Talk to me

Image from here

I’m a magpie. A great stealer of shiny things. Not real things, but rather words and accents and patterns of speech. I love listening to the way people frame themselves in language. The country they were born in. The places they’ve travelled. The tics and habits of a personal collection of meaning. And I thieve. A word here, a phrase there. I can track the people and periods of my life through the day to day language I use. “No worries” and “possums” from years of living with Aussies in London, not to mention the year spent in the land down under. “Hello Cherubs” and “daddells” from Toots, a wonderful friend who has a lovely baroque turn of phrase in her endearments. “Tartion”, meaning ‘attention’, from my friend S, who used the term imperially with family members to demand a hug or a back-scratch. I call my mother “dwergie”* expressly because Tall Al started it. In my own family, when we’re a bit tipsy, we’re “smudged”, thanks to my genteel grandmother who saw life in soft focus. And the weird noise I make when indicating that I might have done something bad? That sounds something between “meh” and “quack”? Well, that’s pure Ricklet and his penchant for getting arrested.

Then there is the language that evolves between people who’ve known each other for a long, long time. So long, that it’s almost a dialect. Mum and I have “double standards”, which are all about doing one thing in public, but being allowed to do the absolutely opposite at home. Like licking your plate. Or swearing like a sailor. With M, it’s largely unspoken, but we do have strange words imbued with meaning, like “fridge” and “BEETLE”. And let’s not forget the interpretive dance moves, which have become a physical lexicon for silly memories filled with stomach busting laughter.

But my favourite moment in the fluidity of a life’s language is when a new relationship starts to develop its linguistic patterns and idiosyncrasies. When the word *bite* can conjure up whole afternoons. When saying “wood” is enough to initiate serious giggling. When just saying “you” can deliver more mush than a team of huskies. When the words become the private language of “us”.

Ja. So, LB just for the record: *you*.

*which is Afrikaans for dwarf. Well, she is short.

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13 thoughts on “Talk to me

  1. Rox says:

    I love all those little patterns and language things too – communication is such an incredible thing, and connecting with people in our lives through these little ways really strengthens our bonds.

  2. Ah, yes, we all have our little special phrases. Enjoy getting to where you have more with LB.

  3. Miss P says:

    The whispered refrains of love … indeed.

  4. daisyfae says:

    i prefer sign language. suggestive tongue gestures are a specialty…

  5. Dolce says:

    @ Rox > Secret codes are the best bits. When you can say stuff in a room that no one else understands. Love it…

    @ Silverstar > Ta 🙂

    @ Ms P > or shouted loudly…I’m not fussy 😀

    @ Dais > partial to a bit of hip morse code myself…mmmmm. :mrgreen:

  6. tenmiles says:

    you two……..(insert suitable clucks and noddings)

  7. nursemyra says:

    aw… ain’t young love sweet?

  8. kyknoord says:

    The way you bag cans has me bothered and hot.

  9. Dolce says:

    @ Tenmiles > can’t help myself. I is smit.

    @ Nurse M > We’re not that young…well, mine you, compared to your lot, we’re spring chicks 🙂

    @ Kyknoord > Yes dear. I bet you’re the type that gets over excited just holding hands?

  10. Daemoncoder says:

    This comment finally clicked and had me in stitches 🙂

    (The reason it only clicked now is that I’ve been devouring both Dolce’s and Kyk’s blogs since Kyk’s “Out and about” posting. Soooo many of Kyk’s previous posts have new meaning now…)

  11. Dolce says:

    @ Daemoncoder > I take it you’ve seen this

  12. Daemoncoder says:


    I hadn’t seen that yet (hilarious), but that explains the “bothered and hot” bit.
    I was initially referring to the bagging cans part, since that very obliquely refers to your Bravissimo post.

  13. Dolce says:

    @ Daemoncoder > Ah yes, indeed. With Monsieur Noord there are layers within layers within layers. And usually naughty.

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