Hearing a rendition of the Afrikaans song Jan Pierewiet, taken from the call of a bird known as the bokmakirie (the bokmakierie, Telophorus zeylonus, is a bushshrike). recently reminded me of the false impressions I originally had of the words to it. For a start, thanks to naughty aunts, I thought it went, in translation:
Jan Pierewit, Jan Pierewiet, Jan Pierewit stand still,
‘I can’t,’ said Jan Pierewiet, ‘I’ve taken a pill . . .’
Then the part that continues:
‘Goeiemôre my vrou,
Hier’s ‘n soentjie vir jou,
Goeiemôre my man,
Daar is koffee in die kan.’
(Meaning: Good morning my wife, here’s a little kiss for you — soentjie) — good morning my husband, there is coffee in the pot) I took for years as being: Good morning my wife, here’s a little boy for you, (seuntjie).
I thought the offer of coffee was a fairly casual response to whatever mysterious process was involved in making a little boy. I hadn’t figured out the birds and bees thing yet at that stage.
I was then led to being reminded of my conviction that there was a special religious word ‘Wunsing’. It occurred in the hymn, ‘Tell me the old, old story of wunsing things above,’ and the carol ‘Wunsing Royal David’s City’.
That brought on a family discussion where it was recalled that grandson used to refer to Lyme Regis as Library Juice and Peanut Butter as Penis Butter — and he wasn’t trying to be funny.
Does anyone else have similar things to recount?