Don’t call an alligator 'Long Mouth' till you pass him.




When a chicken is merry, there's a hawk nearby.

Taino people

The first Jamaicans were the aboriginal Taino people. They were living on the island when Christopher Columbus arrived in 1494.
After the Spaniards settled on the island, the Tainos were all killed or died from overwork and European diseases to which they had no immunity.
Although there are no Tainos left in Jamaica, they left several words to the English Language. Among them: hammock, tobacco, potato, hurricane, maize, barbecue, cannibal and canoe.

All About Yams

Albert Town in Jamaica has an event called the Trelawny Yam Festival – which features yam wine, yam cakes, yam-balancing races, an award for the best-dressed goat and the crowning of the Yam King and Queen.

There's also a Yam Farmer's Competition in which farmers compete for the best yams, the heaviest yam and the most unusually shaped yams.

For decades, the future site of Jamaica's capital Kingston was used for rearing pigs, and known as Hog Crawle.

Navy Island, an offshore isle, was once owned by Errol Flynn.

Jamaican Dishes

One of the most popular dishes in Jamaica is cock soup – which, obviously, is made of cockerel. Another meal which was popular in Jamaica (certainly during the 20th century) is Mannish Water, made of goat head, feet and intestines, served in a soup with bananas and spices. Another version of it is Goat Head Soup. Because of its goat ingredients, it's supposedly an aphrodisiac. Another is cow cod soup, which is made of bull's penis, chilli peppers and bananas, cooked in white rum.

This was part of the occasional ‘masculine celebrations’ which were recorded in the 20th century, where the participants – all men – would enjoy dishes like ram goat and rice (as opposed to ‘nanny goat’). Another dish recorded was Banana Dumpling with Dip-and-Flash, where you boiled a banana, dipped it in sauce, shook off the surplus ('flashing') and ate it. It doesn't seem to be very popular these days.

The Rolling Stones’ album Goats Head Soup, released in 1973, was recorded in Jamaica because it was one of the very few countries which none of the band members were banned from entering.


A little pepper burns a big man's mouth.

Jamaica's original name, Xaymaca, meant 'the land of wood and water' in the local Taino language.

There are only three countries in the world where your boss is more likely to be a woman than a man, Jamaica, Colombia, and Saint Lucia.

Ian Fleming wrote ten of his James Bond books in Jamaica.