Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A turn of phrase

Over the last few months I have unwittingly found myself talking like a 1950s pony book. “Jolly good” has been in my repertoire for some time – initially said with a sarcastic tinge – but it has also been joined by “Crikey!” which I’m finding myself saying more and more. And I’m not alone: a friend at work and a friend at the stables are also crikey-ers, while my sister has taken to exclaiming: “It’s simply not cricket!”

I don’t know how these archaic phrases have entered my vocabulary. I admit “jolly good” was initially said tongue-in-cheek, but it has rooted itself and now pops out quite naturally. I had a similar phase with “sweetie” and “darling”, when Absolutely Fabulous was on TV (Patsy is such a heroine of mine). That passed in time, but my current turn of phrase is showing no signs of abating.

I have to confess I think some of the exclamations in old pony books really are simply super. I’ve mentioned before that Jill Crewe was my pony book idol – and the speech of Jill and her friends was riddled with classic such as gollys, goshes and the sublime “My Russian rabbits!” which I have never encountered anywhere else.

But my word of the day has unfortunately been much more prosaic. It was repeated often while I was driving this morning. It begins with T and rhymes with fat.

18 comments:

Pig in the Kitchen said...

I remember 'My Russian Rabbits'! I was squinting at the screen and misread the surname of the Jilly that was your idol, for a minute I read it as Jilly Cooper...you tottered on your pedestal for a minute there M&M, but it's all ok now!
Pigx

Pig in the Kitchen said...

In fact it was Jill that was your idol, not Jilly...perhaps I just imagine your white jodphured thighs when I come here and that's how the Jilly mistake crept in. Right, glad we've got that cleared up.

mutterings and meanderings said...

Ah Pig, Jill Crewe wore elephant-eared jodhs. Stretchy white ones a la dressage queens would've been totally alien to her!

(BTW, I do like Jilly's Riders though!)

Jane said...

I had elephant eared jodhs for my first ever pair. Unfortunately this was just when the stretch sort were coming in, and I felt the shame of being different....

How about "Gosh" then? Are you a gosh girl? It's never been out of my vocabulary (along with certain earthier things. One of my first words, I'm told, rhymed with rugger and I spent many happy hours in my pram saying it.)

The Grocer said...

I particularly like saying "Toodle Pip" to some of the children who appear in the shop. They kind of look at you like your mad. I know that one day they will be 40 and will fondly recall the mad shopkeeper with really good ice cream who used to say "Toodle Pip".

Mopsa said...

I love the way we pick up phrases from people and books we love. They do stick fast, don't they?

Anonymous said...

Fear not, it is just incipient middle age - nothing to worry about unduly, I can assure you..

Anonymous said...

The Grocer - EEEeeekk.. I've been rumbled - have just posted on the Wonderful Winchester Whisperer blog with a Toodle Pip ! It needs to be brought back into circulation pronto.

Gill said...

I'm into fiddlesticks and fie at the minute!

Karen said...

One of my first words rhymed with bit.

My uncle's ex-partner is Danish and she was trying to get better at speaking English and for some reason she used "actually" a lot so we corrected her and then we all used to say it in an exaggerated English accent!

Nunhead Mum of One said...

My aunt's nearest attempt at good old fashioned swearing is "drat!". She also comes out with classics such as "crikey", "crumbs", "dearie me what a pickle!", "fiddlesticks!" and my personal favourite "Oh blow!".

my mum's only attempt to stop swearing (she wasn't that foul tempered though, don't get me wrong) was when she announced that she would no longer say "balls" in a derogatory way. The very next day she dropped a chicken in its roasting tin on the floor and bellowed something that rhymes with rollocks.

She was so determined not to use the word balls she quite forgot herself.

Iota said...

Move to America. Then it's almost impossible to resist the temptation to say things like "spot on!" "jolly good!" and "spiffing" the whole time.

I know a 3 yr old boy with a slight lisp who often pronounces "oh my goth". I laugh inwardly everytime.

Brom said...

I had a comment lined up until I read Pigs comment "imagine your jodphured thighs" then everything went kind of wobbly.

Tally Ho!!

@themill said...

Gawd, hope it wasn't me tail gating you......
How's the hoss?

mutterings and meanderings said...

Ah, so nice to know I'm not alone in this!

Grocer the kids at the stables think it's hilarious that I say "ta ta", so I've started saying TTFN to thm ... which they ratehr like!

I love "fie!" - I may steal that Gill!

@themill, the hounds are at Victor's this morning so the Grey Mare is in out the way munching hay as I don't want her bombing around the field as they're expected our way. Vet here tomorrow again. Sigh.

She isn't very lame anymore and the bruise or whatever it may be is sitting at the top of her heel looking red.

Winchester whisperer said...

Blistering barnacles

Phil A said...

Must be catching, or some sort of collective unconscious thing.

I too have become conscious of saying ‘Jolly good’, ‘What-ho’, ‘Toodle-oo”, ‘Awfully good’, ‘Blast’ and such lately. I am not at all sure when it started.

Gill said...

sadly it has deteriorated into fiddlesticks and fucking fie!
glad the oss is on the mend.