History of the Claats
40 years ago a worried government minister used his state power to ban bad words; the abuse of state power. The word 'black' became a very bad word, especially in combination with 'power'. So 'black power' books were banned. This goes to show how majority govern can foster injustice. The upper class did not want to mingle with the lower class and furthermore they had developed the unique language of patois, when they could not identify with it, they criticized it as bad.
Are those days over? We might be heading right back to those days of repression; it’s as if those dreadful days of extensive oppression still lingers within the Jamaican culture.
Bad words? …What's so bad about expletives?
'Expletives' are words or phrases used to fill out a sentence or a line of verse without adding to the sense. Jamaican expletives are very vibrant. Claat in Jamaica literally means cloth “Blood Claat” is the Jamaican patois for "bloody clothe”. It’s considered a reference to menstruation and the reproductive supremacy of women. It expresses the aggravation one experiences at not being able to pursue sexual intercourse. Originates from times when women used clothes during menstruation. Women wore sanitary aprons to prevent menstrual blood from leaking to their clothing. Some of the menstrual aprons and pad holders had cloth-covered rubber in the front. They wore the piece "backwards," under their dresses, and over their buttocks, to prevent the menstrual blood away from their clothing. “Blood Claat” is a compound word of 'blood' and 'cloth' When and how did this become a “bad word”?.
Who or what determines a “bad word”
There is so much double standards surrounding this matter; these words are used in many Jamaican surroundings. 'Claats' are a part of the Jamaican culture and a fundamental part of Jamaican expressions. Beyond the coast of Jamaica, very colourful prohibited words mean nothing to speakers other languages.
PRESS RELEASE AUGUST 2010