a moo by any other name, would it sound as sweet?

August 3, 2007

I love the word moo. I can say it all day, I use it as a pet greeting for friends. If I need to get hold of my very close colleague in Cambridge I moo for him (via messages). I do the same to Scotty but he gets a more personal moo. I’m not sure if its cute or endearing, but its just me. I like being a tad odd, slightly kooky and moo seems to encapsulate that for me.

Which leads me to think, do all cows speak the same? I know I heard that cows have regional dialects. Do they speak different languages? I know f’rinstance different peoples call their animals by different names. Also it goes without saying that they also omnimatopise (god why did I even attempt that word) slightly differently as in this example from The University of Adelaide Those ausies are at the fore front of some cracking research there. Which also reminded me I was informed as a child that the french say “mooglerboogler” for cow moos. Maybe I was innocent and missinformed and glad to believe something so bizare and odd that its stuck with me. Although the Adelaide list is by no means exhaustive I see no mooglerbooglers there.

Hearing voices (no not mental ones) and dialects is something that always entertains me. Working for a multi national firm means I get a fair exposure to many many accents of English. As its my first and main language I enjoy hearing and disecting other peoples takes on a language that continues to evolve and change. I’m still learning and still find words I don’t know and enjoy finding clarification on pronunciation. Although its not the bee all and end all to know the right way I often pride myself in being able to speak the queens english and enjoying people say, where are you from? because they don’t know where my accent comes from. Although there is the exception to this. Recently I’ve found that Norfolk, where I’ve lived since I was 6 years old has taken hold in my voice. Its a strange dialect with almost a west country twang but more… mmmm yokel is not the word…. rounded cuddlyness. I adore listening to locals as I wend my way to work of a morning. I’ve even taken to the odd phrase like “my lover” which when thought back on is a tad cringe worthy. One of my favourite examples of using the local dialect is by someone I have as a friend in Flickr, Tim Caynes who blogs and has a canny way of writing in a norfolk accent. Some of his photos are subtitled by great snippets of norfolkisms.

One comment

  1. Ahh…the Norfolk accent. I lived in Norwich until I was 18 but never really spoke with a heavy accent. All the kids at school called me a ‘snob’ because of it!

    I still use lots of phrases though, like “that’ll lun (learn)em”, “cho”, “mind how yoo goo”.

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