Have I got Jooz for you, blud

By Dan Pront, July 18, 2011
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The trend among students at inner London schools to speak London Patois - an evolutionary type of slang with a Jamaican twist - is spreading north west.

More precisely, it has infiltrated the young Jewish community.

Parents, before you plutz about your little bubele hanging around dangerous inner London at night, being corrupted by such "lingo", let me put your mind at ease. This vernacular can be heard across the playgrounds of most Jewish schools, along the north London high streets of Golders Green, Hampstead, Stanmore and Edgware, and in the malls of Brent Cross. There is no escaping it.

There has always been a fringe of young Jewish teenagers copying this black style, coming across like Ali G and not taken seriously. However, as someone who goes every day to a Jewish school, I've found this way of speaking is becoming the norm for Jewish teenagers.

Thoughtfully, they wanted to share their conversation with the entire café

Just the other day, I was sitting opposite a group of GCSE students in a café in Golders Green, all wearing their JFS blazers, blackberry phones glued to their fingertips, laughing and chatting away like regular teenagers.

Lively, loud and hyped on sugar from their frothy, syrupy-something-cinos after roughly two minutes, it became clear that they wanted to share their conversation with the entire café. How thoughtful of them!

Had I closed my eyes for the 10 minutes that I listened to them, I doubt I would have thought they were Jewish kids. They talked about the same nonsense that teenagers talk about - but their style of delivery, pronunciation and choice of vocabulary had a Jamaican twist.

"Oh my dayz man, last night blud was so sick!"- " Josh is such a beg chirpsing Katy "- "my rents given me bare money for Sat night", "Ah allow that, man that's so dread!"

It was hard to believe teenagers not much younger than me speak so differently.

This is not a matter for great concern. It is rare for adolescents of any background to talk in the Queen's English. Although - besides the fact that hearing a barmitzvah boy rapping away like this seems like utter nonsense to the older generation - what is even more bizarre is the fact that today's Jewish teenagers are so comfortable with this Afro-Caribbean slang and feel connected to a culture so different from their own.

Linguistics professors explain this by arguing that language changes and travels fast; currently faster than ever before because of the internet, Facebook and mobile phones (which have also generated a new "text speech").

In addition, the popularity of music artists such as N-Dubz, Jessy J and other such black-style performers have brought certain words of Afro-Caribbean origin into general youth slang. For many parents, this may be regarded as not applying to their own teenage children. But this lingo is becoming increasingly noticeable in the everyday speech of young Jews.

And to reiterate, it is nothing to worry about. Perhaps one day, Caribbean patois and Yiddish could be combined - Yiddishacan could be the language of tomorrow.

What your children are saying:

● Sick - a Bahamian expression of delight

● Blud - originates from Jamaica. Usually said when greeting a friend or comrade

● Bare - lots of, in abundance, very. Does not mean "naked"

● Dread - Caribbean/Bahamian Roots. Used to show astonishment

● Beg - a wannabe

● Chirpse - chat up

● Rents - parents

Dan Pront is in the lower sixth at JFS

    Last updated: 10:50am, July 18 2011