As an author I am able to converse with other authors from many countries. My favorite is to converse with British people because their sense of humor is closer to mine than American humor. I was raised on watching Monty Python’s Flying Circus on PBS whenever our rabbit ears and tin foil worked well. Yes, that is how old I am.
Later Monty Python came out with the Holy Grail and Life of Brian. The series and the movies are quite silly and the actors regularly “ham it up.” One of my author acquaintances via Twitter and Facebook is Jane Isaac, author of An Unfamiliar Murder. Now she had never heard of the phrase “Ham” or “Hamming it up” in the context of being silly. I made mention her dog Bollo was a ham in a photograph of hers and she responded, “Okay what’s a ham?”
So this was my opportunity to describe some of our “Yankee” phrases. Unknown to her is that I am from Texas, but live in Oklahoma, so my phrases also come with a slight doubly corrupted and outrageous accent, of which I have tried to kill off like one dynamite rodent with a holy hand grenade. I have always wondered what certain British phrases mean. For instance what is a “Bugger” and why is “Bloody” considered offensive? I am afraid if I ever visit the UK and order a Bloody Mary, I just might be stoned by women wearing mustaches and beards trying to talk in a low male voice.
I assume “Hamming it up” might give a British person the image of someone from Arkansas throwing a piglet into the air back and forth, or if I say their dog is a ham, they think we Americans eat dogs as much as pork. I was truly not interested in Jane’s Bollo as a meal. So I had to let her know how weird we Americans are. We actually vote for our kings. I have an excuse and I blame it all on Monty Python, so in reality it is British humor that is my downfall. I blame it all on you bloody buggers with shrubberies trimmed by herrings. So give me your best shot. I can withstand many flesh wounds and second taunts from your elderberry mother and hamster father.
See! Now I can relate with all the great people of Britain. When I do visit I look forward to the taste of migrating coconuts and hamming it up with all of you silly kniggits. Ni, Ni.
I would love to read some of your silly phrases and their meanings. If I say “Ham in a Kilt” what comes to your mind? My apologies to all Scottish people. I was going for the William Wallace costume effect, but ham in kilt seemed more apropos.
My fears of ordering a Bloody Mary: