Back Passage

​My mate Gav – he’s bonkers he is. Proper bonkers. We got to talking about when we was kids the other day and I says something about going down the gennel and he says What? What’s a gennel? Now I’m from Sheffield and that’s what we called a … like a cut-through, between the houses, you know? Like, if you wanted to get down to the shops you’d guh dahn’t gennel. So I says to him, Its a short cut. And he says Oh, you mean a ginnel! Well, I know he’s from Leeds and all that but I wasn’t having none of that so I says Nah, it’s a gennel, Mate. Now everyone knows that when you call a mate Mate you’re being serious but he wasn’t having none of it neither. So I gets to thinking – as you do – that gennel and ginnel prolly have their etymological roots (yep – I went to college, you know!) in the same word – general, as in general passageway, as in one that’s open to public access. I’m just about to tell him this, but I see that he sees that I’ve gone all quiet and so he’s gone all dark – you know? So out of devilment I says You’re prolly talking about your back passage, with a proper serious look on my face, and so he says You leave my back passage out of this, young man (which is a laugh ’cause he’s, like, five years younger than me) and then he says There’ll be no going up or down my back passage thank you very much. Well, he had his indignant face on then, but I could tell he was just having us on, even when he muttered something about clobbering us. So I says Another? and he nodded, and I took the glasses back to the bar for a top-up.

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33 thoughts on “Back Passage

  1. I swear I once read a poem or something about all the different regional words for alley/short cut. I have no idea where though…
    This was fun! You’re really good at this sort of laid back style of writing. I have a really hard time with it.

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