Beyond Barbados Glossary

Part 1: In the Beginning


Amalgam – A mixture or blend      

Amerindians – A member of the indigenous peoples of the Americas

BarbadosAn island country in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies in the Caribbean region of North America

Bearded Fig TreesThe national tree of Barbados and is believed to be the tree from which Barbados’ name came from

Caribbean Trade RoutesAlso known as Triangular Trade usually between Africa, Britain, the Caribbean and North America

Commodity – A raw material or primary product that can be bought and sold, such as coffee or copper

Commonwealth – An independent country or community   

Coral RockA marine limestone that has a variety of fossilized shell and coral embedded in the rock

Equatorial Currents – An ocean current which flows in an east-west direction in the equatorial regions of all the oceans

Geological Uplift – Vertical elevation of the Earth’s surface in response to natural causes

Indentured Servants – A labor system in which people paid for their passage to the New World by working for an employer for a fixed term of years

Indigenous – Originating or occurring naturally in a particular place, native

Land Grant – A grant of public land, especially to an institution, organization, or a particular group of people

Northeast Trade Winds – The prevailing pattern of surface winds from the east toward the west found in the tropics

Surinam – A country on the northeastern coast of South America

United Kingdom – A sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland

West Indian Islands – The West Indies is a region of the North Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean that includes the island countries and surrounding waters of three major archipelagos: the Greater Antilles, the Lesser Antilles, and the Lucayan Archipelago

Windward – The side or direction from which the wind is blowing


Part 2: Sweet Success


Corporeal Punishment – Physical punishment such as caning or flogging

Demographic Landscape – The statistical data of a population, especially those showing average age, income, education, and race

Labor Intensive Work – Work that requires a large amount of labor to produce goods or services

Phenotypically – What an individual looks like as a consequence of the interaction of different groups of people and the environment they live in

Sephardic Jews – Jews who follow the customs and traditions of the Jews who lived in the Iberian Peninsula (modern Spain and Portugal) before their expulsion in the late 15th century

Spanish Inquisition – An ecclesiastical court established in Roman Catholic Spain in 1478 and directed originally against converts from Judaism and Islam but later against Protestants, established to act as a tribunal to identify heretics and bring them to justice

Urban Center – A large and densely populated urban area that may include several independent administrative areas

Windmill Technology – A mill that converts the energy of wind into rotational energy by means of vanes called sails or blades

Yellow Fever – A viral disease of typically short duration.  In most cases, symptoms include fever, chills, loss of appetite, nausea, muscle pains, and headaches


Part 3: The Barbados Adventurers


Aristocratic – Belonging to or typical of nobility, the upper class

Barbados Adventurers – A group of men who organized and financed an exploratory endeavor to find lumber, fuel sources, and food for Barbados, as well as land for expansion

Captain William Hilton – The leader of an expedition to Port Royal in the Carolina colony to find lumber, fuel sources, and food for Barbados, as well as land for colonization.  Hilton Head Island was named after him

Carolina land grants - Grants of public land from King Charles II to Lords Proprietors

Charles Towne – Named after King Charles II.  Located off the Ashley River where a group of English settlers landed in 1670 and established what would become the birthplace of the Carolina colony

Commodity – A raw material or primary product that can be bought and sold, such as coffee or copper

Deforestation – Clearance, clearcutting, or clearing is the removal of a forest or stand of trees from land which is then converted to a non-forest use

Dialect – A particular version of a language which is unique to a specific region or social group

Ecological Disaster – A catastrophic event regarding the environment due to human activity

Ecology – The branch of biology that deals with the relations of organisms to one another and their physical surroundings

Exotic – Not native to the place where found, introduced from another country

Expedition – A journey or voyage undertaken by a group of people with a particular purpose, especially that of exploration, scientific research, or war

Extinction – The state or process of disappearing or vanishing

Fortification – A defensive wall or other reinforcement built to strengthen a place against attack

Immunity – The ability of a person to resist a particular infection or toxin

Kiawah – A group of Native Americans belonging to the Cusabo people of the area that became South Carolina

Lord Proprietors – Eight Englishmen to whom King Charles II granted, by the Carolina charters of 1663 and 1665, joint ownership of a tract of land in the New World called “Carolina”

Malaria – A mosquito-borne infectious disease that affects humans and animals.  Symptoms include fever, tiredness, vomiting, and headaches

Middletons – Englishmen who came to Barbados in the 1670s and became involved with the illegal slave trade that eventually spread to Carolina

Opulence – Great wealth or luxuriousness

Port Royal – A small fortification near what is now Beaufort, South Carolina

Progeny – The offspring or descendants of a person, usually referring to their children

Rum – An alcoholic beverage distilled from a fermented cane product

Seasoned – Usually referring to an enslaved person who has worked in a hot, humid climate, under harsh conditions for a long time. Those who survived “seasoning” usually had immunity to yellow fever and malaria

Slave Code 1661 – The Barbados slave code marked the beginning of the legal codification (the process of arranging laws or rules according to a plan) of slavery

Temperate – relating to a region or climate that has mild temperatures

Unfettered – Released from restraint or inhibition

Veranda – A usually roofed open gallery or porch attached to the exterior of a building or house

Yellow fever – A disease that is spread by the bite of an infected female mosquito.  Symptoms include fever, chills, loss of appetite, nausea, and muscle pains


Part 4: Colony of a Colony


Affluent – Having a great deal of money, wealthy

Aristocrat – A member of the ruling class (aristocracy) or of the nobility

Barbados National Trust – An organization, founded in 1961, which works to preserve and protect the natural and artistic heritage of Barbados

Blackbeard – Edward Teach or Edward Thatch was an English pirate who operated around the West Indies and the eastern coast of Britain’s North American colonies

Defiant – Boldly resisting or challenging

Ethos – The characteristic spirit of a culture or community as shown in its beliefs and aspirations

Gallows – A structure, typically of two uprights and a crosspiece, used to hang criminals

Garrison – The troops stationed in a fortress or town to defend it

George Washington – Traveled to Barbados at age 19 to accompany his half-brother who had tuberculosis.  While there he contracted smallpox and observed military operations at the British garrison. Both experiences would later help him save the colonial army and defeat the British in the Revolutionary War

Global Market – An exchange for goods or services that spans national boundaries to encompass the entire world

Goose Creek – A town established on a tributary of the Cooper River and settled by Englishmen from Barbados

Goose Creek Men – Barbadians (former Englishmen) who moved to Southern Carolina and became an important political faction

Hedonistic Culture – A culture devoted to the pursuit of self-gratification and pleasure, governed by a belief that the most important thing in life is to enjoy yourself

Immigrants – People who come to a country to take up permanent residence

Incompetent – Not having or showing the necessary skills to do something successfully

Inoculations – The introduction of a serum or vaccine into the body of a person or animal to produce or boost immunity to a specific disease

Low Country – A geographic and cultural region along South Carolina’s coast, including the Sea Islands once known for its slave-based agricultural wealth in rice and indigo

Parishes – Small administrative districts typically having their own church and a priest or pastor; territorial divisions corresponding to counties in other states

Privateers – Armed ships owned and officered by private individuals holding a government commission and authorized for use in war, especially in the capture of enemy merchant shipping

Revolutionary War – An 18th century war between Great Britain and its thirteen colonies, which won independence and became the United States of America

Rice – A cereal grain that is widely consumed by a large part of the world’s population

Smallpox – An acute contagious disease with fever and pustules that usually leave permanent scars

Stede Bonnet – A wealthy Barbadian plantation owner who left his family to become “The Gentleman Pirate.”

Synonymous – Having the same or nearly the same meaning as another word or phrase

The Battery – A landmark defensive seawall and promenade in Charleston, SC

Triangular Transcontinental Trade – Refers to the trade in the 18th and 19th centuries that involved shipping goods from Britain to West Africa to be exchanged for slaves, these slaves were shipped to the West Indies and exchanged for sugar, rum and other commodities which were in turn shipped back to Britain

Tributary – A river or stream flowing into a larger river or lake

Tuberculosis – An infectious bacterial disease characterized by the growth of nodules in the tissues of the lungs

Unscrupulous – having or showing no moral principles, not honest or fair


Part 5: A Cultural Hearth


Apprenticeship – A person who works for another in order to learn a trade

Bussa’s Rebellion – The first of three major slave uprisings that took place in the British West Indies led by an African born slave named Bussa, who is now regarded as a national hero

Chattel House – A Barbadian word for a small moveable wooden house usually occupied by working class people

Consolidated Slave Law – A compromise law that granted concessions to slaves and the following concessions to slave owners: a white person could kill an enslaved person during a revolt with impunity, capital punishment of any enslaved person who threatened the life of a white person, and all free black people needed to have evidence of their freedom or they are presumed to be enslaved

Coterminous – Having the same boundaries or extent in space, time, or meaning

Creole – A person of mixed European and black descent, especially in the Caribbean

Cultural Hearth – Any place where certain related changes in land-use appear due to human domestication of plants and animals

Cultural Transference – The rethinking and reinterpretation of objects and ideas as they move from culture to culture

Demographics – Statistical data relating to the population and particular groups within it

Emancipation – The process or act of being set free, liberation

Genesis – The origin, start, or point at which something comes into being

Ingenuity – Being clever, original, or inventive

Mimic – Imitate (someone or their actions or words)

Progeny – The offspring or descendants of a person, usually referring to their children


Part 6: From Whence They Came


Accoutrements – Items of dress or equipment carried or worn by a person

Bajan – A native of Barbados

Cuisine – A style or method of cooking, especially as characteristic of a particular country or region

Genealogical Link – The direct descent of an individual or group from an ancestor

GenealogyThe study of families, family history, and the tracing of their lineages

Genteel – Polite, refined, or respectable

Gentrification – The process of making a person or activity more refined or polite

Gullah/Geechee – Descendants of Central and West Africans who came from different ethnic and social groups, a uniquely African American culture

Hoppin’ John – A Black-eyed peas, rice, and ham dish served in the Southern United States

Single House - A form of house found in Charleston, South Carolina. A single house has a narrow side with a gable end along the street.  The house is well-suited to the long, narrow lots which were laid out in early Charleston

Transatlantic Slave Trade – The second of three stages of the so-called Triangular Trade involved the transportation of enslaved African people, mainly to the Americas

Vernacular – The language or dialect spoken by the ordinary people in a particular country or region