Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Keeping It In The Family?

No, not skeletons in the cupboard, but a delightful propensity to burst forth in rhyme! The story behind the example I intend to share with you today, goes thus...

 My Bro and I have nicknames for each other, which date back to our teenage years - ''Herb' and 'Pud', respectively, if you really want to know, but that would be another story...

So, in a recent spate of emails, we've been writing a little 'Franglais' to each other, a happy mix of English and not-quite-French , as if you couldn't guess. As luck would have it, he signed one of his missives 'Herbergage', which I chose to alter to 'Herbgarbage', in view of the erudite conversation we'd been holding. (?!)

This morning, in true brotherly fashion, back came this poetic gem:-

 Herbgarbage? HERBGARBAGE?! I suppose you think that's funny!

O weilawei! O lackaday!
Myne owne sustre thenketh
Her broder hys nam to mock.

Nu, Adam hys rib! Unnatured sib!
I'll mak thine een to blenketh!
I'll give thi sic a knock!

Myne nam tis HERBERGAGE I tell thi.
Mi wyf's a witch -- ond nu shee'll spell thi!


PS: Yes, I know 'blenketh' is third person singular, not infinitive. I gave up authenticity for the sake of the rhyme. So sue me. Herb

 How could I not share that with Blogland in general? Perhaps if you read this, you may like to comment in your own version of Olde English - or Anye Othere Olde Tongue - or should that be Tong? Or even Language - or Long-age - or whatever else you choose to invent...


  1. Our son-in-law calls our daughter, 'Pud'or 'Pudding'. There ought to be a club...or, maybe not.

    1. And here's me, thinking I was the only one. Though I must have been the first, come to think of it, due to my great age, ergo your daughter is the copycat! Hehehe!

  2. Thats brothers for you!
    I used to know a cat called Pudding and now I know a dog called Biscuit!
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  3. I called my brother 'Cock Robin' when he was little because he was cheeky little twerp. Later it became Barn short for Byrum. He called me 'Putter or Puttsy' because my last name was Putt. We would call each other those names today if he were still living.

  4. Some brother you have there Jinksy. Treasure him!

  5. Well it was worth not quite flunking Canterbury Tales. What fun. My brothers and I were never so imaginative.

  6. I could never hope to exceed what your brother has accomplished in his poem. Great job!

    I know a blogger named Pudding.

  7. Sorry, no can do. Anyway, two mad poets is quite enough for this reader.

  8. I find it impossible to write poetry in Modern English so Chaucerian couplets are totally beyond me .
    I will just applaud wildly from the side ....

  9. Afraid I am no good in old languages. We Americans have slaugtered English and a number other languages and dialects.

    Each section of our country has certain 'accents' in our pronunciation of words that sound like a whole other language. One section of the country to another a word may have different definition locally. Buns and rolls are not the same in Baltimore and Dallas. And Yes, they think I, the Texan, sound funny, too.

  10. My brother used to talk to me like that - and I used to talk back ditto. No one could understand us - which was the point of it, of course. We got the idea from the Goon Show.

  11. Olde English? I have enough trouble understanding the English people SPEAKING English! :-) Dave

  12. Olde English? I won't even try. ;-)
    Loved that teasing moment between brother and sister.

  13. Me thinks thou dost need French lessons.

  14. Jinksy,
    I miss your updates, I hope you are fine!


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