Notes from the North Country

By: Lon and Lynn Emerick

“If you talk that way, you’ve come from a far distance,” was the greeting from a waitress in a Kinlochewe café on the west coast of Scotland. And here we had been thinking we were blending in just fine on our visit to Lynn’s ancestral lands. We had explored both the old and “new” MacLaughlin castles (the clan had a female chieftain), developed a quality ranking for a wide variety of scones, boated to the Summer Isles, explored the Isle of Skye and even driven on the “wrong” side of the small-sized roads around Fort William and other western locales.
First impressions are very strong, so when we had conversed with folks in London, we thought: “How nice it is to hear English spoken in the manner it was intended.” Then we tried to decipher the instructions and conversation directed to us by train conductors, cab drivers and tourist information clerks in Cornwall, Wales and Scotland. Have you ever tried to decode the local accent in Glasgow?
It’s not just the accent or manner of speaking—residents of the British Isles have a different vocabulary (or perhaps those who settled here in the “colonies” developed a new vocabulary after emigrating from the home countries). It took us a while to figure out exactly what messages we were hearing—and days to master the pronunciation of Welsh town names. At least we left a wave of amusement in our wake.
In the interest of cross-cultural understanding (and with a nod to Marquette Monthly’s own Gerald Waite and his column “A Word to the Wise”), we have compiled a word quiz from our experiences.
Can you match up words from the first (English/Scottish/Welsh) column to those with the same meaning from the second (North American) column?

 

I Heard What You Said, But What Did You Mean?

Biscuits
Bonnet
Booking
Boot
Brambles
Carpark
Caravan
Chips
Concession
Crisps
Daunder
Dual Carriageway
Dustbin
Jumper
Knickers
Layby
Lead
Lorry
One-Off
Porridge
Queue
Serviettes
Starters
Wellies
Appetizers
Blackberries
Boots
Camper
Cookies
Divided Highway
French Fries
Garbage Can
Auto Hood
Leash
Napkins
Oatmeal
Parking Lot
Potato Chips
Pull-Out
Reservation
Saunter
Senior Citizen
Single Performance
Sweater
Truck
Trunk
Waiting Line
Windshield

 
After you finish, you can drop your page (with your name and phone number) in the mail slot at the front of the Marquette Monthly cottage. On September 25, we’ll draw a name from all the correct answers and award a North Country Publishing Upper Peninsula book as the prize.
—Lon and Lynn Emerick

Editor’s Note: Comments are welcome by writing MM or e-mailing marquettemonthly@marquettemonthly.org
Lon and Lynn Emerick’s Upper Peninsula books: The Superior Peninsula, Going Back to Central Mine, Lumberjack—Inside an Era, Sharing the Journey, You Wouldn’t Like it Here and You STILL Wouldn’t Like it Here are available at area book and gift stores or by visiting their Web site at www.northcountrypublishing.com

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.