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  #1  
Old 29th November 2008, 12:56
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Peter Martin Peter Martin is offline  
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Pidgin English

At risk of sounding politically incorrect in the strange times in which we live, do any of you illustrious 'West Coasters' have any memories of 'pidgin' as it was spoken aboard ship by either the Kroo Boys or Crew?
I did hear, longer ago than I care to remember, that the Bible had been translated ito 'Pidgin' but am unable to find any substantial evidence of this.
Many words spring to mind; chop=food, dash = give, ( the phrase 'dash me oh' is engraved ito my mind!) Pickin = child(ren); dun spoil = broken.
All memories welcome!

Last edited by Peter Martin; 29th November 2008 at 12:58.. Reason: punctuation
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  #2  
Old 29th November 2008, 13:46
benjidog benjidog is offline
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I always wondered why chop-sticks were so called. I guess you have provided the answer Peter.
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  #3  
Old 29th November 2008, 14:20
ROBERT HENDERSON ROBERT HENDERSON is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Martin View Post
At risk of sounding politically incorrect in the strange times in which we live, do any of you illustrious 'West Coasters' have any memories of 'pidgin' as it was spoken aboard ship by either the Kroo Boys or Crew?
I did hear, longer ago than I care to remember, that the Bible had been translated ito 'Pidgin' but am unable to find any substantial evidence of this.
Many words spring to mind; chop=food, dash = give, ( the phrase 'dash me oh' is engraved ito my mind!) Pickin = child(ren); dun spoil = broken.
All memories welcome!
Peter
I do not think any of the politically mafia can take offence at facts,can they?
Like you the only one I can remember is dash me oh, especially when the cook was emptying the gash bucket.

Regards Robert
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  #4  
Old 29th November 2008, 14:36
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Pidgin English stems from the crossover in Chinese and English; a sort of bits and pieces translation so people of different languages could communicate; it spread as the world developed. Certainly I have heard of the Pidgin English Holy Bible, and there are various dictionaries online for each pidgin English. It is a group of officially recognised languages, so no PC offence can be made or taken.
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  #5  
Old 29th November 2008, 15:13
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Captain America Captain America is offline  
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I never visited West Africa, but I sailed with crew from Sierra Leone. I remember the pidgin they talked, called Krio, vividly. When I first heard it, it didn't make much sense. After a while I understood most of what was being said and used it myself. I remember the fitter telling me that his daughter had a book of Shakespeare plays translated into Krio and that his family had a Krio New Testament.
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  #6  
Old 29th November 2008, 16:04
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There plenty of references on the net for Creole/Krio
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  #7  
Old 29th November 2008, 16:58
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A few phrases from the depth of my memory!
"Wa fo' you do dis ting?" = Why did you.......
"dis am de...." = This is the...
"de tin chicken" = Aeroplane

An extract from the Book of Genisis:- "der waz dis man Hadam 'an dis Woeman Heave....."
From the New Testament "...'an de Lord he dash Gabriel wun trumpet".
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  #8  
Old 29th November 2008, 17:03
Andy Lavies Andy Lavies is offline  
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Pidgin

Pidgin was still in use throughout Melanesia into the 60's. I had a small booklet with pidgin translations from the Bible. The story of the Garden of Eden contained the words "Snek bilong God buggerup im you me!"
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  #9  
Old 29th November 2008, 23:58
Gareth Jones Gareth Jones is offline  
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I visited Port Moresby in New guinea many years ago and the natives there had a pigin english developed from the bible and their contact with Australians.
Anything broken was 'Bagrup' (from the Australian 'buggered up').
A wife was a Meri (from Mary in the Bible).
I remember a headline in the local native newpaper which read :
" $200 buyum meri" accompanied by a picture of a local man and his new bride whom he had bought for $200. !
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  #10  
Old 30th November 2008, 00:35
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West African Pidgeon has some absolute gems, my particular favourite is "he der like he no der" meaning "that chap is inhebriated" invariably referring to an ex-pat.
The famous engine room one where "pass me dis ting" always resulted in the correct tool needed to progress the job was handed over.
Or the one that got me in trouble, because i didnt understand the reasons for a staff absence "my muddah is late" boy that nearly caused a riot, the guys mother had died, and i came down on him like the proverbial ton of bricks, thinking his mother was delayed in attending a function in the village.
Perhaps the most beguiling was the "I haf go ease mysel" it took me 3 months to realise what that was about.
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  #11  
Old 2nd December 2008, 22:31
Roger Turner Roger Turner is offline  
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I was once congratulated on my use of pidgin English - still don`t know if he was taking the mickey, but we did use it pretty regularly, particularly with the Kroo boys, taken on at Freetown etc, who lived in hatch tents and worked their passage at pretty well everything (they were artists with a chipping hammer - try thirty or forty going at once lying for a week outside Lagos, the mate was a masochist), including the Dhobi and apart from the rust stains they used to starch whites so stiff it was a job to separate the legs.
Bushman - term of endearment for one slightly off centre or completely nuts - it helped on the coast.
Go for Bush - involuntary attempt at a short cut up the creeks.
"Make we......." " Make you......"
Talking about kroo boys, some of them had wierd names
Steam on deck, No Mark,Poor man no friend are a few I remember.
My first trip on the Sangara, the "lecky" had one allocated for his personal use and he had a lovely set of teeth filed to a point - the lecky used to chivvy him and indicate they were there to "Chop am proper" i.e unsocial use on his fellow human beings - never did see a demonstration.
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  #12  
Old 3rd December 2008, 03:49
degsy degsy is offline  
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When I came home on leave I would have me Dad in peals of laughter when we went for a pint on the Dock Road. We had a Headman from Freetown name of Danny Thomas he was supervising a ventilation fan motor being put back in the tunnel, about three of his gang on the rope and he shouts "UP SMALL". They pulled to hard. "DOWN SMALL" he screams having had his hand trapped he then proceeded to berate them "When I shout up small you do this thing or I will abuse you plenty". Other things I remember
" I go catcham slippy foot" = I will bring your request from the ER stores quickly.

" I sick for my head" = I am suffering from a slight migraine

" Why do you abuse me" = Can you explain why you are chastising me

And one day I was writing a letter in my cabin when the Engineers Steward came in with my dhobi looking very morose. So I asked him what was wrong "Oh mistah Derick I cannot see my woman I have no money" As I had some Yankee Dollars I said to him shall I pay you for the dhobi now rather than at the end of the trip. "Oh yeah mistah Derick I go ram jam rock again" and he left the cabin moving better than Michael Jackson
As we where in Port Harcourt at the time I imagine he had women up and down the West Coast.

Another one " I no seeyam dis ting" = I cannot find the implement you have requested me to bring to you
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  #13  
Old 3rd December 2008, 03:56
degsy degsy is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Turner View Post
I was once congratulated on my use of pidgin English - still don`t know if he was taking the mickey, but we did use it pretty regularly, particularly with the Kroo boys, taken on at Freetown etc, who lived in hatch tents and worked their passage at pretty well everything (they were artists with a chipping hammer - try thirty or forty going at once lying for a week outside Lagos, the mate was a masochist), including the Dhobi and apart from the rust stains they used to starch whites so stiff it was a job to separate the legs.
Bushman - term of endearment for one slightly off centre or completely nuts - it helped on the coast.
Go for Bush - involuntary attempt at a short cut up the creeks.
"Make we......." " Make you......"
Talking about kroo boys, some of them had wierd names
Steam on deck, No Mark,Poor man no friend are a few I remember.
My first trip on the Sangara, the "lecky" had one allocated for his personal use and he had a lovely set of teeth filed to a point - the lecky used to chivvy him and indicate they were there to "Chop am proper" i.e unsocial use on his fellow human beings - never did see a demonstration.
The main problem with the starch in the dhobi was with the shirts, at least with the thin cotton ones from Silverberg's, when you put your fags an lighter in the breast pocket the stiching carried away. The gear I had made in Lagos was a lot tougher an cheaper
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  #14  
Old 3rd December 2008, 05:17
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Lef am go........put it down and go De fing aaa day no go now ...........The winch is broken Plenty power dare .... I virile man .... A day go bush now .............I,m going up country Dash me o ......Tip me I,ll remember more when I find my mind, I,ve not lost it just mislayed it
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  #15  
Old 3rd December 2008, 08:12
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Nigerian TV of the 60's had some stunners!
"Don't sit on de fence; join de civil Defence"
"To keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done!"
"You're brighter by far on a Star"
"My carburetor dun spoil!" (Mobil Oil: Lagos - Dakar Rally)
Although two of my favourite quotes appeared in the 'Nigeria Times' also in the sixties:- "Plans announced for switch over from left to right:- Lorries will change over on Tuesday 16th and cars on Wednesday 17th."
"Man hacked to death in fight over a yam".
Embryonic news gathering and editing was interesting as well.
I recall TV News coverage, without commentry, of a fire in a Lagos block of flats. People could be seen clearly on the roof waving their arms about to attract attention and hence rescue. Because they had no commentry the editor decided that music was better than silence. The music for "Teddy Bear's Picnic" may have seemed relevant to him - sadly, not to the wiewers.
Similarly 'Jolly' music was played at the time of the "Bar Beach Show" - The shooting of armed- robbers on Victoria Beach on a Saturday morning.
I feel sure that the press and media has matured by now and has reached the dizzy depths we experience in the UK. After all, when HM passes away I expect to read about it on page 16 of the 'Sun' or 'Star' - Surely they couldn't be expected to move the photo of the immensely breasted young thing from Slagthorpe from the front page; could they?
As I've always thought, we get the Press we deserve.- Happy days!!
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  #16  
Old 3rd December 2008, 16:03
sidsal sidsal is offline  
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When in NZ in the 80's there were books on Pigeon English from the islands. I bought one, loaned itout and never saw it again. It was hilarious. I just recall 2 things -
"Two-bum wheelie-wheelie" - a tandem bike.
"Basket hold-um two titties " - A woman's brassiere.
Sid
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  #17  
Old 3rd December 2008, 23:47
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I once heard the illicit drink 'Tombo' described as, 'You push me, I push you back. You look me, I strike you blow!'
A night out on that stuff must have been really something.

Derek
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  #18  
Old 5th December 2008, 11:23
Roger Turner Roger Turner is offline  
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Saw the programme Bob Geldoff made, I think it involved a journey from Ghana to Nigeria.
From what I saw very little had changed since my last visit (1962),mammy wagons,pickins,roadside welding,tarmac mid roads sand each side, probably the same sausidge flies and stench from open storm ditches, importuning "helpers" etc.
Somebody please tell me Lagos Customs wharf and the Buoys have gone, that the Kingsway and ED offices are no more and the dock road is a wide avenue,fringed with trees and flower beds.
Anybody been there lately?
Bet they still speak pidgin English!
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  #19  
Old 5th December 2008, 17:21
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Found these pictures on Google Earth - I can identify the Cathedral in one of them but I'm jiggered if I can put a name to much else!
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  #20  
Old 5th December 2008, 17:42
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I can only remember the ubiquitous "Sweet one!"
Dave
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  #21  
Old 5th December 2008, 18:01
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Tree saw a la Solomons.....

Akes im bilong toopella, pulimikum, pushimigo. Dispelatree imal bugerup.
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Old 5th December 2008, 18:04
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was on the thistledhu, chartered to nigerian national. loaded glasgow, liverpool, milford haven for a multiport discharge and load back to many ports in europe.
sharing the hospital on the west coast we had two cargo clerks both who were very polite and interesting with a good knowledge of world and african politics. discussing the state of affairs in ghana one of them gave me his thoughts on the place of the african in ghana.
while not exactly pidgin, but the thoughts of someone fired up by the the government of kwame nkrumah he told me that "the black man was now all the same white man, no bloody good"
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Old 5th December 2008, 22:53
lakercapt lakercapt is offline  
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Kwame Nmkrumah was also know as "Osagifu"(spelling??) ''redeemer' so things changed!!!
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  #24  
Old 13th December 2008, 21:46
Roger Turner Roger Turner is offline  
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Originally Posted by lakercapt View Post
Kwame Nmkrumah was also know as "Osagifu"(spelling??) ''redeemer' so things changed!!!
I was told it meant "Master", but I guess in Biblical terms both words are pretty close
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Old 13th December 2008, 21:56
Roger Turner Roger Turner is offline  
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Originally Posted by Peter Martin View Post
Found these pictures on Google Earth - I can identify the Cathedral in one of them but I'm jiggered if I can put a name to much else!
Cor, it has changed a bit, if that is Customs wharf though, the sheds don`t look as though they have changed much, don`t see the buoys.I take it we are looking towards the breakwater with Apapa on the right and Tarkwa beach in the distance. Wilmot Point the would have been on the left hand side, where Elders had their Engineering establishment and I believe made good my first ship the "Sangara" after she had been torpedoed at Accra
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