Mais Oui Stories … How did Mais Oui Villa get its name? What does Mais Oui mean? And Other Such Questions.
Mais Oui Villa is a boutique Jamaica villa vacation rental in Discovery Bay Jamaica which prides itself on taking really good care of its guests.
What Mais Oui guests say?
How Did Mais Oui Villa Get Its Name?
The villa opened in 2000 and over all these years, we often get asked some version of the questions, “How do you pronounce the name?” and then, “Why did you name the villa Mais Oui?”
As with nearly everything with the Mais Oui Villa project, there is a story, the extent to which it is humorous depends on the passage of time.
Jamaicans love good stories so here’s ours.
Rewind 20 years before we built the villa. I’m in the 10th grade doing a 4-year French course in 2 years.
Spanish was easy for me so my teachers in their wisdom thought it was a wonderful opportunity for me to study French. Back then, you couldn’t choose to do French. You had to be chosen to do French. So we “French” girls were special, or so we felt anyway.
Except for me, it was torture, pure unadulterated torture.
I was in love with the idea of speaking more languages but French was “licking me for six”, as we say in Jamaica. My butt was getting whipped and handed to me raw!
And during that era, there was no such thing as dropping out of a class, especially when everyone branded you as “gifted”. So the gauntlet was down.
I could read and write French well but not for all the ackee trees in Jamaica could I speak it to that level. It was the accent I could not master.
Realizing my deficiency and my lack of confidence in the language, my French teacher would often call on me to read aloud in class.
One week she called on me three mornings in a row. The fourth morning, I thought for sure that she wouldn’t call on me again.
Well, you guessed it.
I had three options – read, pee, or faint.
I had what can best be described as an out of body experience as I heard myself mispronouncing, “Comme ci comme ça”, an expression known by even the average Joe on the street. (I voiced it as “Come see come ka.”)
I remember very little of what transpired next and from what they tell me, it was a good thing. God was merciful.
Eventually, the course ended. I didn’t do stellar but I survived and put those two years of French language misery behind me.
Fast forward to 1999, the villa is being built. We need a name.
All villas in Jamaica have names. It’s not considered pretentious, actually more cultural. How else would you know one villa from the next?
We knew we wanted a memorable name, ideally something cute and catchy.
Many of the names that we came up with were already taken. Thank goodness for the then-fledgling internet. Through that mechanism and the contributions of many others around the globe, we could eliminate several names since we found villas which already had the same ones.
We had brainstorming sessions where we threw around Jamaican patois names and Spanish names. Then we added in some French names to the mix.
Why did we finally choose the name “Mais Oui”?
Ideally, we wanted a name that sounded nice and also had a relevant meaning. A name that was a play on words would be perfect.
There was a villa nearby called Leisure Lee.
Then we thought of Mais Oui, which is French, and pronounced almost like “May we” in English.
Mais Oui means “But yes” or “Of course” in English.
The French pronunciation asks the question as in “May we help you?” The English translation provides the answer. We had found the perfect play on words for a hospitality establishment.
Someone once commented that people often choose French names to sound stylish. Maybe some do; but for us, myself in particular, the name has a very special meaning and significance.
The name, Mais Oui, represents how we think of our guests and how much we want them to have a memorable stay with us.
(Plus, the little high schooler in me feels like now I finally whacked French! )
Challenges with the name Mais Oui
As much as we love the name, Mais Oui, it has its created some unique challenges.
Many people can’t pronounce it. Even more so they can’t spell it. So, it makes it that much harder for people to find us on the internet, which of course is a bummer.
Recording of how you pronounce Mais Oui
Half the time, we have to explain the name. Once we do though, people get it.
We can’t imagine changing the name because, for some reason, it’s like the house picked the name and vice versa.
If you visit Mais Oui, I’m sure you will agree that there is only one name for the house – and it’s Mais Oui . . . Of course!
Don’t worry if you can’t remember how you spell or pronounce Mais Oui, just remember our website and tagline, which we have had for almost 20 years – Make It Jamaica (https://MakeItJamaica.com).
If you are visiting Jamaica and are looking for a villa in Ocho Rios Jamaica region, look no further than Mais Oui Villa in Discovery Bay, offering the best of both worlds – close to not only the attractions of Ocho Rios but also to those in other nearby regions like Rio Bueno-Falmouth, 30 minutes closer to Montego Bay’s airport than Ocho Rios, but without all the crowds and hustle and bustle of a large town.
Contact us today to plan your family or group vacation to Jamaica – Mais Oui style.
‘Til next time.
Think and dream Jamaica!
Sherry, Darrell, and Darrian
Considering a visit to Jamaica with a group? Contact us today for more information about, Mais Oui Tennis & Spa Villa, our boutique 8-BR ocean view Jamaica villa rental experience in beautiful Discovery Bay, Jamaica. Perfect for multi-generational families and groups, retreats, and intimate destination weddings and vow renewals.
Visit our website: https://www.MakeItJamaica.com
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