Haitian Creole vocabulary

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Haitian Creole is a French based creole spoken in Haiti, located on the western three-eighths of the island known as Hispaniola.[1][2] The façon de parler is a result of the gradual change of the French dialect of Franco-European colonists by African and Creole slaves (African slaves native to the island). This change includes the speaking of French vocabulary in an African (Fon) syntax.

Standard French Fongbe Haitian Creole
Ma poule (my chicken) Koklo che (Koklo = chicken / che = my) Poul mwen (Poul = chicken / mwen = my)

As well as the addition of a pluralization marker like the Fongbe word le.

Standard French Fongbe Haitian Creole
Mes bécanes (my bikes) Keke che le (my bikes) Bekàn mwen yo (my bikes)

This practice of using a pluralizing marker can also be found in Jamaican (English) Patois.

Standard English Jamaican Patois
My Friends Me friend dem

The word Dem a corruption of Them is used just like the Creole the word Yo meaning Them is.

The gradual abbreviation of the early French patois also included the shortening of certain French phrases into Tense markers such as:

M'ape manje / M'ap manje - I'm eating (Which comes from the Old Phrase: Je suis après manger, Creolized as Moi après manger, Then: Mouen apé manjé, also appearing as: M’ape manje, M’ap manje or Mwen ap manje ) (Ape comes from the phrase: être après and ap is its more common and even further abbreviated form)

In addition to the African syntax and the use of tense and pluralizing markers, a practice of West African languages, Haitian Creole also has a considerable amount of lexical Items from many languages most notably from various West African languages, Old and Norman French, Taino, Spanish and Portuguese amongst others (English, Arab etc.). These entered Creole through interaction between various people who spoke these languages from colonial times to modern time.


# Haitian Creole # Haitian Creole # Haitian Creole # Haitian Creole # Haitian Creole # Haitian Creole # Haitian Creole # Haitian Creole # Haitian Creole # Haitian Creole
0 zero 10 dis 20 ven 30 trant 40 karant 50 senkant 60 swasant 70 swasanndis 80 katreven 90 katrevendis
1 en 11 onz 21 venteyen 31 tranteyen 41 karanteyen 51 senkanteyen 61 swasanteyen 71 swasantonz 81 katreven en 91 katrevenonz
2 de 12 douz 22 vennde 32 trannde 42 karannde 52 senkannde 62 swasannde 72 swasanndouz 82 katrevende 92 katrevendouz
3 twa 13 trèz 23 venntwa 33 tranntwa 43 karanntwa 53 senkanntwa 63 swasanntwa 73 swasanntrèz 83 katreventwa 93 katreventrèz
4 kat 14 katòz 24 vennkat 34 trannkat 44 karannkat 54 senkannkat 64 swasannkat 74 swasannkatòz 84 katrevenkat 94 katrevenkatòz
5 senk 15 kenz 25 vennsenk 35 trannsenk 45 karannsenk 55 senkannsenk 65 swasannsenk 75 swasannkenz 85 katrevensenk 95 katrevenkenz
6 sis 16 sèz 26 vennsis 36 trannsis 46 karannsis 56 senkannsis 66 swasannsis 76 swasannsèz 86 katrevensis 96 katrevensèz
7 sèt 17 disèt 27 vennsèt 37 trannsèt 47 karannsèt 57 senkannsèt 67 swasannsèt 77 swasanndisèt 87 katrevensèt 97 katrevendisèt
8 uit 18 dizuit 28 ventuit 38 trantuit 48 karantuit 58 senkantuit 68 swasantuit 78 swasanndizuit 88 katreven uit 98 katrevendizuit
9 nèf 19 diznèf 29 ventnèf 39 trantnèf 49 karantnèf 59 senkantnèf 69 swasantnèf 79 swasanndiznèf 89 katrevennèf 99 katrevendiznèf
# Haitian Creole
100 san
1000 mil
1,000,000 milyon
1,000,000,000 milya


Haitian Creole English
jòn Yellow
ble Blue
wouj Red
vèt Green
vyolèt Purple
oranj Orange
blan White
nwa Black
woz Pink

Time and Date[edit]

Haitian creole English
lendi Monday
madi Tuesday
mèkredi Wednesday
jedi Thursday
vandredi Friday
samdi Saturday
dimanch Sunday
janvye January
fevrye February
mas March
avril April
me May
jen June
jiyè July
out, dawou August
septanm September
oktòb October
novanm November
desanm December


Haitian creole English
genyen to have
chita to sit
manje to eat
rete to stop
kouri to run
kouche to lie down (to sleep)
vini to come
ale/prale to go
rete trankil to be quiet
pran to take
leve to get up
sede to give up
touye/tiye to kill
frape to hit
kache to hide
konnen to know
manti to lie (to say untruth)
gade to look
koupe to cut
kwit manje, fè manje to cook (food), to prepare (food)
fimen to smoke
atake to attack
bay pèmisyon to authorize
kriye to cry
achte to buy
rele to call
netwaye to clean
fèmen to close
fòse to coerce, force
fini to finish
obeyi to obey
fè konfyans to trust
konsole to comfort
pati to leave, depart
mouri to die
fè desen to draw, sketch
bwè to drink
tonbe to drop, fall
mete abo embark, load, board
antoure to surround
kore to support, reinforce
mande to ask
pale to speak
to see
to do, make
fabrike to make
konprann to understand
vle to want
etidye to study
aprann to learn
bezwen to need
abite to live somewhere, inhabit
viv to live
vann to sell
chache/chèche to look for
travay to work
vizite to visit
renmen to like, love
damou to love
peye to pay
tande to hear
panse to think



Haitian Creole English
anfòm well
byen fine
boule to be managing
kenbe to be hanging on
tris sad
kontan happy
fache angry
egare / gaga / mele confused
poukont lonely
santi to feel
fristrasyon frustration
konfòtab comfortable


Haitian Creole English
legliz church
lamès mass
kwa cross
Nwèl Christmas
sovè savior
ounsi Vaudou practitioner
oungan male Vaudou priest
manbo female Vaudou priest
wanga Vaudou charm or relic
Dye / Bondye God (in Catholicism and Vaudou)
loa / lwa / mistè spirits in Vaudou that act as intermediaries between Bondye and humanity



Haitian creole English
chat cat
chen / chyen dog
zwazo bird
pwason fish
lous bear
poul chicken
bèf cow
kochon pig
lyon lion
leza lizard
zariyen / anasi spider
mouton sheep
mouch fly
papiyon lanp moth
tòti tortoise
kodenn turkey



Geological features[edit]



Creole words of African origin[edit]

  • Akasan // From Edo – Akasan // n. corn pudding
  • Akra n. a malanga fritter
  • Anasi // From Asante – Ananse // n. a spider (The French derived term is, zarenyen)
  • Bòkò // From Fongbe – Bokono // n. a sorcerer (The French derived term is, sósié)
  • Chouk // From Fulani – Chuk // v. to pierce, to poke / n. a poke (The French derived term is, piké)
  • Chouc-chouc // From Fulani – Chuk // v. to have sex
  • Manbo // From Kikongo – Mambu + Fongbe – Nanbo // n. a Vaudou priestess
  • Marasa // From Kikongo – Mabasa // n. twins (The French derived term is, joumo)
  • Ouanga/Wanga n. a Vaudou charm or relic
  • Oungan // From Fongbe // n. a Vaudou priest
  • Ounsi // From Fongbe // n. a Vaudouisant
  • Yo // From Fongbe – Ye // pron. They(‘re), them, their (Yo is also placed after a noun for pluralization purposes, from example: Liv – Book / Liv yo – Books. The French derived term, zot, is used in some parts of Haiti)
  • Zonbi //From Kikongo – Nzumbi // n. a ghost, a soulless corpse or living dead

Creole words of Old French origin[edit]

  • Ap // OFr. Être après // - present tense marker (the more common and abbreviated form of the word, apé)
  • Ape // OFr. Être après // - present tense marker
  • Gouye // Norman Fr. Griller – to slide, to slip // v. to gyrate (one’s waist), to have sex
  • Pral // OFr. Être après aller // adj. To be going to / - future tense marker
  • Rele / Yele / Ele // OFr. Héler // v. to call, to yell
  • T’ap // OFr. Avoir esté après // - Imperfect tense marker
  • Te // OFr. Avoir esté // - Past tense marker

Creole words of Taino origin[edit]

  • Anakaona // Ana kaona – Gold flower // n. a very beautiful woman
  • Anana n. a pineapple (Became part of standard French)
  • Ayiti n. Haiti
  • Babako // Barbakoa – A Taino roasting process // n. a feast
  • Bohio // Bohio – Home, house // n. Haiti
  • Kako // Buticaco or Heiticaco // n. a bumpkin, someone from the countryside
  • Kalalou n. okra, also a soup that includes okra and crab among other ingredients,known as gumbo in Louisiana
  • Kanari n. a clay jug
  • Kolibri n. a humming bird (Became part of standard French, it is also called, zoizo ouanga or ouanga négès)
  • Koukouy // Kokuyo // n. a firefly
  • Kounouk // Konuko // n. a shack
  • Lanbi/Lambi n. conch, a conch shell
  • Mabi n. a type of drink
  • Mabouya // Mabuya – a Ghost, evil spirit // n. a lizard
  • Sanba/Sanmba n. a musician or poet

Creole words of English origin[edit]

  • Bokit // n. bucket[3]
  • Kannistè // n. tin can[3]
  • Bank // n. bank[4]

Creole words of Portuguese origin[edit]

  • Ba // Dar – to give // v. to give
  • Kachimbo n. a pipe used for smoking tobacco
  • Mantèg // Manteiga // n. lard, butter (The French derived term for butter is, bé / beu)
  • Pikini // Pequenino // n. a child (The more common French derived terms are, pitit & ti moun)
  • Tchipe/Tchwipe / Tchupé // Chupar – to suck // v. to suck one’s teeth (at)

Creole words of Spanish origin[edit]

  • Bosal // Bozal // adj. to be savage (The French derived term is, sovaj)
  • Sapat // Zapatos or zapatillas // n. slippers
  • Tchakleta // Chancleta // n. a certain type of sandal

In Haitian creole the Spanish suffix -ador (pronounced in Creole as adò) is sometimes placed in combination with a French verb to describe someone who performs a certain action.

  • Abladò // Hablador // n. a speaker (person), someone who talks a lot
  • Babiadò / Babyadò // Fr. Babiller + Sp. –ador // n. a constant complainer
  • Bliyadò // Fr. Blier + Sp. -ador // n. a forgetful person
  • Kouchadò // Fr. Coucher + Sp. –ador // n. a sleepyhead, one who sleeps a lot


  1. ^ Dardik, Alan, ed. (2016). "Vascular Surgery: A Global Perspective". Springer. p. 341. ISBN 9783319337456. Retrieved 8 May 2017. 
  2. ^ Josh, Jagran, ed. (2016). "Current Affairs November 2016 eBook". p. 93. Retrieved 8 May 2017. 
  3. ^ a b Bonenfant, Jacques L. (2011). "History of Haitian-Creole: From Pidgin to Lingua Franca and English Influence on the Language" (PDF). Review of Higher Education and Self-Learning. 3 (11). Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 March 2015. 
  4. ^ Langfocus (2017-05-04), Haitian Creole - The World's Most Widely Spoken Creole Language, retrieved 2017-05-05 

External links[edit]