De Mark Buss | Yuh is ah Trini

Triniglish|Trinididioms spoken and explained #69 | De Mark Buss | Yuh is ah Trini

"De mark buss"... Now, what could this mean? Well in the Caribbean region this phrase could have one of two meanings. One relates to a numbers game brought to the region by our Chinese brothers and the other has to do with a surprising bit of information that recently came to light.

The first use of the Triniglish phrase, "De Mark Buss" relates to the game of "Whe Whe". This game was and still is illegal but not so when it is run by the state. The game relates to thirty-six numbers starting from the number 1 and ending in number 36. Each number relates to a part of the human body but also has meaning for events in society or even dreams.  There are players and people who go around and collect 'marks' that are taken to the banker who, at a certain time, will buss the mark. In other words, he will draw a number that he chooses (usually picks a number to confuse those who play based on the number (mark) drawn recently. Once the number is revealed ... Well, the mark buss! Winners are paid and those who were brave enough to take the mark to the turf then take the winnings to the players (they receive a percentage of the winnings).  This all sounds easy enough but there was a time when the police would raid these turfs and arrest the banker.  Now the government runs a similar game and has named it play-whe... this game is legal, go figure!

Now the other meaning of the phrase is one that would lead to plenty of gossip. It relates to the saying, "what is done in the dark will soon come to light".  Think about growing up in the islands and in a very quiet neighborhood everyone knows each other intimately. However, some people take intimacy to another level. In other words, neighbor Kenny's wife who likes to hang out at Sylvia's home was there not only for the gossip but has something going on with Miss Sylvia's husband. Look lacouray and mischief and serious kankalang! In this situation, all is well until "the mark buss". To put it another way, something juicy was revealed and is now the talk under every long mango and Tonka bean tree in the area where people gathered to lime in the shade. Now just imagine what takes place after a few shots of puncheon rum at de rum shop!

"De Mark Buss" is just another way Trinis (a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago) have chosen to color the Queen's English. A Trinidiom, a phrase that adds to the conversation and sweetens the tea better than some stringy molasses trailing from a donkey cart from days of ole.

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