Ganderflanking with Eminem
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”
Conservator at the WSHC and artist, writer and performer