“Look ya”, is a Geechee phrase for “Look here.”
Example: “Look ya, Chawstun da numba 1 city to visit.”
“Yall boi look ya.”
- “Boi E Hawt Outchea”
“Boi E Hawt Outchea” is a Geechee phrase that translates into “Man, it is extremely hot outside today”.
Follow Geechee Experience to learn more about Geechee language and culture