Cowabunga! (And it needs to be followed up with a deep low throated du-ude.)
I have tried this on for size quite a few times, but unfortunately it just doesn't seem to fit. In my head you either have to be a scraggly blond wearing flowery-Hawaiian surfer shorts (or/and surfing) to say it.
Or you could be a teenage mutant ninja turtle.
I'm neither of the two. So I've given up now.
I never understood the context in which one could use this word. Is it a greeting? Or an exclamation? Is it an exclamation of surprise or of joy? Or of anger?
I once said "Yowza" in response to "Aren't the tea and scones lovely today?". I got the timing wrong that time too.
I often confuse booyakasha with shabooyayaya (which, incidently was the cheerleading chant in bring it on.) If you're with real Jamaicans, they'd never let you live it down.
But there's something fundamentally wrong with the way i pronounce the word. I say it like an old English dignified gentleman would say it. "Boo-yah-kasha" Similar to "Well hello to you too. What a lovely evening it is"
Funnily enough, the root of the word is English/Irish. It comes from "Buíochas" (pronounced bwee ah kuss) which mean "glory to" "or praise be" as in "buíochas le Dia" which means "thanks be to god". Oliver Cromwell sent thousands of Irish to the plantations in Jamaica, and a lot of Irish (or Gaelic as non Irish people know it) words made it in to Jamaican patois. Hence Booyakasha.
Okay. So Bob Marley did impact me considerably.
This one was a personal invention.
It was meant to mean cool, in a Rastafarian way.
I only realised later that the word I invented, nobody understood.
And the word i was looking for was Rastafabulous!
Rastafarian refers to the religion/movement/dreadlocks.
So i stopped saying it, but i stuck with the "ya maan".
But that didn't work either because people thought i was incredibly interested
in the political/economic/any situation in Yemen.
So I've stopped saying all these things. Yes, I no longer fake the funk.