Monday, August 17, 2009


It's been a while since my last UWOTD and since I changed the rules so it could be Ulster WORDS Of The Day so I could include phrases, this one will be a phrase.

And it's all down to Mr. Charles Lawson.

Who ?

Well even if you are a regular Coronation Street watcher, you might not recognise the name but you would know the character he plays, Jim McDonald.

"Ah yes, what about ye ?"

Yes the very man.

I dislike the man with a passion. Sorry, I dislike the character with a passion as he embodies one of the things I dislike most about N. Ireland....the Belfast accent.

He's not been in the soap for some time and that's been a blessing but he was no sooner back last Friday than in a typical example of typecasting, he was in the bar, having a drink and causing mayhem while saying he wasn't there to cause mayhem.

As no one was expecting him to be there, old Jim had free reign to keep saying "what about ye ?" to everyone who glanced his way. As if that wasn't bad enough, he came out with the classic "I'll tell ye this and I'll tell ye no more" which sadly is never the case with him.

But it was when he came out with "catch yourself on" that I felt I might have another UWOTD post in the making. The problem is that it seems an obvious phrase for me to understand as, of course, I'm from N. Ireland and heard this expression all the time when growing up. When I mentioned it to my US friend, Debby, she hadn't a clue.

"Catch Yourself On."

It's not that easy to explain in a few words actually but in general it's a mild rebuke, warning or caution. Like if you're talking with someone who says something that seems ridiculous to you, you'd say it.

"See that house ? It's valued at £1m but I'm going to buy it one day."
"Yeah right. Catch yourself on."

Get the idea ? It's as if you're telling the other person to look at what they're saying as it's so hard to believe. Here is an even better example............

"You know, that Charles Lawson fella will win an Oscar one day, so he will."
"Oh catch yourself on."


rhymeswithplague said...

It seems to be the equivalent of our long, drawn-out, "Riiiiiiiiight" ... as in "No way is that going to happen."

Daphne said...

I'd never heard the phrase before - - though I can hear Jim McDonald saying it, so I can. I did some work with a nursing student from Belfast last year and I was so fascinated by the vowel sounds that I found it hard to listen to what he was saying! But the Belfast accent doesn't bother me like it does you - with me it's that flat Leeds accent that I don't like, though I like some other Yorkshire accents.

Ruth said...

What a fantastic phrase. One I had never heard before and, because I didn't watch Corrie on Friday, I missed Jim McDonald's exclamation of it.. 'Didn't watch Corrie?... Get away with you.' I hear you say

Jennyta said...

I find that I tend to dilike the accent of wherever I'm living, so when I lived in Bristol, I disliked that accent and uring my years in Liverpool, I got to hate that accent - and still do, I'm afraid.

jay said...

That's one I've never heard, but there are a lot of phrases for the same thing, aren't there? From the mild 'steady on' through 'I should coco', 'You should be so lucky', 'pull the other one, it has bells on' etc. All with a slightly different spin.

I found myself wondering today if my American friend would understand me. I'd done her a favour and she wanted to know if I needed payment. I said 'Nah, it'll all come out in the wash'. As soon as I hit send, I thought 'Do Americans say that?'

I guess I'll know when she replies!

Debby said...

'It'll all come out in the wash' I understand!

rhymeswithplague said...

But when Americans say, "It'll all come out in the wash," they usually mean, "The truth will eventually be revealed." At least, this American does. Doesn't seem to mean that in JOE (Jolly Olde England)....

Silverback said...

Ok although it's not the topic of MY post (sighhhh) my two cents worth is that I agree with Bobs interpretation of 'the wash' phrase.

Not sure why Jay would use it in her example when I'd have used "it'll all even itself out" or "it's swings and roundabouts." I think there is an even more apt phrase we use here but I can't think of it right now.

jay said...

Lack of sleep? LOL!

I'd use the phrase in that context, but I do know these idiomatic phrases tend to mean slightly different things in different areas. I remember being fascinated by the different ways my cousins in Norfolk would say things, when I was a child in London.

Sorry for the hijack.

*Slinks away again*

Milo said...

I hadn't heard the phrase before but now you've explained it I can imagine it being used.

Most Recent Awards

Most Recent Awards