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Very important question about cats. - I know it's wonky and I don't care [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
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Very important question about cats. [Dec. 9th, 2006|03:46 pm]
Kake
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uon and I both know someone who talks about “smoothing” cats rather than “stroking” them, but we can't remember who it is. Is it you? Do you smooth cats? If not, do you know someone who smooths cats, and if so, where do they come from?
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[User Picture]From: vashti
2006-12-09 04:37 pm (UTC)
...yes.

I grew up saying "smooth", although these days I tend to say "pet". I would tend to prefer "stroke" over "smooth" now, but wouldn't use either.
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[User Picture]From: nou
2006-12-09 06:43 pm (UTC)
Yes, we thought it might be South Walian. But we can't think of anyone we both know who's from South Wales, except me and my family, and none of us say "smooth".

doop did wonder whether the Welsh word for stroking a cat could be translated as "smoothing", and whether that might be where it comes from — what is the Welsh word?
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[User Picture]From: vashti
2006-12-09 07:16 pm (UTC)
Bingo. Well done doop.

Geiriadur yr Academi has it as "mwythau", "rhoi mwythau iddo"; Y Geiriadur Mawr translates this back as "to pamper, to pet, to fondle". The adjective "mwythus/moethus" means "luxurious, comfortable", and one of the words for "smooth" itself is "esmwyth".
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[User Picture]From: nou
2006-12-09 07:27 pm (UTC)
Does sound very much like it's a feature of Welsh English then! Thank you.

This made me go and see if Wikipedia had an article on Welsh English (since I knew it had several on other forms of English), and sure enough it has. And now I know why I used to say "I do do it." (with no emphasis on the first "do"), and "Tidy, like!" (and am wondering if "She never." comes from the same source); and I have learned how to spell "cwtsh". Cool.
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[User Picture]From: nou
2006-12-09 07:28 pm (UTC)
And maybe also "have you got" rather than "do you have"?
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[User Picture]From: vashti
2006-12-09 07:33 pm (UTC)
"where to is that", "where are you going to".

sleetersoulfire's call centre had training to stop people doing that. :)
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[User Picture]From: vashti
2006-12-09 07:34 pm (UTC)
Oh, also, it was something like last year before I realised people don't say "cwtsh" in England.
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[User Picture]From: arkady
2006-12-10 01:40 am (UTC)
I think that's more Welsh grammar creeping through into English.

Funny little fact: Breton French and Welsh have the same grammatical structure; this is because they both have the same linguistic roots.

And the only other place in the world where Welsh is spoken is Patagonia.

(My daughters and their step-mother Jude live in Carmarthenshire, so I've been picking up titbits of Welsh myself. Jude's horse actually understands Welsh better than English.)
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[User Picture]From: hairyears
2006-12-10 05:47 pm (UTC)
Interesting: I am well aware of the differences between Anglo-Norman English and the Low German of Saxon English - but that's the first example I've heard of a 'Celtic English' outside Ireland.
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[User Picture]From: alexmc
2006-12-09 04:46 pm (UTC)
Aha! So that is what my smoothie maker is for....
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[User Picture]From: nou
2006-12-09 06:45 pm (UTC)
You are a very bad man.
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[User Picture]From: alexmc
2006-12-09 07:19 pm (UTC)
I try to persuade all the girls that, but they dont believe me....



:-)

Incidentally since my cat is quite fluffy combing him actually makes him less smooth.
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[User Picture]From: perlmonger
2006-12-09 04:47 pm (UTC)
Nope; I stroke, skritch and (in Mustrum's case) slap.
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[User Picture]From: nou
2006-12-09 06:46 pm (UTC)
That's a very nice cat you have there!
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[User Picture]From: j4
2006-12-09 06:53 pm (UTC)
Annoyingly, "smoothing cats" is not a proper googlewhack because you only get a unique hit if you use quotes, and that's cheating.
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[User Picture]From: pfy
2006-12-09 09:28 pm (UTC)

Feline resurfacing

No, but I might have to start using that rather charming expression.
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[User Picture]From: thesme_01
2006-12-11 09:28 am (UTC)
ergg/1 that's disgraceful
(I keep thinking of cat smoothies, you see)
I pet my cat. I tickle my cat. I hide behind doors and jump out at my cat. I kiss my cat. I run around and flap at my cat. I try to walk around with my cat wrapped round my ankle.
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