Sunday, 26 July 2015

East of Eastenders

Calamity Jane has been here for the last few days,   She is one of the oldest and dearest of my friends, even though she is true blue and not pinko leftie like myself.  Horror of horrors, she has brought copies of both 'The Sun' and 'The Daily Mail' into my motorhome.  Yikes!  This may call for some cleansing ceremony.  I will forgive her because she is one of the kindest human beings going.

We met at school in South East Essex.  Hence today's pictures of the River Thames which features large in local geography.  This one is a 19th century depiction by James Hamilton.  The other is a gorgeous representation of Battersea Bridge by Whistler.

But enough of that arty bollocks.  If I go back home, as I still call Southend-on-Sea, or when friends or family visit, my voice takes on a distinctly more pronounced estuarine twang.  It hasn't entirely gone away in the thirty odd years I've been in Devon but it's been moderated, most markedly from the influence of working in upper crust accountancy firms.  It doesn't take long for me to be  dropping consonants all over the place. My vowel sounds change  too and the glottal stop features large. For the linguists among you refer to the relevant Wikpedia page.  It's hard going stuff. I'm buggered if I can understand it in a brief perusal.  There's also little turns of phrase we use that differ slightly from normal usage in the rest of the English speaking world.

To demonstrate, and also to give you a bit of a laarff, for that is how it would be pronounced in my home county, here's a few examples we thought of last night.

Alma Chizzit:  That'll be £1.50 please!
Lafarjik: That feeling of sluggishness and apathy
Webbats:  Where exactly is that located?
Garrij:  Where cars are kept
Oi, Oi Saveloy!:  In other parts of the country people would be befuddled.  Does this mean beware, beware, cheap red sausage?  In Essex it's a standard term of endearment commonly shouted out of car windows.
Mate:   You don't just refer to friends in this way.  This is a perfectly acceptable way of addressing anyone - friends, your mum, dad, kids and random shopkeepers, the postman.......  From personal experience other halves from different areas of the country don't always appreciate this less than romantic term of endearment.
Bomb it: Nothing to do with explosive devices. This refers to the driving style that my ex-boyfriend with the three litre  Ford Capri used to deploy down Southend seafront and small side roads with children playing on the pavements.   I reckon there were perfectly good reason from a camouflage perspective why the upholstery in that motor was brown. Needless to say it wasn't a relationship that lasted long.
Eye eels:  What you wore on your feet when you went to the Zero 6 nightclub.  They're also sported by  tourists from Essex when they're down here and walking on Dartmoor.
Branna:  I am more tanned than you are.
Furrock:  The borough of Thurrock where I went to school in the sixth form.
Cort a panda:  A popular order in McDonalds

And finally my favourite.   Of course, an awss is what all those posh people in Devon ride around on in country lanes!


  1. Being a true Anglophile, I really enjoyed this. So are these the same folks that I can blame "innit tho"?

  2. As a fellow Essex girl ain't that the truuff mate!! By the way the Daily Fail is marvellous for lining the bottom of your bin. Waste not want not!!

    1. Don't have a bin. She's taken the Mail but left the, Sun. Already deported to the recycling area! x