Wednesday, March 23, 2011

No killing the butcher

From the invaluable Syntax and Lexis in Glamorgan English:
A well-known expression usually found written as ach-y-fi (also ych-y-fi), shown by its usual spelling to be generally taken for Welsh, rather naturally on account of its usually containing a voiceless velar fricative, is curiously enough most likely to be of Flemish origin. It has a Cdf variant akkavee and Wright (1905a) at accabe suggests for that a derivation in common with closely similar forms quoted from Bremen, Holstein and Flemish sources. It has to be remembered that the same fricative value can be associatcd with the general English exclamation ugh, exclamatory noises falling frequently outside the normal phonetic repertoire of a language (see Jones 1977 s. ugh).
Well I never! Ach-y-fi, our very own, and very handy, expression of abhorrence and disgust is actually of Belgian/Dutch rather then Welsh origin. Have you ever heard anything so marvelous? Were you fooled by the voiceless velar fricative as well? There's no shame in it.

Och! "Fool me once, phlegm on you; fool me twice, phlegm on me," as our Scottish cousins say. "Exclamatory noises falling frequently outside the normal phonetic repertoire of a language," being a staple north of the border as well as I recall.


Prodnose: I agree. I always agrees with you usually.

Myself: I never believes horoscopes, but I never doubts you.

Prodnose: You know I always say to ask you first, but he just don't.

Myself: Forget it for the minute. Mam won't mind, and I always forgives you.

Prodnose: Trouble is I means well but I puts my foot in it.

Myself: I'll tell him where he gets off.

Prodnose: Tell you what, I reckon that’ll do. I notice you got a new car. I notices things like that.
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