As we traveled from Ireland to Scotland, England, Wales and back to the Emerald Isle, I took stock of local delicacies, sampling as many as possible:
Bangers and Mash, Irish Breakfast, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Tea Cakes at Harrods
Lots of things with ancient names, such as the drool-y Scottish whipped dessert, Cranachan, devised of whipped cream, fruit, oats and whiskey.
The Edinburgh celebration of Pork:
Despite making a cultural comeback, I left haggis hanging.
Haggis, Haggis, EVERYWHERE!!!
Also some universally mundane items wrapped in terms my Internal Irritation Drive obsesses over long after the fact.
To whit: The Chicken Goujon (goo-ZHON). Pronounced in Northern Irish (Gaelic for “Cuts Steel”) as “GEW-jdohn”.
Otherwise known as Chicken Fingers. Chicken Strips. Proving once and for all that the only word which properly describes long-cut bits of white-meat chicken--"strips"-- is the very one which makes it completely unappetizing. Is it hitting the pole for tips? Note to the NI delegates, Chicken Fingers is our contribution, so no prizes there...
I fully realise, and revel, in the plasticity and welcoming nature of English. My favorite number is 1066. Thus our language contains approximately 14,000 French-based words, which is why we have a word, Pig, for the squealy beast the lower-caste Saxons herded; and the word Pork (Porc), the culinary end product the upper-caste Normans delighted over. Lamb and Mutton (Mouton). Cow and Beef (Boeuf).
Tomato, Tomate; Lavender-Honey Ice Cream, Glace à lavande et---
So rich and flavorful on the page and on the plate, and yet, I find my quantum of tolerance for the cheesy- or provincial-sounding to be inversely limited. Again, the Atlantic scale remains balanced, I did live in the south-east for three years:
“Oh hunny, thows ain’t cawk-rowchis, thows'r just paaawl-meeh-tow buuuugs!”
Usually in a fit of pique, any two countries so closely related as America and the UK trade barbs over drawls and pretensions, but this one just--GAAAAHHH!!!--- flips my tick. So I clicked over to the Babelfish Translation website to find enlightenment, and reported to GingerMan.
Me: Ha! I went to Bablefish "Goujon". It means "stud"
GingerMan: Lol 'Chicken Stud' makes me think of a chicken dressed as The Fonz.
That’s Le Fonz to you, pal.
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