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Pidgin refers to any language created out of a mixture of other languages as a means of auxiliary contact language between speakers of different tongues. They often have a simplified grammar and restricted vocabulary. As this language develops and expands it can replace the existing mix of languages to become the native or Creole language of the current community (such as Krio in Sierra Leone and Tok Pisin in Papua New Guinea).

The concept originated in Europe among the merchants and traders in the Mediterranean in the Middle Ages, who used Lingua Franca or Sabir. Another well-known pidgin is the Beach-la-Mar of the South Seas, based on English but incorporating Malay, Chinese, and Portuguese words.

Caribbean pidgin is the result of Colonialism. As tropical islands were colonised their society was restructured, with a ruling minority of some European nation and a large mass of non-European laborers. The labourers, both natives and slaves would often come from many different language groups and would need to communicate.