Monday, August 21, 2006


A marvellous bit of news today in amidst the normal catalogue of doom and gloom. Oh yes, it has given my day an interesting start. It is all to do with Newcastle City Council which is apparently led by the Lib-dems. It has been decreed that male workers must no longer use certain words when addressing their workmates of the opposite sex.

Colloquialisms which have been used for centuries, such as 'pet' and 'hinny' are to be declared verboten. 'Pet' is a diminutive of the word petal and the origins of the word 'hinny' are lost in the mists of time. A hinny is some sort of female ass and that could be the origin in this context. Some think it is a form of the word honey, but I've got my doubts on that one. It comes from the coal miners of centuries ago and they used to use donkeys (before they used pit ponies) and I suppose a hinny would be a reliable and faithful companion to a coal miner. So it is possible that they refered to their wives as their hin, and that's as near as I can get by guessing. However, these words are used as terms of friendship the same as the word 'flower' in Lancashire. What about Coventry and Birmingham where they use 'my duck'? or the very best of all, in Leeds and surrounding area where they call each other 'love'?

I can remember years ago, in the early 90's, when I was sent to Leeds prison and located in the seg. unit; teatime came around and the kangaroo unlocked me, a big feller with a beard who said, "Get your tea my love." As you can imagine, a great deal of soul-searching went through my mind in an instant!

The point is, these words are all colloquialisms and are really a part of a very rich and varied cultural heritage. The country is full of them, all areas have their own. Then along comes what can only be described as a bloody moron who is so obsessed with his (or her) political correctness that, if given the chance, will destroy our heritage. I am not surprised that this country appears to be having such a cultural identity crisis when there are idiots who are hell-bent on destroying it. I think colloquialisms serve to enrich the language and I wish someone would invent a colloquialism for the word colloquialism, it is a pain in the bum to keep on writing it.

The Voice In The Wilderness

1 comment:

Susan said...

Like Frank I was locked up for a crime I did not commit - and despite maintaining my innocence throughout I was let out!! I believe I owe this to one particular prison Governor who unlike so many actually did something about the fact I had been held back and refused Parole. If only more people working in the Prison Service would take time to look at some prisoners who have been held for so long as Frank has and be brave enough to speak out for them!
Prison demoralises and definately damages many - we need to have a total review of how prisons are run and make them useful places rather than merely places of containment.