When a Bahamian calls you salty, it means you’re being utterly disagreeable, just for the sake of being utterly disagreeable. Whenever this term is used, we should think and thank, one brilliant author in particular, for his cleverness and wit.

Little do we know, that the term salty or as the great writer himself put it “jumping salty” originated in the mind of famed author Langston Hughes.

“James Mercer Langston Hughes was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, short story writer, and columnist. He was one of the earliest innovators of the then-new literary art form jazz poetry. Hughes is best known for his work during the Harlem Renaissance. He famously wrote about the period that “Harlem was in vogue.””

Langston Hughes’s literary character, Jesse B. Simple, conversationally called as “Simple” really exemplified his name. Simple Takes A Wife is the story of Simple’s courtship of Joyce. Joyce is portrayed as a respectable, hard-working, churchgoing young lady.

All is not quite as it seems, during the courtship, of Simple and Joyce because Simple is still married to someone else and must obtain a divorce.

“Simples Takes A Wife” Langston Hughes, 1953

After obtaining his divorce, Simple starts to savour his freedom, from being married, just a little too much.

Joyce, “jumps salty” at Simple’s apparent reluctance to get married as they had planned.

“Simples Takes A Wife” page 25, author Langston Hughes, 1953