Cross-Cultural Potty-Mouthing 101

In conversation the other day, Alec described how one of his colleagues’ favourite jokes was to gradually wind him up by piling on more and more stressful tasks and demands until he’d finally lose it and let fly with a flurry of curses. For some strange visceral reason (given that his Irish accent is mostly so Anglicized that I can actually understand most of what he says these days), this swearing would occur in his broadest Irish brogue.

A phrase that featured often in these outbursts is one I wasn’t previously familiar with, but must now share with everyone. “I will a’me bollocks!” is apparently short for “I will, in my bollocks!” which is apparently short for “No, I won’t do this thing you are asking me to do!”

Such elegance and charm, these Irish colloquialisms. I think Alec will pick up Singlish/Hokkien more easily than I first expected.

(While searching the Talking Cock dictionary for the above definitions, I came across this glorious expression which I must confess to having never heard before. Am I just hanging out with the wrong people?)


  1. I must be hanging with the “wrong” crowd too because i have NEVER EVER heard of that term.

  2. Hello Michelle. Just want to confirm that you are the Michelle from Jitterbugs, yes? Anyway, I’ve left the URL of my blog so you can have a look at it if you want. Cheers!

  3. Slight correction

    “I will in me bollix” : No, I won’t!

    “Ya will in your bollix” : I doubt the sincerity of your stated intentions

    or, No, you won’t!

  4. Seventy years ago, 1934 – a year which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by Donald Duck of the Empire of Walt Disney.

    Upon the creation of Donald Duck, despite other character creations by Walt Disney, it was known then that if the Disney Empire, and its characters, last for a thousand years, men will still say, this was our finest hour.

    For more of Donald Duck’s cartoons made it into theatres than the more famous Mickey Mouse. If ever there was an Idol, this was it.

    Since then, we have seen what other characters such as Shrek and Monsters have done to the world. We have made the acquaintance of the Pixar Paradise on Earth. The President of Pixar ought finally to understand – I say this only because of his limited intellect – that we know that the aim of his struggle is to destroy one famous Disney character after another.

    We must advance to rescue not only Europe, but mankind from the foulest and most soul-destroying tyranny which has ever darkened and stained the pages of history.

    Unchain the duck I say, and let him be free once again to grace our screens.

    Behind the armies and fleets of Disney – gather a group of shattered characters and bludgeoned film reels: Pluto, Goofy, Chip & Dale, Fantasia – upon all of whom the long night of barbarism will descend, unbroken even by a star of hope, unless we conquer, as conquer we must; as conquer we shall.

    And so let freedom ring – from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring – from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colarado.

    You ask, what is our policy? I can say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.

    So let us therefore brace ourselves to our duty. Ask not what Donald Duck can do for you, but what you can do for freeing Donald Duck back onto our cinema screens.




    *In case the more perseptive of you are after references… Sir Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King Junior, J.F.K., Hitler and FDR.

  5. It’s been a tough fight against the Viagra spammers but congratulations, Mark, you win the prize for most random comment EVER on this blog.

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