La Section de la langue Jèrriaise

Êt'-ous eune carpéleuse? – Are you a caterpillar?

It's well known that residents of the different Îles d'la Manche (Channel Islands) have traditional mênoms (nicknames). Les Jèrriais (Jersey people) are les crapauds (toads) and les Dgèrnésiais (Guernsey people) are l's ânes (donkeys). Les Sèrtchais (Sark people) are les corbîns (crows) and l's Aur'gnais (Alderney people) have the luxury of two mênoms: les vaques (cows) or les lapîns (rabbits).

Residents of les Pâraîsses (the Parishes) also have their own mênoms. Most people know that les St. Ouonnais (people from St. Ouën) are les Gris Ventres (grey bellies), but perhaps fewer people are familiar with some of the other mênoms. Les Villais (town pats) are les clyichards (people with the runs) – this goes back to the days before effective drainage and clean water supply was installed in town in the mid-C19th.

Hardly more complimentary is the traditional name for les St. Cliémentais et les Grouvillais (residents of St. Clement and Grouville). L's Enfuntchis (the smoked-up, or the dimwits) got their name from the vraic burning industry which typified those Parishes in the past.

Les St. Martinnais, les Trinn'tais et les St. Jeannais (people from St. Martin, Trinity and St. John) are les Nordgiens (Northerners). Les St. Jeannais are also called, doubtless behind their backs, les Nièrs Tchus (Black Bottoms), but les Ste. Mathiais (people from St. Mary) are, more picturesquely, les Bourdélots (apple dumplings) or les Rouôlots (roly-polies).

Les St. Pièrrais (people from St. Peter) are les Ventres à Baînis (limpet bellies) – supposedly because theirs is the only Parish with two separate coasts – and les St. Bréladais (people from St. Brélade) are les Carpéleuses (caterpillars).

From Gris Ventres to Carpéleuses, parishioners have special nicknames, except les St. Louothachais (people from St. Lawrence) and les St. Saûveurais (people from St. Saviour) who have to do without. Il' en eûtent eune êcappe! (they had a lucky escape!)



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La Section de la langue Jèrriaise
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