Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Creeping Australianism

I'll admit it up front; I'm a bad influence at the office.

At first, a couple of years ago, they found my language 'interesting'. I think I'd have been the first person most of them had ever met who used such phrases as 'poor bastard' and 'happy as a dog with two dicks'. That last phrase still raises laughter but I maintain that I'm not ashamed of my working class origins and such phrases were common enough when and where I grew up.

I eschew the use of the well known four letter words. Anyone can say those but not everyone can describe a customer as a 'whinging bastard' and expect to get away with it :-)

Along the way other words used frequently enough in the rest of the English speaking world but quite unknown here in Phoenix creep in. The one that puzzled em the most is bloke[^]. I explained it once or twice a while ago and pretty much forgot about it.

Until today.

Today, after a smoke with Randy out the back door, Garry gestured at us as we scuttled back into the cool of the building. Neither Randy nor I knew which of us he was signalling so we opened the door to his office. Randy said, 'which bloke were you wanting to talk to?'. And then he realised what he'd said!

I imagine he had much the same feeling that I have when I come out with some phrase I'd never had used four years ago. 'Say what?' is the one that springs to mind as the most common. At least I haven't descended to the level of the imperative 'what!' in place of the, to me, much more polite, 'pardon?'.

The punchline, such as it is, is that Garry pointed at Randy and said 'that bloke'!

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