Sunday, 22 August 2010

Ming the Merciless

As colourful and vibrant as Australian English is, there are a few Yorkshire words that I'd like to see get more of a look in over here. Melbourne weather being what it is, words such as mafting and nithered would add a ceratin je ne sais what to many a conversation. Equally I rather miss the word bifta which always felt a little less wanky than 'pot'.

However the word I'd really like to see more use of is ming. Or minger. Or minging. Or any variation thereof really. I love the word minger. It's practically perfect for evoking a sense of measured disgust for anything. That might include food ('this kebab is minging but I'm too drunk to care'); weather ('wrap up, it's minging out'); illness ('sorry I can't come in to work today, I've got a minging headache'); smells ('who did that minging fart during the second act? I bet it was you Gielgud, you minger'); art ('I appreciate much of de Kooning's work but that painting is totally minging') or a person's general presentation ('you ming - get in the shower and wash it off now'). I'm less fond of the slightly nasty way it gets used to describe someone's looks ('is that your fella? He's a minger') but this is what happens when language is abducted by the ignorant.

I appreciate that our position in the heart of Asia makes more widespread use of the M word a little less savoury for some, given it's popularity as a surname amongst the Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean communities. That said, I'm sure that Federal MP Joanna Gash, the owners of Canberra model village Cockington Green and the residents of Cockburn, Western Victoria will tell you that life isn't always fair.

So Australia, start spreading the news, we're minging today. Go gently at first - trying out new words takes time and you don't want to look silly. Perhaps something simple like 'don't pick your nose and wipe it on the settee, you minger.' Should the situation arise of course. In the interim, here are some photos I've taken to inspire you as you go about your private business (not that kind of business, you minger...)

and on and on... Minging in Enmore, NSW

never has been a minger sounded so pleasant...
Ming yourself serene in Melbourne

Feel free to email in any pictures or stories of your own minging ways to or leave a comment below. But no minging ones.

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