Monday, July 07, 2014

How To Speak British (and some Kiwi)

This video popped up in my social media over the past few days. It presents and explains some British colloquialisms. Because early New Zealand was overwhelmingly British, and that influence continued into modern times, some Kiwi slang is still closely related to what’s in this video. Up to a point.

At around 3:36, when she talks about “To Have A Butcher’s”, she talks about things that I’ve never heard before. It's coincidence that I've never heard of the rest.

On the other hand, she includes “Up The Wooden Hill To Bedfordshire”, and my mother used to say what must be a version: “Time to climb the wooden hill”. I have no idea whether her usage was descended from her English ancestors, or whether she, a keen Anglophile, read it somewhere.

This particular video is “Anglophenia Episode 7”, part of a series hosted by Siobhan Thompson for BBC America. I quite like the style and presentation, though I’d expect nothing less when it’s from a media organisation. I think she's quite engaging as a presenter.

The video below is Siobhan doing 17 British accents. I thought it was very entertaining, though I have no way of knowing how accurate she is.

At any rate, I do love videos like these: They’re like fast-paced mini-documentaries. That’s a good thing in my book


rogerogreen said...

pip, pip and all that. (This concludes my knowledge of British English.)

coreplane said...

I find I'm most flummoxed by cockney rhyming slang. Being Canadian, I knew some of her baffling-to-US-persons idioms already (maybe 1/3), even though I haven't really heard it much for years. It used to be more common. Full disclosure: I've also lived in Newcastle upon Tyne. And yes, it was 12C & rainy most of the time, except once when it was 37C. Yes, 37. In Newcastle. Thirty f-ing seven. At that point you're pushing the heat uphill.