13 May 2012

A Shared(?) Language

At work, I share the helicopter with a guy who talks funny.
He was born in Bristol, England, then spent some time gallivanting around the world...
South Africa, Botswana, Rhodesia (when there still was such a thing.)

He mutters.
Coupled with the fact his accent makes him difficult to understand, his utterances are sometimes unintelligible. (Sara Jean thinks he does this on purpose to draw attention to himself.)

I understand him better than most because I've gotten accustomed to his cadence, and I have learned the meaning of many of the words:
Lorry. Torch. Lift. Zed. Bonnet/Boot. Petrol. And what's this "Aluminium" thingy?

Still, there ARE times when I have to scold him...
"Say that again in American, please!"

(He's lived/trained/worked here for almost thirty years for heaven's sake!)

He brings tabloids and magazines to work with him and I enjoy flipping through them to compare our two cultures. In context, many of the words and phrases can be added to my list of usable, shared terms.
Today I sorted out a couple more of 'em and can share them with you:
BODGED, as in "It was bodged together from two separate machines."

And SPANNER... "Be careful when trying to decide if you want to spanner your own vintage motorcycle."

If, before I go completely deaf, I can get the man to speak in a normal tone of voice, we may begin truly communicating just about the time I retire.


Old NFO said...

LOL, good luck with THAT! :-)

On a Wing and a Whim said...

Heh. heh. heheheheh. Bwahahahahahahahaha!

I had to ask my South African husband what Zed was, but the rest of that list, I've already learned the hard way. "Mince" is hamburger, and everything is "tinned" instead of canned, and someday I will teach him to pronounce the o in territory. Maybe. Probably not.

The Old Man said...

As long as he doesn't mutter about "transparent" aluminium and dilithium crystals......

lotta joy said...

I recon you ain't talked to us hillbillies much. I was fixin' ter ask ya, but figgered I might as well jump in and git 'er done.

But them Englishers DO jaw funny.