It’s All In The Wording

all in the wording, old english, irish, phrases, irish phrases, UK phrases

Have you ever travelled somewhere and then you get completely absorbed in the culture? The atmosphere? The way the locals talk?  I do.  As you saw from a previous week’s blog, we recently travelled to Northern Ireland (the UK) and even though this is only our second time to Ireland, both times, we fell in love with the way they talk.  It’s all in the wording of their phrases, their titles for objects, and their slang.  It almost made me – the way I speak – feel like a country hick.  

I once met a beautiful proper English girl.  I bid her adieu….she bid me a don’t – Rodney Dangerfield.  

Upon arriving in Ireland, we noticed the wording right off the start – instead of looking for car rentals, we found Car Hire.  In the washrooms there were signs for disposing ‘nappies’ instead of diapers.  Looking for stairs or an elevator, we saw signs for the ‘lift’.  

This got us thinking of how lazy our North American English is. Where did the proper English go?  When did it disappear?  (Even now… how I word “This got us thinking”… lazy and improper grammar lol). What are some easy steps to incorporate it back in?

Below is a list of other words or phrases that intrigued us or one that we loved:

  • Queue – line
  • Eegit – idiot
  • Lad – male
  • Lass – female
  • Lough (pronounced lock) – lake
  • Garda – police
  • Footpath – sidewalk
  • A + E (accident and emergency) – emergency room
  • Grand – great/fantastic
  • Craic – fun/good times
  • Gander – quick glance
  • Knackered – tired
  • Minerals – soft drink
  • Thick – extremely stupid
  • A pint of black stuff – Guinness
  • Bucketing down – raining hard
  • Earwigging – listening in on a private conversation
  • Langers – drink
  • Chips – french fries
  • Crisps – potato chips
  • Rasher – thin cut slice of Irish bacon served at breakfast
  • Quid – slang for euros/pound stirling
  • Take Away – take-out food
  • Give Way – yield
  • Petrol – gasoline
  • Boot – trunk of car
  • Sliproad – entrance ramp
  • My pleasure – you’re welcome

When reading the list above, don’t you find the UK way of saying words or phrases so much better?  Prettier?  More sophisticated?  I know I do. Sounds and the way wording is linked together resonates inside of me.  If it has a certain rhythm or flow, it warms my spirit.  

Since being back from Ireland, my family and I have noticed the ‘North American’ way of speaking.  It almost sounds harsher or even lazy.  My husband and I have tried to incorporate some of the UK speaking ways into our everyday lives and we are finding we notice a quick smile or smirk when we say ‘My Pleasure’ instead of your welcome.

All in all, I think regardless of whether you are speaking proper English or speaking the North American way – being polite, kind, understanding, loving and even speaking with some humour – will not only spread a little joy into other’s lives as you speak to them, but it will also put joy into your own heart knowing that it is all in the wording and the connection you make with others that is important in life.   

As you go about your day today, maybe take a stroll along a footpath or by a lough. Take a gander at the other fine lads and lasses doing the same. Smile and relic in the good craic times you have with your family and friends (even the ones who are eejits or thick).  When you are knackered, grab some minerals and chips from a local take-away or head to a pub or watering hole for a pint of the black stuff.  Just be mindful not to upset the Garda or end up in the A + E.  Otherwise, I hope you have a grand day.  It’s been my pleasure to have been a small part of it on this fine day.  

If you’d like to read about our past Ireland Adventures, click the links below.

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