Welsh Language Activist Released from Prison

On Nov. 25th, 2009 Welsh language activist Osian Jones was imprisoned for 28 days for his part in local campaigns to promote the use of the Welsh language – Cymraeg or Gymraeg.  He is an organizer for Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg (The Welsh Language Society), a Welsh language rights organization headquartered in Aberystwyth, Ceredigion.  Jones had been fined over £1,000 for participating in campaigns of slogan painting, and stickering to exert pressure against a number of large businesses that refused to use Cymraeg in their advertising and signage.  “Ble Mae’r Gymraeg?” (Where’s the Welsh?) was one of the favorite slogans tattooed along superstore walls in Llangefni, Bangor, and Caernarfon.

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“Why use at all?”: Government Word Suggestions in Hard Times

At the break of the worst financial crisis in decades, March of 2009, England’s Local Government Association mobilized efficiently and effectively to issue a strong statement encouraging local councils to ‘ditch the jargon’ and replace it with plain English.  This, they said, would help make government more user-friendly as things quickly went to shit. 

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Last Speaker of Bo Language Dies

Boa Sr was the last of the Bo, a tribe on the Andaman Islands which has been slowly dying out as a result of contact with the outside world

How do you comprehend that 150 years of British colonization can undo and destroy 65,000 years of Indigenous habitation and culture? 

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A tlhIngan, a Troubador, a Barrister, an Etymologist, an AB, and the Holy See all sit down for a potable…

Word Fun: Issue No. 4

Match the words below with their appropriate sentence:

1. Gammon Lashing

2. Inchoate Dower

3. Legatus A Latere

4. Doghjey

5. Gergito-Solymian

6. Bouffons

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Word of the Week: Chikan 痴漢

Unverified Nihongo (Japanese) words.  Below are a couple of useful gems for our modern world.

bokokugo – 母国語- mother tongue; native language

chikan – 痴漢 – sexual pervert [Most notably, the Purvis McGurvis who touches girls on a packed commuter train.  Above is an example of the disturbing (and hilarious) signs inside the train cars warning of these creatures.   Although, my book says few people will stand up for the girl, if one were to do so, one could say, “Kono sukebe!” (You freak! said by females) and “Kono Hentai!” (You pervert! said by male and female alike)]

gokuhin (no) – 極貧の – destitute; extreme poverty or hinkon  – 貧困 – poverty

hoshi uranai – 星占い – astrology; hoshi – 星 is star; while uranai – 占い –  is fortune-telling

shitsugyō – 失業 – unemployment

terebi – テレビ –  television (katakana for ‘televi’)


Taken from:

Random House Japanese/English Dictionary, Seigo Nakao, 1995

Making Out in Japanese, Todd & Erika Geers, 1988

Kenkyusha’s New School Dictionary (Japanese – English), Kenkyusha Ltd. 1968

Pictures a Good Idea?

moron (image taken from http://www.blippitt.com)

The Dialect is not run by morons.  Just techno-phobes.  I just discovered how to cut and paste graphics.  I tried a while back to use wordpress’s icon ‘add an image’ blah blah… but then I just used the little keys on my keyboard and then Bam!  The question at hand is this: Do they detract and look like shit or do they improve the Dialect?  Discuss.

Word of the Week: Work Jumbie

Here’s a few Trinidadian/Tobagan words that seem fun.  I cannot vouch for their autheticity however.  I also can’t speak to the etymology of these words but I’ll at least note that, given Trinidad’s mixed linguistic heritage, these words could be from English, French or French Patois, Spanish, a South Asian or African origin, or possibly Arabic,  Chinese, or an indigenous language (unknown to me). 

Belly Full – A very heavy cake made up of left-over cakes and was sold for four cents.  Also GRATATAN, CHES’ PROVOKER.

Gimmie-Gimmie – A ‘disease’ that strikes greedy persons who always want you to give them everything you have. 

Obzokee or Obzokie  – Clumsey.  Bull in a China shop.  Ungainly. Awkward in appearance. Anything bent or twisted out of shape. 

Vup – In cricket to swing the bat as hard as possible. A wild vup – to do the same but with the eyes closed, and hoping to hit the ball with some luck.

Wine – to rotate the waist and hips in a suggestive manner.  Winer gyul – Winer girl.  Any female who takes the art of wining to extreme ends, especially at Carnival time. 

Work Jumbie – A ‘work-a-holic.’


Taken from Cote ce Cote la: Trinidad & Tobago Dictionary by John Mendes circa 1986

Grand Prize Winner for 2009…

The Dialect’s first annual Word Fun winners have been selected!

The Dialect’s “Word Fun” game winners have been accruing points on the “Score Board” throughout 2009 and The Dialect is pleased to announce the Grand Prize Winner and First Loser for 2009!

[drum roll in background]

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All Power to the Meaningless

V. I. Lenin, chairman of the Council of Workers' and Peasants' Defence.           1919.

“All power to the Workers Councils,” proclaimed the Bolsheviks as they built support for an insurrection against the Kerensky Provisional Government in Russia.  “All power to the Soviets,” it ran.  The Soviets were the workers’ councils that sprang up in cities and factories all over Russia in 1917.  The Bolshevik Party used this slogan in an attempt to unite the various revolutionary forces under the Party’s banner.  Unfortunately for the workers involved in said councils, it was a hollow slogan.  After the Bolsheviks took over and consolidated political power under the Party, they proceeded to take all the power away from these soviets, thus making the slogan, at that time, rather meaningless. 

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How many ways to say “How YOU doin’?” ?

How I was doin - Joey

How many ways can you say: “How are you?” or “What’s new?”

Below is an exhausting (but maybe not exhaustive) list of all the ways I can think of to encounter someone and ask either of these salutatory questions.

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