In my continuing efforts at international relations here in Switzerland I have been teaching the members of the lab aspects of the English language that you don’t necessarily pick up at school. This, I feel, is the least I can do to prepare them for moving abroad and to avoid the numerous pitfalls I have experienced since moving here. I’m all heart!

Obviously first up was swear words. This was the easy one and soon they were f-ing and blinding like the best of them. What they hadn’t considered was combining swear words in different combinations to get their feelings across. Soon they were stringing four to five words together in the middle of a sentence. They even came up with a few I had never even considered. I was very proud.

After, that we went through slang in various situations, we tried jive-talking (inspired by the brilliant scene in Airplane via YouTube), touched briefly on cockney slang (Lock, Stock and two Smoking Barrels, again via YouTube) and had a long listen to the dialect from my home county of Monaghan. Worth a listen:

Next up is surfer/hippy-ese. Not an area I’m that familiar with but I have been, like, totally doing my research on words like “radical”, “bodacious”, “awesome” and “totally”. Soon they’ll be cursing in a strange blend of surfer lingo and Monaghan-ese!


4 responses to “Like…totally.

  1. I remember doing the same when I was working in winery up the road from you in Alsace. I had great difficulty explaining the nuances of slang, such as the difference between something being “bollocks” or being “the bollocks”.

    A few weels after my Swearing in English Masterclass I was walking down the stairs into the bottling hall when I heard a bottle smash on the floor, followed by an Alsatian-accented “Bollocks!” I was well chuffed.

    I failed entirely to explain the notion of rhyming slang, though.

  2. that should be “weeks”, not “weels”

    I keep doing that!

  3. ‘piss’ seems to give non english speakers alot of confusion…being pissed, being pissed off, taking the piss! I suppose it is a bit complicated thinking about it!

    Yep I have tried and failed with rhyming slang too!

  4. Good posting. I have linked it from my posting today.

    That way of embedding audio on your site? Is that a feature of wordpress?

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