Quarrie, Quick Step & Quashi

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Donald Quarrie
Donald  Quarrie C.D. distinguished himself during the 70’s as one of the world top sprinters. His winning stint started in 1970 when he won gold medals in both the 100 and 200 meter races at the Commonwealth games. In 1974, he repeated this feat and continued to perform well into the early 80’s, though prone to injury. All told, Quarrie represented Jamaica in five Olympic games. A high school was named in his honor and his statue stands at the entrance to the National Stadium. 



Quick Step, Trelawny is a remote village at the end of a winding mountainous road in the Cockpit country. It is Maroon territory, and in case you’re wondering, Maroons were runaway slaves who gave the British soldiers hell during the 17th Century.  According to this web site, the British soldiers called that area ‘Look Behind’ because they rode two to a horse, one looking forward and the other looking over the horse’s rump to keep any eye out for any ambush.  

Quick Step, Trelawny
        The community if a mixture of Maroons and people from the coastal town of Treasure Beach, who migrated to Quick Step during a drought. Hence, many of the residents are light in complexion, with green eyes. The community is sustained by farming and logging.

I give you some Jamaican terms:
A Quashi in Jamaican terms, is someone unsophisticated to the point of being naïve. Found it in the World English Dictionary too and to quote, it means (Caribbean) an unsophisticated or gullible male Black peasant.

Quint: To blink. I didn’t know this was a word, but on Dictionary.com there are two definitions - an organ stop sounding a fifth higher than the corresponding digitals. 2. Piquet . a sequence of five cards of the same suit, as an ace, king, queen, jack, and ten (quint major),  or a king, queen, jack, ten, and nine (quint minor).
 
Quattie: something of little or no value, the term comes from the name that was given to the 1 ½ penny (a penny plus half a penny) that was used in Jamaica during British rule. It was often referred to as penny ha' penny.

10 comments:

  1. I love the name of the village. And the "look behind" is funny, the Maroons must have been awesome fighters. Good for them.

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    1. Yes, they were, Julie, but of course, the soldier wouldn't have been amused by the Maroons' capers.

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  2. There are just so many terms that I have never heard of before. I love it when a culture uses it's own set of terms.

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    1. Clarissa, I didn't even remember some of these terms like 'quint'. I think the more the years advance, the less we retain of our culture.

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  3. Quick step is also the name of a dance done to Texas country music. Easy to learn. I'm loving all the Jamaican things I'm learning about. That flat orange-tangerine from earlier this week looks yummy :)

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    1. Ah, so we have something in common with Texas. I bet the soldiers weren't happy with the quick steps they had to make while moving through Maroon territory.

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  4. Fun post with a bit of Jamaican flare...stopping by from the A - Z Challenge. Cheers!

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  5. I remember Quarrie well one of the earlier Jamaican stars. Then your post sucked me in to see the other words. Look behind saounds as though it was good advice.

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Bob. Jamaica does have some interesting history.

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