Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Another Conversation

This posting is for our good friend from NOLA. He seems to be the only person reading our blog at the moment and he recently posted about Canadians. Just before I left for Athens I was in the car with my niece LL and her parents BDL and MRK. We were on on our way to see "Horton Hears a Who". This was the conversation:

LL: My butt is sore.

MRK (LL's mom): LL we like to say bum and not butt in our house - butt is what Americans say, we say bum in Canada. (Now I am not sure this is entirely true because as many of you know our family view of - what is Canadian - is somewhat skewed since we grew up in a little slice of Scotland that just happened to be located in Ontario).

LL: All the kids on TV say butt.

MRK: They are all Americans, it sounds more polite to say bum.

This is followed by a silence where I (sitting in the back seat with LL) can see the mental wheels turning as she thinks about her next response.

LL: How about ass, can I say ass? That's another word for butt, I mean bum.

MRK: LL! where did you hear that, no you cannot use ass, that is rude.

LL: Aunt Mo says it all of the time.

Once again there is silence in the car, although I can see BDL can barely keep the car on the road because he is trying not to laugh out loud. And my sister, who is trying to be the word use monitor, is barely keeping it together. So I chime in:

Mo: LL sometimes I am a bad aunt and use the wrong language in front of little kids. I really try to be polite but sometimes I forget, sorry. You shouldn't say ass and I shouldn't either, we should all say bum like good Canadians. Although in my defense ass is universally understood whether you are Canadian or American.

MRK was not buying that.


Michael Homan said...

Can a bum riding on an ass be the butt of a joke? And what about Terence and Philip? Aren't they the quintessential Canadians? I think they say "ass" all the time.

Sue said...

I am in the Regan airport and just laughed out loud at the 'ass' line. Turned heads. Thanks.

And I agree with Mike!

Sue said...

Did I spell Regan/Reagan incorrectly?? Not that I much care...At least it's no Bush (who most definitely IS an ass!)

Yorke said...

Mike's right, Terence and Philip say "ass" all the time, clearly 'bum' is british.

And Sue, it doesn't matter how you spell it- its still National Aiport!

m.garden said...

what about arse...never one of my favourites except in the contexts like "she's just arsing about or "he can't be arsed to..." .

Clare or Shan said...

Way to go Aunt Morag!!! I think it is good the way you admitted to your personal poor use of the term "ass". If it were Christmas time you could of told her that Mary sat on an "ass"...yes? Or would it be proper to say donkey? Just last week I volunteered at CKBR's new school and all his first grader little class mates called each other potato butt and banana butt...they did this when the teacher wasn't around and totally took advantage of the parent volunteer...me! I told them too that it was not polite and that "we didn't speak that way" and I added "it was unkind". This didn't matter to this group of 6 year olds...But back to LL and butt, ass or bum...I prefer bum too...maybe I am just a Canandian afterall!!!!

cemeteryinparis said...


just wanted to say it :)

lilbrother said...

Ass is perfectly acceptable,if LL says too her Mom "hey you are talking out of your ass" she will likely be right,so if we say that she can't use that word we will be causing problems!(I sure am glad you had the trash mouth before I did)