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  1. #1
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    London's colourful slang on the rise

    Sitting on the floor of a rehearsal room in east London in leggings, T-shirts and headbands, a group of teenage dancers laughed about how quickly their language changes, rattling off "old" words still unfamiliar to many older English speakers.

    "Safe" meaning good, "boomting" or "chungting" meaning good-looking, and "a lie!" as an exclamation of agreement were all deemed to have "died down".

    "That was before. What else was there? Moist?" asked 19-year-old Tafote Akerejola.

    "No I never used that one! That one annoyed me!" said Adanna Lawrence, 16, explaining that "Moist meant you're dry. Like you're dead up, you're nothing."

    "Then that moved on to wet," added Akerejola. "But I wouldn't say someone who is boring is moist or wet cos I have my own slang. You personalise it as well."

    The language used by the members of the East London Youth Dance Company, whose ages range from 14 to 19, is an example of what has been termed "Multicultural London English" (MLE) by academics -- a way of speaking born from the melting pot of immigrant communities in the capital and spreading rapidly throughout Britain.

    Though it emerged only in the last three decades, among young people the dialect has largely replaced the traditional London Cockney famed for its rhyming slang.

    It includes elements from sources as varied as the Caribbean, West Africa, Britain's grime hiphop movement and the ex-colonial English of Pakistan.

    Words are often used to mean the opposite of their traditional meaning, with "sick", "bad" and "wicked" all meaning good, according to the teenagers.

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    "Multicultural London English" includes elements from sources as varied as the Caribbean,
    To address friends they say "fam", a short version of "family", and pepper their sentences with "like", drawing out the vowel to sound like an "a".

    MLE is distinct to other urban dialects around the world because it is impossible to know the ethnic background of speakers by their accents alone, according to academics.

    "The speakers of MLE are governed not by class or by race or by colour, but by age," said slang expert Jonathon Green.

    "People between about 15 and 30. They could be white, they could be black, they could be brown."

    - 'Everyone mixing together' -

    Experts say that the London lingo could indicate the way that other languages will evolve in the future.

    Linguists use the term "multiethnolects" to describe such tongues, which have also begun to emerge in other European countries like France and the Netherlands.

    MLE's dominance among all kinds of young Londoners may be due to mixed communities, an emphasis on multiculturalism over integration, and an attitude that English is elastic, according to Birkbeck, University of London professor Penelope Gardner-Chloros, who led a study comparing MLE to its counterpart "Multicultural Paris French".

    "In France there is a much bigger divide between second and third generation migrants and what you might call the 'long-term indigenous', and this is reflected in the language," Gardner-Chloros said.

    In contrast to France, where the French Academy decides the language's official vocabulary and rules, Britain's attitude to English is much more flexible.

    "English is a notoriously malleable, open, changable, variable, even welcoming language. It always has been," said Green.

    MLE has attracted some negative reporting in the British press, where it was dubbed "Jafaican" or fake-Jamaican when it was first noticed. It has also been seized on by right-wing groups as an example of the dangers of immigration.

    It didn't help when young Londoner Mohammed Emwazi or "Jihadi John" appeared in Islamic State group beheading videos, delivering threats to Britain and the United States in a distinct MLE accent.

    But some have turned the language to their advantage, even building careers from it like rapper Dizzee Rascal, who began his release "Pagans" with the line: "I don't speak queen's English but I'm still distinguished".

    Akerejola, the dancer, said she was proud of the language she said made her feel "we have our own thing, we're a family".

    "There are some slang words that come from Jamaica, some from Nigeria. It's everyone mixing together," Akerejola said.

    "We adapt. It's flavourful," she added. "It's a good thing."

    Sick, bad, wicked: London's colourful slang on the rise

  2. #2
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    Kind of like ebonics for retards.

  3. #3
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    Yawn. Are you channeling Blackheart? ^^
    Last edited by Cujo; 26-02-2016 at 03:31 PM.

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    ^^They make fun of our spelling, too. Sheesh!

  5. #5
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cujo View Post
    Are you channeling Blackheart?
    If that was @ me, I don't know what it means.

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat cyrille's Avatar
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    Maybe that pointless 'for retards' pot shot reminded him of someone.

  7. #7
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    Ha man, you must see dem hot Honkey hoes dat visit de brothers in de Borstal prison, in My Manor, dey wrap just like a nigger man.
    White tarts going to visit young scum in My local prison, arriving by train from London talk just like a modern black English Dick van Dyck
    Great Britain.

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat Black Heart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cujo View Post
    Are you channeling Blackheart?
    If that was @ me, I don't know what it means.
    Puppy-pounder does not know either.

    Carry on.


  9. #9
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    Geez chaps. The original post is so boring and irrelevant and who gives a fuck I thought hans mann may have been channeling blackheart because that's the sort of 'why would anyone bother posting that/find that interesting enough to think it worth sharing, that BH usually posts.

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat Black Heart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cujo View Post
    Geez chaps. The original post is so boring and irrelevant and who gives a fuck I thought hans mann may have been channeling blackheart because that's the sort of 'why would anyone bother posting that/find that interesting enough to think it worth sharing, that BH usually posts.
    Who's got more Century threads?


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cujo View Post
    Are you channeling Blackheart?
    If that was @ me, I don't know what it means.
    It wasn't. you posted between me hitting the post reply and submit buttons.

  12. #12
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    The devil made me do it, honest.

  13. #13
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    That article all seems very standard stuff to me, it's you fukers who talk silly, imho...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo View Post
    That article all seems very standard stuff to me, it's you fukers who talk silly, imho...
    A lie.

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    As in Thai "a lie na"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo View Post
    As in Thai "a lie na"?
    As in read the original post.

  17. #17
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
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    Back in 2006 I was banned from Thai-Visa because I was talking Aussy slang and fuking around.

    The Euro trash cried that they did not know what I was on about so the Filth Mods over there offed me.

    True story, best thing that ever happened.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cujo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo View Post
    As in Thai "a lie na"?
    As in read the original post.
    ? You're not sheriff on this thread deputy dog...

    Slang and language change has been the case since the year dot. Not much new in what these youngsters are saying; mostly the same as when I was growing up in London.

    Though it emerged only in the last three decades, among young people the dialect has largely replaced the traditional London Cockney famed for its rhyming slang.


    Obviously, this is hyperbole to get some research noticed. &, it's not a dialect either (or an accent as is also stated in the article)... Just a poorly written article, as one expects from YahooNews.

    Youth culture always produces new words which mostly phase out pretty quickly or remain peripheral such as Groovy (70s), LoadsaMoney (80s) and Ickle (90s).

    Nothing to see here, keep on moving...
    How do I post these pictures???

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cujo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo View Post
    As in Thai "a lie na"?
    As in read the original post.
    ? You're not sheriff on this thread deputy dog...
    Bloody am too.

    Anyway, from the OP.

    "Safe" meaning good, "boomting" or "chungting" meaning good-looking, and "a lie!" as an exclamation of agreement

  20. #20
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cujo View Post
    Geez chaps. The original post is so boring and irrelevant and who gives a fuck...
    Hmmm, you've made 6 out of 19 posts on the thread so far.....

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cujo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cujo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo View Post
    As in Thai "a lie na"?
    As in read the original post.
    ? You're not sheriff on this thread deputy dog...
    Bloody am too.

    Anyway, from the OP.

    "Safe" meaning good, "boomting" or "chungting" meaning good-looking, and "a lie!" as an exclamation of agreement
    Haha...

    Bastard; I'll get me hat and pull up me trousers on the way out...


  22. #22
    Neo
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    There are those that learn life through experience and those that learn life through reading about it.
    Typical student knobgobblers.



    * I did only read the first two paragraphs though, so I could be wrong.
    ** No offence intended to any TDers that were once student knobgobblers

  23. #23
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    ^ I bloodywell did too; three times, actually, but


  24. #24
    'ello 'ello 'ello Luigi's Avatar
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    termed "Multicultural London English" (MLE) by academics -- a way of speaking born from the melting pot of immigrant communities in the capital and spreading rapidly throughout Britain.
    I hope that Blue hasn't read this.

  25. #25
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    Enough with silly squabbling, gentlemen.

    We should celebrate the diversity of language in every form, instead of fetid centric attempts at sociological analogy.

    Everything has it's place.....



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