[DWJ] Brigstow/Bristol (was Big Bad Read)

Jon Noble jon_p_noble at yahoo.com
Sun Jun 25 10:21:04 EDT 2006



--- Charles Butler <charlescbutler at btinternet.com> >  

> > "Where's us to now then?" is something I have also
> heard, said by a schoolgirl on a bus in a fog. It
> isn't just an accent, there are times it's a whole
> 'nother language.
>    
>   That one confused me when I first moved to
> Bristol. For a long time I assumed it translated as
> 'Where are we going?', whereas (as you'll know) it
> actually means just 'Where are we?' I'd be
> interested to hear from anyone knowledgeable about
> such linguistic matters what the 'to' is doing
> there.
>    

In Broken Hill, in just about the centre of Australia,
there is a similar use of "to". The locals* would say
"where's it to?" meaning "where is it at?" I
understood it was a usage from the Cornish miners who
settled the area.
* to be a local in Broken Hill you had to be born
there, while we were living there the local paper ran
an obituary of someone who had lived in the town since
1910 which began "although not a local,..."

Jon, from an Internet cafe in Bugibba on Malta and
desperately trying to cope with 799 emails in my DWJ
folder that have appeared since I left Oz a month ago.


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