‘Sayings’ are things that our parents said and, indeed, our grandparents and often have continued down the family line as a sort of tradition even if we have no idea precisely where the saying came from or why.
For example, should a Yorkshire man become ill with influenza it is often said that he had earlier been ‘On Ilkla Mooar baht ‘at’ which is translated to mean ‘On Ilkley Moor (a beautiful if somewhat barren place in Yorkshire) without a hat’ – resulting in said Yorkshire man contracting Influenza due to the cold – therefore it must have been the depths of winter.
Daft bugger should have worn his hat then eh?
My mother often told anyone who would listen that I was ‘daft as a brush’. She was, and is, probably correct but ‘daft as a brush’? What the hell does that mean then?
A brush is clearly one of the following.
An implement for use on the hair or an implement for sweeping the floor. Possibly the Australian Outback or even, at a stretch, a slang term such as ‘he’s had a brush with the law’ perhaps describing an errant son who has received a speeding ticket.
Personally, I can see no connection between a ‘brush’ and being ‘daft’ – ‘daft’ incidentally basically means you are a loony, you are ‘mental’, you are a sandwich short of a picnic etc et al.
I frequently refer to my more demented driving students as being ‘daft as a brush’ but, in honesty, although I know what I mean I don’t, in reality, know what I mean – sort of.
Other ‘sayings’ in the North West Of England include -
‘She’s got a fur coat and no knickers’ (Possibly alluding to a certain jealousy from other women regarding a woman who they perceive has used sex to gain her wealthy husband?) – well, excuse me but, generally speaking, sex does tend to play something of a forward role in the early stages of any relationship does it not? Let’s face it, if you don’t really fancy her or, from the female perspective, you don’t really fancy him, then there is no relationship is there? In the initial ‘hurly burly of the chaise longue’ as a splendid activity was once referred to by the late Mrs Patrick Campbell I suspect monetary gain is somewhat in the background – unless you are either a prostitute or a ‘gold digger’.
As Mrs Merton once famously asked Debbie McGee on her chat show after Ms McGee had married a man almost three times her age, “What first attracted you to millionaire Paul Daniels then Debbie?”
‘Mrs Merton’ was the ‘alter ego’ of the supurb North West comedienne Caroline Aherne.
‘Ees fair bowlegged wi brass’ = He is very wealthy
‘Eigh Up’ = Hello/Well I never/ Please move out of my way
The North of England, well, the North West of England at least, is just as ‘foreign’ to most southerners/Londoners as France or Germany or Lithuania or even Syria – albeit we of the north probably wouldn’t use chemical weapons on the south.
‘It’d cost t’much fer a start’ (It would be an expensive waste of our resources).
I was slightly intrigued after my contribution regarding Peter Kay – the greatest comedian in Britain today in my opinion. (The fact he is from the North West is immaterial – honest!) that so many of you lovely readers had absolutely no idea what he was on about. You recognised it was funny due to the reaction of the audience but quite why it was funny or what he was actually saying was clearly lost on some of you. I mean no offence nor am I suggesting you are ‘daft as brushes’ – unless you are of course – but, clearly, if the North and North West of England is, at least verbally, a mystery to the South and London then what chance have Americans got eh?
I will do my best to ensure that the obvious truth that Britain and America are not only separated by an ocean but also a common language will be a mountain that I will climb.
When I’ve finished you will all be saying “Eigh up, tha’s tort us northern Norman!” (Good grief, you have taught America to speak with an English Northern accent Norman”.
Well, perhaps not but it is, you must admit, an endeavour worthy of sponsorship.
Norman’s Northern Language Courses can be obtained via his e-mail which will be only revealed via MMA. All proceeds from the language course will go into Norman’s pocket – oops – into the coffers of MMA (after Norman has taken out his expenses)
$100 dollars a session (an hour perhaps?) seems fare to me – but I am a Northerner after all.
(The NNLC is a joke I hasten to add – unless you have the bizarre desire to send me money in which case it is still a joke and you are ‘daft as a brush’)
I will confess immediately that I have no idea why ducks appear in the above. Do ducks eat worms? I don’t seem to recall any natural history suggesting they do – still, perhaps, being ‘northern ducks’ they like to be different as do all ‘northerners’ – Well, at least a bit of me is honest eh?
God Save The Queen and God Bless America – unless you are an atheist then, well, whatever you like eh?