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Folklore: 'Going a bit Bodmin'

Compton 18 May 05 - 01:25 PM
Jeanie 18 May 05 - 02:09 PM
Bev and Jerry 18 May 05 - 02:49 PM
Bev and Jerry 18 May 05 - 02:50 PM
Bev and Jerry 18 May 05 - 02:51 PM
alanabit 18 May 05 - 02:54 PM
Jeanie 18 May 05 - 03:47 PM
alanabit 18 May 05 - 04:07 PM
Jeanie 18 May 05 - 04:46 PM
Cats at Work 19 May 05 - 04:01 AM
GUEST,Allen 19 May 05 - 04:14 AM
Liz the Squeak 19 May 05 - 05:43 AM
GUEST, Topsy 19 May 05 - 07:18 AM
breezy 19 May 05 - 08:00 AM
Liz the Squeak 19 May 05 - 09:01 AM
breezy 19 May 05 - 09:07 AM
Liz the Squeak 19 May 05 - 09:08 AM
GUEST,anonanonanon 19 May 05 - 10:57 AM
GUEST, Topsy 19 May 05 - 10:58 AM
Jos 19 May 05 - 05:08 PM
Liz the Squeak 19 May 05 - 05:15 PM
GUEST,Joe Fogey 19 May 05 - 07:00 PM
gnomad 20 May 05 - 04:44 AM
The Fooles Troupe 20 May 05 - 06:43 AM
GUEST,Disillusioned 06 Aug 11 - 01:37 PM
Gurney 06 Aug 11 - 05:35 PM
Will Fly 07 Aug 11 - 06:35 AM
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Subject: Folklore: 'Going a bit Bodmin'
From: Compton
Date: 18 May 05 - 01:25 PM

Now here's a thing!...Being very much a Midlander and not getting South (too) often, I saw on the (amusing) TV nonsense that was "Doc Martin" (Martin Clunes), one of the characters say that someone was "a bit Bodmin". Now I've never heard this saying before. Is it Kosher, or a scriptwriters dream?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Going a bit Bodmin'
From: Jeanie
Date: 18 May 05 - 02:09 PM

It's genuine. It's a Cornish slang expression meaning "crazy, loopy, daft" etc., probably dating back a very long way, referring to the "County Lunatic Asylum" that was opened in Bodmin in 1820. It was being frequently used amongst the school children I taught in Cornwall back in the 1970s. I heard it on "Doc Martin", too - so it must still be in regular use. I'm sure current Cornish Mudcatters will be along to corroborate this.

My favourite Cornish expression: "I'll do that dreckly" (i.e. directly) - the Cornish equivalent of Spanish "manana" !

- jeanie


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Going a bit Bodmin'
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 18 May 05 - 02:49 PM

When we were there we were told that "dreckly" is like "manana" - but without the sense of udgency!

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Going a bit Bodmin'
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 18 May 05 - 02:50 PM

make that urgendy.

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Going a bit Bodmin'
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 18 May 05 - 02:51 PM

No, not urgendy, urgency.

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Going a bit Bodmin'
From: alanabit
Date: 18 May 05 - 02:54 PM

Spot on Jeanie. It was always a local gag that the Bodmin folks were a little, er, different. These myths seem to have a long life!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Going a bit Bodmin'
From: Jeanie
Date: 18 May 05 - 03:47 PM

Here's a similar kind of long-lived myth about the small town of Coggeshall in Essex. Here, the inhabitants are said to be not so much crazy as just plain slow-witted and disorganized. The link suggests that the idea originates from a group of civilian volunteers from Coggeshall during the Napoleonic Wars, who were satirized in a very popular play written by the town's schoolmaster in 1804 - an earlier version of "Dad's Army".

Are there any more towns or locations which long-standing "reputations" such as these, that other Mudcatters can add ?

- jeanie


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Going a bit Bodmin'
From: alanabit
Date: 18 May 05 - 04:07 PM

You should be flooded with replies on this one. Just thinking of three cities I know, they all have their fall guys for the jokes. In Cologne, you can always get a laugh at the expense of people from neighbouring Bergheim, which is to the West. In Basel, they make jokes about people from "Klein Basel" - on the other bank of the Rhine. In Linz, Austria, they get a lot of mileage out of jokes about people from the "Mühlviertel", whom they also call "Urfahrmarkter", meaning folks to the North of the Donau.
It will be interesting to hear what various Scots, Irish, Americans, Canadians, Aussies and New Zealanders can add to this list!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Going a bit Bodmin'
From: Jeanie
Date: 18 May 05 - 04:46 PM

When I lived in Freiburg, in the Black Forest, the equivalent to the "Bodmin" expression (and for the same reason) was to say that someone "came from Emmendingen".

Some years ago, we thought we were going to move to Northamptonshire because of a work transfer, and an estate agent warned against the town of Desborough: "People say around here that the Desborough folk are peculiar. It's a funny place. Lots of inbreeding." Whether this was an estate agents' ploy because they had properties they wanted to sell in Market Harborough or somewhere else, I don't know....

- jeanie


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Going a bit Bodmin'
From: Cats at Work
Date: 19 May 05 - 04:01 AM

I work in Bodmin and the phrase 'going bit Bodmin' is still in everyday usage. As said above, it comes from when the County Lunatic Asylum, now St Lawrences hospital, was based in the town. Much of the old building is now being re developed as 'desirable residences' but there still is a mental health facility in the town. There was quite an uproar when they used the phrase in Doc Martin but it has all died down now.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Going a bit Bodmin'
From: GUEST,Allen
Date: 19 May 05 - 04:14 AM

Look at Asterix, countless of 'Bodmin' style gags.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Going a bit Bodmin'
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 19 May 05 - 05:43 AM

Well I'm surprised no-one has mentioned Gotham - a real town, nothing to do with Batman, but everything to do with silly things - there's even a song about it (Madmen of Gotham), which doesn't appear to be in the Digitrad but should be. If I ever find the words I'll post them. Basically they want to capture a cuckoo that's in the square so they build a cage around it. It flies out the top because they put no roof on.

In my locale (Dorset), it was known as 'being Forston' - from the Forston asylum at Herrison, a small village about 3 miles outside the county town of Dorchester. The original asylum building was built in the 1700's and was still 'occupied' as recently as 1990. The main 'mental hospital' and staff accommodation that grew up nearby in Victorian times is now a very nice housing complex - huge rooms, fireplaces, sweeping lawns down to a little stream and a large pine copse... what a lot of tennents don't know is that in that pine copse is the original asylum building and housed some fairly violent people that were in no way suitable for release into the general populace when Maggie Thatcher introduced 'Care in the Community' (we think she did it so there wouldn't be any institutions to put HER into)....

Back in the 17/1800's people were committed for many illnesses that we treat with drugs these days, diabetes and epilepsy being two of them. My great, great, great grandmother spent the last years of her life in Forston Asylum for that very reason.

It's the same as 'going postal'.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Going a bit Bodmin'
From: GUEST, Topsy
Date: 19 May 05 - 07:18 AM

There's a similar reference in the Wurzels' 'Drink up thee zyder'

We're off to Barrow Gurney
To see my brother Ernie . . .


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Going a bit Bodmin'
From: breezy
Date: 19 May 05 - 08:00 AM

dont mention Hemel Hempsted anyone


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Going a bit Bodmin'
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 19 May 05 - 09:01 AM

But Barrow Gurney is a village in Somerset.. perfectly legitimate and as far as I remember, nothing to do with asylums in any form!

Now if it were Colney Hatch......!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Going a bit Bodmin'
From: breezy
Date: 19 May 05 - 09:07 AM

Liz the Stirrer !!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Going a bit Bodmin'
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 19 May 05 - 09:08 AM

Moi?? Accused of stirring???

Huh...


TRING!!!

Take that!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Going a bit Bodmin'
From: GUEST,anonanonanon
Date: 19 May 05 - 10:57 AM

>But Barrow Gurney is a village in Somerset.. perfectly legitimate >and as far as I remember, nothing to do with asylums in any form

Used to be a hospital for the critically bewildered there.

As a kid in Bristol, my Dad often used to admonish us by saying "Deese'll drive I ta Barrol Gurney..." translated, and generally understood as "you're driving me mad".

P.S. I should add that we never succeeded, and he never went   :-)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Going a bit Bodmin'
From: GUEST, Topsy
Date: 19 May 05 - 10:58 AM

As you approach Barrow Gurney, heading towards Bristol, there is (or was last time I was there) a large building on the left, previously a Victorian workhouse and used as a mental hospital in the twentieth century. Only a few miles from Nailsea, home of Adge Cutler.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Going a bit Bodmin'
From: Jos
Date: 19 May 05 - 05:08 PM

Barrow Gurney psychiatric hospital still exists - due for closure next year.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Going a bit Bodmin'
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 19 May 05 - 05:15 PM

Ah that explains it... we approached from the other side and never saw the 'workhouse'.

Apogolies.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Going a bit Bodmin'
From: GUEST,Joe Fogey
Date: 19 May 05 - 07:00 PM

When I was a kid in Oxford, the local "loonie bin" was at Littlemore. This was used as a term for someone who was mad - or with whom we disagreed. I guess this is the same for most if not all parts of England More recently, in Plymouth, I heard someone whose grasp on reality was fragile described as "a bit care in the community". But my favourite is the phrase Norman St John Stevas is said to have used to desribe Maggie Thatcher - "three stops short of Dagenham".


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Going a bit Bodmin'
From: gnomad
Date: 20 May 05 - 04:44 AM

Three steps short of Dagenham - Hm, a northerner's guess without a map.. Barking?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Going a bit Bodmin'
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 20 May 05 - 06:43 AM

I have heard "Barking Mad" used in Australia.

I am pleased to see that Gotham - home of The Fooles Troupe has been mentioned.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Going a bit Bodmin'
From: GUEST,Disillusioned
Date: 06 Aug 11 - 01:37 PM

Having lived and worked in Bodmin since '72 I have never heard the term used as previously described by any locals within the town or others from outside. Going 'TO' Bodmin maybe is used by outsiders and for those within the town a refernce to St. Lawrences - the original name of the the County Assylum. As was said earlier it was probably a fabrication from Dr Martin.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Going a bit Bodmin'
From: Gurney
Date: 06 Aug 11 - 05:35 PM

I wish to state that when I started using my pen-name, I had never heard of Barrow Gurney.

;-)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: 'Going a bit Bodmin'
From: Will Fly
Date: 07 Aug 11 - 06:35 AM

A lot of my family come from Westhoughton in Lancashire. Westhoughton people are usually referred to as "Cow-yeds", because...

... a cow got its head stuck in a five-barred gate. After much deep thought as to how to free it, one bright spark came up with a good idea: they would cut the cow's head off!


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