Heard on trash TV: Britspeak

Paul Johnston paul.johnston at WMICH.EDU
Sun Jan 8 22:25:58 UTC 2012

The first two seem fine to me from my Edinburgh days; I don't know "chinky" in this context, though it could be regional and just not Scots or Northumbrian.  London slang tends to spread, but there are plenty of other areas with slang of their own that stay put unless the media get hold of it (cf. the Beatles' "gear", which was Scouse, unlike "fab", which was general British, and "bird", which was originally West Midland [and medievally old] and had become general British already).

Paul Johnston
On Jan 8, 2012, at 4:30 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Heard on trash TV: Britspeak
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Spoken by a woman *from Burfield(?) / Warfield(?) / ?field says,
> "I would have given my right _leg_ to know the answer."
> Like the time that a Brit friend said to me,
> "Why, that should be right up your _street_!"
> Do Brits do this just to mess with our minds? ;-)
> *(Later, the woman describes her family as being made up of "tough
> cockneys," if that's any help.)
> Also heard:
> "He's _chinky_(?)"
> in context, equivalent to.
> "He's _lively_"
> et sim., apparently. Said of a child bouncing on a mini-trampoline.
> --
> -Wilson
> -----
> All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint
> to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> -Mark Twain
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