By Any Other Name…

My Aunt and Uncle recently moved from Papua New Guinea to Vanuatu, and are learning Bislama, the local pidgin.

Pidgins can sometimes be a bit awkward, requiring entire phrases to get across an idea.

In Bislama, to mention a cave you would say, “hol long ston.” The literal translation more or less being, “Hole in stone.”

It can lead to some eccentric and terribly charming expressions though. A violin is a, “wan smol box blong white man, oli scratchem beli I singout gudfala,” and my personal favourite, a helicopter is a, “mixmaster blong Jesus Christ.”

According to Pacific Island Travel the phrase for “Piano” is, “black fala box we i gat black teeth, hemi gat white teeth you faetem hard i singaot.”

According to my Aunt, everybody just says, “keyboard.”

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