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OF LOLLYPOP LADIES AND BIN BAGS

November 11, 2010

For the past two months my husband and I have been actually, truly, really “Living Dibley”.  The dream has become a reality and for all of you who just hold tight to dreams, my suggestion is that you take the plunge.  Go for it.  Even if it’s just for a few months, or a year or so, DO IT!!!!  The ride is incredible and your perspective will be enhanced a million-fold. There are ups.  And there are downs.  And there are hurdles you never imagined.  Like language.

I thought that moving to the UK would be easy because the British and the Americans speak the same language. I was wrong.  They don’t.  Like any language, British English is studded with so many different terms, words, spellings and meanings that I’m forced to learn a totally new language.

While Wales is a part of the British Commonwealth, it, too, has its own language and in many parts of this country, you’re not considered Welsh if you don’t speak Welsh!  Heavens! What’s a Yank to do?

Learn.  Watching the morning news the other day, one of the “television presenters” (hosts) actually said of a “footballer” (soccer player), “His reasons for leaving the sport won’t matter a dicky bird for the rest of the team”! I roared!  Imagine The Today Show’s Matt Lauer coming out with his own version of British-speak:  “Yesterday’s meeting of the U.N. Security Council was delayed because of the higgledy-piggedly arrangement of seats around the table”. 

Phrases that are beloved to the British are also delightful to the ears.  I’m invited to a “Hen Night” at the end of the month.  In America it’s known as a bridal shower – only here the bride is regaled with gag gifts and raunchy wishes, the evening is fueled by anything alcoholic, and heavens knows the condition of the bride-to-be in the morning!   

In a newspaper article, a large home in the country was referred to as a “pile”. I’m assuming that after the Hen Party, many will return to their pile in the country for the remainder of the weekend.

How’s your “pension pot” (retirement fund) doing these days?  I thought it was my investment advisor “ringing” (telephoning) the other day when he caught me “mid-bonk” (use your imagination). No longer in the mood, I got up and grabbed some orange juice from the container marked “extra juicy bits” (lots of pulp). 

I just came back from the doctors’ “surgery” (office) where Nurse Lisa gave me my flu “jab” (shot) and then prescribed all my monthly “tablets” (meds).  After a stop at the bank, where I still have problems filling out the “paying in” slip (deposit slip), I strolled into the local market to buy some “ginger nuts” (cookies) that I just love with my afternoon tea.   

The sheep that loll about in the field adjacent to our pile have incredibly large “bollocks” (ahem…) The groundskeeper told us they were resting, preparing for their autumnal duties of “tupping” (get creative here) the ewes.  Rest assured that the number of spring lambs frolicking in the fields next year will be plentiful.

About those lollypop ladies… no, they’re not saleswomen in the local “sweets” shop.  Hoisting long poles with round signs signaling “stop”, they inhabit the crosswalks of schools across the country in an effort to halt traffic and allow the children to cross the road safely. 

And the bin bags?  That’s another column altogether.  Just know that every home, in an effort to recycle effectively, is provided with pink, purple, green, white and black “bin bags” (garbage pail liners).  The hardware store even advertises designer “peely bins” (small garbage holders used for food preparation waste) that sit proudly upon kitchen countertops.

No longer is British English simply defined by the proper pronunciation of “tomato” (toe-matt-oh), but instead, it envelopes everything from Lollypop Ladies to Bin Bags.  “Ta rah, well” (Welsh English for bye for now)!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Peggy Clarke permalink
    November 15, 2010 3:43 pm

    I am still learning strange & interesting words from my “kiwi” (New Zealander) husband so I guess every area has there own idea of slang. For example:

    Sticking Plaster = Bandaid
    Trolley = Shopping Cart
    Bench = Counter Top

    Never mind the pronunciation and spelling! I am constantly told that we Americans don’t know how to spell properly! What fun while playing scrabble….All CAPS indicate what syllable is accented in pronunciation:

    aluminum = Al You MIN i um
    Subaru – Su BAR oo
    Nestles = Nessels
    Adidas = AHHH dee das

    I thoroughly enjoy the small pleasures of adding to my vocabulary.

  2. Sal Davis permalink
    November 21, 2010 6:22 pm

    Welcome to Monmouthshire! You’ve picked a good place. It will be really interesting to see it through your eyes.

    • November 21, 2010 8:02 pm

      Thanks you for your warm welcome. We just LOVE it here and wake up each morning with “great expectations”! Thank you for welcoming us.

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