Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Confessions of an Anglophile

I too am glad to see the blog back in action. I'm sure the "fans" missed us as well.

What I would like to discuss tonight is a recent phrase I heard. I heard the phrase "everything is going pear-shaped" three times this weekend (once in Pirates of the Caribbean- which I realize several of our viewers were probably too distracted to pay too close attention to- what with there being a moth on the screen and all). I cleverly figured that going pear shaped is a British colloquialism for everything going wrong. This was confirmed by a British slang dictionary I found on-line. I have no idea where this term came from- could it be that it stems from the idea of a pear shaped body type? As exciting as word origination is to me (sadly, not kidding) this also lead me to make a list of some of my favorite British-isms (I have spent a life time reading Agatha Christie and watching Pride and Prejudice for such a time as this).

#1 All British swears. I have elected to not list my favorites, deeming them to be "inappropriate for the blog" especially the ones that specifically relate to body parts, but there is still a wealth of fabulous words. Perhaps what I like best about them is that they aren't dirty to me. I can get away with saying "bloody" in front of my mom, even though apparently it is really bad. Bugger!

#2 A bat on a sticky wicket. I have no recollection of where I heard it, but I fell in love with this one immediately. It means being put in a difficult (get it, sticky) situation. I have no clue what the wicket part is, but it just sounds cool. [Okay, I looked it up, it's a cricket reference- but the definition only makes sense if you understand cricket which, I of course do not- it looks a lot like a cross between croquet and lawn bowling to me]. I don't think I will ever have the courage to use this in an actual conversation.

#3 Bathroom synonyms. Loo, WC, Lav.

#4 All diminuitives. It seems like all British people make things smaller (much like my theory that all the French are short). Everything is "a bit" or "wee."

#5 Daft. Meaning crazy. LOVEIT.

#6 Peckish. Meaning hungry. My dad has been walking around for days asking people if they are a wee bit peckish. He is obviously daft.

So if you're not a word nerd like me, why should you care? There is a part of Love Actually ("from the makers of Bridget Jones's Diary and Notting Hill") where a British loser can't get any action so he decides to go to America. He claims that the American girls will love him because of his accent. He buys a plane ticket to the exotic Wisconsin, certain that the girls will swoon as soon as he opens his mouth. It turns out he's right. So maybe it will work for all single people (even those people from table nine).


Jo said...

So I see you've figured out how to add links...

kel said...

I did it mostly for humorous effect. It made me laugh (especially the one to the Wisconsin tourism board).