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English into English

Did anyone else watch the briefly-lived sitcom Cafe American?

The story in the pilot episode is that the main female character is wooed by a French businessman into coming across to France by the offer of a job to translate "English into English". As he explains it, the ins and out of English and slang are too difficult for him to learn as quickly as he needs to, and she can correct his English in writing and speaking so that he can better communicate with the Americans he deals with.

This is all, of course, a lie in an effort to get her into bed, but that's irrelevant to the rest of this blog post.

See, every time I get a new posting and start chatting with the people there, the issue of "Strange Scottish Words" comes up. Like knackered and the like. Today, Karen and Ann were drilling me on "stushi". Rhymes with sushi, for those keeping track at home.

So, I spent a bit of time later in the day with another Scot, and was mentioning this to him.

"Stushi?" he said, looking confused. "What's that mean? I've never heard it before."

I sighed. I don't think Ann and Karen are pulling my leg, so it's obviously in use somewhere. It was just a reminder that slang words tends to run in circles and groups, rather than in countries. Gotta keep that in mind more often.

Oh, you're probably wondering what stushi means.

Well, at the risk of defining slang with more slang (which I tend to do, for some reason), someone being in a stushi can mean one of two things: they are either in a tizzy, or having a tiff.

English into English indeed.


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