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'Arry

English translation: Jock - but be careful!

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22:58 Dec 29, 2005
English to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Slang / Old Scottish Slang
English term or phrase: 'Arry
An 'Arry, in the 19c-Early 20c, was the popular embodiment of the vulgar, rollicking, yet on the whole good natured rough of the great (British) metropolis. What is his Old Scottish slang counterpart?
xxxMavericker
English translation:Jock - but be careful!
Explanation:
Somewhere I read of a WW1 army captain calling his men 'the best bunch o' Jocks on this earth' or something like that. They were from one of the Highland regiments, and he was praising their bravery.

That would fit your period, but nowadays you have to be careful about calling anyone a Jock.

According to the Concise Oxford Dictionary:
Jock
· n. informal, often offensive, a Scotsman.
– ORIGIN C16: Scots form of the given name Jack

-- and Longmans simply says it is insulting, whether used about a Scot (UK) or someone who does a lot of sport (AmE)

On the other hand some people seem to be able to live with it (see the link)

- And by the way, Taffy for a Welshman comes from Daffydd, the Welsh form of David, the patron saint of Wales. (The same warnings apply, but let's not overdo political correctness. I don't want to offend anyone, but on a site like this it is useful to know why some people might take offence. With any luck, it will promote understanding and help us avoid offending people unintentionally.)

Best wishes for Hogmanay - New Year - 2006 from a homesick British ex-pat !!



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Note added at 18 hrs 25 mins (2005-12-30 17:24:51 GMT)
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or was it : 'My Jocks are the finest men...'

It was one of those one-page translation exercises from novels we used to be set at school. I remember to this day the discussion about how to render Jocks in French - and I passed my French A-level in 1969!

I don't remember the solution. I think we decided to add a footnote and leave them as Jocks, or assume that any reader who had seen the whole book might be able to work out what was meant...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 days 8 hrs 38 mins (2006-01-02 07:37:14 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

It is not criminal to call anyone Jock - it was and is a Scottish man's name as a variant of Jack or John.

It doesn't imply that the person is directly criminal. When I was younger and lived just south of the Border (in the 1960s) it was a good-natured term for those from 'across the river' (the Tweed, which forms the Border on the Eastern side) Not often used, admittedly, but I heard it now and then.

My Scottish sister in law calls us Sassenachs affectionately (our family originally came from southern England)- and I don't think many English object to this, though the dictionary warns about that being derogatory too... But relations have not always been good between the two nations. They have in fact fought bitter wars, and a couple of centuries ago Sassenach (derived from Saxon) was a designation for the enemy among the Celtic Scots.

Some people are simply more sensitive than others about 'racial' or national designations. Feelings went just as high at one time as they do now about terms like 'negro/nigger/black' and the Jew/Aryan/Muslim discussions.

Plenty of Scots will probably happily go along with being called Jocks in the right context, but you do need to know your target group if you use it.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 days 8 hrs 42 mins (2006-01-02 07:41:56 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

If you google Jock + Scotland you will get hundreds of hits, but it wil give yo an idea of how the name is used...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 6 days (2006-01-05 07:59:16 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Tam o' Shanter

It came to me in another context that you might be able to use Tam o' Shanter. (Read the poem anyway, it's a classic ... )http://www.robertburns.org/works/308.shtml

Now this normally means a soft, round cap or hat with a bobble in the middle, but you could construct a sentence to show it was the person you were referring to - the 'original' Tam, who definitely is an archetype and would be well known in the period you are referring to.






--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 19 days (2006-01-18 08:07:39 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I've never heard the term howdy used in this sort of context, so I was wondering if anyone else had a comment.

Personally, I would probably still go for Jock in context - there is no PC warning in the 1964 Concise Oxford, though at that stage of language development, it says the term was especially linked to soldiers, as in the reference I remember.

But here it was positive - 'they may look like riff-raff, but when it comes to the point, they're really the finest men ..."

If the military context really was too much (and a large proportion of the male population had been in the army in the early 20th century, before our 'warless generations' were born, so you need to see it in that perspective) - then I might allude to Tam o'Shanter.

Otherwise, I'm not sure there was a Scottish counterpart, but surely there is someone who knows more about Scotland than I do? Would a howdy come from Glasgow or somewhere? It's possible, but I personally don't know.

Culturally, there are not so many 'great metropolis' environments in Scotland and far more isolated crofts and rural communities.

The Scots were Presbyterians, (Calvinists) and tended to be more puritan than the English, at least officially, so they would not all look so kindly on this type of person. The 'dour scot' would not admit in public to any affectionate feelings for him, so there may simply not be an 'equivalent' in the language.

But you give very little information about the kind of text you are working with, though I assume it is literary.

Sorry I can't be more helpful.
Selected response from:

Christine Andersen
Denmark
Local time: 00:49
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Selected automatically based on peer agreement.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
2 +2Jock - but be careful!
Christine Andersen


Discussion entries: 7





  

Answers


13 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5 peer agreement (net): +2
scottish version of an 'arry
Jock - but be careful!


Explanation:
Somewhere I read of a WW1 army captain calling his men 'the best bunch o' Jocks on this earth' or something like that. They were from one of the Highland regiments, and he was praising their bravery.

That would fit your period, but nowadays you have to be careful about calling anyone a Jock.

According to the Concise Oxford Dictionary:
Jock
· n. informal, often offensive, a Scotsman.
– ORIGIN C16: Scots form of the given name Jack

-- and Longmans simply says it is insulting, whether used about a Scot (UK) or someone who does a lot of sport (AmE)

On the other hand some people seem to be able to live with it (see the link)

- And by the way, Taffy for a Welshman comes from Daffydd, the Welsh form of David, the patron saint of Wales. (The same warnings apply, but let's not overdo political correctness. I don't want to offend anyone, but on a site like this it is useful to know why some people might take offence. With any luck, it will promote understanding and help us avoid offending people unintentionally.)

Best wishes for Hogmanay - New Year - 2006 from a homesick British ex-pat !!



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 18 hrs 25 mins (2005-12-30 17:24:51 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

or was it : 'My Jocks are the finest men...'

It was one of those one-page translation exercises from novels we used to be set at school. I remember to this day the discussion about how to render Jocks in French - and I passed my French A-level in 1969!

I don't remember the solution. I think we decided to add a footnote and leave them as Jocks, or assume that any reader who had seen the whole book might be able to work out what was meant...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 days 8 hrs 38 mins (2006-01-02 07:37:14 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

It is not criminal to call anyone Jock - it was and is a Scottish man's name as a variant of Jack or John.

It doesn't imply that the person is directly criminal. When I was younger and lived just south of the Border (in the 1960s) it was a good-natured term for those from 'across the river' (the Tweed, which forms the Border on the Eastern side) Not often used, admittedly, but I heard it now and then.

My Scottish sister in law calls us Sassenachs affectionately (our family originally came from southern England)- and I don't think many English object to this, though the dictionary warns about that being derogatory too... But relations have not always been good between the two nations. They have in fact fought bitter wars, and a couple of centuries ago Sassenach (derived from Saxon) was a designation for the enemy among the Celtic Scots.

Some people are simply more sensitive than others about 'racial' or national designations. Feelings went just as high at one time as they do now about terms like 'negro/nigger/black' and the Jew/Aryan/Muslim discussions.

Plenty of Scots will probably happily go along with being called Jocks in the right context, but you do need to know your target group if you use it.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 days 8 hrs 42 mins (2006-01-02 07:41:56 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

If you google Jock + Scotland you will get hundreds of hits, but it wil give yo an idea of how the name is used...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 6 days (2006-01-05 07:59:16 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Tam o' Shanter

It came to me in another context that you might be able to use Tam o' Shanter. (Read the poem anyway, it's a classic ... )http://www.robertburns.org/works/308.shtml

Now this normally means a soft, round cap or hat with a bobble in the middle, but you could construct a sentence to show it was the person you were referring to - the 'original' Tam, who definitely is an archetype and would be well known in the period you are referring to.






--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 19 days (2006-01-18 08:07:39 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I've never heard the term howdy used in this sort of context, so I was wondering if anyone else had a comment.

Personally, I would probably still go for Jock in context - there is no PC warning in the 1964 Concise Oxford, though at that stage of language development, it says the term was especially linked to soldiers, as in the reference I remember.

But here it was positive - 'they may look like riff-raff, but when it comes to the point, they're really the finest men ..."

If the military context really was too much (and a large proportion of the male population had been in the army in the early 20th century, before our 'warless generations' were born, so you need to see it in that perspective) - then I might allude to Tam o'Shanter.

Otherwise, I'm not sure there was a Scottish counterpart, but surely there is someone who knows more about Scotland than I do? Would a howdy come from Glasgow or somewhere? It's possible, but I personally don't know.

Culturally, there are not so many 'great metropolis' environments in Scotland and far more isolated crofts and rural communities.

The Scots were Presbyterians, (Calvinists) and tended to be more puritan than the English, at least officially, so they would not all look so kindly on this type of person. The 'dour scot' would not admit in public to any affectionate feelings for him, so there may simply not be an 'equivalent' in the language.

But you give very little information about the kind of text you are working with, though I assume it is literary.

Sorry I can't be more helpful.


    Reference: http://www.c-zone.net/scelt/archives/archivescj.htm#jock
Christine Andersen
Denmark
Local time: 00:49
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 8
Grading comment
Selected automatically based on peer agreement.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  zaphod
4 hrs

agree  Takahe: reference "The General Danced at Dawn" by George MacDonald Fraser (author of Flashman series) first pub. 1970. He was writing of a WWII Highland regiment that had a lot of Glaswegians in it. He refers to the soldiers affectionately as "Jocks" throughout.
25 days
  -> Thanks for the reference - I must get the book! I associated it with Verdun and the Piper of Loos, a VC from WWI whose grave was in our village churchyard, but there you go.
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Changes made by editors
Jan 18, 2006 - Changes made by Marcus Malabad:
Term askedScottish version of an \'Arry » \'Arry
FieldOther » Art/Literary
Field (write-in)Old Scottish slang and terminology » Old Scottish Slang


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