Can I say a word about… how the Vikings changed the English language forever | Jonathan Bouquet
I I was delighted to receive the following letter from Jonathan Hauxwell from North Yorkshire about my latest column, which included a reference to the Great British Dialect Hunt. “I discovered some new words (for me) on the streets of Hartlepool in the 1950s…only they weren’t new. They were terms spoken since Viking languages brought them to the North East more than a thousand years ago. Words such as rive, meaning to shoot; femmer – thin or frail; ket – detritus (plural meant candy!) The one that sealed the bond came as I watched the dog from a Danish friend scratching furiously. I used a word from my childhood dialect and said it must be ‘loppy’. Loppe is the Danish word for flea. Excellent general, Mr Hauxwell, for which I thank you.
In recent columns, I have written that the British are becoming a nation of sleepwalkers, given the profuse number of newspaper headlines warning that we are “sleepwalking into…” (insert your own ending). In the not too distant past I have also written about catastrophic loops, so you can imagine my unmitigated delight when I read the following headline: “Work-shy Britain sleepwalks into a catastrophic spiral of class warfare and decline.” It was as if all my Christmases had arrived at the same time. I am happy to say that the article below was suitably apocalyptic, rich in “vortices of decline”, “farragos of broken promises” and the private sector succumbing to “the dead hand of woke capital”. I so love seeing a pen fully loaded with purple ink.
I’m starting to wonder what planet Michael Gove lives on. Defending Boris Johnson and his lockdown offences, he claimed: ‘But the idea of impeaching the Prime Minister over this, I think, is crazy. I suggest he stick to “comedy overtones” and ditch the malarkey of the currency.