To ask if you've ever had a dialect fail

(312 Posts)
DizzyZebra Wed 16-Jan-13 00:34:16

I think dialect is the right word?

Anyway, I once really offended a girl who was new to my school. I had made friends with her and she invited me to her house, She got changed and i said 'Omg that suits you dead bad!'. Now, As an adult, I agree with her and can see the stupidity in saying something like that, BUT it was something EVERYONE where i lived said when really what they meant was 'That really suits you'.

She imediately looked hurt and i could tell by the look on her face she thought i was back pedaling as i sort of choked and tried to explain, and stuttered through it. I think she realised within a few weeks when she made more friends though.

My Mum also, after moving to the north, became increasingly frustrated one night. Her partners son came downstairs and asked her (As she was folding laundry) if there were any of his pants in there.

She said 'Yeah there are some over in the other pile'

He went over to look and said he couldn't find any, My mum said there were definitely some in there. He searches again and still can't find any. My mum said 'I just this minute put some red pants of yours in there, i know i did! They must be there'

He says 'I don't have any red pants'

My mum marches over, Grabs a pair of red boxers and says 'Look! red pants! See!'

Only for him to fall about laughing as he had actually meant trousers, and everyone here calls them pants, she just didn't know.

Oh and the first few times I was talking to a friend of mine who comes from London, I was flummoxed because he always ends his sentences with "is it". So, "what do you think of the course, is it?". Is what? I'm sorry? blush

massistar Wed 16-Jan-13 09:56:26

"Is it" at the end of a sentence really threw me when I moved to Wales from Scotland. People would say to my little boy "You're a good boy, helping mammy, is it?". Took me ages to get used to!

People just used to look at me really blankly so I think it went 2 ways! When I take my son back to Glasgow now he has a great time practising his accent.. "Gonnae no dae that... Jist, gonnae no."

justmatureenough2bdad Wed 16-Jan-13 10:17:26

my fave "scotism" is "ken" at the end of sentences ...literal translation "know", but used as a sort of general sentence ender like "right" or "y'know"

the story that goes with it is, as a callow younf englishman arriving in edinburgh to start university, i was shown to a room by the accomodation manager with the statement..."here's ur room, ken".....cue my stammering, embarrassed and tentative, "no i'm terribly sorry, i'm not ken, i'm just, perhaps there is a mistake".....silence....consulted her list...."no, this is your room, ken"...i did the very english thing of not wanting to cause bother and just took the key and went in...

HyvaPaiva Wed 16-Jan-13 10:22:14

Curiousuze: A tattie bogle flegs the craws grin

Weta Wed 16-Jan-13 10:29:42

I knew a French guy who worked in a restaurant in NZ. The customers used to ask for a "doggy bag" so he would pack up some bones etc in a bag for their dog. But in NZ a doggy bag means packing up the leftover food the customer was unable to eat so that they can enjoy it at home later... I can't imagine what the people thought when they got home and found a whole lot of bones and scraps!

PandaOnAPushBike Wed 16-Jan-13 10:35:52

Shortly after moving down south I got seriously marked down in a first aid exam because I couldn't relay a message to emergency call taker properly. We had created scenes/accidents which we had to deal with. The examiner gave me the background information before one situation started. She said 'You're in this building ...'. When asked by the pretend call taker where we were I didn't know and couldn't tell her because the examiner hadn't told me. Except she had. I didn't realise that 'this building' meant 'THIS building'. Where I come from it's used in story telling in the same way as 'a' is used. EG Once upon a time there was this dragon ...'

I gave my Nanny a blank look when she said DS had been 'squinnying' a bit.
I now know this is Pompey Portsmouth dialect for whinging.

Described a day as 'a bit cushdy' to someone at University. Another blank look. Cushdy = sussex dialect for easy.

KateSMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 16-Jan-13 11:00:38

<bimbles in>

Hi guys, this is a cracking thread. We'd just like to remind people not to make sweeping generalisations based on where people live.

Tailtwister Wed 16-Jan-13 11:06:47

Years ago we had Australian friends who had served us some Phish Food ice cream (Ben and Jerry's I think) on evening. When I asked her where she had bought it, she said 'at the fish shop round the corner'. Determined to get some, we went into the fishmongers the very next day and not seeing it on display asked for it. Of course they looked at us like we were insane. I turns out our friend had meant the fish and chip shop!

Very embarrassing.

BlissfullyIgnorant Wed 16-Jan-13 11:07:25

By no means is this comprehensive, but for anyone visiting Kingston Upon Hull, it's [http://www.greengates.karoo.net/hull/speak.html a good start].

Step Wed 16-Jan-13 11:15:47

A Norn Iron dialect seems to be brilliant at causing confusion.

I've been lost looking for Veda here... confused why the I can't order a chip in the takeaway or a fish supper (a pasty supper would be like heaven), baffled why the wheaten is labelled as brown soda, and can't for the life of me work out why they think yer man means their DH not yer man..... oh and telling someone the tea's wet but you wouldn't have it dry causes all manner of confusion.

I'm from Leeds and my accent annoys my nanna and great grandma who live in Ireland.

When i visit them my great grandma tries giving me speech lessons. By the time I come home I have an Irish accent grin

I also get a bollocking for dropping "the" in emails I send her.

My dad is Irish and used to say "you dropped it at ya arse" if we had lost something. I have said this to friends to look at me and say "wtf does that mean?"

catpark Wed 16-Jan-13 11:24:15

I'm from Scotland and we have variations on words. I'm from leith and my husband is from East Lothian and there are a few things that I say that baffled him at first. Like bunker (worktop) Jirken (Jacket/coat) and a colly buckie (Piggy back )

Our children use a mix of our dialects/accent but the one that annoys the MIL is when they say 'what ?' Instead of saying yes or i didn't catch that when someone says something to them.

DeWe Wed 16-Jan-13 11:32:27

"Vikings" where I grew up= "danish pastries" here. Poor chap in the shop looked hopelessly confused.

Wereonourway Wed 16-Jan-13 11:37:02

I'm from the north east and to us a roll/cob( for a sandwich ) is called a bun. A bread bun. We don't call anything a roll?!
If its crusty it's a crusty bun! We also have stotties.
A colleague recently visited from Liverpool and he tried pease pudding for the first time.
We use the word canny a lot too, used to describe something/someone good- "aw isn't she canny" or can be used to mean quite. As in -"it's canny cold out there"
We call juice juice, if its diluted or concentrated fruit juice and we call fizzy drinks pop

redexpat Wed 16-Jan-13 11:42:19

Asking for a Henry outside of Gloucestershire is always a total fail. THat's an orange juice and lemonade.

Also having grown up in the shire I remember being very confused when a supply teacher told us to get our plimsoles on. They are daps, obviously.

HighJinx Wed 16-Jan-13 11:47:46

When I moved to Scotland from SE England and on my first day in a new job I said I was going to the shop at lunchtime. A colleague said to me "wait the now and I'll chum you"

I must have looked confused and shock because she burst out laughing and asked me what I thought she meant. I had no idea she just wanted to come with me grin

Lobscouse Wed 16-Jan-13 11:49:52

I said to southern friend (trying to reduce her washing pile..)

"You don't change your pants everyday,do you?"

She looked horrified..

I thought her v.precious...

Along while later I realised she thought I meant knickers!

No wonder the friendship fizzled..

Lobscouse Wed 16-Jan-13 11:50:59

I have Scots friend who "chums me down the road" and it is so cosy-sounding!

VitoCorleone Wed 16-Jan-13 11:54:11

Haha Justice we say "now then" aswell

I was talking to an American friend on the phone once and he asked what i was upto, i said "im stood on t'back door step smoking a fag"

He was like "WHAT?!?" I had to quickly explain that fag=cigarette

Also what is a cob? I always say "im sweating cobs"

Lobscouse Wed 16-Jan-13 11:57:00

In Liverpool if you have "got a cob on " you are in a bad mood.

COCKadoodledooo Wed 16-Jan-13 11:58:03

When I was 16 I went on a school exchange to the US. One lesson we had to stand in front of the class and say a bit about ourselves. At the time I was on the local ladies rugby team, so I said "I play rugby. I'm a hooker."

Sharp intake of breath and shock faces all round the room, until I realised that they had taken it as two separate activities and explained it was a position on the team..

Tis why I have such a dread of making small talk now I'm sure!

I love dialects.

I moved from down south to near Nottingham when I was 5. My parents had a nickname for my brother Peter - he was 'pet'. I genuinely only worked out a few years ago that they weren't just being more affectionate towards him (or less keen to use his name, I guess) by calling him 'pet' - they just didn't know Midlanders call everyone 'pet' and I'd grown up with it at school. Took me a long time to understand 'mardy' and 'poorly'.

I had a dental nurse who argued with me for ages because she'd asked what I drink, and I said 'fizzy water' (which is what we'd say for 'carbonated water', sparkling water). She kept saying 'but what's in it' and I'd say 'nothing', and she'd say 'well, there's sugar in it, right?'. Eventually I did work out what she meant - she was calling anything like sprite or tizer 'fizzy water'. confused

She was convinced this was normal - if anyone knows what dialect that is, let me know! (Harder to work out when you've got a numb jaw, btw.)

'Have you got t' time?' confuses me too. I can hear there's a glottal stop in there between 'got' and 'time' but it always takes me a minute to work out someone isn't asking, have I got a spare minute to help them, they're asking what time it is.

A couple of my good mates are American, and they cope ok with southern English but one of them is going up to Newcastle soon. It will be very funny. grin

Catchingmockingbirds Wed 16-Jan-13 12:02:58

My mum used to childmind a couple of English kids (we're Scottish) who would tell me "I'm Polly" when I'd encourage them to eat their dinner. confused I'd wonder why they were pretending to be a girl called Polly but would just say "ok that's very nice, good for you, now eat your dinner."

Eventually I found out they were telling me they were feeling too sick to eat any more, and "Polly" was "poorly" which meant sick confused.

Lobscouse Wed 16-Jan-13 12:04:23

Not dialect but accent.

I remember in Scotland asking for a Twirl (twerl in my accent) bar in a shop..

It took me pointing at it in the glass case tomake my meaning clear,

"Aah, a Twirrrell!" in the shop assistant's accent.

She very kindly reassured me I had a lovely accent!hmm (I do try to adapt I promise.)

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