Almost 50 years of age, Jamaica turned 48 in August. Jamaicans everywhere celebrated the nation’s Independence in fine style. 54-years old, Dennis ‘Jabari’ Reynolds’ is making a great contribution and offering another reason to celebrate for Jamaicans. Jabari feels there is need to make the dialect of the country more preserved, respected and appreciated as a language, and has written in his opinion a comprehensive Patois dictionary.
In 2002, Jabari came across a Jamaican Patois Dictionary, and was disappointed by how impoverished it was. It was skimpy and failed in his opinion to be comprehensive. In 2006, he released two books, one titled Chronicles of a Hot Stepper. The other the Jabari Authentic Jamaican Dictionary of the Jamie Language was released by Around the Way Books of Westbury, Connecticut. Currently promoting the book, Jabari says it preserves Jamaica’s history and heritage as he points out that some words recorded previously have become obsolete. Novelty Traders is responsible for distributing the book as of 2010.
Words such as ‘butoo’ (a person of no class), ‘raw’ (hungry), ‘passa passa’ (gossip), ‘goodas’ (female of impeccable reputation) are being kept intact in the book. Born on Wildman Street, central Kingston Reynolds attended Kingston College, worked as a draughtsman at Land Evaluation before migration to the US. Interestingly when the book was released, Reynolds was incarcerated and always kept abreast with the changing trends of Jamaica.