Monday, September 05, 2011

It's my sheltered PE upbringing :)

We've just had a laugh in the office.

I read your comments on my previous post and noted that no-one knew the phrase nineteen to the dozen.

Of course I told the girls in the office and there was ... dead silence.

No-one here knew it either!

So then I said, "is this another PE thing?"

I'm from PE and we'd previously decided that the fact I don't eat pap is solely because I'm from PE.

I'd never even heard of it before I moved to Jhb.

Of course the last time we had this discussion I emailed my sister and asked her if she knew of pap.

She also said no but that the first time she saw it was in their canteen at work (she still lives and works in PE).

I've now googled and it turns out nineteen to the dozen is a UK idiom.

Here's the origin and here are two quick links to read more.

What are some weird things you say? 

(well, that other people have pointed out to you. I still find "oh my hat" a very funny thing that the Cape Town gals say :))


  1. I forgot to say that yes, i did know that saying - also 'talking the hind leg off a donkey' you must know that too?

    And I LOVE oh my hat - i say it often.

    And 'goodness gracious me' - my girls must get so sick of hearing that.

    Can't think of any others right now x but will come back to you if i do.

  2. Um I use it all the time - had no idea folks didn't know what I was talking about!!! I blame my mother and her stint in a very english boarding school at a very young age... and more I blame years of devouring Enid Blyton's as a kid. I may as well have attended Mallory Towers!!! Have a fabulous week!!!

  3. Not sure if my comment went trying again!

    We when moved to Jhb, from PE...we also had no clue what pap was :-) totally get it!

  4. I didn't know that saying either...and I am from PE too;-)

    I never ate pap...but when my DH makes it with sweetcorn and honey it is so yummy that I eat it too.

    Sayings: "Oh my word"! never realized how much I said that until my grandchildren started copying me:-)

  5. LOL....I LOVE saying Oh my HAT!

    I once used a phrase that you mentioned on your blog - I think you must have picked it up from one of the US blogs you read. Not sure if you remember saying something like...What in the SAM HILL...? They just laughed and laughed at me in the office and asked me if I think I'm from Texas or something.

    I did some research about the Pap thing in the office. The ladies (mostly coloured and white - no blacks) prefer eating pap as a porridge and not as an accompaniment to something savoury. When you eat it as a porridge it is creamier and there is no lumpiness. It is simply divine with butter and sugar and milk or even with milk and honey.
    If you eat it as an accompaniment to a savoury meal then it is crumbly and lumpy and tasteless (like cardboard). Apparently texture is EVERYTHING!

  6. When I'm talking about something on sale at the grocery store, I say it's "on special". I don't say that for things on sale with clothes or shoes, just the grocery store.

  7. Im from PE and had no idea what that phrase meant. I googled it. I know and love all 3 varieties of pap though. Grew up with it.

  8. Thanks for the link to the idiom. Interesting.
    Pap? Something my hubby who come from Cape Town, did also not know about. You're not the only one.
    I don't necessary talk idioms but I do say weird things like:
    "O gattepatata."
    "Jy kierankies weer met daai kos." The word "kierankies" original means that you are scolded with a blind whip but it is and was also used to say that you are not finishing your meal.

  9. LOL M, thanks for adding to it with the Afr sayings :)

  10. Love it...I thought you were nuts!

    I say "not for nothing" and I don't know why. It really makes me sound stupid.

  11. BTW, showed you my to-do list today...

  12. I've heard that saying, but never used it before myself. I'm guessing it means getting more than you bargained for?

    I'm not really sure what I say that people find odd, maybe you can tell me after you meet me?

    I've realised that I must say "look at that!" quite a lot though, because Nicola, whom I only talk Afrikaans to, says that a lot when she sees something cool.

  13. I think my 'accent' is pointed out more than any phrase I use. Of course in America you are sometimes happy just to be able to understand the person!

    Pap sounds totally disgusting! I've never heard of it but I have porridge.

    I so don't get 'oh my hat' :( My mind is now turning to think of things I say...

  14. I know it! I know it! My Mum has always said it and we are from rural South Island, New Zeland.
    On reading your other comments I laughed so hard, South Africans/Zimbabweans are renowned over here for ALWAYS saying 'Oh my word' and saying that something is 'of note' there are more, I'll get Glen to tell me his faves then come back and post them here.


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