All posts tagged British

Who is Gordon Bennett anyway?

Published June 11, 2012 by KalamityK

It’s been pretty quiet at work today. There are usually about 12 of us but we all work varying hours and days so some days it’s busy and some days it’s like the Mary Celeste. Somedays it can be both, with the morning being full of people and then by about 2pm it’s gone all quiet again.  So I thought I’d fill my time by attempting post #10. WordPress keeps encouraging me to get to my next big achievement.. post #10, so here it is. I’d better get an extra big congrats from them!

I said something earlier as an expression to a colleagues’ comment. I don’t even remember what we were talking about but my response was ‘Gordon Bennett!’ And then I instantly thought ‘Who is Gordon Bennett? This is an exclamation I’ve heard countless times throughout my life but where did it come from? I have no idea so I’m gonna google it………


Aha!……So Gordon Bennett was born in 1841 He lived a hedonistic lifestyle and frequently did things people thought were terribly terribly shocking. He  inherited his fathers’ multi-million dollar estate and he was also a very good journalist who took control of the New York Herald. He’s also the bloke who sent  a correspondent off to find David Livingstone in Africa when everyone else had given him up as lost and hence the famous words were uttered ‘Dr Livingstone, I presume?’ So now we know.  Yay!

It got me wondering about other euphimisms and minced oaths we commonly use but often haven’t got a clue where they came from. The reason there are so many, and this is just my opinion, is probably because the British, particularly the upper classes back in the day, didn’t want to be heard swearing and sounding like common dock hands. It was frowned upon as coarse and vulgar. Respectable people didn’t utter curse words! So they made up alternative words and phrases to use at times when an expletive might have come in handy but their peers wouldn’t approve.

Dagnammit – God damn it! I use this one a fair bit. It must be the ‘good’ stock in me 😉 see Family Tree post.

Darn/Dang – Damn.

Crikey – Christ.

Good Grief – Good God.

For crying out loud – For christ’s sake.

Strewth- God’s truth. Those are not exactly swear words are they? I guess they would come under taking the Lords’ name in vain. Blasphemy could very likely earn you a clout around the ear from your mother and a threat from the parish priest to end up in the eternal fires of damnation! Not worth the aggro really.

Flaming Heck/Flipping Heck – Fucking hell      … (don’t slap me, mum!)

Then there are the ones I can’t imagine posh people saying…..

Cor Blimey – God blind me. My mum told me that one when I was a kid. She used to say that if I kept saying blimey, God might just do it! 

Bleeding Heck/Blimmin’ heck –  Bloody hell.  I wonder where Bleeding Nora comes from though. I can’t find that one. Who was Nora?

There are a lot of minced oaths around but we’ve got so used to them that we don’t really wonder about them anymore. I like ’em. I like the history of where words and expressions come from. So many countries use our language that it’s an ever evolving thing. New words are added constantly but we don’t make up so many new minced oaths anymore because swearing is so widely accepted now as every day language. It’s a shame really. I am guilty of swearing now and then. Lately it’s been more often than I used to but I think I’ll have a go at making up some new minced oaths instead. After all, the more you use a swear word, the less effective it becomes. I think I’ll keep mine for special occasions. Or when I’m really ‘peed’ off.

I don’t know if I’ll ever call someone a  ‘Berk‘ again though. It derives from the cockney rhyming slang ‘Berkeley hunt’……

Kalamity K 🙂


Hello world!

Published June 5, 2012 by KalamityK

Wow! I’m actually here. So are you!  O M Effin’ G! I don’t know what I’m more surprised about, the fact that you’re here reading this or that I wrote it in the first place. Don’t s’pose it matters really so… Hi!

I never thought I’d do this because I didn’t really think I had anything to say and even if I did find something to say, I couldn’t fathom why anyone would want to read it. But you know what, I need somewhere to vent…. so why not use a blog?! Some people start pages on Facebook to save their sanity but if I did that I’d no doubt cock it up and somehow mix it up with my ‘real’ profile which could be hilariously disastrous. It just aint worth the risk. I’m thinking if I’d done this years ago I might not be the mental headcase I am today.

I work more or less fulltime for the NHS in medical sciences and I’m an ordinary single mum living with a teenage son in South East England. I’ll call him the manchild because he’s legally a man but he’s still my child and he’s got some growing up to do yet. He’s already done a lot of growing up in the last 3 years but like the rest of us, he’s a work in progress. He’s got his faults and I’ve got mine. For the most part, we get on great (now) but it’s been a rough ride at times. I’m not exaggerating when I say we’ve been to hell and back in a rowboat. As he is the most prominent and loved person in my life, I suspect this blog will feature him a lot. Especially when he makes idiotic lifestyle choices that fill me with horror and dread and despair. No doubt my colleagues will feature a fair bit too as most of my day to day life is spent with them and they’ve been my daily companions for the last 10 years… and they have the power to irritate the hell outa me even though my life wouldn’t be the same without them!

There will most likely be more than a few rants about apples too. That one will explain itself eventually.

I should probably warn you now, I moan a lot. It seems like a lot to me anyway, especially since I gave up smoking a few months ago. But I see that as part of being British and I’m all about being patriotic 😉 Aren’t us Brits well known for moaning?! It’s probably not one of our better attributes but if I can’t vent somewhere in writing then there’s every chance I’ll explode. So here I am, setting up my own little cubbyhole ont’ tinterweb to vent and moan and cry and laugh and crack stupid jokes and be sarcastic. There are so many people in my life and I’ve started this because I want to try not to inflict my issues on them. I’m so much bitchier now I don’t have cigarettes to de-stress me. I’m actually rather looking forward to this! Is it wrong to enjoy the potential to grump n groan a little bit? It has to be honest or what’s the point? Ah well, it is what it is.

I will endeavour to be entertaining whilst I get my grump on!

Kalamity K 🙂

PUA Lifestyle

From Simp to Pimp...Presented by Coach K

The Gluten Free Blogger

A gluten free, coeliac-friendly blog by Sarah Howells covering gluten free recipes, reviews, and living a healthy life - with plenty of gluten free pizza!

Parenting And Stuff

Not a "how to be a great parent" blog


My life, distilled

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

Shook. Community powered.


How the hell did I get here?

Royal Pavilion & Brighton Museums

Behind the scenes with staff and volunteers

~Don't Quote Lily~

wHeRe RaNdoMneSs CoLLiDeS WiTh MoRe RaNdoMneSs


The Rants from the voices


I'm not really here.

Seventh Voice

Simply my take on living life as a female with Asperger's Syndrome.


Welcome to my cubbyhole

Ray Ferrer - Emotion on Canvas

** OFFICIAL Site of Artist Ray Ferrer **

Medical Humour

The largest collection of medical humour, jokes, funny quotes, interesting medical facts, medical gossips, fun games & lots more! This is a place to have fun. Come read & laugh...

Theresa T Pham

Hustle | Travel | Eat | &Repeat


The wacky stories of a crazy lady.

%d bloggers like this: