Glossary of Words Used in Tides That Bind – Book 1 – Island Issues & Book 2 – A Bigger Island

The following mini Glossary includes the words readers have asked the author to clarify. Please note that the language used does not belong in its entirety to any specific Caribbean island, but is drawn from a cross section of English speaking islands.


Chupse a sound made using tongue, lips and teeth usually to express disdain
Pickanniny/Pickny  - young child 
Outside child –  illegitimate or born to a woman other than the legal wife
Neem Treelarge evergreen tree
Flamboyant - large tree with red and orange bloom found in tropics
Poor Man Orchid  - A tree with lilac flowers resembling orchids
Brock - broken
Iron Band instruments made largely from remnants of iron, a format passed down from Africa
Wall House - concrete house
Yardoutside area or garden
Wet Nurse a woman with breast milk prepared to feed a needy baby
Standpipe tap/faucet delivering government provided water at the side of the road
Ling Fish - salted cod fish
Gub gub - pidgeon peas or any edible bean, leaf or pea
Fig - banana
Old Year’s Night - New Year’s Eve
Roti - type of pastry folded around lightly curried goat, beef, chicken or vegetables
Arawacks & Caribs - Inhabitants of the islands in the Caribbean before Europeans & Africans.
Mongoose  - similar to a squirrel. It moves very quickly. The mongoose was introduced to the Caribbean by the British to kill snakes. It did this job but multiplied quickly and became a pest itself

Glossary of Words Used in The Road to Wadi Halfa

Wadi Halfa is a town on the shores of Lake Nasser in the north of The Sudan. It serves those people coming in from Egypt. It used to be a fishing village.It is surrounded by the dunes of The Nubian Desert, the eastern edge of The Sahara. It has a population of approximately 15,000.

In my books, where appropriate Arabic and French words and phrases are followed by English to assist the reader who will most likely be English speaking. However this is not always justified; therefore the following mini dictionary is to clarify where immediate translation has been omitted. In Arabic the written word does not use capital letters inthe same way as the English language.

Arabic - English

as-salaamu alaikumPeace is upon you. (The classic phrase used as one enter or leaves anywhere in the Arab World; it is the official Islamic greeting)
wa ‘alaikum as-salaamAnd peace is upon you too.
wa ‘alaikum as-salaam wa-ra Hmat ulaahi wa barakaatuhAnd peace is upon you too, as well as God’s mercy and his blessings.
al-alaah/Allah – God 
quaada / qaa’id – qaedaleader or chief
al-quraan /qur’anKoran
Wahabi / WahhabiMember of a Muslim puritan sect founded by Muhammed ibn Abd-el-Wahhab 18th Century
sabaaH al-Khair - Good morning
masaa’ al-KhairGood evening
walad - boy
awall - first
roumanpomegranate (a fruit full of seeds)
ab - father
muTaabiq - identical
taw’am / tawaa’imtwin - twins
ikhiTaff - kidnap
an-neel - Nile
sha bi-nanamint tea
shwarma fuul - meat & beans
al-akl saakhinthe food is warm
yusri’ - hurry
yashtim - verbal abuse


Map from page 9 of Missing.

Sudan map Image