Growing in Cuteness; Childhood Misconceptions

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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?

© July 2019 Colonialist

About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies. Recently Indie Publishing has been added to this list.
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12 Responses to Growing in Cuteness; Childhood Misconceptions

  1. Op berge en sandale…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. guyportman says:

    Wunsing – I like that. Timmy and Tommy sure are cute cats.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. de Wets Wild says:

    Miss-heard song lyrics and kid’s mangling of common phrases can have me in stitches any time!
    I still go into a laughing fit just thinking of my younger brother using the phrase “Jy moenie iemand op sy baadjie kastreer nie” in casual conversation…

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Very funny, Col. There was a song we sang in Sunday school, one of the lines of which was “Why shouldn’t I, why shouldn’t I praise him too?” This was translate by my sister and I as “Wash in Tide, Wash in Tide………” Another one was a song my sister sang which mentioned “two blossoms on a bough,” which became “two bosoms on a bough.” 😀


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