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Dialect

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Tas
44283.  Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:17 am Reply with quote

Query:

I'm NAFF...?

:-)

Tas

 
Quaintly Ignorant
44294.  Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:51 am Reply with quote

Polari

There are a number of folk etymologies of the term "naff", many based around acronyms - Not Available For F***ing, Normal As F*** - though these are probably backronyms.

Polari on Wikipedia

 
Gray
44299.  Mon Jan 09, 2006 12:12 pm Reply with quote

I enjoyed that B&D show - nice idea and QIly done, I thought. Can NAFF really have its origin as an acronym, though - I'm automatically suspicious of anything that claims to originate in that way (see 'POSH', etc.) Backronymns, they're called.

My (slightly creaking) OED doesn't list it, but does list NAAFI (The Navy, Army and Air Force Institute) which was the slightly rubbish canteen for the armed forces, established in 1927. Might it have come from that, reflecting the distinctly non-luxurious nature of the food? The Goon Show, like nearly all immediately post-war humour, is full of NAAFI jokes...

 
Gray
44300.  Mon Jan 09, 2006 12:13 pm Reply with quote

Oops, sorry Quaintly Ignorant, I missed your post for some reason!

 
Tas
44302.  Mon Jan 09, 2006 12:16 pm Reply with quote

I always thought that naff was something particularly bad.
I suspect that comes from nasty? nafty?

:-)

Tas

 
rat
44312.  Mon Jan 09, 2006 12:44 pm Reply with quote

Princess Anne once told photographers to naff off after she had fell off her horse at the Badminton Horse trials in 1985.
s. BBC News web site

 
mckeonj
44357.  Mon Jan 09, 2006 2:33 pm Reply with quote

NAFF is definitely derived from NAAFI; I should know, I was there! "Cream slice and a Ruby Goffa; and a packet of Woodbines, Brenda."

 
djgordy
44361.  Mon Jan 09, 2006 2:50 pm Reply with quote

mckeonj wrote:
NAFF is definitely derived from NAAFI; I should know, I was there! "Cream slice and a Ruby Goffa; and a packet of Woodbines, Brenda."


I posted on this a few weeks ago:

http://www.qi.com/talk/viewtopic.php?p=41595&highlight=naff#41595

 
dr.bob
44527.  Tue Jan 10, 2006 9:52 am Reply with quote

The Polari explanation offered in Balderdash and Piffle was that people were referred to by two acronyms. If they were gay, then they were "TBH" or "To Be Had". If they were straight, then they were "NAFF" (Not Available For Fucking).

I suppose it's possible that NAFF would've caught on better than the less pronouncable TBH, though I know how everyone is a bit suspicious of acronym explanations of words.

 
mckeonj
44577.  Tue Jan 10, 2006 12:02 pm Reply with quote

On Dialect .v. Language:
In Northern Ireland, also known as Norn Irn, an attempt is being made at the moment to have the 'Ulster Scots' dialect officially designated as a language on a par with Erse (Irish Gaelic). Hopeless case, I'd say, the dialect is literally barbaric, to my ear it sounds something like 'hoot na hoot na hoo'. Aye.

 
QI Individual
44597.  Tue Jan 10, 2006 12:55 pm Reply with quote

mckeonj wrote:
In Northern Ireland, also known as Norn Irn

Hence Irn Bru?

 
AndyE
44669.  Tue Jan 10, 2006 7:39 pm Reply with quote

"Made in Scotland from Girders"

Is it actually correct that the Advertising Standards Authority made A G Barr and Co (who make Irn Bru) stop saying this on the grounds that it wasn't true? Or is it just an urban myth, and the company simply got fed up of it?

Meanwhile, if you doubt that the dialect v language debate is political, the Northern Ireland thing proves it. I imagine the proponents of language status are chiefly to be found among the Lesser Number. I quite like that accent/ dialect/language though - too many years of watching Jim McDonald be the only sensible person on Coronation Street. Too many years, so it was James.

 
djgordy
44674.  Tue Jan 10, 2006 7:54 pm Reply with quote

I think that the 'made in Scotland from Girders' thing was dropped because of repositioning in the market rather than from pressure from the ASA. However, they then decided to 'sex it up' and then got in trouble with the ASA.

 
Efros
255928.  Thu Jan 10, 2008 6:54 pm Reply with quote

The mind boggles at sexxed up Irn Bru, now with added Viagra or what?

 
Bondee
257070.  Sat Jan 12, 2008 2:38 pm Reply with quote

It does contain a (very) small amount of iron though. The ingredients list 0.002% of ammonium ferric citrate.

 

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