You know, the whole "falafel" incident had me stopping to think about some of the strange words that the Old Guy uses... and my strange words as well.
The whole Australian/American thing and the roots of where we come from.
The Old Guy accuses me constantly of talking with a stiff upper lip - and droppin' my "g's"... and he claims that's the reason that he has trouble understanding me at times.
I know that he's right on the whole droppin' my "g's" thing, but I think it goes a lot deeper than that. I think he has a bit of a hearing problem... well actually we know that he does... but being a man, he denies it, when it's convenient for him. It's always my fault.
But that's not as deep as it goes.
The Old Guy uses funny words. Yep, my funny little man uses funny little words... and before you go thinking that I'm making fun of him - I'm not.
I find it endearing and I find him endearing.
He uses words like "conversate" - and he used it long before it became trendy. He's always said conversate.
Whereas I might say that I was conversing with someone, he conversates with them.
He uses words like strides, daks or trousers for pants.
Which is no big deal... but it confuses the hell out of my little ones, when their pants are slipping down and he admonishes them to pull their strides up - and they just look at him funny. He then gets flustered and tell me that "so-and-so won't listen to me."
Well, for one thing honey, so-and-so is only 2 years old and she doesn't know how to pull her pants up... but she probably doesn't understand the word "strides" anyway.
Ask her to pull her pants up instead.
And he does... but ten minutes later, he's telling someone else to pull their strides up.
Teaspoons are "stirrers", unless you want to eat cereal with them.... then they become spoons.
"Hand me a stirrer, luv... and I'll make you a cuppa."
Then there's the whole Australian vs American words for things - which is no big deal, but it can get confusing at times.
bonnet, for the hood of a car.
boot, for the trunk of a car.
jockey box, for glove box
cereal packet, for a box of cereal.
jug, for pitcher
jug, for kettle
bottling, for canning
tap, for faucet
esky, for ice chest
singlet, for undershirt
wellies, for rubber boots
daks or jocks, for underpants
knickers, for panties
fly wire door, for screen door
cooker, for stove
wood heater, for wood stove.
griller, for broiler
knackered, for tired or worn out
No big deal... because they're just different words, but the meaning is the same.
I just never imagined that I would be learning another language when I came here.
I never imagined that people would have a hard time understanding me... and me, them.
We both speak English for pete's sake... but between customs and dialects, it's been harder than I would have imagined it to be.
See, I was born and raised in San Francisco California. But my mama came from Ada Oklahoma and my daddy came from Obey City, Tennessee. (that's pronounced as Obee, rather than Obey)
They had Southern accents and even though I grew up basically speaking "Californian" I pronounce lots of words the way my parents said them... and I've always had a bit of Southern "twang" in my speech.
I occasionally say rang for "ring" - as in "I lost my rang and I knew I should have kept it on my danged fanger!
I was raised with words like flummoxed and afeered, flustered and sweetnin'
"Child, go put some sweetnin' in Aunt Poadies tea", or
"My Lan' child, you've growed... I'm purely flummoxed at how much you've growed - com 'er and give us some sugar!!"
Then to top it off, daddy's side of the family are Quakers. Grandma and grandpa were both Quaker ministers and my daddy was for a time ...until he joined the Second World War.
There was a lot of Plain speech goin' on when I was a kid... so I was also raised with words like "Thee" and "Thou" "Thy" "Thine" or "Ye"... and I find myself slipping into that pattern of speech quite regularly.
There's no rhyme or reason for it - I just do it. Usually, Plain speech is reserved for "Friends" - as in other Quakers (or Society of Friends), but with entire summers spent with grandma and grandpa and all the relatives in Tennessee, it's just ingrained in me. It just pops out at the unlikest of times
"Can I come to the store with thee?"
"Thou should not have said that to Tom".
"So-and-so, thy socks are slipping down - pull them up please".
We're going to the movies, would ye like to come too?
Mix Plain speech with a California/ Southern accent... and it's a wonder that anyone can understand me at times!
So who has it harder... me or the Old Guy?
I say that he talks funny and he says that I talk funny.
But the funny thing is, after 10 years together come June...we don't even need words most of the time.
He knows what I'm thinkin', and I know what he's thinkin', and no words are needed.
We speak the language of love.
It doesn't get much better than that.
More Sunday Funnies...!
3 hours ago