Thursday, 25 June 2009

The B word

Have you noticed that there are certain words that only a genuine Brit can say convincingly?

While there are oodles of words that have either been kidnapped or transplanted themselves into the mindset and culture of English-speaking people around the world (and even into some foreign languages), there are a few little gems that stubbornly refuse to sound right coming from any mouth other than that of a True Brit.

And for some reason, a lot of them seem to begin with the letter "B".

Think about it. For a start, there's the ubiquitous "bloody".
With a very few exceptions (and there are always exceptions), if an American says "bloody" he will either sound like Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins or a horrible approximation of Hugh Grant (not sure which is worse, to be honest). But hand it back to someone who grew up in Britain (or perhaps an Aussie) and the word is comfortably back in its natural habitat.

The same goes for a whole load of other B words: bum, blimey, bugger (my Mum's fave), bottom (as in "ample") and many more that refuse to spring to mind right now.

(Taking a step back in the alphabet and for the benefit of my American friends, an "ass" is a donkey, not a backside. The right word - suitably round and meaty - is "arse".)

But my all-time favourite, and probably the most British of all B words, is the word that describes what certain lucky people (OK, some of them are talented, but certainly not all) get paid to talk: bollocks.
(Sorry Mum!)

Trying saying that in a Transatlantic accent!

1 comment:

  1. Bullocks is my favourite b word too. Im not British, but i like to take liberties, u know? Here, watch:
    "Did you see Sandra Bullocks in her latest movie? It was bullocks!"