Bitch on the Blog

June 19, 2010


Filed under: Communication,Despair,Happiness — bitchontheblog @ 15:24

When you earn your living, as do I, by being a two timing latter day Mata Hari/double agent/Russian spy/James Bond in drag you know that enemies will be made faster than you can say ‘Kaloshnikov”. Which is rather a pity since one should always pull the other one first.

Dear sweet gaelikaa recently suggested to maintain ‘decorum’.  A subject which I will delve into as deep and decoratively as I can – albeit in instalments since I currently shouldn’t be writing, employing invective as safety valve instead.

To keep you in suspense, and source shall not be revealed this minute, how about this I came across in the early hours of a fine Friday in June 2010 (being bold my own fair editing):

Some people, the Irish, for example, and people from Belfast in particular, revel in a sort of mutual banter where the participants sail as close to the wind with their insults as they dare, backing off a little if things go too far, only to resume for another round. Belfast people have a very low threshold for pretentiousness, and anyone putting on airs find themselves unceremoniously stripped bare in the cutting wit of a good ‘slagging’.

I wish I were Irish.





  1. The main thing I learned from the English is that disparaging remarks are to be made with the utmost care: it is an opportunity to exercise classical rhetorical skills, explore the limits of allegory, and the entire glorious history of English vocabulary must be searched for the precise word that brings a certain exquisite touch to the proceedings. All the while, decorum must be maintained so that there is no risk of degenerating into American style crudities which are only slightly more evolved than cavemen grunting at each other. Needless to say, I am looking forward to gaining more insights on ‘decorum’.

    Comment by Looney — June 19, 2010 @ 15:37 | Reply

    • Looney, they say: The way to a man’s heart is via his stomach.

      To which I’d like to add: The way to a woman’s heart is via poetic prose.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — June 20, 2010 @ 03:09 | Reply

      • I am not into poetry, but have recently been reading the Qur’an, which is supposed to be poetic prose if you know Arabic. Is reciting the Qur’an the way to a woman’s heart?

        Comment by Looney — June 20, 2010 @ 14:49 | Reply

  2. You don’t have to be Irish to learn the art of slagging, Ursula. You do it by making a laugh of people and pulling them down off their pedestal lest they become too big headed. It is an acquired skill but it comes with practise. I have to say I haven’t quite mastered the art. My recent attempt at slagging you was misunderstood….

    Comment by gaelikaa — June 19, 2010 @ 17:19 | Reply

    • gaelikaa, honestly: You were trying to pull me off my pedestal? Chance being a fine thing.

      Slag away. Practice makes perfect – or so I have been told.

      Since I have adopted the British art of giving the benefit of the doubt (it was the first thing father of my son taught me before I’d even so much as set foot on these isles) I rarely do misunderstand. All I do stand on is my head.

      Apropos decorum, ‘slag’ has a somewhat dubious connotation. Never thought about it until just now. Expanding on which: I don’t think I have ever called a woman ‘a slag’, in whatever language. Sorry, veering off the subject, as usual. I don’t know how YOUR mind works. Mine just darts all over the place. Driving me mad at times.


      PS I know one doesn’t have to be Irish but it helps

      Comment by bitchontheblog — June 20, 2010 @ 03:01 | Reply

  3. Slagging is another form of joking. If a person starts to get upset, you clap them on the back and say ‘ah, sure, I’m only slaggin’ ya’

    Comment by gaelikaa — June 19, 2010 @ 17:21 | Reply

  4. From my ten years in Belfast, I would say that quote is spot on. Yes, on-the-edge banter and yes, cutting the pretentious down to size. The latter tendency is one of the wonderful things about NI. Nobody here could get away with a pompous smart-arse for more than 5 minutes.

    I assume you live in England btw, but I might be wrong. I notice you don’t divulge your whereabouts.

    Comment by Nick — June 19, 2010 @ 21:09 | Reply

    • Nick, yes, indeed. I do live in England. South Coast – to be more precise Dorset. Stone throw from Stonehenge, five minutes from the overcliff, and seven minutes from the promenade before hitting the next pier. Clue, first reef in Europe – hailed as competition to Malibu yet, years and many pounds Sterling on, somewhat not quite coming up to expectation – but, and I say this most affectionately, that’s the English for you: They couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — June 20, 2010 @ 03:17 | Reply

      • The project I did was in Tiverton. Another engineer was working remotely from his 14th century farm and I was sent there to do some programming. It is a lovely area.

        Comment by Looney — June 20, 2010 @ 14:53 | Reply

  5. That should be “get away with being….”

    Comment by Nick — June 19, 2010 @ 21:11 | Reply

  6. It’s an old sport that one…stand face to face with your opponent and then insult each other to blazes until on e cracks and “loses it”!

    Comment by magpie11 — June 20, 2010 @ 22:42 | Reply

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