My Wold Ooman

The Shire dialect is a pleasant and interesting one, which can be reduced to a few easy rules, like English Grammar. The first rule is to omit the common or garden “w” whilst supplying a few of your own. Thus a woman is an ooman, and your wife is your Wold ooman. The second, more curious, rule deals with the crushed past participle. For “frozen” we say “friz”; for “frightened,” “frit”; for “written,” “writ.” The man who has been warped by his education can only rise to the abbreviation “isn’t,” but we extend this throughout the verb “to be.” “Be’nt” is as good as “isn’t.” Thus, if I were asked for a short sentence illustrative of all that is best in the Shire, I should produce: “A be’ant frit of my Wold ooman.”
I have had to sit down under such a lot of guff in definition of the “gentleman,” from the pulpit, the maternal lecture and the pure-bred snob, that I really don’t see why I shouldn’t begin defining him myself. I define him by his hospitality. The infallible test for a gentleman is to drop in upon him suddenly at an awkward hour, preferably at half-past nine o’clock in the evening, unfed, and see what he does about it. If he is too mean to do anything but pass it off as a breach of good manners, or if he rings for the butler and provides you with a caviare sandwich or some such flummery, then he is no friend of ours. But if his wife dives into the kitchen, and provides you there with the best in the house, even if it is only bread and butter (though there is sure to be some little relish), at a moment’s notice, and if the kitchen is clean, then that person is a gentleman and God is with his house.
[T.H. White, England Have My Bones (1936)]

My Wold Ooman

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