La Section de la langue Jèrriaise

Tchi bourdonn'nie! - What a buzz!

I wouldn't want to faithe d'eune moûque un êléphant (make out of a fly an elephant, i.e. make a mountain out of a molehill) but l's însectes are really quite întérêssantes (interesting).

Eune moûque is a fly, eune moûque dé tchuîsinne (a fly of kitchen) is a housefly and eune moûque à vèrs (a fly of worms) is a bluebottle. A daddy-long-legs is eune moûque à longs pids (a fly with long feet), but is also known as un esprit gêné (a troubled spirit).

Another p'tite criatuthe (small creature) noted for its pids is la bête à chent pids (beast with a hundred feet, i.e. a centipede).

L'esprit gêné is not the only slightly spooky însecte as eune vielle crianche (an old belief) maintained that les blianches papillotes (white butterflies) were l's esprits of deceased relatives come back to visit this world, and that therefore i' n'faut pon lus faithe dé ma (one mustn't do them harm).

Les cahuches are moths, but to say moth-eaten we say mangi des vèrs (eaten by worms) because it's really les carpéleuses (the caterpillars) which do the damage, especially dans l'gardîn (in the garden). Incidentally, les carpéleuses is the traditional nickname for les St. Bréladais (the people of St. Brelade).

Getting back to les moûques, one particularly useful flying beastie is la moûque à myi (fly of honey, i.e. bee). Having collected nectar and pollen, they fly back to la rueuque (the hive) and make du myi (honey) and d'la chithe dé bourdon (beeswax), both of which were very useful siez les Jèrriais (in Jersey people's homes) temps pâssé. Bees are so proverbially busy that to describe anyone who's carrying a lot of stuff around, we say they're chèrgi coumme eune moûque à myi (as loaded-up as a bee).

On the whole, bees are much more welcome than les vêpres (wasps), les puches (fleas) and les bog'ses (bedbugs) but opinion is much more divided over les pêtres (spiders).

But I've been sitting here writing this on ma touffée (my tuffet), eating mes caillibottes (curds and whey), for so long that I've got les freunmions (ants, i.e. pins and needles) in man pid (my foot)!



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La Section de la langue Jèrriaise
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