Monday, 9 January 2012

Sound bite (1)

Some curious sociolinguistic observations from down under: 

Differences in Vocabulary

(1) Wrong about the thong
I was slightly alarmed recently to hear two perfectly respectable young men traversing the city centre on a weekend morning bemoaning the fact that their thongs were giving them some trouble. Something about a friction burn. Good heavens, I thought, are native Australian men so metrosexual that not only do they wear thongs but they are perfectly au fait with discussing them willy nilly walking along the street, pardon the pun.

Imagine my relief when I discovered that the term 'thong' in Australia refers to what we in Scotland may call a flip flop. A rare word in our vocabulary. Flip flop that is. Owing to our climactic differences.

(2) Acronyms
A commonly used acronym in my home town of Glasgow is N.E.D. which stands for Non-Educated Delinquent although most people just say 'ned' or 'neds' in day to day usage e.g. 'thereanedovererr' ('There's a N.E.D.over yonder') or 'watchooterrabunchonedsroonthecorner' (Be careful! There is a gathering of N.E.D.s round that corner.)

'Neds' are known as 'bogans' over here. So much more onomatopoeic, don't you think? I wonder what it stands for. Answers on a postcard...

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