Friday, 4 September 2009

Feignites or Barleys?

When I was at primary school being chased around the playground and wanted to call a "truce", the thing to do was to cross both fingers and shout "feignites!" or even "fainites!".

When I tried this recently when Mrs Rine was chasing me around the garden, she had no idea what I was talking about. Apparently the equivalent word in Northern climes was "Barleys!".

It's amazing that even in this Web 2.0 world of instant communication where everybody in the World knows what Stephen Fry had for breakfast, every High Street is the same mix of Phone Shops and Charity Shops and everyone under ferty finks they talk like evryfink on the telly annat (with rising inflection) that regional variations still exist.

I'm a proud member number 2157 of the Facebook group I call woodlice cheesybugs (and i'm probably from gravesend) despite my aversion to both wood lice and uncapitalised spelling as it is a small but significant brick in the wall against globalisation and bland homogeneity.

Do any of you have any of your own regional or local words that have withstood the onslaught of media smoothing?


dyanna said...

I like your blog very much.I'm waiting for your new posts.

Geoff said...

Fey knights?

I have pretty much the same vocabulary as you, Rog.

What we called "blakeys" were called something else in other parts of the country.

What about "greenies" for phlegm spit? Was that universal?

Rog said...

Dyanna: Hallo ┼či bun venit! Do you have Feignites in Roumania?

Geoff: I can't remember what "blakeys" were ... I can't stop thinking Reg bloody Varney now. I've also just had Flemish dressing and am feeling vaguely nauseous.

Sarah said...

We used to shout 'ego' (more at I )or 'veins' or was it vanus or even veigns? when you didn't want what was being hurled around the class room......latin not being one of my strong points.....what are your strong points I hear you scream!

Anyway neither words colloquial to north wales, but reminiscent of a nobby school perhaps.....mmmm does that answer your question Rog? lol

Rog said...

Sarah: I have a clear picture of St Trinians! If only young Dave were here he could sort out all this Latin nonsense ... all I know about Latin is Ricky Martin and J-Lo.

Rog said...

PS Sarah ... your blog seems to have imploded!

Richard said...

We called woodlice monkey peas although strictly speaking monkey peas were pill bugs, the ones that rolled up into a ball. I'm from Ashford but I think the monkey pea thing may have come from my dad because even my mates up the road didn't have a clue what I meant. My dad was from Islington/Tottenham

Rog said...

Richard: I've just added Monkey Peas onto my colloqial map. It sounds more like a dodgy pastime in the cheap seats at White Hart Lane to me.

Sir Bruin said...

I also have referred to woodlice as cheesybugs. I most certainly am not from Gravesend though. I vaguely remember shouting, "Ecksies" (not sure of spelling - never seen it written down) to call a truce. I confused the Smaller Bear the other day when I referred to the grass as looking a bit "sere".

Geoff said...

Blakeys were the metal things you put in the heels of your shoes, Butler.

What about "grollies"?

Sarah said...

Yes, how long is Dave's all falling apart.
I'm re-inventing myself!

Rog said...

Sir B: I thought MP's were always shouting "Ecksies". Is that "sair" or "cere" and wot does it mean?

Geoff: Oh, THOSE blakeys. I never studded them myself. And I've no idea what grollies are .... this dictionary of out of date urban slang is building up nicely!

Sarah: Lou Lou Laroux???!!! Lol! Before Dave sees it, you've spelt "neccessarily" wrong in your interests. I probably have as well.

Sarah said...

LMFAO! had I forgotten to mention I am Danny La Rou's daughter?? haha

Also meantto comment on the fac that are't you and Mrs Rine too old (well prob not her but defo you) to be chasing each other around the garden???!

You're right Dave haddn't noticed the typo...or he was being way too polite.

Z said...

Sere is a very old English (not from Latin or French, I mean) word for dry.

Don't worry about Dave, he can't spell - it's typos he notices.

I didn't talk local as a child, and I can't remember the language of the playground. However, while I call a woodlouse a woodlouse, I call a ladybird a bishybarnaby, and something hung crooked is 'on the huh'. And a cockchafer is a billywitch (though how you can better 'cockchafer' is beyond me).

KAZ said...

I remember Barley - it was singular in Chorley.
What always surprises me is the way we haven't standardised the names of bread products like baps, barm cakes and pikelets. Our teacakes don't have currants.
And Kev doesn't know what slutch is.

Betty said...

Re: Geoff. The metal things on the heels of shoes were segs. I don't think cheesybugs would've survived Staffordshire's dank, cold, oppressive atmosphere :(

Liz said...

I had the misfortune to attend secondary school in Lincolnshire. I can't remember anyone ever calling a truce when stuff was being thrown about, but there were some odd regional words.

Geof mentioned greenies as a slang word for spittle - it was called fleg at my school.
Are woodlouse those little armour plated things? If so, my Grandma (who hails from Berkshire) always called them pigs for no obvious reason.
Grollies as a word for pants was used at my school, but shreddies was the more common term.
Those metal things that boys put in the soles of their schools I think were called stegs although it may have been segs as Betty quotes it and I just misheard (I wasn't exactly in with the in-crowd at school!)

Kaz - I don't know what a slutch is either. Do tell. And what exactly do you mean by pikelets? My ex-husband used to insist that the bread product I call a crumpet was a pikelet but someone else told me that crumpets are round whereas pikelets are finger shaped.

Geoff said...

Grollies were extreme greenies, wrought from the depths of the throat.

Z said...

We nice Convent School girls didn't have a word for phlegm, because such a thing didn't exist for us. We was laydees. However, our thick serge winter knickers were known as 'navy blues' because they were, but that was peculiar to the school

I think of a pikelet as a big thin crumpet, but I could well be labouring under a Lo'stof' misapprehension.

Richard said...

A grollie was a flob or a green ernie. All three of those would have done.

If something of yours had been nicked it had been chored.

Young boys who were thought to queue for a different bus or didn't like football were bennies

Blakies were blakies because that was the name on the packet!

Roger said...

Thnaks all for fascinating glimpse of the words in childhood which made you who you are today.

I'm on hols in sunny Lincolnshire this week and somebody has chorred the flobbing internet connection so I'm barleys - thanks for carring on without me!

Will report soon when the wind farm powers up...

KAZ said...

Slutch is sort of wet mud - usually whem it's mixed with thawing snow.

Pikelets? You would have to ask a person from Yorkshire.
They are thinner than crumpets and don't taste the same. I don't know about the shape as I'm a crumpet lover myself :)

Rog - are you in Skeggy?

zIggI said...

woodlice are woodlice round hereabouts but a little lane appears to be called a ginnel and plimsols are daps. When we lived on the south coast we used to call visitors grockles but woodlice were still only woodlice.