The Brief: "Bomboclaat," an expletive in Jamaican slang, has taken a new meaning on Twitter as a way to say "caption this."
What Does Bomboclaat Mean?
Reminiscent of Sco Pa Tu Manaa, Bomboclaat has come to mean “caption this” on Black Twitter. The origin of the term is Jamaican Patois, also known as Jamaican Creole, where it has an entirely different meaning. According to the top definition on jamaicanpatwah.com, the Jamaican patois and slang dictionary, “bomboclaat” is a popular Jamaican swear word. Also spelled bumbo claat and bumboclaat, the term is a reference to menstural cloths or pads, and has come to be an expression of shock, surprise, or anger. This definition also states that “Bumboclaat is actually a very vulgar swear word so you can get arrested for using it around police officers as well as dismissed from a class or formal business place.”
Bomboclaat’s Spread On Twitter
Bomboclaat has taken a new meaning on Black Twitter, specifically Carribean and Nigerian Twitter, as a way to say “caption this.” The first known instance of this usage is in a tweet by @rudebwoy_lamz on September 3, 2019, who paired the phrase with a meme of Winslow from the Nicktoons series CatDog. The most popular iteration of the Bomboclaat meme trend is a tweet of a reaction image or other funny photo and the text “Bomboclaat” as an invitation for people to tweet their funniest captions. The phrase has been compared with sco pa tu manaa because of its spread as a ubiquitous caption, and the relative obscurity of the term before it went viral on Twitter.
— L A M A R🥀⚡ (@rudebwoy_lamz) September 3, 2019
There has been much debate online about the significance of the Jamaican Patois definition versus its current meaning on Twitter.
The term 'bumboclaat' or 'bomboclaat' does not mean what you think it does. It is not a greeting, a question, or a means of asking ones opinion. It is an expletive, one used to express shock, anger, excitement, or befuddlement. So stop using it. Thanks.
— gunman in yuh hole (@rin_becalm) October 5, 2019
Sco pa tu manaa = what do u think about this
Bomboclaat = caption this image
Now u know https://t.co/XB2wKhszr8
— eksway #StandWithFarmers (@xyronnepiagan) November 3, 2019
— a&t (@MistaSlimm_) October 30, 2019
From the me explaining meme:
— Angry Tiger 🐯 (@AdamSB___) October 9, 2019
When you still don't know scopa tu manaa means and now it's bomboclaat https://t.co/cZdyyRqvXc
— Bazzi (@bazziness) November 4, 2019
— Itz nifemi (@AverageTeen00) November 6, 2019
— Trouble-Maker™😂💔 (@AKAROLO1) October 29, 2019
— TheMachinery! (@I_ememzy) November 3, 2019
— The Jacob Nathan™🔥 (@jn_stormborn) October 30, 2019
— Theophil🍂 (@HansonTheophil1) October 25, 2019
— manlikeblaq (@iamBlaqbida) October 29, 2019