Jamaican riddles, like the proverbs, shows much of Jamaica’s history and the characteristics of the Jamaican people. Riddles are guessing games in which the riddle solver is given a clue and expected to guess the riddle. Riddles are therefore, basically a question and answer game.
A typical Jamaican riddle starts with the opening line:“riggle me dis, riggle me dat, guess me dis riggle and paraps not” or the less popular “riggle me riggle, John me riggle, guess me dis riggle and paraps not”.
A typical riddle goes like this: “Pam-par-am-pam wid a hole in de middle”, to which the answer is hammer. Another riddle goes like this: “one slice a negro yam sarb de whole worl” (a slice of yam serves the whole world), to which the answer is the moon.
Riddles play the same role now, as they did then. They often evoke laughter because of the unexpected or perceived responses they require.
List of Jamaican Riddles and Answers:
Answer: The cow, because he should have blown his horn.
Answer: Potato or cornmeal pudding (pone), made in a traditional oven with coals on top and at the bottom
Answer: A complaint
Answer: Because every river has two banks
Answer: Sugar cane
Answer: The one with the biggest head.
Answer: A small woodland
Answer: Soursop (macca is the Jamaican equivalent to prickle/thorn)
Answer: Two : left corner and right corner.
Answer: Cat sitting under a table, waiting for rat.
Answer: Yes, wid mi own two eyes (Yes, with my own two eyes).
Answer: Banana or plantain leaf
Answer: The wheels on the car
Answer: Ripe banana
Answer: Sore foot
Answer: The plantain must fit (mature) to cut (harvest) and the tailor must cut to fit.
Answer: Because it can’t go under it
Answer: Old time iron pot (jester pot)
Answer: Melon or pumpkin vine
Answer: The Letter ‘W’
Answer: They both spend a lot of time on lines.
Answer: The moon
Answer: A clock or watch
Answer: Because the bed can’t come to us.
Answer: None, there are no ‘Rs’ in the word that.
Answer: Two: second and twenty second
Answer: Tree (a tree has no face)
Answer: Your age or smoke
Answer: O K
Answer: Because three feet make one yard and a dawg (dog) has four feet.