WENGLISH.

My Odyssean friend who often goes by the sobriquet “dung beattle” when commenting here has sent me a link to a charming site called Talk Tidy: The Online Home of Wenglish, based on two books by John Edwards:

John Edwards has made his lifetime study, the peculiarities of the Welsh/English dialect. He named this dialectical oddity “Wenglish” and recorded it as it is spoken, mainly in the valleys and townships of South Wales (that’s OLD South Wales for our antipodean visitors).
The original books Talk Tidy, and More Talk Tidy, were written in 1985 and 1986 respectively and published by D. Brown & sons Ltd, Bridgend, Glamorgan S. Wales, UK. Unfortunately, both books are now out of print.

A few samples:


Ach-a-fi
An expression of disgust as in “You should ‘ave seen the state ‘e was in, ach-a-fi!”
Against
A translation of the Welsh ‘yn erbyn’, meaning ‘by the time’ as in “Against I’d washed the dishes, there was no time to clean the house”.
Ages: Frages/’issages
‘Frages’ is Wenglish for ‘for ages’ and ‘issages’ is the Wenglish equivalent of ‘this ages’: “I haven’t seen you frages.”, or “I haven’t been to the pictures ‘issages.”.
Anch/Ansh
A bite, or taste, as in, “Give us an anch of your apple will you?”
Aye-aye
(a) The single ‘aye’ is Wenglish for ‘yes’. The double form is often used as a greeting or as a reply to ‘shw mai?’, ‘awright?’, or ‘hi-ya?’ (b) Affirmative or most positive confirmation, as in “Well aye-aye mun, he’s right enough there you know!”

Comments

  1. Awww, and here I was hoping that “Wenglish” stood for a Wendish/English pidgin.

  2. Thanks for this link: I’m from that neck of the woods & grew up speaking a kind of watered-down Wenglish. I remember seeing the ‘Talk Tidy’ books when they came out & it’s good to see they’re online now.

  3. Interesting. However, I wouldn’t say all of it is characteristically Wenglish. From slang I remember from my childhood (southern UK), a good proportion of it comes across as pretty standard 1950s-60s working class colloquial English: for instance, all taken away (= hysterectomy), bag of nerves, bathers (= swimming costume), beanfeast, bloke, botched, cap it all, dribs and drabs, etc.

  4. DEAR SIRS,
    I AM STRONGLY WISHING TO RESUME CONTACTW WITH MY BEST FRIEND MRS AUDORY MARGARETE BROWN WHO SHE WAS LIVING IN ADEN IN 1967 AND LEFT AS I REMEMBER TO 67 BRINGLU,BRIDGEND,GLAMORGAN,S.WALES
    I HOPE YOU KINDLHY CONVEY THIS MESSAGE TO HER SO AS TO REPLY TO ME BY E-MAIL.
    I AM MUCH LONGING TO KNOW ABOUT HER.
    BEST REGARDS
    OBAID

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