|Via the Graphics Fairy|
I think I've discovered a new dialect of English called "Ambriki". It is what happens when you take two Americans, move them to Britain and then ship them off to New Zealand. They end up speaking a strange version of English called Am(-erican)Bri(-tish)Ki(-wi). It is guaranteed to make the whanau back home laugh at you when you say things like tomahto sauce instead of ketchup, talk about having a wee lie down and fill up your car with petrol so that you can go to hospital (as opposed to the hospital). Or you say things like, "Aye, but she's a dreach day out today," which you pretty much say every day in Scotland as the sun rarely shines. Or ending every sentence with a rising inflection so it seems like you are constantly asking questions, even when you're just making statements of fact. Ambriki is a whole strange mix of a sprinkling of Scottish and Maori words, odd pronunciations, the superfluous use of the letter "u" in words, changing out the letter "z" to "s" (e.g., centralise vs. centralize), and when you do allow the letter "z" to be used, pronouncing it as "zed" instead of "zee". And then there is the metric system and Celsius. But let's not even get started on that.
I've been working and writing in British/Kiwi English for the past twelve years and generally only used American English when I emailed the family (otherwise they mock me). Since I started this blog, I've tried to revert back to American English in terms of spelling, vocabulary and idioms but quite frankly I'm finding it to be confusing and the spell checker (which I've recently changed to American English) is really getting on my nerves because it is constantly correcting me. I would prefer to think I'm smarter than an annoying piece of programming. Apparently I'm not.
Here are a few of my favourite Ambriki expressions:
- Lolly (candy, sweetie) - You haven't seen anything until you've seen a "lolly scramble" in action. Take a bunch of kids and a bag of lollies. Throw the lollies into the air and watch the kids scramble to grab as much candy as they can. Kind of like a piñata but without the piñata. Complete, utter madness. Someone always ends up in tears. It is usually the parents.
- Bangers (sausages) - It is just fun to say "bangers" and there is nothing better on a cold day than a plate of bangers and mash.
- Tin (can) - Since we don't have a fridge, I'll be using a lot of tinned goods on the boat. (Hmm...so far everything has been food related. I guess that's just how my mind works.)
- Box of birds (cheerful, happy) - If you're a Kiwi and someone asks you how you are, you can reply with "box of birds." I'm not really sure that birds are very happy if you stuff them into a box, but I guess they are in New Zealand. Maybe that's why the moa became extinct - they kept trying to stuff them into boxes and forgot to punch out air holes so they could breathe?
- Half eight (eight thirty) - This one confused us for a while. People would tell us to turn up at half eight. Did they mean turn up at four which would be half of eight? No, they meant come at 8:30 pm. They always looked really surprised when we were so early. But oh so polite even with curlers in their hair and dinner not even started yet. The trick is when the Brits put half in front of an hour it really means half past the hour.
- Jandals (flip-flops) - Kiwis must have excellent blood circulation because they love nothing more than to go barefoot no matter what the weather. I'll be wearing two pairs of socks and boots and the Kiwi kids will be running around at school without shoes. When they have to wear shoes, you'll often see them in jandals. Jandals are also very handy footwear for boaties.
- Mad (crazy, insane) - Here is an example of how this term is used, "You want to live on a 26' sailboat, which doesn't even have a fridge, permanently? Are you mad?"
- Knackered (tired) - At the end of a long day sailing, I'm often knackered.
|One thing Scotland and New Zealand have in common - lots and lots of sheep.|
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