||Topic: New information regarding the origin of
| posted March 09, 1999 12:25 PM
When this first came up, one of the designers, Laura Baldwin aka
"boojum" quickly ended all speculation, saying she made up the term.
I was quite happy with this explanation, but since then, the
question has come up a number of times amongst junior
The last time, it was tracked down to the Anglo Saxon
Chronicle. Although this turned out to be a fake, it reminded
me that there could very well be an origin for taffer, even
though boojum made it up. After all she could have read it somewhere
The most probable explanation is that she unconsciously
remembered the nursery rhyme "Taffy was a Welshman, Taffy was a
But I found some new candidates:
- tàfa This is Dolomite Ladin (sic!), one of
the obscure languages that are collectively known as
Rhaeto-Romance. It means buttock or bum, and is
either onomatopoeic (although I don't see how) or derived from the
- tafar This was translated as
Schwanzriemen in my source (tail thong in
English, but very obscene in German). I couldn't verify this,
however, because I can't read Arabic and therefore couldn't find
tafar in the dictionary.
- tafur This is Old French and my best candidate.
Amongst other things, it means tramp or, CMIIW,
If you've read all the way through this, why don't you post a
reply, so that the topic stays on top of the list for future
newbies. Just say what a language freak I am, or find a better
translation for that obscene Arabic word.
-Kyloe, language FREAK
| posted March 09, 1999 01:55 PM
Blasen mein schwanz.
Or is it schwanz mein blasen? Logically, the
latter doesn't make any sense (to me, anyway), but some german dude
once told me that's what it was... ah well.
You know, of course,
that most students of language are only interested in the curses,
Ah well. I gotta read some stuff for my
French class in an hour...
heh... i'm gonna get a C in my elementary german class. I know
the language, but he's docking heavily for absences, and it's my
first class and i'm nocturnal and narcoleptic, so I don't go as much
as I should. Ah well.
| posted March 09, 1999 06:28 PM
Anyone familiar with a Brit. TV series called "Cracker?" It was on
the other night while I was at my computer. (Yeah, I know that's
frowned upon, but it wasn't like I was playing Thief.) Anyway, I'll
be damned if one of these homicide detectives on the show didn't
refer to a suspect as a taffer. I asked an Aussie friend of mine,
cause he's helped define some other Brit. slang for me, and he said,
"Sure, a taffer's like an A-hole." Anybody have any Brit. friends to
O barbarous and bloody spectacle!
| posted March 09, 1999 09:23 PM
Hey Crackers rules!
It's "Blase meinen Schwanz!", and that's very obscene, redEye
(and somewhat stilted)!
But you're right, that's what we really
want to know. I've been wondering about the spelling of 'booger' for
years, (you know, the things in your nose) and I'm still not sure
about the spelling.
Those who ha' w' Garrett bled
| posted March 09, 1999 11:58 PM
heehee... i knew it!
i usually see it as "booger," fyi,
and that's how i've always spelt [sic] it. anything else about the
vernacular that you'd like to know?
many languages can you curse in, dude (include dead ones)? ;o)
oh, and if i'm catching your meaning right, that's not
quite how stilted is usually used, methinks. and sorry if i
offended anyone with my weak attempt there...
grrr... i just
realized that i forgot to capitalise the nouns again. ah well.
one more thing, Kyloe (and anyone else here who learned english
as a second language) - would you consider your knowledge of english
to be british, american, or both?
[This message has been edited by redEye (edited March 09,
| posted March 10, 1999 03:53 AM
Anuther fine example of a thread divergin. Yer realize that yer
discussin the right spellin fer the crud up yer nose, don't yer?
Hist and Ho
| posted March 10, 1999 07:14 AM
Hey redeye, maybe the reverse of the term is the way to make it
non-obscene or something. As you may know, the phrase "Ich bin
heiß." is not something you should say in public, but instead "Mir
ist heiß." (when the temperature is too warm) The first, if you
don't know, means that you're horny. Stupid, but real. Or, it could
be regional dialect. It was strange, I was taught northern German
dialect in school, but I've only visited Bayern and Austria. I
understood the Austrians a lot better than the Müncheners. (is the
Austrian dialect closer to the the northern German dialect than the
bavarian dialect? for you, Kyloe)
| posted March 10, 1999 08:33 AM
What you learn in school is the language of your teachers. Some of
them have spent a year in High School in America, but that's the
young generation. Most of my teachers have learnt an English English
(and that's a sensible remark!), with an RP accent.
As far as I'm
concerned, that's the accent to achieve, because it's so
unnatural and at the same time the most prestigious. Most people
pick up bits of a language phonetically. They remember little pieces
of speech with the accent. If I was to play back the things I want
to say in the exact way that I've heard them, this would be a fine
mess of accents.
I could never master a more natural accent; it's
too ridiculous to start in a Northern accent and continue in a
Southern accent. You lose credit quickly that way.
heard that people like to hear where you come from in your accent.
But as a German, I can't do that. There's a difference in perception
of a mock French accent (lovable) and a mock German accent
(teutonic). Even if English spoken with an educated German accent
sounds rather pleasant,
"His virtues else, be they as pure as
As infinite as man may undergo,
Shall in the general
censure take corruption
From that particular fault." [Hamlet 1:4]
PS: My last teacher's name was Kraut. It must have been hell in
Those who ha' w' Garrett bled
| posted March 10, 1999 04:53 PM
heehee... that's like having a french prof named "froggie" . actually, my
current french prof is named Schlossman, which sounds more German
than French (to me, anwyay).
uhh... what's an RP accent? is that
that arrogant british one (IIRC, it was created just so the nobility
would sound different from the peons)?
and if a native speaker
heard me speak any language other than my own, they'd probably have
_no_ idea what i was saying. maybe after next semester that'd
change... actually, i'm pretty lucky in that my mom forced me to
speak correctly (she's a speetch pathlolgist). if she weren't, i
think i'd have a horrible accent - a mix of New England, New York,
and New Jersey. at least i'm not picking up pittsburgh speak... yet
what was the original topic again? ;-)
| posted March 10, 1999 05:48 PM
I like the idea...
Taifeid (Gaelic) bow-string.
Tahur (Spanish) gambler, cheat.
Tajar (Spanish) to cut
Nothing seems to fit in Japanese (the "f" sound is a stretch
anyway) but I'll keep looking.
Mom was right : Silence IS golden.
| posted March 10, 1999 06:20 PM
I couldn't think of anything in Japanese... and a quick search of a
pocket dictionary didn't produce anything remotely useful... but for
anyone who wants to say 'thief' in Japanese, it's dorobo... or
zoku... but I can't find anything near to Taffer except maybe
'Tofu'... heh... bean curds, anyone?
Anyway, I'm impressed people found this much background to
something s'posed to have none... Laura must really be imbued with
language, eh? Heheh... in tune with that language vibe...
Archdaemon, Grandmaster of Perdition,
otherwise known as "He Who Names His Lint"
| posted March 10, 1999 08:05 PM
JordanCS, what you’ve learnt is probably High German (originally
from the South) in a northern accent, as opposed to Low German, or
Platt (cf. flat), which is the northern vernacular. Dutch and
Anglo-Saxon are variants of Low German.
Austrians are easy to
understand, because they speak sooo slooowly (must be the thin air)
and their accent isn’t too far from the standard High German, which
is spoken in its purest form in and around Lower Saxony (in the
North). Lytha will probably speak that way.
It’s hard to
understand Bavarians if they don’t adjust. And they would never do
that for a ‘Prussian’ like me.
redEye, Schlossman/Schloßmann is indeed German (‘he who lives in
a castle’). If he’s from France, he could be Alsatian (woof!). Or
he’s from Switzerland. Or he’s Jewish.
RP = Received
Pronunciation, or Public School English. It’s modelled on the
educated dialect of Southern England. Oh, and yes, it’s that
arrogant British one.
I have to check Japanese tomorrow. And where’s that Russian who
bought Thief for four dollars? He could check the Slavonic languages
Those who ha' w' Garrett bled