July 02, 2010

Batimamselle | Yuh is ah Trini

Triniglish|Trinididioms Spoken and Explained #13
Yuh is ah Trini|if you know what is ah Batimamselle

A combination of the English term "Batty" and French Mamselle were united to come up with batimanselle. I am still confused and can’t understand how this very strange combination was coined. Rest assured though  it was one that rolled off the lips of the children in Trinidad. Somehow they combined Batty, a reference to crazy, odd, eccentric and the patois term for woman (mademoiselle, mamselle) to form the word battimamselle that somehow was meant to describe the erratic flying  patterns of the Dragon fly.

Well if you did not know a battimamselle is the famous dragonfly. The person who coined the term must have been very upset with his spouse or girlfriend and had to be inebriated after drinking some good babash to have coined the term to describe the Dragonfly. 

As children we would go to the areas where the batimamselles would be dipping into the water while hovering and mating - the double-decker batimamselles. We would use our make shift nets to swoop down and skim the water to catch our batimamselles. That was fun but in the end we released these erratic flying ladies back to the brush to continue with their water rituals.
Dictionary Source:http://www.amazing-trinidad-vacations.com/trinidad-and-tobago-dictionary.html



1 Response to " Batimamselle | Yuh is ah Trini "
  1. Matthew Davies mattdavies@sctelco.net.au said...
    September 13, 2015 at 9:31 PM

    I grew up hearing a very different explanation of the origin of the term 'Batty Mamselle'. My mother told me that it was a bastardisation of the French words 'L'abeille' - meaning 'the bee', and Madamoiselle. When spoken in patois, the two words easily transform to sound like 'Labey Mamselle' which, in turn, morphs to Batty Mamselle. Yuh know how Trini duz love to mash up pronunciation!
    Here's a nice example: the French for saltwater is 'Sel eau'. However, in some parts of Trinidad, the common saltwater crab is referred to as a 'Sallygo Crab'.


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