Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Say What?

[posted by Callimachus]

When British newspapers run AP stories, complete with the American idioms in the suggested headlines, our cousins beyond the pond can end up baffled or even shocked.

What the hell is "Razzing?" and why the hell does Mrs Obama like to do it to her husband? We can think of downmarket porn mag Razzle, hope it has nothing to do with that.

Eursoc eventually figures it out and cancels the red (or blue) alert. The site looks like a good read and a candidate for the blogroll, which is deficient in Europeans.

The curious thing is, razz is a shortened, altered, and verbalized form of raspberry in its slang sense of "rude noise," which is itself a shortening of raspberry tart in that sense which is rhyming slang for -- well, you figure it out. All the instances of rhyming slang I know are of English origin, and so, I'm guessing is this one. If I'm right (and I don't have Partridge handy), it just happened to emigrate to America for a spell and came home again so changed as to be unrecognizable.