Tuesday, August 18, 2009

More from the mouths of babes

So, I've been offline for a few days, Friday sick from school hence no Friday Foto this week, and the weekend layed up at home, more sick from the medicine I took than the allergies or whatever the heck was bothering me.

Anyway, I got back to school and was playing a word game with my third graders. Trying to come up with different terms using "Big" as an adjective...We went around the room once..."big hand", "big apple", etc.

Half way through the class, they started getting a hang of it and cruising pretty fast. I had to put the game on pause as I collected myself after the following barrage of answers from the kids...

Bai Pat "Big cat"
O.C. "Big snake"
Paul "Big C"
Yok "Big ass"

I just lost it laughing to myself, which resulted in the kids laughing, although they didn't know why I thought it was funny. Big C is the name of a large department/grocery store here in Thailand...nothing funny about that. Big Ass is the name of a very popular rock band here.

Pae and I actually happened upon one of their concerts at a club in Hua Hin a year or two ago. I don't have the pictures her or I'd post one...They've had a lot of hit songs over the years. But when Yok gleefully shouted "Big Ass" I was shocked. Shocked at the sudden "ass" in my ear combined with her wide-eyed excitement and pride that she had in thinking of that one...and probably more proud that she made me laugh.

Again, the word "ass" is no big deal here in Thailand. It actually happens to be a frequent theme in my classes for some reason. I mean, Thai people don't go around telling each other "you're such an ass" or "kiss my ass", so, why would they consider it profane. Instead, as you may remember from previous blogs, they hold "Buffalo" and "Lizard" high on the profanity pedestal.

On that front, I found out the other day that if you hear a girl call another girl a rhinoceros, she is really calling her a "slut"...who would have guessed.

Now that I think of it, many of our curse words or derogatory terms in English are names of animals too! How interesting...examples..."She's such a BITCH" or "You JACKASS!". I feel inspired to continue with the examples, but they get a little shifty after bitch and jackass. So In America we insult people by calling them a female dog or a donkey, and in Thailand you're not impressing anyone by acting like a buffalo, rhino, or a lizard!

I love language! Without it...well...

1 comment:

Beccarigg said...

Yeah that's how it was in Mexico. Kids/people learned all the swear words in English and would say them in any setting without flinching because it didn't mean anything to them. Funny how words can make our ears burn but mean nothing to someone else.

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