For as long as I can remember [about as far back as last Wednesday], I’ve had a strange -one might almost say “manic”- compulsion to mess around with words; change their pronunciation, meaning etc. and generally fuck about wi’ the language so much that I end up having a large swathe of vocabulary or pet phrases that are only intelligible to myself and whichever unfortunates have to bear my company for any extended period of time. I wonder what Freud would make of that? I’m sure it indicates some deep psychological trauma, stemming from a childhood sexual experience with a Scrabble board, or something.
Anyway, thankfully these phrases of mine usually have a limited lifespan; the old ones continually falling out of favour and being replaced by newer [and often even more annoying] ones. So it struck me today that, for want of anything remotely interesting to write in herald of the new year, I might look at a couple of my current idioms and map out their origins. That way future generations of people not reading this blog either will be able to keep alive my buck-toothed memory through these fuckwitted forms of expression. So folks. Get out your exercise books and pens and *“Let’s Parler Bilge!”
A shit. An ordurous person.
Example: “Did you drink the last of the beer? - You’re a revenger, you are!”
Origins: Pronouncing the word “Shit” in the style of an old County Antrim farmer, so it sounded more like “Shith” . This led to an obvious connection with the Star Wars film “Revenge of the Sith. So, for a short while thereafter the phrase became “You’re a Shith. In fact you’re a Revenge of the Shith” before becoming contracted again to just “You’re a Revenger”
The art of coining a good “madra-ism” usually involves taking a short word or phrase and expanding or embellishing it. For convenience, the embellished version is then usually shortened again but, inconveniently for those around me, this newly shortened version seldom bears any relation to the original phrase or its meaning. Let’s try another:
My girlfriend’s cat.
Example: “Have you seen Sworth? I think she’s gone outside”
Origins: Since one of my GF’s multiplicity of nicknames is “Chippy”, everything that belongs to her can take the possessive prefix “Chip-” [for example “Chip-boots”, “Chip-coat” etc]. Through time the “Chip-” prefix is usually contracted into the beginning of the word itself, replacing the first letter[s] - so “Chip-boots” become “Choots” and “Chip-coat” becomes “Choat”. It follows from this that her cat is initially the “Chip-cat” and eventually becomes the “Chat”. From there the familiar process of embellishment and recontraction kicks in, so that “Chat” mutates into “Chatsworth” [as in the famous stately home and then eventually becomes recontracted back to just “Sworth”
*Easy, isn’t it? Now let’s have one final one for today:
The act of defecation subsequent to or in addition to one’s first poo of the day.
Example: “God! That was a good kebab I had yesterday. I can feel a chapter coming on!”
Origins: Like all stout gentlemen and true, I like nothing better than having a nice read on the bog, while enjoying my early morning crap - much to the bemusement of the women folk, who seem incapable of grasping the simple pleasures this peculiarly male tradition affords. On those halcyon days when one’s body is coping with the inner clean-up operation after a particularly firey curry, or an extra spicy kebab, it sometimes becomes necessary to revisit the “Gentleman’s Reading Room” on more than one occasion. Thus was the phrase “I’ll just go and read chapter two” coined. In time this phrase, through the by now familiar process, became contracted so that the simple word “Chapter” now conveys all of its complex lavatorial meaning.
Thus endeth the lesson. Please stand quietly by your desks until the bell goes.