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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.

soontobeburns Wed 16-Jan-13 00:46:56

Before a date with my X I texted him "Meet us in the coffee shop"
When I saw him he confessed he was worried I brought someone else along as I said "us". Hes from the same city too but my side says us to just mean "me".

deleted203 Wed 16-Jan-13 01:07:16

lol...I get this all the time with DH (who's Scottish). We don't speak quite the same language. He says, 'How?' when he means 'Why?' as in if you tell him he can't do something he'll say, 'How no'?' But my favourite one of his was when he said in exasperation, 'Why do you always ask me what I want to do and then take no notice of me?' confused.

It turns out that I would say, 'Do you want to go out with Jan and Chris on Friday?' and he would answer, 'I'm not bothered'. So I'd think, 'ok...I'll give 'em a ring and ask them out'. Because, to me, 'I'm not bothered' means, 'If you like. I don't mind either way'. Oh no. Not to him. To him it apparently means, 'thank you for asking but I'd rather not'. As in 'I'm not really bothered (fussed) about doing that'.

I have done this for years! Why didn't he say so earlier???

LineRunner Wed 16-Jan-13 01:19:19

OP, are you in Scotland?

ComposHat Wed 16-Jan-13 01:21:40

I'm originally from the West Midlands, but live in Scotland now. I was baffled by three things.
1) 'Juice' to refer to any form of soft drink. I am convinced this is because Scots think anything that doesn't have booze in it is a health drink

2) Where do you stay? Instead of where do you live? I tried registering with the dentist who asked me where I stayed to which I responded 'in my flat, I live here' and she gave me a dirty look as if I was trying to be a smart arse

3) Having a jag - for having an injection/jab. It sounds far scarier like you'll be cut in half.

My fiancée is originally from Brighton and has an estuary English accent. Her Us and As sound the same to me. She couldn't understand why I collapsed laughing when she mentioned she'd had some 'funny butter'

ripsishere Wed 16-Jan-13 01:25:03

We had some friends staying. One of the boys told me my DD was sick. I panicked thinking she'd become ill in the 10 minutes since I'd last seen her.
Apparently it was a compliment.

Monty27 Wed 16-Jan-13 01:26:02

Asking everyone if they'd like a poke when I heard the ice cream van.

A poke is an ice cream where I come from, it's a shag where I'd just moved to blush

HoHoHoNoYouDont Wed 16-Jan-13 01:26:28

I am convinced this is because Scots think anything that doesn't have booze in it is a health drink


deleted203 Wed 16-Jan-13 01:28:38

grin at Compos. Yep, I know all of those. How about 'do you want any messages?' for groceries? DH also turns grammar round, so he'll say 'What like is it?' instead of 'What's it like?'. Don't even get me started on the slang!

Thumbwitch Wed 16-Jan-13 01:29:31

<SNORT> at funny butter mis-hear! grin

This isn't quite the same but it's still a fail - when I was a first year student I made the colossal error of saying to a Geordie "Oh I love you Scottish accent" (he hadn't said "way-ay" or anything specifically Geordie and I was a bit pissed but still) blush

apostropheuse Wed 16-Jan-13 01:30:47

"I'm originally from the West Midlands, but live in Scotland now. I was baffled by three things.
1) 'Juice' to refer to any form of soft drink. I am convinced this is because Scots think anything that doesn't have booze in it is a health drink

Nothing like a good old stereotype. hmm

deleted203 Wed 16-Jan-13 01:34:21

Where we are the common term of endearment is 'duck'. I once went into a newsagents with a Geordie friend of mine who came out and said to me, 'WHAT THE FUCK is an Alsation Duck?' confused.

It turned out the lady behind the counter had said to him,, 'Mind the Alsation, duck...'

Greenkit Wed 16-Jan-13 01:42:50

Apostropheuse Get over yourself hmm

Disappearing Wed 16-Jan-13 01:48:39

My DS, who's all of 2 years old, has pulled me up on my pronunciation hmm. I'm from up North, he isn't...

It was my vowel sounds he took offence at!

What's even more hmm is that within the last few months I had his hearing checked out, as I thought his pronunciation was so way off. Turns out he was only speaking proper English. I blame the child minder.

MyCatHasStaff Wed 16-Jan-13 01:50:26

My lovely Aussie friend announcing to a room full of people 'come on, there's nothing as good as a professional blow job!' She's a hairdresser, I was only getting a blow dry...

MerryCouthyMows Wed 16-Jan-13 01:50:44

The 'messages' one got me - I had recently moved from Suffolk to my Granny's in the Hebrides when I was just turned 15.

She sent me to the shop with a list, and told me to fetch the messages.

A rather comedic shopping trip ensued.

I got all the items on the list, paid for them, then stood at the till waiting expectantly for the 'messages' I had been sent to get.

The lady at the till turned round and said something like "away wi ye noo, missie". So I (bearing in mind it was the first time I had ever heard a thick Hebridean Scottish accent...) translated it roughly, and replied "But I'm still waiting for the messages my Granny sent me for."

She replied "Ye wee Numpty, ye've gotten them already"

(I also had no clue what Numpty meant, having never heard the phrase before that day...)

Of course, I replied, "No, I've got the shopping, but I've not been given the messages."

At which point I'm looking at her in complete bewilderment, she's looking at me in complete bewilderment, and we are like that for a good few minutes until another customer took pity on me and explained that the shopping I had picked up WAS the 'messages' I had been sent for.

It was 16 years ago, and I can still feel the complete bemusement I felt at trying to understand what is in essence the same language, yet at the same time was like trying to understand German!

ComposHat Wed 16-Jan-13 01:52:23


It was a joke, no need to be so po-faced about it.

It is also a stereotype that is based in truth, Scots consume far more alcohol per head than England and Wales.

Catchingmockingbirds Wed 16-Jan-13 01:56:13

"I am convinced this is because Scots think anything that doesn't have booze in it is a health drink"

Lovely hmm

MerryCouthyMows Wed 16-Jan-13 01:56:55

(After living there for a further year, and having a relationship with a local, I can understand it plain as day now, mind you.)

There's also the way when told to hurry up, or a question that you would usually respond "I am" to, people with a Hebridean accent have a phrase as a response - "Amah", which is a contraction of Am I, which actually has interesting roots.

It is because the sentence structure in Gaelic would put 'am' before 'I', and when translated, it seems to have stuck even now, as an automatic response.

It's grammatically incorrect in English, but is a direct translation from Gaelic, which I find very interesting.

It certainly sparked a love of learning about the roots of languages, living there!

MerryCouthyMows Wed 16-Jan-13 02:00:36

That IS a massive generalisation. But was certainly true of most of the people (me included, at the time) under 40 on the island - we all seemed to survive on a diet of Bucky, Irn Bru, Whisky & Coke and voddy...

(There wasn't much else to do except get pissed, doss in unused buildings and prat around in the park when I was there. It was a great craic, but fuck knows how I still have a functioning liver. Everyone we knew from the age of 14 - 40 was permanently pissed!)

OldLadyKnowsNothing Wed 16-Jan-13 02:00:40

Thanks for that, Couthy, I always hated the contraction "Ah mur" (as pronounced locally) meaning "I am". Now I feel able to forgive it. grin

Thumbwitch Wed 16-Jan-13 02:03:21

Nearly fell foul of an Aussie-ism the first time I came here - I was staying with another Brit expat and we were invited to a party and asked to "bring a plate". Well, we didn't know whether we were supposed to be bringing actual food or just plates to eat it off, in case the hostess didn't have enough crockery!
Luckily we took food...

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Wed 16-Jan-13 02:05:05

I remember when I was a teenager, we'd say "Did you get off with him?" meaning " did you snog him?" (I'm from Brighton) whereas in some places up North it meant "Did you have sex with him?" This caused many shock when we met up with teenagers from other places on residential school trips etc

PMSL about the "Alsation duck"

ComposHat Wed 16-Jan-13 02:38:00

Wa;ly dugs - teeth. I had to have that explained to me.

Peally Wally - ill.

Buckets - Bin. I was working for social services when a lad told me he'd applied for a job on the buckets. I was completely confused.

I am still not sure what meet you 'at the back of five/three/one' means. Does it mean just after the hour eg 5:05 or just before the next hour starts (as in back end of that hour) 5:55? I've never had the heart to ask.

Everyone we knew from the age of 14 - 40 was permanently pissed!

I agree there is a real culture of boozing. I love the pubs that have discounts on a pint and a nip for the OAPs. I am looking forward to spending my retirement permanently sozzled.

The chippies sell booze too and cigs and sweets. It is like a massive 'fuck you' to the health minister.

ripsishere Wed 16-Jan-13 02:43:24

[smiling] at the alsation duck.
We lived in Nottingham for a year. I was asked to get four cobs duck in a bakers.
I asked for them. They are rolls apparently.

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