pink lounge chairs next to pool

It’s Time To Lime!

Noun Or Verb, Big Or Small, It's Bajan For Fun

a group of people standing in a bar

If you've ever traveled to Barbados or spoken to a Barbadian - these days more often referred to as Bajans - you've probably heard someone ask “wa gine on?”, which is the local equivalent to “what's up?” The answer at this time of year is often some ‘lime’ or other, ranging from super chic parties to authentic local picnics, and five-star cuisine to unforgettable street food.

Just a wordsmith’s note on ‘lime’: It’s a verb, “to lime”, and also a noun, “the lime”, therefore the sentence “we’re going to be liming at the lime” is grammatically correct.

So what makes a great Bajan lime and how do you lime like a local? We have a few pointers to help.

Eat First

When planning your liming session, make sure to enjoy something substantial, like a “cutter”. This Bajan sandwich on fresh baked salt-bread can be filled with fish, chicken, ham or other popular ingredients, and you can buy them in most local eateries. Fishcakes, known in other parts of the Caribbean as “accras”, are made from flaked salted cod and spices, dipped in batter, crisply fried and perfect dipped in hot sauce. But don’t overdo it, because every lime has its food offering and you may need your appetite later.

Choose Your Lime

In terms of regular liming, you can’t do much better than Oistins Fish Fry every Friday in the fisheries complex. The local catch is always different but the vibe is authentically Bajan, with food and drinks on sale everywhere, and the driving beat from the speakers raising the energy of the crowd. Or you can always “bubble up de gap” to the always stylish #southcoastvibe of the world-famous St Lawrence Gap, where an amazing selection of restaurants and bars jostle for attention, and the music keeps punters dancing in the street.

Bazodee For Soca

To paraphrase the legendary Barbadian Queen of Soca, Alison Hinds, the soca music pounding from the sound system will have you “so bazodee” you’ll wonder how you partied before Barbados! With national treasures like Edwin Yearwood and Krosfyah also having made their mark across the global music scene - and of course, Rhianna, declared a National Hero of Barbados on our first day as a parliamentary republic in 2021 - we’re sure you’ll get right into the spirit as you “chip” the night away to our favourite island sounds.

Cheers To Rum Punch

At some point in the lime, you’ll be forgiven for giving in to the desire to enjoy the island’s favourite R&R accompaniment, so order a rum punch and see why we appreciate the sailor’s point of view. Experimenting is key, as every recipe is slightly different, but there’s a local poem that covers the basics: “One of sour, two of sweet, three of strong, and four of weak, with a dash of bitters and a sprinkle of spice; serve chilled with ice.” For beer lovers, there’s also the local favourite, Banks Beer, considered best served ice cold in the bottle.

Whether it’s picnic of cutters and cold beer on an amazing beach or a festive family pot luck gathering, a lively street ‘bashment’ or dinner and dancing at the resort, there’s a different lime for every celebration, and Barbados Independence Day on November 30, 2023 will kick off the festive liming season in true Bajan style.

Know Your Bajan Sayings

bashment - a party
all-a-wanna - everyone in the group
bachannal - commotion, loud partying
bazodee - crazy (acting)
chip - slowly marching down the street in-time- to the rhythm of the music playing
bubble up de gap - drive up the street
cheese-on-bread - an expression or exclamation
evahsince - a long time ago (from five minutes to five years ago)