Pass me dee thing deh
Dee thing nah, over deh on dee shelf
You mean the funnel?
Yeah dah thing, dee funnel
You know wah ah mean.
Hmmm, mmm, right, sure I do
Pass me dah thing right deh
Dat watumah call it
The what you may who?
Dee big round thing right deh sitting on dee table
Oh! You mean the plastic bottle?
Yeah, ain’t dat wah ah say?
You know wah ah mean
Pass me dah thing deh on your left
What thing would that be?
Dee lil blue thing sitting in the thingamagiggie over deh
You mean the blue bottle cap sitting in the dish drainer to cover the bottle rum punch you just made?
Yeah ain’t dat wah ah say? How come yuh repeating everything ah say so..
Hmmm….things would go a lot faster if yuh just gimmeh wah ah ask for instead of parroting meh
Now pass meh dah thing over deh so ah could taste dis thing
You mean you would like a glass so you can pour some rum punch in to taste?
Isn’t dat wat ah just say, yuh sure yuh feeling alright, cause yuh got ah whole lot ah questions
I am feeling fine grandma, just making sure
Making sure ah wat baby?
That we understand each other
Hmmmm….well dah goes without saying sugar
Now come here and gimme some love,
Yuh understand dat right?
Yeah grandma, ah gotcha
D.S.B. Rhapsody © All Rights Reserved
The “thing” can mean anything; its a communication fuller for when the name of what you want suddenly escapes you and you opt to saying "the thing," while gesturing and pointing to the item in question. It can represent a particular job/task you are doing, something you are asking for and even something you trying to remember/remind someone of. I can have a whole conversation with my daughter asking her to hand me the thing, for the thing, to put in the thing and she will understand exactly what I am talking about.
The “thing” is the substitute. I think every culture has a substitute for the suddenly unnamed/forgotten item/something. We do this in Trinidad & Tobago all the time and it is wonderfully miraculous how we understand each other and can almost anticipate what the unnamed item [“thing”] is quickly furnishing it. To the unschooled unfamiliar with this nuance of communication it is puzzling, confusing and fascinating.
Communication is an art, a beautiful thing and can be down right hilarious at times. Do you have a universal name for the unnamed in your culture?