Monday Musings from Melinda by Melinda M.
So we did it. We hosted Thanksgiving and no one (i.e., children) got into any fights and dinner tasted delicious and we all fit comfortably. Phew!
But the best thing about the whole affair was the laughter.
And I wish you could’ve been here to hear it because if you are from Hawaii, you would’ve cracked up and if you are not from Hawaii, it would’ve been an experience.
Of our group, surprisingly only three of us did not grow up here. And while the other nine adults did, only one really speaks pidgin as his first language. So when he joins us, it kind of jogs the other’s memories and the expressions and experiences of a “local” childhood come forward.
Like when we started talking about whether or not our kids brought lunch to school or bought school lunch. That led to the memory that “back in the day” (to be clear, all of our day), pretty much no one brought home lunch. And that lunch was only a “kwadah” – that would be “quarter” in English. And you had to hide your kwadah cause otherwise the “t’ugs” (i.e., “thugs”) would “chop kwadah.” Apparently in 6th grade, these t’ugs were “bolo head” (=bald) then and they bolo head now.
Anyways, I guess the threat of your quarter being stolen meant you had to find a good place to hide it, like in your sock or your shoe. You had to be real smart because when the t’ugs approached you and said, “I like chop kwadah,” and you didn’t provide, then they would “searchtake.”
Now for all that Hawaii is teased about being so laid back and casual and a place where everyone takes their time, the language of pidgin refutes that. Because “Hey, I’m going to search you and whatever I find, I will take” becomes the short and not-so-sweet, “I going searchtake” (we decided it was a compound word). It took several repetitions of that expression and finally a request to spell it out for my other from-the-mainland friend and me to understand what the heck was being said. Too funny!
What are your favorite, and maybe not often heard, pidgin expressions?