Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Splash of Cash is a Mash of Stash!

I’ve always paid a lot of attention to the language in my books. Back when I wrote historical romance, I did tons of research into the slang of the era. Did I have a Welsh heroine? Then I made sure to throw in a few Welsh words here and there. A hero who designed fireworks back in 1898? Then I learned the special slang of the business. Even these days, writing mysteries, I do the same thing. Annie, the heroine in my cooking mysteries, knows a whole different set of words than Pepper, my detective who talks to the dead.

Language is one of the things that brings a book to life, and using it properly–or not–can make a difference.

Knowing that, it’s no wonder a friend recently sent me a link to an online article. It’s out of London and is all about using ATMs there. You know how we have an option on ATMs here for "Spanish" or "English" language? Well, in East London, you can do your transactions in Cockney!

Cockney rhyming slang is a sort of code of speaking where common words are replaced by a phrase that rhymes with the word.

So step up to the ATM and give it a try!

The first thing they’ll ask for is your "Huckleberry Finn." Know what it is?

Your PIN.

The machine will then tell you that it’s reading your "bladder and lard," and that’s your card.

You’ll also see words like:

bread and honey = money
sausage and mash = cash

Other common Cockney terms include "trouble and strife" for "wife," "apples and pears" for "stairs" and "loaf of bread" which means "head."

So grab your bladder and lard and head to the machine. With any luck, you’ll end up with a fistful of sausage and mash!


Jess Granger said...

I read about this in some linguistics research I was doing. Talk about wild. It gives me all sorts of ideas for ways to play with language in my futuristics.

Do you think we'll ever get to the point where our language is nothing but an incomprehensible pile of acronyms?

Casey said...

I think we're nearly there!