Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Oops! Ha, ha!

I seem to have started to say uuf! when something goes wrong. This is a difficult word to spell. It's not the same as pah! or oops! It's more like a phew!

Spanish cockerels go kiri kiri kiri. Obviously no Spaniard has ever heard a cockerel. If they had they would know that cockerels go cock a doodle doo. It's the same with the strange half words, half grunts that we, and they, use to express surprise, to explain away a small mishap to be sarcastic and the like.

PG Wodehouse knew that we Brits made specific noises under specific conditions. I remember the books emphasising HAH!! when the hapless hero was caught out by the stern and  haughty aunt long before his final salvation thanks to Lord Emsworth, the Port and Lemon or Jeeves. It is only in the last few days that I've caught on to the fact that Spaniards emit different non word sounds to us.

This explains why one of my colleagues often seems to dismiss most of my humorous comments as mere tomfoolery with a half mouthed, half nasally blown khah!

Up to now I'd thought it was because she thought I was a fathead.

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