Monday, 16 February 2009

It's all in the mind

I sometimes manage to confuse people completely by using terms that seem to them to be utter gibberish. Like saying somebody's adrift when they are late. I normally use expressions like this without thinking about it; they are just something I grew up with as my father served in the Navy for more than twenty years. In our house, the floor was always called the deck and the ceiling, the bulkhead. When my father changed his mind after having given an instruction or some information, he would say, ‘Belay that', meaning ‘Hold it, I've changed my mind. I'll have coffee instead of tea.' Small change was ‘ackers'. Somebody who was not wanted around would be told to ‘sling your hook.' If my brother and I were fooling around when we should have been doing something useful, we would be told, ‘Drop that and grab a scrubber.' Now it really gets people wondering when I say that!


Uncle Skip, said...

Uh oh!
All but "ackers" are quite familiar. If memory serves, there are a number of other terms which are not repeated in polite company?

Brighton Pensioner said...

Apparently, ackers is 'Naval slang name for any foreign currency. The word comes from Egypt, where beggars use it when pleading for baksheesh (Piastres)'.