September 20, 2011

Dat Boi is Salt | Yuh is ah Trini


Triniglish|Trinididioms spoken and explained #104
Yuh is ah Trini | "Dat Boi is Salt"

"Dat boi is salt - he is in every t'ing!" Now you must have heard someone, 'yuh tanty', uncle, 'compère' or 'nenen' use that phrase before when referencing some family member or friend in the community. So to say, "Dat boi is salt" is a reference to the fact that he is in just about everything but in a favorable manner. This is not a derogatory statement; as a matter of fact it is a compliment. 

Now if someone should say the Toby from the Wack radio shout-box is salt one would have to pause and reconsider it because in this reference it is not that Toby is in everything but because he is so likable that a reference is made to salt because it is considered a valuable commodity. Yes Toby is very likable and it is alright to refer to Toby as "salt"... Yes, "Dat boi is salt".

This reference to salt in such a positive light is not unique to Trinidad or Trinidadians. In the very early days and in this regard I will make reference to the Holy Bible, I will make reference to Matthew chapter 5 verse 14 (King James version). The reference to salt is as follows: "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men." Throughout the history of man salt has had a place of importance. "Salt of the Earth" is another reference to salt in a very positive manner. 

However, in today's society too much salt is not good for you and may lead to high blood pressure and other ailments. In today's society salt is used to flavor food but at the same time it now has a bad reputation in Northern societies. This may or may not be the case in the Caribbean region where you will regularly hear, "put some salt to give the food some taste". Another reference to salt is, "like yuh in love, this food has too much salt!"

However, the gold standard for salt remains in the phrase, "Dat boi is Salt". Always remember that it is a reference to someone who is everything but not in a negative way. The person always seems to have a positive impact and the reference made implies that the person is admired by everyone... Yes, one can make that reference to Toby (Isn't there a Toby in your life?).

 
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