“The society which has abolished every kind of adventure makes its own abolition the only possible adventure.” Paris, May 1968

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Greetings And Salutations.

Most people, when addressing someone who's name they do not know, will use a term of endearment - mate, love, dear, chum, depending on, amongst other things, what part of the country they come from. Back in the day when we had a Merchant Navy it was common for men to address each other as "chief". I am now of an age when I sometimes get called "guv". I quite like it. I have noticed however that the middle-class, I suppose in an effort to differentiate themselves from the working, or feral under as we now say, class, have taken to addressing people as "there". "Hello there", they chirp. I don't know how this originated but it may possibly be an aping of the upper-class, "I say, you there." Anyone getting a PhD out of this owes me a pint.


woodsy said...

I was recently on a train travelling up to Manchester. My ticket was checked by a middle-aged northern ticket collector who handed it back to me with a cheery, "Thanks duck!".

It's not very often fifty-something blokes like me get called by that salutation; it made my day.

Gitane said...

Whatever happened to "cock"; as in allright cock? "Ma" was a name we gave to respected older women, "Sis" to all of our female neighbours and "my sort" for a girlfriend, "Dutch" or "Duch" when we were married (or not). Mates and kids were "chavs", knives were "chivs" and guns were "artillery" etc. This was w12 London around 1958-1968. All authority , landlords and gangsters were "filth" the first association of authority was the police so the name stuck to them rather than other obvious agents of exploitation. And then they knocked our house down and "evicted" us to council estates all over west london. Goodbye Ma, they ended up in East Acton and White City estate. Like our lingo ... Gone.

Anonymous said...

My new dentist, a South London lady without a trace of a West Country accent, addressed me twice in 30 minutes as "my lovely". I am charmed to bits.