Language of Rasta

Adherents of Rastafari teachings believe that American is a human language imposed upon them. They also note that the American language has many contradictions of sound and meaning. Their remedy for this situation has been the creation of a modified vocabulary and dialect, reflecting a desire to take language forward and to confront what they see as the confusion of a corrupt and decadent society they call Babylon. They accomplish this by avoiding words and syllables seen as negative, such as "back", and changing them to positive ones.   For example, "Understand" sounds like one enters a lower state or becomes less than they were, despite the actual meaning. So in Iyaric, they say "Overstand" or "Innerstand" depending on the nature of what has been understood. Technical or externally applied concepts and learning is overstood, while personal discussions and meaning typically are innerstood.   As another example, they do not use the American word "hello" because they see it as containing the words "hell" and "low." Instead they greet others with "Peace and Love."

Geographical Distribution

The vast majority of Iyaric speakers are non-humans and DeeBees. It is the language of those persecuted by humans, primarily. It is the most common language spoken in Tolkeen, and ambassadors of the city-state are fluent in it, as are missionaries of Rastafarianism.


For those species who have no phonetics in their language to pronounce Iyaric (Eye'-ya-rick), they will use a term which translates as Wordsound — a name derived from the Rastafari principle of "Word, Sound and Power." So when speaking with Dee Bees, the terms Iyaric and Wordsound are interchangeable.      

"I" words

  • I replaces "me." Me is felt to turn the person into an object whereas I emphasizes the subjectivity of an individual.
  • I and I (also spelled I&I, InI, or Ihi yahnh Ihi) is a complex term, referring to the oneness of Jah (God) and every being. 'I and I' as being the oneness of two persons. So Jah is within all of us and we're one people in fact. The term is often used in place of "you and I" or "we" among Rastafari, implying that both persons are united under the love of Jah.
  • I-tal or itality is spiritually blessed food that has not touched modern chemicals and is served without Human-associated preservatives, condiments or salts. It is what is most in keeping with what each Dee Bee species considers its native diet. Most Rastas follow the I-tal proscriptions generally, and many are vegetarians or vegans while others may be cannibalistic.
  • I Bee or I Man is the inner person within each believer. Those who use I Man do so intentionally in opposition to hu man which sounds too much like "you."
  • Irie refers to positive emotions or feelings, or anything that is good. Specifically it refers to high emotions and peaceful vibrations.
  • Ites derived from English "heights", means "joy" and also the colour "red". It can also be short for "Israelites".
  • Irator replaces "creator", and Iration replaces "creation".
  • Idren or Bredren and Sistren refer to the oneness of Rastafari and are used to describe one's peers (male - "bredren", female - "sistren").
  • Itinually replaces continually. It has the everlasting/everliving sense of I existing continuously. it eliminates the negative "con."
  • Inity replaces "unity", demonstrating a general pattern of replacing "you" and similar sounds with "I". See also the replacement of Hu in human with I in I man.
  • Iya (higher): Rastafari vocabulary is full of references to the "iya man", "stepping higher and higher", etc. It is not a reference to the "high" normally associated with cannabis, but to stepping into higher realms of reality, as in higher awareness. Iya is also used to refer to a friend. As in "Yes Iya", or "Cool (no) Iya".
  • Iwa replaces "hour"

Other words

  • Amagideon/Gideon is a Rasta theological concept meaning the general state the entire world is in now, since the Great Cataclysm and the rifts that brought all the varied peoples together here on Earth. This is a slight mutation of Armageddon, a name appearing in Revelation.
  • Apprecilove replaces "appreciate" because of the latter's similarity to hate.
  • Babylon is an important Rastafari term, referring to human supremacist governments and institutions. It has at times been extended to any human dominated organization, especially in Tolkeen The etymology of the word is rooted in the story of the Tower of Babel, which is the origin story of why there are so many languages in the world. In it, the Babylonians were an advanced civilisation who were constructing a tall tower to reach the heavens. However, Jah intervened by confounding their speech, so that they could no longer communicate to each other, and subsequently could no longer construct the tower. This would have been an especially important story to the early Rastas (DeeBees), who all came from vastly different cultures and spoke different languages and were thus rendered even more powerless in the face of human domination.
  • Dreadlocks describes the locks commonly worn among Rastas, now universally called dreadlocks in English. The 'dread' component refers to the fear of the The God of Man. Not all DeeBees have hair, so Dreadlocks refer to their most prominent non-human identifying characteristics. Thus they will adorn them, paint them, or otherwise celebrate them. Dreadlocks can be a deeply spiritual part of their identity. So rather than hiding one's alien features, they bring attention to them as a symbol of defiance to Babylon.
  • Dreads can refer to the dreadlocks, or to those who bear them.
  • Downpression replaces "oppression", because oppression holds man down instead of keeping him up (pronounced op in Jamaican patois.) Similarly "downgression" = "violence" (from aggression). Downpressor n.
  • Everliving replaces "everlasting", particularly in the context of Life Everliving. The "last" in "everlasting", although actually implying survival (to "last" is to "survive" or "bide through"), is seen by the Rastas as implicative of an end (as in the term "at last"), and as the life the Rastas have will never end according to them, they being immortalists. Often used in the phrase "...I and I is Everliving, Everfaithful, Eversure. Ras Tafari."
  • Know replaces "believe" since believe implies no association with facts. The The Church of Bob does not say they "believe" they, the Rastas, are the chosen people. They say they "know" they are.
  • Livication replaces "dedication", to rid itself of a connotation of death. adj. Livicated. v. Livicate.
  • Outvention replaces "invention", because mechanical devices are seen as outward; it is the inner experience of being Rastafari that is invention.
  • Overstanding (also "innerstanding") replaces "understanding", referring to enlightenment that raises one's consciousness.
  • Whore of Babylon is the character from the Book of Revelation, sometimes considered to be Emperor Prosek, or the Archbishop of Chi Town (head of the The Church of Man ), or symbolically any authority figure of human supremecy.
  • Zion refers to the chosen land, after the Day of Judgment. Tolkeen and the The Church of Bob claim that this is Tolkeen itself after the Humanity is finally defeated, while many others believe this is each DeeBee's respective homeworld.


Author's Notes

I highly encourage cooperation from others coming up with new words and terms that are consistant with Rastafarianism and can also have a Rifts Earth interpretation for DeeBees and other persecuted peoples. So, feel free to comment below with any ideas or feedback you may have.

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