Cutting Through The Cussing

Thursday, March 05, 2009 Posted In , , , , , , Edit This 11 Comments »
I admit, this post is entirely inspired by the beginning of DeNae's latest post of genius and hilarity. She is one of my favourite bloggerers and a fellow-hitchhiker and I hope that this sucking up brings me some forgiveness for hitching my post to her post...

I am, in essence, continuing my comment to her - on here. And I feel I can do this because she was obviously inspired by my post "Sanity Saver" in which I talk about eliciting good behaviour from the savage beasts (otherwise known as children) using music. Or, as DeNae puts it... "neutralizing your offspring". Clearly, DeNae used my post as her inspiration.

On the subject of "cussing", and I hesitate to use the word because to me, saying "cuss" is akin to actually cussing, I'd like to offer the opinion that a swear word is in the ear of the beholder. Where I come from, "dam-" is as mild as saying, "darn" and "he--" barely registers a two on the EEEK Scale. (Ten being the dreaded F.)

Luckily, before I set foot on these fair shores, MM warned me that the mess coming out of my mouth was likely to give his mother a stroke so I edited my speech most carefully for her sake. Not so my friend Moana who flew over here with me. We forgot to tell her.

"Da--, I love this place! Hello Mrs MM's mother! How the he-- are ya?"

But, should you ever find yourself in New Zealand, there are some things to take note of...

You will probably never come across anyone blessed with the name "Randy" in New Zealand because randy means... "A man who is very fond of the ladies in the very intimate sense of the very frequent frequency." A person of this notoriety would be referred to as a "Randy Bugger".

Nor should you ever use the word "root" as it literally means
"to have s@x". Just to illustrate the importance of this point: A female visitor from the USA said... My first time in New Zealand I made the unfortunate mistake of listing off my hobbies to a family that had me over for tea.... among my hobbies? "I like to root for the football team!" One of the boys said, "What, the WHOLE team??"

Not to mention that a few nights ago on American Idol, Adam Lambert gave the NZ equivalent of the "middle finger" gesture (only much worse) while he was trotting down the steps with the other privileged eleven. It might have been the peace sign, only the knuckles were facing OUT. In New Zealand this gesture would have had him decapitated or castrated... whichever end was closest.

I do believe that one should tread carefully when accusing others of using foul language because in their country they could quite literally be inviting you to dinner and not in fact, telling you that you are the slime that lives off the grime that inhabits a Vogon's left armpit.

(Vogon with aforementioned 'covered' armpits, for which we are grateful.)

11 brilliant observations:

Kristina P. said...

Ha! Loved this post!

DeNae said...

R Max, hitch your blog to my wagon any time you want! You're awesome! I knew about the whole "Randy" thing, but I had no idea about the word "root". So when Family History missionaries come to NZ to do genealogy, I guess it isn't a good idea to tell people they've come to get in touch with their "roots", eh?

I think my family is New Zealand-y in their hearts. A "D" and an "H" barely tweak the conversation. Ah well, different strokes, I guess...

Gracey said...

It is amazing how people from different countries can have a different definition of "bad gestures" or "bad words". I am laughing so hard about the "root" thing right now!

Barbaloot said...

Very enlightening---thank you. And also, I just think no guy should be named Randy no matter what. It's an annoying name.

rychelle said...

i used to know a girl who like to root for the football team too.
yes, the WHOLE team!

you are hilarious!

DeNae said...

...oh, and I meant to ask you:

1) Is this photo Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz, or just your basic Vogon enlistee, more suitable for tossing innocent hitchhikers out of the air lock into deep space?

2) How are you enjoying, what was it, "The Color of Magic"? I'm reading "Lords and Ladies" for the 3rd time and laughing myself sick every night!

(Just when I start to convince myself I could write as well as those guys, I read their stuff and slink away, literary tail between my legs...)

Momza said...

Fun post--but that's to be expected from you always.
My Mr Wonderful lived in England for a few years, when we met he lived in Nottingham, and we visited him a few times and learned firsthand the curious colloquialisms of another culture.
Of course, my granma was from Great Britain, and I think she 'educated' us when I was a child too.
Great post!

Tammy said...

HAHAHAHHAHA!!!!! So, just because of the person I am, if the hubbs and I ever go to NZ, I will have to tell him that while we are there, I will be calling him by the name of Randy and that we need to constantly talk about the teams back home we "Root" for!!!!!!

I will be giggling about this for the rest of the day!!!

Hel said...

Oh yes... I love a nicely placed "damn" word. I remember the first time I found out it wasn't good to say damn in North America... I said it in front of my new Bishop. Oops.

I now do a complete brain transfer any time we visit my husband's family, just to make sure I don't slip up.

Rachel said...

Another word that still gets me all the time after like 16 years is fanny - AAAHHH! I automatically think of the Aussie definition which is the other side compared to the American definition. Is it the same in New Zealand?

honeypiehorse said...

Great tip about rooting. And does anyone still consider dam* a bad word? It's so tame these days!