Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Redu! -- Quirks of Language in #Curaçao (#AtoZChallenge 2015)

Literally: gossip (n.)
(the verb is, officially at least, redashi)
Origin: I think it comes from the Spanish enredo, though the Dutch (roddel) is also close. 

A colleague of yours, normally drab and homely, shows up at the office in sexy high heels and a new haircut. At lunchtime, someone says they know why--she has a new boyfriend. You -- and everyone else within earshot -- crowd in closer, saying, "Redu, redu!"
(English: Let that poor, suffocating cat out of the damn bag!)

At a dinner party, someone walks in on you and a friend having a private conversation in the kitchen. The new arrival immediately wants to know if you were discussing X or Y person.
You, only half joking: "Redu bo ke sa."
(Translates more or less literally as "You want to hear gossip", but used in context it's more like a not-quite-so-confrontational "Mind your own business".)

Although the verb is redashi, it's more often conjugated as doing redu. For instance:

Your friend, a notorious gossip, is criticizing someone for spreading rumors. You: "But, dushi, you do redu also."
(English: "You gossip, too.")

See that couple sitting in the U? When the girl saw me and my camera she sat back to hide her face.
Shyness, or did she not want photographic evidence of a tryst? Redu, redu!

Today's bonus:



And congratulations to Sabina (of Victim to Charm, truly cool blog about the college life) for guessing miracle on the last bonus word -- you're now in the draw to win the short story collection about Curaçao, most aptly titled The Miracle of Small Things :)


  1. Learnt a new word today! Redu .... A favorite thing to do especially at parties! I know I am wicked :D

    1. Hahahaha... We're all wicked :D Thanks for the visit, Shilpa!

  2. Interesting that Redu has elements of both Spanish and Dutch in it.
    I'm guessing Renchi means ring? Or is that too obvious? ☺

    1. YES, Debbie! (Of course you knew that already... Can't believe I'm so late with responding to comments.) And yeah, lots of Papiamentu words have elements of more than one language. Apparently in the Cape Verde islands they speak something very, very similar to Papiamentu, so I'm sure I'd find even more roots if I learned a few African languages. Cool, eh? ;)

  3. Hi Guilie .. it's interesting how the words change through languages and times ... and Redu - way too much is done .. some good some bad ... and funny how the girl hid her face .. .cheers Hilary

    1. Hahahaha... Yeah, it was funny. I tried to keep a straight face and look professional, but she never showed her face :) Redu can be fun, but I've seen it destroy lives, and careers. And yet it seems to be part of our human nature, somehow... I wonder why.

  4. Haha, this is really fun! I like it that people call you out of you want to gossip...

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary - Epics from A to Z
    MopDog - 26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary

  5. That's a fun word. Everyone loves gossip. :)


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