Thursday, November 6, 2008

Skanger and Bless

That's a Gershwin musical, isn't it?

I'm starting to feel that England is pretty much like NZ. At the risk of getting myself in trouble, the people are a bit dorkier, with everyone seeming to have a bizzare, obscure hobby. But basically, it's just like a cardigan-wearing, over-crowded NZ.

Lexicographically, I haven't noticed a lot of difference. The only 2 words that I've encountered that I don't quite get are "Skanger" and "Bless".

"Skanger" came up a few nights ago. We watched an advert on TV for a reality show following some English girl-band drop-out's plastic surgery, and while explaining who she was to me, my flatmate declared: "She's awful. An absolute skanger." I assume that it's a composite word. I think it's fantastic, and I plan to use it at some point.

The other one that I've heard is "Bless". It's just a single word expression. I think you use it in the context of "Bless them", when you hear about someone doing something selfless or cute. But I could be wrong on that. Suggestions are welcome.

Footnote: D from the blog's NZ office is more au fait with coarse language than I am. She points out that my definition of skanger is wrong: It is actually the Irish term for a "chav". The flatmate who used the term is indeed Irish. I'm disappointed, because I feel my definition was actually more fun.


Anonymous said...

Hmm. What's a chav? As for Bless, I thought it was a nice way of someone's being an idiot. That's how I use it, anyway :-)

James said...

Chav is an English term. It refers to the social class that wear Adidas tracksuits and Nikes and hang around on street corners in groups, being generally annoying. If you get the programme "Little Britain" in France, the character of Vicky Pollard is a stereotype of a chav. In a recent episode of Doctor Who, an alien took over Billie Piper's body. She looked at herself and said "Check out my new body. It's chav-tastic!"