scribbles tagged ‘accent’

Bristolian hat-wearers unite

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

dance teacher: Wasabi makes you jedder
wendy: Jedder?
dance teacher: yes jedder (demonstrates by shaking her shoulders)
wendy: Oh (signifying realisation), Judder! Where do you come from?
dance teacher: Reading, why?
wendy: (decides not to mention her unusual accent)  I’ve never met anyone who actually came from Reading
dance teacher: where are you from?
wendy: Bristol
dance teacher: whereabouts in Bristol do you live?
wendy: I don’t live in Bristol, I live in Reading
dance teacher: Oh, whereabouts in Reading do you live
wendy: Cemetery Junction

mutually understanding silence

dance teacher: a lot of people wear hats like yours in Bristol
wendy: (pause of disbelief)… I got this little beauty from Jacksons
dance teacher: Jacksons?
wendy: Jacksons, at Jacksons corner in downtown Reading, the shop
dance teacher: Oh

During the evening I put more effort into keeping the conversation going by trying to find out more about the dance teacher. An interesting life; writing a novel, travelled to the US for research where she met some influential dancers. She was given the dance business after she met the previous owners at lessons, the work involved arranging themed hen-night evenings and many more interesting stories.

The teacher looked happy enough, the conversation flowed, while I focussed on her. For a brief moment she appeared to show a interest in me when I mentioned my admirations for the fabulous Josephine Baker. But the conversation almost always felt like hard work, mostly disappointing because of

  • incongruence with my experience of the world “people in their 50’s are too scared to leave the house or go anywhere on their own“. I mainly mix with fiesty fifties.
  • what seemed like an extreme lack of self confidence “I can’t dance“. Yet she teaches it.
  • naivity “I didn’t realise that running a dance business would involve a lot of hard work”
  • lack of an active interest in wendy!

She smiled as she talked, conversation liberally punctuated with self-deprecation and giggles. She was  interesting and some might find her self-deprecation charming.

Bristolian hat-wearers unite
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how to make a grown man blush

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010 | tags: , , ,  |

wendy: Norfolk and Norwich

The Canadian’s face instantly flushed red as he smiled, then catuiously asked

Did you just say no fücking nor witch?

how to make a grown man blush
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2 bits of fabulous banter »

I feel safe

Saturday, September 25th, 2010 | tags: ,  |

talking to a Heathrow security guard from South Africa (Durban) while we wait for the Reading Railair coach

South African: where are you from?

wendy: west England

South Afircan: I’ve been trying to place your accent, it doesn’t sound just English

wendy: I did live in the USA for 7 years

South African: Yes, that’s what I’m hearing

Turns out that the South African security gaurd lives less than 500 yards away from me in Reading. I feel safe.

I feel safe
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duck and gulp

Friday, May 7th, 2010 | tags: ,  |

wendy: what’s the name of the bit of mainland britian that includes England, Wales, Scotland and Cornwall but excludes Northern Ireland (NI)

NI Lady: Great Britain, look at your passport it says ‘United Kingdoms of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

German: Wendy are you British?

wendy: what do you mean am I British?

German: I thought you were American

simultaneously, everyone in the room

ducks and GULPS

wendy: I’m British, I did live in the US for about 8 years, what made you think I was American?

German: someone told me

NI Lady: It’s defintiely not your accent

German: I can’t recognise all the British accents!

duck and gulp
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1 wonderful musing »


Monday, February 9th, 2009 | tags: , , , ,  |


As a youngster I was unaware that my Bristol accent was amusing until  I  went to University where complete strangers  with strange accents would ask  me to sing Wurzels songs, say ‘Oooh AaarrrrhH’   and offer me cider.      I do know a few people that can handle a combine harvester….   ….I would quite like to drive a combine harvester, for fun…


The Wurzels sang ‘Combine Harvester’


The Wurzels sang ‘I am a cider drinker’

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dangerous misunderstanding

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

Bloodshed pronounced in a received accent sounds like Bristolian pronunciation of Budget

there will be budget so wear a flack jacket

dangerous misunderstanding
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c’ohm pair

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009 | tags: , , , ,  |

When thinking in a Bristol accent with a hint of NW US phrasing and twang:

compare sounds like cohm pair

leading to typing mistakes, more than once, HahahahHAhaHAHAHahahahaha (the sound of manic laughing fading into the distance)

c’ohm pair
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scottish taxi driver

Friday, January 23rd, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

At Darlington train station I walked up to a man stood by a driverless taxi

Wendy: Are you the Taxi driver?

Scottish Taxi Driver (STD): Yes, Flower

I’m still not used to these gender specific addresses, this one made me smile. He had a broad Scottish accent which my year of living in Scotland has taught me to understand. On our journey the Taxi driver tells me stories. Each story illustrated how ignorant, overly wealthy, and offensive American people are. Stories included being a Jungle warfare trainer based in Malaysia , training the young US troops before they went into Vietnam.

STD: …they had NO idea, they turned up with their scented soap, their radios…

In another story a US soldier was bossing him around in a bar, calling him ‘Boy’ and giving him orders as if the American was superior in some way. One of the orders was to take the Americans travellers cheque for $200 to a currency shop, cash it and return the cash to the American. Can you guess what happened? The cabbie took the cheque, cashed it and never returned to the bar. The cabbie was keen to reassure me that he was not normally a thief but that US soldier needed to be taught a lesson.

I don’t think he thought I had an American accent.

scottish taxi driver
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take 5 mins

Saturday, January 17th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

After a prolonged bout of worky-worky-worky

Wendy: would people like a restroom break?

Person-1: Did you ACTUALY say RESTROOM break? (Face expresses what looks like incredulity)

Wendy:, I lived in the US for 8 years and it still hasn’t quite worn of

Person-2: you’ve lost a lot of your American accent

I am still labouring under the potential misapprehension that I have never had an American accent. It’s clear that I picked up a lot of US words.   I like them,  their meaning appears understood locally  if experienced as out of place with my reputedly cute accent.

Unfortunately, even on the rare occasions that I say You rock, that was super-awesome   (UK meaning: ‘thank you that was jolly good’) I exude an air of trouble-with-sincerity to the locals that can induce both  grimacing or giggling depending on the disposition of the listeners

take 5 mins
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wonkey sounds like wrong key

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008 | tags: , , , ,  |

IT support:   hello,   this is [name] in Salt Lake city   (US Accent)

Wendy: Oh!   I hope its sunny in Salt Lake city

IT Support:   it’s 4am in the morning

Wendy:   Ah,   gosh,   well,   not sunny then,   I’ve got this problem…

[problem fixing conversation and Wendy starts falling asleep then wakes up when]

IT  Support:   Wonkey,   I’m even talking British now,   wonkey

wonkey sounds like wrong key
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4 bits of fabulous banter »


Saturday, December 15th, 2007 | tags: , , ,  |

During a rather unrare  planningy moment:

Spanish person:   you’ll need your passport number to complete this form

Wendy:   will an out of date passport number work?

Spanish person:   I don’t know. They accept other documents

Wendy:   My Birth certificate?

Spanish person:   No,     it has to be a UK Birth Certificate

Wendy:   It is,   I’m born and bred in England!

Over a lunch of chicken and chips with lashings of vinegar:

Someone from the Colonies (don’t know which):   Are you Australian?   I can hear an accent

Wendy:   I’m English

SFTC(DKW): but you’ve lived abroad for sometime?

Wendy:   Yes,   8 years in the US,   but its probably my regional English accent that you’re hearing

Over a disturbingly small cup of tea:

New Zealander:   I can hear your American intonation

Wendy:     that’s actually  my English regional accent intonation

New Zealander:   (immitates raising voice-pitch towards end of sentence)

Wendy:   That’s right,   Bristolians raise their voice towards the end of a sentence,   well spotted!   (I squeaked the last bit in a higher pitch)

I don’t think I convinced anyone.   Maybe I’ve been colonyised?

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NW US Regional Accent

Saturday, February 11th, 2006 | tags: ,  |

On Wendy’s first day in Washington State:

Wendy: Is your accent the regional accent for the Seattle area?

Hairdresser:   I don’t have an accent

Wendy: oh, sorry,   I must have soap in my ears, have you lived in the Seattle area all of your life?

Hairdresser:   yes

Wendy: Are your parents orginially from round here?

Hairdresser:   yes


Waitress:   Waller?

Wendy: On the rocks



Wendy learning-to-talk-to-the-natives

NW US Regional Accent
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Phonological similarity meets typed Malaproprism

Thursday, November 17th, 2005 | tags: , , ,  |

I typed

Mail instead of Main

within an email

to a male


I chuckled to myself.    This possibly isn’t amusing for you unless you are  actually  on Planet-Wendy* with me.      No map available to Planet-Wendy.

”cars ‘eee  ain’ begit’n maw carn-tex’    

Regional accent outbreak.   It means ‘context UNPUBLISHABLE’.

*photograph of Planet-Wendy  painting** attached.

** the painting*** actually IS hung on the wall in my garage.  

***I’m open to painting  purchase offers,   make me a bid…   ….I promise not to cry…  

Wendy still-nesting-footnotes

Phonological similarity meets typed Malaproprism
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