Once upon a time, I used to work in America. I sat next to a guy who’d seen an endless parade of temporary British people come and go, and was pretty au fait with the language. He was also au fait with the language on account of it being his own. But we were basically on the same page about how sometimes one of us would say something that sounded odd to the other person, and it didn’t need to be a big deal. We’d dismiss it as a ‘flapjack’ and move on.
Flapjacks were referred to as ‘flapjacks’ because flapjacks are flapjacks in the (correct) UK and pancakes in the (incorrect, but I guess I have to pretend to be tolerant for the benefit of this) US. Fun fact: Did you know if you type and/or say the word ‘flapjacks’ enough times it stops looking like a word? It also starts to turn into ‘fapjacks’ very quickly, which I’m sure (or I hope) would be something else entirely.
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is, I had a ‘flapjack’ situation today. In my own country.
Cornwall has its own language. It’s on the street signs, so you know it’s a thing. It’s called Kerneweck, and I have had to forcibly stop myself from buying phrasebooks at least nine times since I moved to Falmouth. Not that it’s bad to learn languages, it’s just that if learned – and subsequently busted out – some Kerneweck, I’m pretty sure only about two people would understand me. And the chances of those two people being the two people I was coincidentally wanting to speak to would probably be pretty low because of, like, probability and stuff. Plus, I really haven’t got a handle on the accent yet so it’d sound a lot like the time I made a very poor attempt at GCSE French all over again.
So, in light of the Cornish language being a thing, I probably shouldn’t have been surprised when somebody used the word ‘teasy’ in conversation. As in, “If we don’t do this, so-and-so will start getting teasy.”
I said “what?”, like a person would when confronted with a word they didn’t know. Or, at least, a rude person would say ‘what?’. I suppose one could argue that a polite person might say pardon. But I am not polite and we need to just be cool about it.
Nobody in the vicinity could believe I hadn’t heard the word ‘teasy’ before. After all, it was in everyday use. Or was it? A quick Google revealed – to everybody’s surprise but mine – that ‘teasy’ is all Cornwall.
And that is the tale of how I won the least important debate anybody has ever had. Also, Cornish flapjacks are a thing. And should also be a thing in actual food because I am prepared to bet they’d be lifechanging.