24 November, 2020

Buk Buk

Buk Buk
All cultures have expressions to denote a surfeit of words, for going on and on, rambling, for verbal sound and fury which signifies nothing. The English use the phrase blah blah'. Americans add the variation yackety yak', probably taken from Yiddish. The literary English representation of someone nattering on, is rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb.'

In the film, The King And I, Yul Brynner, playing the King of Siam, in most of his conversations, would assume that the words coming at the end of his sentences were redundant and he would conclude with 'et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.. ' " taking it to be a Royal English conceit. The word bakwaas' has rich connotations and is elegant in itself. The expressions in Indian languages for meaningless chatter are, as in English, double barrelled: buk-buk' (in Hindi and Urdu) and bud-bud' in Marathi. The interrogative statement asking someone to shut up, would be: Why are you doing this bud-bud? '

When I began teaching in a school in a poor, immigrant area of London, the children, who reacted to my being...



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