Monday, 28 April 2014

Up homers

I used a phrase yesterday evening that I have not heard for a good many years.  For some reason it just slipped off my tongue; I didn't even have to think about it.  Before I knew what was happening, I had said it.

"Where do you think you are?  Up home or round our place?"

Meaning, that's a bit of a liberty you are taking.

The only person I have ever heard say that was my father.  That being the case, I had always assumed it to be "jack-speak", naval slang.  I have tried, just now, to trace the origin of the phrase but have come up with a complete blank on Google.  I can only think it is based on the phrase "up homers", another piece of naval lingo meaning home hospitality extended by a family to a sailor visiting a foreign port.  I recall my father mentioning going "up homers" in the Falkland Islands and in Australia.

As my father served in the Andrew (another "jack-speak" term meaning the Royal Navy) for over 20 years, many visitors to our house were fellow sailors so conversation in our home did tend towards the nautical.  I must stress nautical, not naughty.  I still get some odd looks if I tell somebody to "drop that and grab a scrubber", by which I simply mean stop playing around and do something useful. ("Scrubber" in this case is scrubbing brush, used to scrub the deck.)

Belay that! = Stop, I've changed my mind.
A run ashore = A trip out
Friday while = Long weekend leave
Go round the buoy = Do it again, have a second helping of food

All those and many, many more are the phrases of my childhood.


At this time of the year, the bluebells in the Great Wood, Stanmer, are magnificent.  Fortunately, they are English bluebells, not the Spanish variety that is intruding so much, so the scent is almost as good as the sight.  As every year, I have tried to capture the sight on camera but have failed to catch the je ne sais quoi that is really needed.  This is about the best from  last week.


joeh said...

So nice of someone to plant those pretty flowers in the woods.

Sarah said...

One of my favourite sights of the Spring - you cant beat a bluebell wood.

If it was a cloudy day and you spotted a patch of blue sky my Grandmother used to say, 'is it enough to make a sailor a pair of trousers?'

Skyline Spirit said...

pretty nice blog, following :)