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SHAU MAU - SHOMMUNIST

English translation: changing the first consonant of the word

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11:20 Feb 15, 2005
English to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature
English term or phrase: SHAU MAU - SHOMMUNIST
Hello everybody!

I am translating a novel set in Kenya during the Fifties. An Indian Family is the protagonist. They are loyal to the Brits and kind to the Blacks. But the Mau-Mau revolt is spreading...

An indian character says to the other, visiting her in Nairobi: "If only this Mau-Mau Shau-Mau fear goes away, this is a wonderful city".

Pages ahead, the character who was visiting in Nairobi says to her husband, refering to her brother: "He is not a communist - and anyway, what communist-shommunist thing can he up to, out here in the jungle?"

I haven't got a clue. Is SHAU a non-English term? Sometimes characters speak swahili or hindi (as Indians in an African country). Is SHAU referring to something in the history I don't know? Is it related to SHOmmunist?

Any suggestion will be much appreciated.

THANKS A LOT!!!
Giusi from Italy
Giusi Barbiani
Sweden
Local time: 02:37
English translation:changing the first consonant of the word
Explanation:
This is simply replacing the first consonant of a word with an "sh" sound, to indicate a disregard or scorn for a concept.

I know it is quite popular with American Jews, and spread to the rest of the population, partic in NY, but I hadn't realised it was done by Indians too.
Selected response from:

MJ Barber
Spain
Local time: 02:37
Grading comment
Thank you all!!! :-)))
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +8changing the first consonant of the word
MJ Barber
3 +4an explanation belowCharlie Bavington


  

Answers


7 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +8
shau mau - shommunist
changing the first consonant of the word


Explanation:
This is simply replacing the first consonant of a word with an "sh" sound, to indicate a disregard or scorn for a concept.

I know it is quite popular with American Jews, and spread to the rest of the population, partic in NY, but I hadn't realised it was done by Indians too.

MJ Barber
Spain
Local time: 02:37
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 16
Grading comment
Thank you all!!! :-)))

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxtazdog: often "shm" - http://www.bubbygram.com/yiddishglossary.htm
4 mins
  -> yup, doctor schmoctor.

agree  Tony M: Yes, I have only encountered it in the American Jewish/Yiddish context myself...
12 mins

agree  Andy Watkinson: http://www.proz.com/?sp=h&id=315804
42 mins

agree  msherms: not only with Jews by the way - I think it is pretty widespread
1 hr

agree  Ian Burley
1 hr

agree  tappi_k
2 hrs

agree  Alexander Demyanov
4 hrs

agree  Will Matter: Mau-Mau>Shau Mau, Communist>Shommunist.
7 hrs
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10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +4
shau mau - shommunist
an explanation below


Explanation:
There is an English figure of speech, used to belittle or denigrate the subject matter, whereby the key word is repeated, replacing the initial sound with a "sh-" sound.
To translate it, I can only suggest that you think of the English as being approximately "this Mau Mau nonsense", or "communist rubbish" find an equivalent for that.

Charlie Bavington
Local time: 01:37
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 8

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  msherms: like something my grandfather would say ---- communist shommunist
1 hr

agree  juvera
3 hrs

agree  Will Matter: "Communist" is fairly easy, try "translator" or "Bolshevik" whew! :)
7 hrs

agree  Paula Vaz-Carreiro
8 hrs
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