As some of you may already know, my husband runs his family’s business, a laser engraving company right here in Anguilla. Being that we are both artists, we love coming up with new innovative ideas for the store. This festive season, despite the setbacks of the hurricane, I am excited to launch my newest line with a series of personal gift items representing the true essence of Anguillian culture. Combining my love for language with my love for quirky gift items resulted in an alchemy of iconic Anguillian sayings or references emblazoned on a variety of ready-to-use items in the Anguilla Lover Collection.
If you are unfamiliar with Anguilla’s dialect or culture, check out the explanations below.
The word “lime” in Anguilla can be used as more than simply to label a citrus fruit. You will see it most often as a noun– “We goin’ buss a lime”— or as a verb– “We was limin’ at Pumphouse”. The term “Limin’ Pardna” refers to someone you like to hang out with.
One of the most important aspects of West Indian culture is music and dance. There is no scarcity of that in Anguilla, especially during our carnival season (starting at the end of July through the first week of August). The term “wine” refers to the act of gyration popular in the dance moves which pair best with our soca, reggae and calypso.
If you ask anyone what Anguilla has to offer, they will tell you our people and our beaches. Our island is characterised by the best beaches in the world; almost every single one boasts white sand and spectacular turquoise water. In case you were wondering, my ultimate pick is Meads Bay!
Some of the top favourite beaches are what I chose for these items.
Anguilla is a limestone island so we aren’t exactly famous for our agriculture, but that doesn’t mean that things don’t grow here! One of the heralds of summer in Anguilla is when fruit begins to be seen on the ginep trees. There are several received spellings of this word in the West Indies (ranging from kinep to ginup to qinep), but I went with the most popular on my island. The standard agricultural term for a ginep is ‘Spanish Lime’, however I doubt you will hear anyone in the Leeward Islands use this phrase.
Sea grapes are another fruit tied to memories of days at the beach in Anguilla. In my experience, they are pretty much hit or miss: either they taste amazing, or like a sour patch. Nevertheless, you can find sea grape trees on most of the beaches in Anguilla.
Sugar apple, the national fruit of Anguilla, is by far my favourite delectable borne of the trees in the Caribbean. It is super unique in shape and appearance, much lumpier than its namesake. Some other islands refer to it as sweetsop, but in Anguilla you will always hear it called sugar apple.
Pommesurettes, as they are known in Anguilla, are found on prickly trees and (in my opinion) best eaten just between green and ripe. Some people prefer them green, but my palate is not on that level.
One of my childhood memories is my mother telling me how she used to sit on Maundays Bay with my father before there was a hotel built on it. Nowadays, you can hire my dad to take you horseback riding on this breathtaking beach. I can’t think of a better thing to do on a Monday than spend it on Maundays.
If something surprising happens, it isn’t uncommon to hear someone exclaim “Ayuh Lawd!” The term is most related to the Standard English outburst “Oh my God!” and is also seen in other iterations such as “Ayuh Lookawuk!”
One of the must haves on any island is the rum punch, but I am partial to the mixes found in Anguilla. Fun linguistic fact: the term “punch” is borrowed from the Sanskrit word for “five” because original punches contained five ingredients.
My favourite rum punches on island are from Scilly Cay and Roy’s Bayside Grill.
The holiday season in Anguilla is punctuated by worship, time with family, gifts, and eating. Lots and lots of eating. This coaster set references sorrel, a popular West Indian drink made from the leaves of a plant with the same name, and mauby, another West Indian juice, made from the bark of a mauby tree. These drinks are consumed year round, but are often served to guests during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays with black cake, a dessert made from rum-soaked fruits.