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Whose word is it anyway? - shadows of echoes of memories of songs — LiveJournal
j4
j4
Whose word is it anyway?
From imc and bopeepsheep:

What words or phrases are there which you use (or used to use) but wouldn't be widely understood? They may be dialect words which are peculiar to the region in which you live, or they may have been coined by your family or friends. Existing English words count, if they have a special meaning when used by your family.


My five are as follows:

Mardy. adj. Commonly used by children in Leicestershire to mean something along the lines of "moody" or "sulky". Often combined with other words e.g. "mardy-bum," "mardy-boots," as in "Don't be such a mardy-boots".

Link-link chains. n. Paper chains. (Don't laugh!) They were called this in a book which I had when I was very small, which featured easy craft projects for kids, and the name just stuck. I have to make a conscious effort to remember to call them "paper chains" when adults are listening.

Grass-den. n. (I'm only putting this in because I wonder if it was specific to one of my primary schools -- nobody else seems to have come across the concept, let alone the term!) When the playing field had been mowed, there were naturally heaps of grass-cuttings all over it. We used to gather these up and create "grass-dens", which were effectively plans for buildings laid out in grass. We'd create the outlines of walls and doors in mounds of grass at most a few inches high, and these would be our "den" for our "gang" (I'm assuming these terms at least are in slightly more common use!). We'd protect them fiercely, while trying to steal heaps of grass from other people's dens; what I find interesting is that the walls functioned as very real boundaries even though they were easily steppable-over or kickable-over.

IDST abbr. The acronym expands as "If destroyed, still true", and may be appended to a graffito or blackboard-chalkage to ensure that the libel (e.g. "Simon Parry-Jones smells") or declaration of allegiance (e.g. "JM 4 AW") remains "true" even if obliterated by the libelled party (or of course by blackboard-cleaning and desk-graffiti-removing figures of authority). This was later extended to "IDOAST", that is, "If destroyed or altered, still true", after some people who presumably went on to become lawyers argued that by changing "Laura Carrier is a cry-baby" to "Laura Carrier is not a cry-baby" the original statement could be falsified, having not been destroyed and therefore having failed to invoke the IDST clause. (I find this little snippet of playground voodoo absolutely fascinating because of the way it recognises yet simultaneously undermines the power of the written word. Perhaps I'm over-analysing it...)

Abba-dubba n. 1. A letter formed by placing a lower-case "d" and a lower-case "b" back-to-back, so that they share one upright. 2. Father Christmas [etym. obscure]. I came up with this word when I was less than 2 years old. As used to refer to the hieroglyph described, it may be a corruption of "A, B, D, B"; all I know is that I invented the letter by putting the relevant fridge-magnets back to back, and proudly announced that that was what it was. But I have no idea why it refers to Father Christmas; I suspect there's some complicated ideographic/phonetic process going on rather like that involved in the development of Japanese kanji. The use of "Abba" for "Father" is also interesting... no, it's not really, is it. I suspect the most plausible explanation is that, like most toddlers, I spent a lot of my time spouting nonsense syllables just for the fun of playing with the sounds. :-) Needless to say, the word is now more or less obs., though I don't think I'm quite old enough for it to be arch. yet.

Current Mood: wordy

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Comments
beingjdc From: beingjdc Date: December 8th, 2003 12:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Mardy

Finally someone uses a word I recognise.

Abba-dubba

That's quite ironic really, isn't it?

mair_aw From: mair_aw Date: December 8th, 2003 02:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
mardy

Back where I come from, that's a noun.
beingjdc From: beingjdc Date: December 8th, 2003 02:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah yes, the famous Lithuanian 'Mardy Gras'.
j4 From: j4 Date: December 8th, 2003 02:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Where I come from the associated noun is "mard", as in "She's in a such a mard today".

Funny old thing, language, innit.
imc From: imc Date: December 9th, 2003 03:55 am (UTC) (Link)
I notice you just happened to have an ABBA LP cover lying about. (OK then, you just happened to have the URL of one lying about.)

I'm sure `mardy' was used in my neighbourhood too, though probably not very much.

Grass dens - yes, I have vague memories of laying out house plans in dried grass. The `walls' couldn't have been more than an inch high, and maybe two inches wide. Actually, my memory seems to be of a single specific instance of this, so it's probably something I didn't join in with very often.
perdita_fysh From: perdita_fysh Date: December 9th, 2003 12:23 am (UTC) (Link)
We had grass-den's in Warrington (and mards).

Roarm Only I've no idea of spelling. If I use it round here (oop North) I'm completely understood - it means something like 'faff' but with more undertones of heavy lifting - but if I then stop and ask the person how to spell the word I've just used they're stumped.
From: scat0324 Date: December 9th, 2003 02:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Grass-dens I remember, although I don't think they got a name. Generally the battle resulted in people sticking grass cuttings down other people's clothing.
imc From: imc Date: December 9th, 2003 04:00 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, and IDST - we had that too (though possibly in the form `TID' [true if destroyed], which may have required an associated `TIND' just in case anyone thought that leaving it there stopped it from being true). Very useful for writing in the condensation on bus windows, that one.
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