Krik? Krak! & Timtim in Haitian Creole

1280px-2011-02-06_Toras._Vilarromarís-2In Haiti, if someone is going to tell a story, they’ll say "Krik?" If the people listening want to hear the story, they’ll respond, "Krak!"

It’s a way for a storyteller to get the audience ready, similar to, "Come gather round…" in English, but it makes the audience more active.

Riddles are introduced with, "Tim tim!"  They’re answered with, "Bwa sèch!" (Sometimes spelled "Bwa chèch")

"Bwa sèch!" literally translates to "Dry wood!" But the meaning isn’t taken literally.  It preps the person to participate in a riddle… a bit like the English "Knock, Knock!" "Who’s there?"

Feel free to share phrases like this that you know in your language in the comments below…

Mama Lisa

Read more about Haitian Riddles and Proverbs (in Haitian Creole and English).

Check out some Haitian Kids Songs.

This article was posted on Wednesday, January 20th, 2016 at 8:27 pm and is filed under Books & Stories, Countries & Cultures, Haiti, Haitian Creole, Languages, Rhymes by Theme, Riddles, Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 Responses to “Krik? Krak! & Timtim in Haitian Creole”

  1. Kelley Says:

    Hi Mama Lisa,

    Do you know the origins of Fiyet Lalo? I’m doing research for school and I can only find songs and that she is like the female version of the boogieman but do you happen to know of any stories about her?

    Thanks!

  2. Lisa Says:

    Most of what I find about Fiyet Lalo is in French. The name Fiyèt-Lalo comes from the French, “la fille de l’eau,” the daughter of water. There’s a YouTube in French about Fiyet Lalo’s tale.

    Can anyone tell us more about the tale of Fiyet Lalo?

  3. Andrins Says:

    Actually “Fiyèt Lalo” does not translate to “The daughter of water”. Lalo is the main Character of the story in the song. “Lalo” is not Ceole for “dlo” or “the water” for English. Water is ‘L”eau” in French and “dlo” in Haitian Creole.

    Now unto explaining the tail of “Fiyèt Lalo”…

    Fiyèt Lalo was a woman voodoo priest what we call “a manbo” in Haitian Creole. The song is about warning children to not go to Fiyèt Lalo’s house aka “peristil” because she’s known to lure children in then kill them. That’s her expertise. The rest of the song is just fillers then at the end you have a gentleman asking a young lady to get up and dance with him. Nothing about water my people. Nothing.

  4. Lisa Says:

    Andrins – “La fille de l’eau” comes from the video posted above and below. The Haitian actress Natacha Jeune Saintil has this written on her video, “Natacha Jeune Saintil nous conte sa version des aventures et mésaventures de Fiyèt Lalo “la fille de l’eau” personnage bien connu en Haïti.” [Natacha Jeune Saintil tells us her version of the adventures and misadventures of Fiyèt Lalo la fille de l’eau (the girl of the water) well-known character in Haiti.] In the video below she’s baptized Fiyèt Lalo, ‘la fille de l’eau’.” Listen below in French…

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