"What's the giddas?" & Bristol

Posted by James@briggs13.fsnet.co.uk on October 27, 2001

In Reply to: "What's the giddas?" posted by Patty O'Dawes on October 27, 2001

: : : When I was growing up in Des Moines, this was a popular phrase among us kids. It something you say when you join a group of people and want to know what going on and that you want to get in on it. I have no idea of the spelling. I have never heard this anywhere since.
: : : Some of us, my self included, also put that extra "r" in words like warshing machine and George Warshington. What's up with that?

: : For "giddas" you might try the Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE) site (link below and URL here):
: : polyglot.lss.wisc.edu/ dare/dare.html

: : From one regional variety of spoken English to another, R's appear and vanish like anything. My father came from (rural) Iowa, and he didn't say "warsh."

: R's feature strongly in English regional language differences too. The 'hard' and 'soft' R is spoken in the north and the south respectively. In the south people have 'barths': in the north its 'bath', with the hard A as in man.

: Stranger still, near to the town of Bath there's Bristol. People there have the habit of adding L to the end of words. I've heard that the place used to be called Bristo, although I can't find any confirmation of that. They do call the stuff that is used to veneer kitchen worktops formichaeal though which is rather nice.

: Patty

In Anglo Saxon times 'Bristol' was 'Brigstow' - 'tha gathering place by the bridge'. Bristolians do indeed add an 'l' to the end of words which seem to end in a vowel - hence 'Brigstow' changed to 'Bristol' over the centuries. This habit can be quite confusing, since it leads to words like 'idea' turning to 'ideal' - the true Bristolians can't hear the difference and, after 35 years since moving to the town, neither can I! They tend to go on holiday to places like 'Palmal, Majorcal'.