Friday, 22 May 2015

Learning from Colonials.

YouTube is definitely the medium of the moment at the moment. (!) I recently came across a comment in which somebody used the phrase ‘herptdy derpty’ and I would like to have it defined.

It has to be American, of course; nobody but an American would use a phrase like herpdty derpty, so I’m hoping that somebody from the star spangled sub-continent will enlighten me. It sounds like the sort of expression that would most likely be used by a young woman, but how can I know?

This is earnestly meant. I’m only just coming to realise that a lot of those quirky Americanisms are not only fun but also keenly expressive, and I do think we speakers of the Queen’s English might adopt a few to our benefit – by way of starch reduction, if you see what I mean. So no hailstones, please.


Madeline said...

I think the phrase "herpty derpty" is one that eludes definition. I'm not accustomed to using it myself but I have been known to occasionally bring out a "derpty doo" when the situation calls for it. Like when the plane I was on kept meandering slowly up and down the runway, I sent a text message to my mother saying: "The plane is derpty-dooing along."

Not sure that elucidates anything.

Madeline said...

P.S. I am toying with the idea of self-publishing my first novel, as I was told by a very kind editor at a major mainstream publishing house that it was much too long and the plot too convoluted. I tend to agree with her, but I'd still like to get it out there somehow. Any thoughts?

JJ Beazley said...

The context in which I heard it was a YouTube comment from a woman who'd noticed that another woman was getting a lot of 'obvious' attention from men. To paraphrase, she said something like:

'This confuses me. Is it a case of "Oh look, a lady on the internet. And she's pretty. Herpty derpty."'

I assume it's an indefinable phrase indicating general disdain.

As for the self-publishing question, I think I'd better email you. A few too many thoughts for a comment form, I think.

Madeline said...


madelinebourque [at] gmail [dot] com

I think that's how you're supposed to write emails on the internet so you don't get spammed.