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Corotle, A Virgin Islands Word

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Duane, who lives in New York City, says that his parents who are from the U.S. Virgin Islands use the term corotole to mean “clutter.” This term appears in The Virgin Islands Dictionary by Kareem Nelson-Hull (Bookshop|Amazon). It also appears in the online Crucian Dictionary by Robin Stearns, who spells is corotle. The Dictionary of Jamaican English by Fred Cassidy and R. B. Le Page (Bookshop|Amazon), lists corotos as a term for “stuff, miscellaneous things, or junk” used in Spanish-speaking countries around the Caribbean. Several similar terms with roughly the same meaning are used in English dialects and creoles in the same region, including caroachy, caruchie, and caroco. These words may arise as the result of metathesis, a linguistic process in which sounds swap places in a word, in this case the consonant sounds in clutter trading places with those in corotole. This is part of a complete episode.

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