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 Dragonfly.

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' (moonshine/bootleg rum) 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.

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Unknown said…
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'.
trinitude said…
i'd love to use this explanation in something i'm writing, but i cant quote you since i dont know who you are.
trinitude said…
i'd love to know who you are to include this explanation in something i'm writing.
Santiwah said…
Trinitude, just quote the blog! My name is Ananda