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Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently

leeneia 30 Jul 20 - 05:18 PM
Jos 30 Jul 20 - 05:33 PM
Jack Campin 30 Jul 20 - 06:57 PM
Helen 30 Jul 20 - 07:32 PM
allanwill 30 Jul 20 - 10:31 PM
Helen 30 Jul 20 - 11:23 PM
GUEST 31 Jul 20 - 01:08 AM
Helen 31 Jul 20 - 01:30 AM
Allan Conn 31 Jul 20 - 02:05 AM
Howard Jones 31 Jul 20 - 09:28 AM
GUEST,Mark Bluemel 31 Jul 20 - 09:32 AM
Jos 31 Jul 20 - 09:47 AM
leeneia 31 Jul 20 - 10:46 AM
Dave Hanson 31 Jul 20 - 10:48 AM
leeneia 31 Jul 20 - 11:09 AM
Jos 31 Jul 20 - 11:24 AM
Thompson 31 Jul 20 - 01:46 PM
Jos 31 Jul 20 - 02:20 PM
Howard Jones 31 Jul 20 - 02:26 PM
Jack Campin 31 Jul 20 - 07:05 PM
Thompson 31 Jul 20 - 07:08 PM
leeneia 31 Jul 20 - 08:12 PM
rich-joy 31 Jul 20 - 08:45 PM
rich-joy 31 Jul 20 - 08:54 PM
Mysha 31 Jul 20 - 09:45 PM
Jos 01 Aug 20 - 01:40 AM
leeneia 01 Aug 20 - 10:26 AM
Mysha 01 Aug 20 - 07:32 PM
leeneia 01 Aug 20 - 08:43 PM
leeneia 02 Aug 20 - 03:38 PM
leeneia 02 Aug 20 - 03:58 PM
Richard Mellish 02 Aug 20 - 04:08 PM
Jos 02 Aug 20 - 04:29 PM
Jack Campin 03 Aug 20 - 01:05 AM
Allan Conn 03 Aug 20 - 03:52 AM
GUEST,Mark 04 Aug 20 - 04:40 AM
GUEST,henryp 04 Aug 20 - 06:00 AM
GUEST,henryp 04 Aug 20 - 06:21 AM
Penny S. 04 Aug 20 - 06:25 AM
Jack Campin 04 Aug 20 - 10:21 AM
GUEST,Mark 04 Aug 20 - 10:51 AM
leeneia 05 Aug 20 - 01:12 AM
BobL 05 Aug 20 - 03:41 AM
GUEST,Mark 05 Aug 20 - 04:34 AM
leeneia 05 Aug 20 - 12:17 PM
leeneia 06 Aug 20 - 12:43 PM
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Subject: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: leeneia
Date: 30 Jul 20 - 05:18 PM

Years ago, I found a few novels about Detective Inspector George Gently in the public library, and I liked them. I asked the library to buy more, but was told the books were out of print, so no soap. But in 2003, public television dramatized some Gently novels, and interest was reborn. I was able to buy some paperbacks, and in one of them 'Gently by the Shore,' (1956) Gently is sent to a seaside town, Starmouth, which I believe is on the eastern coast -- pier, hotels, beaches, dialect and all. Here are some terms:

Have you ever seen a ship being chandled?

...backed with marram hills...

He produced a florin...

[To an American like me, the old British money seems to have a long list of coins. Farthing, shilling, penny, crown, pound, guinea, and now a florin. Which is which?]

"And where do you live?"
"Seventeen Kittle Witches' Grid, sir."

[What's a kittle, and what's it like to live in a grid?]

"He was about middling size, and he'd got a long, straight conk."

...crumbled some roll into his Brown Windsor.

"Somebody's boobed, Dutt." (Dutt is Gently's sergeant.)

In the centre rotted a part-buried Anderson shelter.

[from a Scottish sea captain] "Had I kent then whit I ken noo, it'd been into the dorck wi' him.
==============
That's about half of them. Explanations, comments, memories welcome. But for heaven's sake, don't quote that tired old saying about being separated by a common language.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: Jos
Date: 30 Jul 20 - 05:33 PM

I assume that marram hills are sand dunes, covered in marram grass.

Four farthings in a penny, twelve pennies in a shilling, five shillings in a crown, four crowns (twenty shillings) in a pound, twenty-one shillings in a guinea. A florin was what we were supposed to call a 'two shilling piece', but most people didn't. There was also a half-crown, written 2/6 (two shillings and sixpence).

His conk is his nose.

Brown Windsor is a type of soup.

'boobed' is 'made a mistake', 'messed up'.

Anderson shelters were small bomb shelters constructed in people's gardens.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Jul 20 - 06:57 PM

A chandler is a dealer in maritime supplies. The idea of "chandle" as a regular verb is whimsy.

"Dorck" is odd - must mean "dock" but no Scots dialect would modify the word that way.

Anderson shelters had a standard design, a hutch of corrugated iron which during the war was piled over with turf. Many of them survive - there must be dozens in my village alone - they make useful garden sheds. There must be websites and Facebook groups about them.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: Helen
Date: 30 Jul 20 - 07:32 PM

"Have you ever seen a ship being chandled?"

I've never seen the word "chandled" but having watched the Inspector George Gently series I suspect that Gently was being cleverly funny because he tends to use wry humour. Also, I think the word "chandler" originally derived from "candle maker" and a ship's chandler would supply all sorts of supplies and equipment for people on ships including candles in the old times.

"He produced a florin..."

We used to have two shilling coins in pre-decimal currency Australia and older Aussies sometimes called them a florin.

"And where do you live?"
"Seventeen Kittle Witches' Grid, sir."

I'm wondering whether kittle might mean kettle, similar to the big pot used in the scene in Macbeth, "Double, double, toil and trouble..." etc. I suspect Grid might be a term for a set of streets in a grid pattern. Maybe?

"He was about middling size, and he'd got a long, straight conk."

Middling = average. Not big, not small but in the middle. A Brit reply to being asked how you are is "fair to middling", meaning good to ok/average.

[from a Scottish sea captain] "Had I kent then whit I ken noo, it'd been into the dorck wi' him.

I haven't heard or seen the past tense "kent" of "ken" (know) but it makes sense to me.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: allanwill
Date: 30 Jul 20 - 10:31 PM

When Melbourne was first developed back in 1835, the streets were laid out by surveyor Robert Hoddle and was known as the Hoddle grid.

Allan


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: Helen
Date: 30 Jul 20 - 11:23 PM

Thanks Allan. I didn't know that.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 01:08 AM

If I had known then what I know now I would have been into the (dock? possibly) with him.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: Helen
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 01:30 AM

or "..it would have been into the dock with him" - maybe


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: Allan Conn
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 02:05 AM

The word "kent" as the past tense for "ken" is common everyday usage here in the Scottish Borders. In fact throughout much of lowland Scotland I'd imagine.

http://britannia.org/scotland/scotsdictionary/k.shtml#:~:text=inevitably%20recycled%20as%20the%20reductive%20and%20degrading%20p


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: Howard Jones
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 09:28 AM

Seventeen Kittle Witches' Grid" sounds bizarre to this Englishman. However there are some strange place names.

The list of pre-decimal coins misses out the halfpenny (pronounced "hayp'ny" and the threepenny bit (pronounced "throop'ny" or thrup'ny" according to location and class), which was a 12-sided brass coin. There was also the sixpence, known as a "tanner". A shilling was a "bob", and a florin (2/-) was more usually known as a "two-bob-bit". Crown coins stopped being issued in 1965 - I don't recall seeing one in circulation, but that would have been a large sum for me at the time. Half-a-crown (2/6) was also known as "half a dollar" or "two and a tanner". A pound is a "quid", and this has survived the change from notes to coins (when the pound coin was introduced there was a suggestion it should be known as the "Maggie", after Margaret Thatcher, because "it's hard, brassy and thinks it's a sovereign", but it didn't catch on).

Even in my early years at primary school we were expected to be able to add up columns of pounds, shillings and pence (including halfpennies and farthings), allowing for 12 pence to the shilling and 20 shillings to the pound, all without calculators. Of course, when out shopping we had to do it in our heads. And yet we were still confused when we went decimal!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: GUEST,Mark Bluemel
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 09:32 AM

From Good Omens :
"Notes for young people and Americans on the workings of the original British Monetary system.

One shilling = 5p

Two farthings = One Ha’penny. Two Ha’pennies = One Penny. Three Pennies = One Thrupenny Bit. Two Thrupences = A Sixpence. Two Sixpences = One Shilling or Bob. Two Bob = A Florin. One Florin and One Sixpence = Half a Crown. Four Half Crowns = Ten Bob Note. Two Ten Bob Notes = One Pound (or 240 pennies). One Pound and One Shilling = One Guinea.

The British resisted decimalised currency for a long time because they thought it was too complicated."


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: Jos
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 09:47 AM

They still issue what they call 'crowns' to commemorate things. They used to cost five shillings, and then 25 pence after decimalisation, but they suddenly went up to £5 in 1990 when one was issued for the Queen Mother's 90th birthday.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: leeneia
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 10:46 AM

Since y'all weren't any help with 'dorck,' I tried to research it. Google was sure I meant 'dork,' but I persisted and wound up at definitions for 'thurrock,':

Noun
thurrock (plural thurrocks)

(nautical, obsolete) The hold of a ship; also, the bilge.

The Middle Dutch equivalent to this is 'dorck' exactly. So apparently the Scottish skipper wished he had thrown his mysterious passenger into the bilge water. And here I was thinking that 'dorck' was a variant of 'drink', and the skipper wished he had thrown him overboard.
=======
I didn't know marram was a kind of grass. It's a remarkable plant, growing on infertile sand with doesn't hold water.
============
Time for some more quotations.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 10:48 AM

In the UK we used to have a coin, a half farthing.


Dave H


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: leeneia
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 11:09 AM

Oops. I meant "sand WHICH doesn't hold water."
==========
More quotations:
"Special is looking into it, sir. I have the a p.p. as good as I could remember."

"What did they say?" asked Gently, shoving him a charitable sandwich.

[This is a literary device I recognize from P.G. Wodehouse, namely imposing the mood of a person onto an inanimate object. I am reminded of Bertie Wooster, eating an egg and 'pronging a moody forkful.' Later Bertie might smoke a wistful cigarette.]

"Something will turn up...It's the bright day that brings forth the adder."

[An adder, of course, is a venomous snake, but what does this proverb mean?]

The pier...home of Poppa Pickles' Pierrots

...a miniature Bass Rock fashioned out of canvas and papier mache...

a man is working on a stalled car. "The Jenny! Stuck away at the bottom till it's nearly dragging on the ground."

[generator seems likely for Jenny, but who puts the generator on the bottom of the car?]

"Up that little loke. There's only one house up there."

Under the sink stood a rusty distemper-tin containing refuse.
[To me, distemper is a disease in dogs.]


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: Jos
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 11:24 AM

Distemper is a kind of paint that would be used for interior walls.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: Thompson
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 01:46 PM

Wiktionary is a great help for words like kittle.
Pronunciations: there was also thrippence (threepence) and fippence (five pence).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: Jos
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 02:20 PM

I don't remember ever hearing fippence, and I didn't often hear thrippence. There was tuppence, then thruppence or threppence, and then on from fourpence to elevenpence - and the 'e' in -pence was hardly pronounced, just fourp'nce, sixp'nce, etc.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: Howard Jones
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 02:26 PM

"It is the bright day that brings forth the adder
And that craves wary walking. Crown him that,
And then I grant we put a sting in him
That at his will he may do danger with."

This is a quote from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, where Brutus is talking about the dangers of allowing Caesar to become king.

Bass Rock is a prominent island in the Firth of Forth, off the coast os Scotland.

A loke is Norfolk dialect for a lane.

Pierrots were groups of entertainers who performed on seaside piers. They wore costumes based on the Pierrot clown character.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: Jack Campin
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 07:05 PM

The Bass Rock is home to millions of seabirds. It's almost white with millennia of birdshit.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: Thompson
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 07:08 PM

Thrippence and fippence, I'll grant you, were old-fashioned when I was young, said mostly by the people who'd pronounce basic bassic, and refer to learning Latin in their schooldays from a primer, pronounced primmer.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: leeneia
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 08:12 PM

I get it. The distemper tin was a paint can. Thanks for the other definitions.

Since y'all told me about your money (obsolete though it may be), I've decided to tell you about mine.

One dollar contains 100 cents, but when talking about a single cent, we usually call it a penny.

      Look out! the baby is trying to swallow a penny!
      I can remember when a Hersey bar cost five cents.

There is a special expression, "one red cent" which is only used in negative situations.

      Do not expect to inherit one red cent of my fortune.

A nickel is 5 cents. One of my favorite coins is the beautiful old Indian-head nickel, with a buffalo on the back.
A dime is 10 cents. A nickel is bigger than a dime.
Then we have the quarter, worth 25 cents.
Fifty-cent pieces occur once in a while, but not often.

Bills come in 1,2,50 (rare) 100 and after that, I don't know.
Two-dollar bills are common on race tracks, where the basic bet is $2. Once in a while a two-dollar bill shows up in commerce. Note the expression "As phony as a three-dollar bill."
==========
Thompson, when I worked in the library, primers for young readers were pronounced primmer. Primer with a long i is a first coat of paint.
==========
All this time I thought the Pierrots would be puppets in black and white costumes.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: rich-joy
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 08:45 PM

Back to "seventeen kittle witches" - I immediately thought of a "kittle hoosie" (a scottish brothel), but apparently it's also an archaic word for "difficult to deal with; prone to erratic behaviour" ........


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: rich-joy
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 08:54 PM

Oh, and "conk" has a few meanings of course, but I think here it refers to the British (and older Aussie) one of "slang for nose".

"He was about middling size, and he'd got a long, straight conk."


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: Mysha
Date: 31 Jul 20 - 09:45 PM

Leeneia, it appears there are now also Gentle ebooks. It may be this allows to extend your collection even further. Still, it may be just the originals matching the TV-series episodes, which would mean they miss something like half the stories.

The stories seem to play in Norfolk, but I don't know whether Gentle's station is further inland. Maybe some of the stories give more information on that. If it's not on the coast, you'd expect Starmouth to be (Great) Yarmouth. Before the place was auto-demolished, by it's own authorities, the inner city of Great Yarmouth didn't have real street names; the rows were still named by the "what people say to refer to them" system. I can of think of different ways to read the name "Kittle Witches", but the important part in a mock-Yarmouth is probably that it's the current nickname for a row in the old centre.

BFN
Mysha


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: Jos
Date: 01 Aug 20 - 01:40 AM

To go back to the British coins, two and a half pence, pronounced tupp'nce hayp'ny, gives us an adjective - pronounced tupp'ny-hayp'ny - meaning something of very little value.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: leeneia
Date: 01 Aug 20 - 10:26 AM

Hello, Mysha. Yes, I get a catalog from an outfit called Acorn, and they sell the Gently episodes in digital form. However, one the things I like best about the books is the author's beautiful descriptions of natural settings, and I don't suppose television preserves those.

Not that Inspector Gently always worked in England. He had cases in Scotland and in France, for example.
==========
I find TV programs based on books pretty disappointing, usually. I dipped into some Jeeves and Wooster and found I couldn't understand the actors and I couldn't even tell which was which. It's obvious from the books that Jeeves, the uncle Bertie needed but never had, is 20, even 30 years older than Bertie. Heaven knows what they did with all the jokes.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: Mysha
Date: 01 Aug 20 - 07:32 PM

Hm, something was lost in translation, apparently. I'll try a somewhat longer hand.


Leeneia, it appears that apart from the TV series being published as DVDs, there are now also Gently ebooks, actual books but read on Kindle or computer. You may need to navigate your way carefully to keep clear of the DVDs, but maybe this allows you to extend your collection of Gently reading material even further.

Of course, it may be the books they now publish are only those originals that match episodes of the TV series. That would mean they would miss out on something like half the stories: To wit the stories that don't have a TV counterpart. Still, it just might be that for once a book series is covered in all its glories.

Also, there may be information on the whole book series from fans etc.

I've now seen some information about the book playing in Starmouth. It's a different location from his standard location, if he has one, thus it seems quite likely that Starmouth is set in Yarmouth. [Romeo and Juliet]


I have mentioned in times past that I have some Wodehouse books. The general opinion was that these Dutch books might lack something of the original. But I've seen a bit of the Jeeves series (though I don't recall finishing even one episode), and I recall the same experiences you mentioned. Apparently it's not about whether or not it's translated; it's about the original as opposed to anything else.


Anyway: If you can find an overview of George Gently, maybe links to book sellers might lead you to other specimen.


Bye
Mysha


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: leeneia
Date: 01 Aug 20 - 08:43 PM

Yes, it's probably time to renew my search for Gently books.

I think Wodehouse might translate well to Dutch, which is a cousin to English, just so the translator is aware that there's more to the book than the plot. There are the wonderful sentences, which sometimes resemble a piece of intricate jewelry and sometimes carry a punch in their simplicity. ("Mud sticks.") Sometimes a long passage is actually a poem in rhyme. And sometimes there's a wonderful joke.

And who can forget characters such as Aunt Agatha, who eats broken bottles?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: leeneia
Date: 02 Aug 20 - 03:38 PM

Back to Gently. I found my unabridged dictionary and looked up "kittle."

verb: 1. to tickle 2. to perplex

adjective: runs the gamut from ticklish to dangerous. Mostly seems to mean "hard to get along with." Apparently the phrase "kittle cattle" was common. I like that.

"Kittle" comes from the Middle English and is labelled Scottish and dialect English.
===========
What about the jenny (car part) and the p.p.?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: leeneia
Date: 02 Aug 20 - 03:58 PM

Time for the third and final installment:

The tumpy wilderness which had been a lawn...

We arrested all the dips and shysters who come up for the races.

Saw him wiv me own mince pies!

He catched you a right fourpenny one and hooked it.

...leaving Peachey to waste his sweetness on the East Coast air..
[This is perfectly clear. I include it because it tells us where Starmouth is.]

...that transmitter under a ruined pill-box down on the South Shore.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 02 Aug 20 - 04:08 PM

A tump is a mound.

I'm not sure about "dip" but I surmise a pickpocket.

A shyster is a dodgy character likely to be looking for victims to defraud.

Mince pies - rhyming slang for eyes.

Fourpenny one - a punch or wallop: I don't know the origin.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: Jos
Date: 02 Aug 20 - 04:29 PM

Pillboxes were concrete constructions, built on the English south coast during World War II as defences against a possible invasion from Germany. They were often hexagonal or circular, and had openings through which rifles or machine guns could be fired.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Aug 20 - 01:05 AM

Pillboxes were all over the UK. There are lots of them on the islands in the Forth to defend the bridge.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: Allan Conn
Date: 03 Aug 20 - 03:52 AM

There were pillboxes built at strategic points throughout the UK. There is one on the north side of Rennie's Bridge here in Kelso.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: GUEST,Mark
Date: 04 Aug 20 - 04:40 AM

"hooked it" from "sling one's hook" - to move away
The web tells me the derivation is obscure -
"There are at least two theories. One equates hook with a ship’s anchor, so that to sling one’s hook was to raise the anchor and sail away. The other says the hook is one on which a miner would hang his day clothes. When he finished his shift down the pit, he would change, collect his possessions from his hook, and leave. The second of these sounds much less convincing than the first, but the essential early evidence isn’t there to decide between them." (from
here)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 04 Aug 20 - 06:00 AM

A pretty kittle of fish. A pretty muddle, a bad job. Corruption of “kiddle of fish.” A kiddle is a basket set in the opening of a weir for catching fish. Perhaps the Welsh hidl or hidyl, a strainer. (See Kettle.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 04 Aug 20 - 06:21 AM

Phrase Finder Posted by Dennis on March 10, 2006

Sling your hook

There seems to be confusion and misunderstanding about this phrase, so I thought I'd clear it up. I know because I've lived in Liverpool and met and drank with many old dockers whose fathers and grandfathers were all dockers and who were a mine of useful information like this.

It is a dockers phrase from the industrial revolution in the early 1800s in places like East London, Liverpool and Portsmouth. Much of the trade coming into these ports were in bales, especially bales of cotton and wool (Britain made 80% of the worlds cloth at the time). It was common practice for Dockers to have hooks in which they would impale the bales in order to make them easier to carry. Work was given out daily on an ad hoc basis depending on how many ships were in port and what cargo they were carrying. Queues of dockers would form, and when all the days jobs were allocated, the remaining dockers were told to 'Sling your Hook', or 'Sling yer 'ook', as in 'Throw away your hook or put it over your shoulder and leave, there's no work for you today'.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: Penny S.
Date: 04 Aug 20 - 06:25 AM

I have been told that the hook was the tool uaed by dockers in handling goods on the quay, and the slinging of it was when a docker who had not been employed that day hung it over his shoulder and went off to a day without work. I was told by a Londoner who was living in my place, and was wont at times to tell me to depart her presence.

Docker's Hook

It seems there is a market in the things!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: Jack Campin
Date: 04 Aug 20 - 10:21 AM

I've worked with cargo hooks and baghooks. They're small enough and pointy enough that you wouldn't want to sling one over your shoulder.

I wonder if it could have been something used by vagrants to carry their bundle?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: GUEST,Mark
Date: 04 Aug 20 - 10:51 AM

As far as I can see, there's no clear derivation for the term "Sling one's hook", so I hereby declare it was derived from telling someone to go fishing...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: leeneia
Date: 05 Aug 20 - 01:12 AM

I like the explanation that "sling your hook" has to do with dockworkers. Jack points out that the hook was very sharp, but it would be easy to fashion a canvas or leather pouch to keep it in.

The jenny as a carpart and the p.p. remain mysteries.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: BobL
Date: 05 Aug 20 - 03:41 AM

"Jenny" as generator is a possibility: the dynamo/alternator is usually readily accessible since adjusting the drive belt is part of routine maintenance, but I've known it to be fitted low down (and only adjustable with the car on ramps). Are we told the model of car involved?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: GUEST,Mark
Date: 05 Aug 20 - 04:34 AM

I'd be amazed if "Jenny" didn't refer to generator. Note that the stories are set in the 1960, which may be relevant both to the slang used and the details of car construction.

Regarding "Special is looking into it, sir. I have the a p.p. as good as I could remember.", I'd presume that "Special" refers to Special Branch and would suspect that it was an abbreviation relevant to that context. The Metropolitan Police glossary tells me that APP can mean "application" or "Authorised Professional Practice" - would either of those fit?

BTW "As phony as a three-dollar bill." could be expressed in UK English, by those of a certain age and certainly in the 1960s, as "bent as a nine-bob note".


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: leeneia
Date: 05 Aug 20 - 12:17 PM

Thanks, Mark and Bob. That finishes up this list of linguistic curiosities.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently
From: leeneia
Date: 06 Aug 20 - 12:43 PM

I thought I was done here, but now I'm of a mind to share a small, true story.

In 'Scottish Decision,' Gently finds himself on a team with a snarky, slim, yellow-haired member of Military Intelligence. Just to show you what the guy is like, they are trying to rescue a peacemaker who has been abducted, and the MI guy repeatedly sneers, "What's-his-name is dead meat." I think I encountered one of his co-workers in 2017.

That day in 2017 I found myself toddling along a London street right where MI had its HQ. I had my Rollator to help with walking, and to keep out of the way, I was as far to the left as I could get, hugging a stone wall. Suddenly a male figure swept up from behind me, walking too fast and coming too close, breaking into my personal space, and not being careful of me as an old person. Just the sort of behavior one would expect from the MI guy in 'Scottish Decision.'

After the rude person got ahead of me, I saw he was slim, with a silhouette made famous by Sloane Square, with kinky red hair poking out from a fashionable hat. I regarded him with disfavor, also thinking, "I bet you don't know that you look like Clem Kadiddlehopper from behind."

Apparently his government-issued Hostility Detector went off, because suddenly he spun around to face my way and started to scan the environment, his eyes sweeping up high, then to the right and to the left, checking the street, checking the trees behind the stone wall - checking everything, in fact, but the little old lady with the walker, with whom he made no eye contact. Because obviously she was of no importance whatever. Failing to detect a threat, he turned around and resumed his stride.

Little did he suspect.


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