Rob Ford's Jamaican expletive: CBC's Dwight Drummond translates

CBC's Dwight Drummond explains the Jamaican expletive Rob Ford used in a video that surfaced yesterday showing the Toronto mayor in a slurred rant at a fast-food restaurant.

'Toilet paper' a sanitized translation of common Jamaican expletive 'bumbaclot'

Ford speaking patois

9 years ago
Duration 1:27
A new video appears to show Mayor Ford speaking patois.

The latest video of an intoxicated Rob Ford features the Toronto mayor at a fast-food restaurant, ranting in a Jamaican-style patois. 

Among the words Ford uses is "bumbaclot." But what does it mean?

We asked CBC's Dwight Drummond, who co-hosts CBC Toronto's supper-hour news show and who was born in Jamaica. Drummond says it's one he wouldn't say if his mother were in the room.

"My Mom would be very upset if she heard me say that word," said Drummond, who answers these questions about "bumbaclot."

What does it mean?

"It basically means 'bum cloth' or 'toilet paper'  … that's kind of a sanitized way to say it."

How is it commonly used?

"It's commonly used sometimes like the f-word or the s-word. If I was hammering a nail and I accidentally hit my finger, you might use it as an expletive then."   

How would most Jamaicans react to the word?

"I've never heard my Mom use it and I think people of her generation would be offended by the word. Some of my younger cousins? Yes I've heard them use it, and I think that it's the kind of word that people who refer to as 'Jaifakans' when they are trying to speak patois and having fun with it, that's one of the words they pick up and it's one of the words they use."

According to Karim Nazim, who works the night shift at the Steak Queen, Ford was speaking to Jamaicans at the time he was imitating the dialect.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?