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Mark Freeman
04-11-2011, 09:01 AM
As it happens I was out with my missus and a pal in a local bar tonight and this guy got a bit shirty with me.At first I thought he was pulling my pl-----r.I soon realised he was working his ticket. I guess he thought I was a bit of a mug

Michael H (USA) was understandably a bit confused when Joe C (UK) used this sentence in a recent post. Michael also went on to mention as soon as the 'rhyming slang' starts to be employed then he is completely lost..

I have translated some of Henry E's (UK) more obscure references for the younger non UK readers in another thread and in the spirit of co-operation and with an eye to not destroy our 'special relationship', perhaps we can share some slang terms and what they mean in plain english.

Henry, Joe and Tony (when he is not being confined to the naughty step) are all old school and tend to write as they speak, which I find quite refreshing, but then again, I understand what they mean:)

Joe (from the NE) doesn't use ryhming slang as that is generally only used by those brought up in and around London.

'Cockney' rhyming slang is a very inventive and colourful way of speaking so that outsiders dont know what you are saying, some of the more commonly used phrases have entered into the general population's understanding. For example going up 'the apples and pairs' most know is going up the stairs (pairs rhymes with stairs).
Cockney's do not however use the whole phrase, they only use the front end.
A father may say to his son " Oi cocker, nip up the apples and fetch me daisies and titfer, I'm goin for a ball with the trouble, while the currant is still out"

to dicypher this, you need the ryhmes:
apples and pairs = stairs
daisy roots = boots
Tit for tat = hat
ball of chalk = walk
trouble and strife = wife
currant bun = sun.

If anyone is curious I can give you loads more, I could even set you a challenge to see how many you can work out if you wish.

I know that my 'septic' friends over the pond have just as many dense and imponderable slang terms ( I've seen the Wire!)

Maybe you could post some of your favourites?

Jun if you feel this should be in the humour thread please move it, however, I feel that translations inside a language are just as interesting as those across.

regards,

Mark
p.s. a 'cockney' is someone born 'within the sound of Bow bells' ( a church in the east end of London). Dick Van Dyke was not by all accounts from around those parts :D

Michael Hackett
04-11-2011, 09:41 AM
Mark,

Thanks for the translation services! Imagine what the scientists will think 500 years from now when they start digging up the rubble of our cities.

Probably my favorite California slang is the use of the word "Dude". It is all purpose and can be used to express congratulations, amazement, confusion, disappointment, greetings, pleasure, and many other emotions simply by inflection and tone. For example one of my training partners sent me an email this morning explaining that he'd just had "the best damned Spring Break ever!" My reply of "Duuuuuude" said it all.

Over the years something positive or good became "cool", then "far out" to "awesome" to "sick" to "money". Of course surf culture also interjected words like "gnarley" in between these stages of total awesomeness. Just to make things even more interesting but incomprehensible, "gnarley" could be interpreted as both positive and negative - one could experience a gnarley wipeout (-) on a gnarley day at the beach (+). And continuing the beach theme, on the West Coast we go to the beach, while on the East Coast folks go "down to the Shore".

In fact when I'm in the East Coast region I feel like I need a translator with me, and thankfully I married one. That way I don't have to carry Snooki with me on a key chain.

Janet Rosen
04-11-2011, 10:14 AM
And continuing the beach theme, on the West Coast we go to the beach, while on the East Coast folks go "down to the Shore". .

HUH? Maybe in New Jersey, where the beaches are on the south shore, but in NY and AFAIK the rest of the eastern seaboard we just went to the beach.

Michael Hackett
04-11-2011, 10:43 AM
Like totally in Jersey Janet. If memory serves it was the same in Philly too. I didn't spend any time in NYC while I was back there. I had just returned from Southeast Asia and wanted to stay out of a war zone.

Mark Freeman
04-11-2011, 01:38 PM
Just to keep the seaside theme going for a bit, my Dad used to say "I'm going down to the beach where I will take off my daisies and almonds and put me old plates in the Oggin" In english - I will take my boots and socks off and put my feet in the sea.
daisies - see post 1
almond rocks = socks
plates of meat = feet
Oggin - Naval slang for sea.

I've put my plates in the oggin on the East coast and it is bloody cold. Mind you my first trip to California and the Pacific was a shock, it's bloody cold there too! If you go in to over the waist it makes your scotches turn blue, your Hamstead's chatter and your Hampton shrivel!:D ( translation available on request;) )

Diana Frese
04-11-2011, 03:58 PM
In Long Island Sound, not directly on the Atlantic, sometime in July you can swim without too much discomfort (we're on the Connecticut side here) but after it warms up you can even swim some days in Oct., depending on the day. Around here, it's "go to the beach."

Different names for things in different towns? Subway is the name of the fast food chain for the giant sandwiches usually made on Italian bread, the long kind, not the round kind. Their motto I think is always fresh and always for less. Other towns call the sandwiches wedges or hoagies. Oh, there is a diner called Wedge Inn in our town next to the Dairy Queen, so we have two out of three, but I forget what town they are called hoagies.

There is also a fish and chips place near the beach, but I'm not sure if the chips are American style, or British style, haven't been there yet. There are hot dogs, hamburgers and chips right at the beach....

Janet Rosen
04-11-2011, 04:09 PM
Regional variation is a whole separate issue from slang - it is, in a large country like the USA, more like the different vocabulary you will find in different Spanish speaking countries. Standard language, not slang, but with regional variation as the language evolved over time.
The Dictionary of American Regional English is a wonderful resource for this! Very common differences exist in foods (esp. as Diane noted, sandwiches, and also a blended drink of ice cream and milk w/ or w/o malt) and other things, also pail vs. bucket, etc.

Dave de Vos
04-11-2011, 04:25 PM
By regional differences (dialects) in the Netherlands, one can often pinpoint the location of a speaker's roots to within 20 or 30 miles. But these differences are gradually disappearing by national television and higher mobility in the last century.

sakumeikan
04-11-2011, 04:25 PM
Dear USA cousins,
Brief translation of recent phrases.
1.Getting shirty -means getting upset/annoyed with someone /something.
2.Working his ticket -being awkward /trying to upset you/making things difficult/trying it on [verbally pushing his luck.Sometimes also known as 'Chancing his arm'.
3.Pulling my Pl-nk-r.- this is similar to the phrase 'Extracting the body fluids from ones urinary tract/person'.The pl-nk-r refers to the male reproduction organ.Hope this does not offend anyone?
4.Bit of a mug-self explanatory.
In a word the guy in the bar was upset[getting shirty].I thought he was initially joking[Pulling my plo-k-r].He was trying to provoke me and trying to intimidate me[working his ticket].He thought I was an easy target for his bad behaviour, and maybe he thought I was a easily frightened old chap.-a bit of a mug.Hope this loose translation helps. Joe.

Michael Hackett
04-12-2011, 01:12 AM
Ah, much like a case where a guy puffed up, and got in my face. I thought he was just pulling my chain, but he actually thought I'd roll over.

Now for a bit of trivia.....when President Lincoln was shot at Ford's Theater he had been watching the play "Our American Cousins".

sakumeikan
04-12-2011, 02:47 AM
Ah, much like a case where a guy puffed up, and got in my face. I thought he was just pulling my chain, but he actually thought I'd roll over.

Now for a bit of trivia.....when President Lincoln was shot at Ford's Theater he had been watching the play "Our American Cousins".

Dear Michael,
Exactly!! Hope you are well. cheers, Joe.

Diana Frese
04-12-2011, 09:54 AM
This thread is fascinating. Although I'm rather old, I can remember my childhood when I was taught what might have been Cockney slang. Four or so British sailors (maybe just sailing hobbyists, not Royal Navy) bought an old style square rigged ship and sailed it across the Atlantic and wrote a book for my dad's publishing company. ( By the way I think they stopped in the Canary Islands, but maybe a different island from Carina's.)

One of them was writing a children's book, with original drawings about animals in the Galapagos Islands who had a seal for a king. There were iguanas, many years before iguanas became popular in the US as pets. One of the characters said, "coo lummy" which to a little kid sounds cute, like coo, that pigeons say, and lummy, sounds like rummy, of which there may have been a children's version, with animal cards...

If I've misunderstood and printed some unprintable phrase, sorry about that, but I've wondered about that phrase every time I think back to the children's book .

Mark Freeman
04-12-2011, 10:11 AM
This thread is fascinating. Although I'm rather old, I can remember my childhood when I was taught what might have been Cockney slang. Four or so British sailors (maybe just sailing hobbyists, not Royal Navy) bought an old style square rigged ship and sailed it across the Atlantic and wrote a book for my dad's publishing company. ( By the way I think they stopped in the Canary Islands, but maybe a different island from Carina's.)

One of them was writing a children's book, with original drawings about animals in the Galapagos Islands who had a seal for a king. There were iguanas, many years before iguanas became popular in the US as pets. One of the characters said, "coo lummy" which to a little kid sounds cute, like coo, that pigeons say, and lummy, sounds like rummy, of which there may have been a children's version, with animal cards...

If I've misunderstood and printed some unprintable phrase, sorry about that, but I've wondered about that phrase every time I think back to the children's book .

Hi Diana,

I found this which may help:
: : Coo lummy. Clearly some sort of "ooh, wow," but I'd love to know more. It shows up in books, but I don't find the phrase or its parts here. Do or did people really say it? What's its etymology?

: A guess. It was/is certainly common in Cockney speak, but I know it as 'cor lummy'. The 'lummy' is a cockney way of saying 'love me'. The 'cor' is more difficult . It appears in 'cor blimey', where 'blimey' is , for some reason, 'blind me' and in 'cor, luv a duck'. My searches just prior to posting this suggest that it's just an intensifier; I can't find an origin.

Lummy appears to be a minced oath, i.e. a religious euphemism, meaning [Lord] love me. Cor is likewise, a variant of corblimey, which itself comes from gorblimey (God blind me).

So I don't think you have tripped over some unprintable phrase.:)

Cockney rhyming slang is quite clever, in that you can be quite profane, without the obvious offence, because you use the first word in the phrase that holds the rhyming word, for example, if you heard two chaps in a pub talking and one said to the other "that Dave bloke, he's a right 'merchant'" it doesn't sound offensive until you understand that they mean a Merchant Banker, I'll leave you to work out what 'banker' rhymes with;)

if you want more examples I have quite a few, quite fun to use in polite company:)

regards

Mark