Wednesday, November 21, 2018


The water filter salesman who was here was a neat guy named Kadek (like our house cleaner, a woman - Bali names are not usually gender specific) and  I found him entertaining so I offered him tea. Usually people here ask for water if they want anything at all - when offered. But he said ok to green tea. Of course he wanted sweetener and was happy to have honey in it. He spoke good English but we'd veer into Indonesian too which is fun and I always learn something. I can't remember in what context but he used the word bum for butt and asked if that was the only word for the rear end.
I said no not at all - it's British English, mainly not used in America although it's my favorite word for that usage. I looked up the word and was surprised to see how differently it's used by Brits (and Aussies) and Yanks. The noun usage of it for someone who's homeless or not working is classified as North American. There are a lot of uses for the word. We went over some other words for the body part- posterior, backside, booty, bottom, gluteus maximus, ass. At ass he said he only knew that to refer to a desirable woman. I said yes, that's one use but don't use it. Definitely not with a woman and a lot of guys have learned not to talk like that now. He asked how about just telling a woman she's beautiful. I said that it's fine to say that to a local woman here - they always thank you - but you got to be careful with bule (white people), especially Americans. Better just to say hello. He found that curious.

No comments:

Post a Comment