La Section de la langue Jèrriaise

L's ouaîsieaux


Some of our old Jersey ditons could be considered rather male chauvinist. Here are two of the less enlightened ones: Les femmes et les pies ont bein des d'vis (women and magpies chatter a lot) and Femme tchi caqu'te et poule tchi pond, font du brit dans les maîsons (a chattering woman and a laying hen make a lot of noise in houses).

A woman who was considered too assertive was described as eune poule tchi chante en co (a hen that crows like a cock). Lé sexisme n'était pon un mot connu par nos anchêtres! (Sexism was not a word known to our ancestors!)

However, these phrases remind us of some of our bird-related expressions. Talking of magpies, it is an old superstition that eune pie, mauvaise chance; deux pies, d'la jouaie; trais pies pouor des neuches; et quat' pies pouor euen naîssance (one magpie for bad luck, two for joy, three for a wedding, four for a birth)

People also used to listen out for magpies for the weather forecast: pie tchi crie, signe dé plyie (a magpie crying is a sign of rain)

If it did rain heavily, then one might end up soaked to the skin - trempé coumme un canard (soaked like a duck). Interestingly we also have another expression like English: ch'est d'l'ieau sus l'dos d'un canard (it is water off a duck's back).

Someone with eagle-eyes has d's ièrs d'aigl'ye, someone who is red-faced with anger is rouoge coumme un picot (red as a turkey), and someone who is sanctimonious is coumme un pithot coêffi (like a goose with a hat)

Unfortunately, there is no more space to discuss any more birds and the expressions connected with them. If there was more space, there are many more birds that could be fitted in. But if wishes were horses, beggars would ride - si l'ciel tchiyait y'éthait bein d's alouettes dé prînses! (if the sky fell, there would be a lot of larks caught!)


Viyiz étout:



La Section de la langue Jèrriaise
  R'tou à la page d'siez-mé | Back to home page