Côté ci Côté là: 

The Trinidad & Tobago Dictionary!

Written and Illustrated by John Mendes

A must-have in every Trini-connected home. 

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  • Contents

    The Contents and Foreword pages are good indicators of the tone and substance of its 320 full colour pages.

  • Culture

    A pepper pot, marinated in our African, American, Caribbean, Chinese, Colonial, French, Indian, Middle East, Portuguese, and Spanish ancestry.   

  • Indian influence

    The Jahaaji Bhaiyaa's impact on lifestyles, music, culture and food are woven throughout. This edition adds its Folklore.   

  • Carnival Traditions

    Calypso, Carnival & Steelpan have their own sections, and some pioneers in those fields are listed. Traditional Costumes are logged as are lost presentations.

  • Paintings

    Acrylic on canvas 3ft x 2ft, these one-of-a-kind, fine art depictions of our sayings always spark laughter. Some reside with art collectors, others are secured for future exhibits.  

  • Food

    Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern are on record raving about our Bake and Shark. Roti and Doubles are International. Our Angostura Bitters is renowned Worldwide.  

  • Folklore

    All are French except the Indian ones. La Diablesse, Lugarhou and Suçoyer tales have goose-bumped Trinis for generations. Now Dee Baba, Raakhas, Saapin and others are spotlighted. 

  • Look we here!

    It's easy to assume everyone knows where we are. Not so. Our global position and a map of T&T show you and your friends your favorite places of interest.

  • Wildlife

    Fauna runs throughout the book. Trinidad was once part of the South American mainland, so we have a plethora of wildlife for such a tiny landscape. 482 types of birds (17 Hummers), macaque colonies- a field-naturalist's goal.

  • Bush medicine

    Centuries before pills were sold, natives healed themselves with the very plants that are being compounded commercially. Most of them are just weeds, but are being studied as possible cures for ancient ills. 

  • French-influenced words

    Our English is seasoned with French. Some things have no other name- Jour Ouvert, Fête, Dimanche Gras. La Basse, Mal Yeux, Corbeau, Crapaud. Who doesn't like a free lagniappe?

  • History

    Many entries have some history. Angostura, Almond walk, Badjohn, Calypso, Carnival, Hosay, Indian arrival, Red House, Steelpan, Woodford square. Images add interest. 

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Reviews

  • Côté ci Côté là is a West Indian classic. Its basic text, always spicy and yet scholarly, illustrates better than virtually any other book I know the intricacies of our amazing, living language. Its artwork—whether lyrical or satirical—makes every page a visual treat. This book is a wonderful tribute both to John Mendes's literary and artistic skills and to the Caribbean vitality and originality of our people and their rich ancestral cultures. Nothing in print captures more vividly the true texture of our ways of being and speaking. Every household should own at least one copy!

  • Côté ci Côté là Dictionary is the essence of Trinidad and Tobago. Author John Mendes combines together the history, humour, wisdom and vibrant colour of our Trinbago language and culture from 'long ago' to the present day. This is no boring book! Each page explodes with colour and is crammed with every bit of Trinbago info there is, under the Caribbean sun. Côté ci Côté là is a 'must have' treasure. 

Reviews

  • Côté ci Côté là is a West Indian classic. Its basic text, always spicy and yet scholarly, illustrates better than virtually any other book I know the intricacies of our amazing, living language. Its artwork—whether lyrical or satirical—makes every page a visual treat. This book is a wonderful tribute both to John Mendes's literary and artistic skills and to the Caribbean vitality and originality of our people and their rich ancestral cultures. Nothing in print captures more vividly the true texture of our ways of being and speaking. Every household should own at least one copy!

  • Côté ci Côté là Dictionary is the essence of Trinidad and Tobago. Author John Mendes combines together the history, humour, wisdom and vibrant colour of our Trinbago language and culture from 'long ago' to the present day. This is no boring book! Each page explodes with colour and is crammed with every bit of Trinbago info there is, under the Caribbean sun. Côté ci Côté là is a 'must have' treasure. 

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