Ganderflanking with Eminem

on Thursday, 05 December 2013. Posted in Traditions and Folklore

It all started with an interview on the Radio Wiltshire morning show on the last Friday in November. I was there to talk about the Lacock Unlocked project, Wiltshire dialect and the Wiltshire Folk Life audio archive held at the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre. After spouting ‘The Farmers Rant’, a rap in Wiltshire dialect, we talked about old dialect words, long forgotten or fallen out of use. Presenter Sim was much taken with the word ‘ganderflanking’ meaning aimless messing around.

Within minutes of the interview concluding he had begun a campaign to get the word into the Oxford English Dictionary. Listeners were encouraged to use the word and the editor of the OED was interviewed and later confirmed that the word did exist (phew!)

 

Before long support had come in for the campaign from a Swindon MP and people were quizzed about it in the street. At the beginning of this month a Bishop even used the term ‘ganderflanking’ in a radio interview. Through the magic of technology the BBC managed a collaboration between my ‘Farmers’  rap and the music of rapper Eminem which proved so popular at the time it was played at least once every hour! It was somewhat disconcerting to hear Wiltshire dialect (let alone myself) blaring out of car windows as I walked home! The rap even found its way onto Radio 4 on Sunday. Has the Wiltshire dialect ever generated such a high profile?... It’s amazing how these things snowball. Am I pleased?

Well, as our Victorian moonraker ancestors may have said;
“I be az vlush’d az a toad we feathers”

Mervin Grist
Conservator at the WSHC and artist, writer and performer

Comments (8)

  • Sheila Marston

    Sheila Marston

    29 December 2013 at 18:09 |
    What a lovely word (I can't stop saying it) hope it becomes more popular not just with us Wiltshire 'bumkins'

    Best wishes for 2014.
    Sheila

    reply

  • Julie Davis

    Julie Davis

    02 January 2014 at 14:32 |
    We couldn't agree more Sheila. The campaign is still active on twitter and may yet get reach the contents of the OED!

    reply

  • Julie Davis

    Julie Davis

    10 January 2014 at 11:59 |
    Update on the campaign: the word 'Ganderflanking' has been used in Parliament today... making progress!

    reply

  • Tim Gander

    Tim Gander

    12 January 2014 at 16:37 |
    As you'll guess from my name, I'd be quite impressed if "ganderflanking" made it into the dictionary! But if you don't mind me saying, who took the photo here?! Were they just ganderflanking with the camera?!

    reply

  • Julie Davis

    Julie Davis

    14 January 2014 at 10:03 |
    Very apt, Tim! We were indeed ganderflanking with the camera, all for the sake of rap... and ganderflanking of course:)

    reply

  • Darren

    Darren

    27 February 2014 at 09:09 |
    Unfortunately, I missed the show. Is there a transcript of the 'farmers' rap or a recording I could listen to?

    reply

  • Julie Davis

    Julie Davis

    01 March 2014 at 10:58 |
    Good question, Darren! I'll ask Mervyn and will get back to you shortly...

    reply

  • Julie Davis

    Julie Davis

    04 March 2014 at 14:10 |
    The rap can be found at www.cleverlybrothers.co.uk - happy listening!

    reply

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