Friday, June 6, 2008

My Boss Was Really Chuffed

At work, we do "sprints" to get from milestone to milestone. There's a software methodology that's been making the rounds in the last decade or two that companies adopt or adapt depending on how it fits their way of thinking. A sprint is really just the time between milestones or fixed dates where certain parts of the program are completed.

After our third sprint, when the whole team (now grown to a dozen people) were all gathered around, my boss told us that he was "really chuffed about how the sprint turned out."

He then went on to talk about something else, but I stopped him and asked him to back up a little bit. Chuffed? Chuffed doesn't sound good. With the word "huff" in there and some resemblance to "chufe" or "choof" (collegiate terminology for losing control of the last several hours worth of beer in a violent, spectacular and messy display of no doubt deeply seated personal problems as yet untended) the word "chuffed" sounds decidedly double-plus-un-good.

"Um, pumped. Pleased. Excited." was the definition I got back from a room full of Kiwis amused by my poor grasp of distinctly local colloquialisms. Every time I stumble on nomenclature or idiomatic expressions ("he was definitely taking the Mickey out of him") that I'm not familiar with, the people around me are amused but also seem to take a certain pride in the terminologies that are so distinctly un-American.

I also had a problem with "knackered" which is pronounced something close to "naked" which made for an interesting lunch time conversation about a co-worker's impending trip to London, New York and then Vancouver.

"You'll be pretty naked when you get back, I'll bet."


1 comment:

Rachel said...

Hi There, we are the Ray family and are emigrating from the UK this September to Wellington (poss. Island Bay or Kelburn) just found your great blog and had to smile at the chuffed reference, as we use it all the time here and don't give a thought to the fact that it is such a weird thing to say! - anyways just wanted to say hi - we have a blog too - although it's way behind by a few weeks - at we hope to use it like you do to keep in touch with family and friends here in England - best wishes - Rachel Ray