A short time ago, I had the privilege of speaking to an English author who is also a wonderful poet. During our conversation, he asked if I was still writing poetry. The question caught me off guard. I don’t write poetry regularly and have not done so since working on my current novel.
It got me thinking though, because I adored his English accent and way of speaking. He used words and phrasing I never hear in conversation with friends—which I found both amusing and endearing. As Canadians, we have adopted British words in our day-to-day language, but there are many we don’t use.
It also amazed me to discover how much of British slang sounds vulgar, even when the words are not. Some of the words in my poem may be regional or outdated, but they entertained me nonetheless. Brits can comment and tell me if I’ve made a twit of myself.
I hope you enjoy this short poem inspired by a special Englishman. I know he fancies wordplay and has a healthy sense of humour (that’s humour with a second ‘u’ since I’m being British and all).
In Praise of British Slang
The dog’s bollocks is the best
But bollocks alone is rubbish
And rubbish is actually garbage
Don’t speak it; throw it in a bin
If you spend a penny in England
Expect to be in the loo
But if you get diddled while in there
Check that you still have all your pennies
No point fannying around
As the arse is the ass
And the fanny is not the arse
It’s the female naughty bits
And what of the John Thomas or Todger?
Found on a mate, a bloke, or a codger
So many names to describe a plonker
There should be as many words for a lughole
You may think I’m barmy or bladdered
I’m neither, just a wee bit knackered
In need of a good eight hours
And I’ll be full of beans again
Yes I do love many things British
The language, the slang, the humour
A dry cocktail of irony and wit
Perfect for taking the piss