Famous “quotes” of Batticaloa Burghers
Further to the “Burgher Buggers” as we were all fondly “referred to” by our Sinhalese,Tamil, Muslim & Malay friends in “My Lovely Island Home” there was one “lot” who will always be remembered for their very famous “quotes”. These were spoken in what was termed “broken English”, not scratched, slivered, or “slightly-dented”, but severely broken English
These good folk were known as “Batticaloa Burghers”, who did not necessarily come from Batticaloa alone, but anywhere in Lanka, where the Queens English did not mean very much to them.
While we were growing up in Ceylon, broken-English was all around us and we did’nt take too much notice of these warm & wonderful quotes but now, as I sit here writing these memorable sayings of the B.B., I cannot help but feel a tinge of nostalgia steadily creeping up into my heart and a wry smile makes it way into a chuckle that I will try to share with readers of eLanka. These are wonderful memories.!
When was the last time you heard “Come here chile and stop “fujigraphing” (meddling about) OR,
“Yo’ll die & go, I’ll bury & put”!(self-explanatory)
“Border catch & go” (otherwise you’ll fly off the edge)
“Almairah-top,got & have” (what I need. GET IT! !)
“Bark, what dog in, won’t dog when I come”(What kind of a pariah dog that? !, when will? )
“Almairah-top got & have seeni-bunnis, bunko stool put & take” (Stand on a stool & get me some sugar-buns, what the hell they doing almairah-top, I don’t know chile! )
“Slipper don’t get waste. PUT, PARIAH!”(Put the slipper on, so it won’t be a wasted expense, MONGREL!
“Moodavi or Moospaynthu” ( Curmudgeon, Spoiler, Spoilsport )
” Where to catch men?” (Unattainable, beyond reach)
“What for the telling men? ” (Goes without saying)
“Mummy, come soon, mutton eating croton! “( Mater, goats are eating your croton plants, come quickly!”)
“Mummy said to tell Mummy not at home”(child-talk)
“I will put him a pattas”( “give him a good hard slap”)
“”You are a gamaya men”! (A Villager/simple-minded)
“Gumayata magic” (simple-minded idiot’s magic)
“A Mikko” (someone who has no dress-style or class).
These “Mikkos” were also people who did’nt give a damn for the “Classic Dutch Burghers” anyway. They lived their lives singing bailas, dancing “kafferinga -style, eating hoppers, stringhoppers, pol-sambol & rice, producing more Mikkos, occasionally stealing “jac-fruit” from their neighbours’ gardens and generally having a good time, especially when under the influence of “ganga & “kassippu”. They were also an important part of the Country, once called Ceylon, now Sri Lanka.
Desmond (Kelly from Colombo).