Friday, 10 May 2013
Say what you see!
As previously stated in an earlier blog I have had my fair share of pets. One such pet was a Russian Dwarf hamster. The thing with Russian Dwarf hamsters is that they are easy on the eye, cute little blighters, but hard to please and look after.
I would poke my finger into the cage and feed it bits of food. However, the first time I did that the little git bit my finger. I remember the excruciating pain and the tears that followed. I left it alone for a few days before attempting the same thing again. It looked at me with its big eyes in anticipation of a treat, but sure enough it bit my finger again. It was out of the blue, but I should have learnt.
I attempted a third time, a few weeks later, after all me and the hamster had been getting on! Sure enough, as expected, the little predator bit my finger. This time though it didn’t hurt as much as I was getting used to the pain.
Once bitten, twice shy, the third time you are just being a plain idiot and deserve to be bitten. When will I ever learn?!?!
I like that phrase though, once bitten twice shy. My experience with the animal allows me to understand it much better than I do other phrases.
"Bless her little cotton socks" for example. Grandparents normally exclaim this when watching their granddaughter dance around at a young age. However, why do they bless their cotton socks?? They are probably made out of nylon anyway! I do not understand this turn of phrase. And why is it only women say it? Why have my socks never been blessed?
Other phrases like "mind your Ps and Qs" I get. I believe it is something to do with ye old pub tavern’s. If trouble kicked off the landlord would shout "mind your pints and quartz’s!" as a warning to his regulars so as not to spill their tipple of choice.
And apparently the term golf comes from Gentleman Only Ladies Forbidden… Yes, a bit of sexism never goes a miss! I am sure if I have any of these wrong I will be corrected!
As a Yorkshire man, and I am sure it is the same for other areas around Britain, we have turns of phrase that everyone understands but no one knows why, what or where they came from, they just accept it!
"Well go to foot of our stairs…"many a Yorkshire man will exclaim in shock and disbelief. Every Yorkshire man understands this phrase. Basically for non-Yorkshire folk it merely means shock.
"Did you hear Betty has left John and moved in with Derek over the road…?"
"Well go to the foot of our stairs!!"
I don’t know where it comes from and I am sure many areas have their own take on such things.
One I use that many folk don’t seem to is ‘Head up arse’. It just means moody twat. If I tell you that you have your head up your arse it means you better snap out of whatever stupid mood you’re in. I often have my head up my arse. I am far too grumpy for a 30-something year old!
I am also a fan of nicknames and will often make nicknames up for people around me when having banter with mates.
I call my mate Phillipe, his name is Phil, so not too imaginative granted, but it comes from the joke "What do you call a Frenchman in sandals?" The answer is of course "Phillipe Fallop". I find that joke most amusing and ever since then I have called him that (amongst other things of course). He ain’t French and he doesn’t wear sandals but it just seems to have stuck!
Then there’s my mate Jew Boy… Totally stereotyping but his curly locks a few years ago earned him the nickname and now it has stuck ever since. And even when he loses all his hair he will still be known as Jew Boy.
I also call him Egg Head because of the shape of his head and tell him he shouldn’t have a bath for longer than 3 minutes otherwise he will hard boil!
I have several nicknames too, like Fruitbat (because I am bat shit crazy!) and Fatboy Slim. It wouldn’t matter how much weight I shed or how thin (if I could ever be of course!) I get, Phillipe has always said that’s what he’ll call me… usually just Slim for short. I kinda like Slim as a nickname to be honest.
People give nicknames to everyday items too.
The cashpoint is one of my favourites, or for non-English, the ATM machine. We warmly call it the hole in the wall. Everyone gets it and it is easy to understand where it comes from.
It’s Saturday night, time to go out so you ring your taxi, it turns up, and the taxi driver asks where you want to go and you say "Train station, but first I need to go to the hole in the wall…" And he understands and off he goes.
The TV remote I find is the most diverse and people within your own family will call it different things. I call the remote ‘the box’. It’s plain and simple. Some call it ‘buttons’ and most bizarrely I have heard people call it the ‘doofer’. What is that about???
The beauty thing about all this is that you can travel a few miles down the road, be in the same county, but still hear things that do not make sense as they have their own tongue.
This ranges from tea cakes to current tea cakes to alley ways and snickets…
An alley way, or alley, is a small walk way between buildings, but I call them snickets and down the road in the next town they are called ginnels… It can all get very confusing if asking for directions!
But going further afield and the one that amuses me the most, is the difference between English English (or proper English as I like to call it) and American English.
The fanny to me is the reproductive region of a lady that a bloke would like to get up close and personal with (dependant on hygiene of course). Whereas to an American the fanny is the arse (not the ass, that is a donkey!). So when my American colleagues talk about sitting on their fanny’s or getting a kick up the fanny I just think it sounds painful and I wince at the thought.
And don’t get me started on fanny packs!!! Especially when they tell me how much they can get in them!! Sounds incredibly slack!
If truth be told I could go on for hours about language, dialect and accents, but I can’t be arsed… or assed… and I also have to go visit church anyway… I am having my socks blessed by a proper minister, not my just by my Grandma!!
Holy watered socks, batman!!