Solve a Jamaican Riddle

Jamaicans love riddles!

Solving riddles is a popular Jamaican past time. Often contests on Jamaican radio stations focus on riddles. Solve the riddle and win a grand prize. These contests could go on for days until there is a winner.

Here is how to ask a riddle Jamaican style.

To let someone know that you are about to ask a riddle, you say, “Riddle me this. Riddle me that. Guess me this riddle or perhaps not.” (We’re serious. And don’t ask, just say it.) You then proceed with asking your riddle.

Here is a riddle for you to solve:

Send the boy to call the doctor. Yet, the doctor comes before the boy.

What is that?

Answer:  The coconut

The explanation is simple. The liquid inside the coconut, or coconut water as it is called, is believed to have medicinal properties. Ask any Jamaican athlete and they will tell you it is very useful for mild dehydration. Ask any Jamaican grandmother and you will get a list of ailments cured by coconut water.

To obtain these wonder nuts, they have to be picked from the tall coconut trees on which they grow. They sometimes fall of their own accord but this usually happens when they are old and have very little liquid. To get a young or green coconut, someone has to climb the tree to pick it.

Since the trunk is so narrow and the tree is so tall, it is difficult to climb down the tree with the coconut in tow. For this reason, once picked, the coconut is usually dropped to the ground. So, that is why the doctor comes before the boy. Did you get it?!

OK, fine. Maybe it was a little corny. Which riddle isn’t? I’m letting you in on the culture here. Sometimes the jokes will give you a good belly laugh, which Jamaicans love, but sometimes they are corny 🙂

When you go to Jamaica, ask this riddle of any Jamaican whom you befriend. I guarantee that the mere fact that you asked them a riddle will make them laugh and score a few points for you!

Til next time. Think and dream Jamaica!

Sherry, Darrell and Darrian

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About the Author Sherry

Sherry & Darrell, owners of Mais Oui Tenis & Spa Villa in Discovery Bay, Jamaica, consider themselves unofficial ambassadors for Jamaica. They look forward to using their insider knowledge to help guests create priceless vacation memories. Feel free to say hi!

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