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Author Topic: Kent expressions  (Read 4940 times)

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Offline Dave Smith

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Re: Kent expressions
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2016, 12:28:14 »
We often thought Barmy came from " Barming Mental Institute" but I suspect the word was around well before that was built. One saying that we used & definitely came from Kent was, " steady the Buffs", meaning "keep calm" or "mind how you go".

Offline Dave Smith

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Re: Kent expressions
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2016, 20:18:34 »
Alan H. When I came back to Kent in 1966, for a couple of years as a sales engineer, in the corridor to the hospital engineer at Bexleyheath were a series of framed drawings of the hospital from its inception in the 1800's as a " Lunatic Asylum", "Asylum", "Mental Health Institute",etc., etc., each getting progressively less specific- so the pc brigade had been on the march for many years.

Offline Sylvaticus

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Re: Kent expressions
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2016, 10:38:53 »
A little googling, and Oxford Dictionaries suggests "barmy" is known since the 15th century and derives from barm+y, i.e. "frothy".

"And finishing up at Chatham": perhaps it was Chartham (near Canterbury), pronounced chah-tam since around the 1850s in north and mid Kent (but the r was still pronounced in east Kent into the 20th century). Chartham also had a mental hospital.

Offline Rochester-bred

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Re: Kent expressions
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2016, 10:24:11 »
AlanH, we used to say if you was acting a bit crazy that you would end up on B block which at one point was the ward for Mental health patients at Medway hospital, I actually had to visit it myself once but they let me out, laughing out loud here, as I most likely drove them mad, I know I do most of my family.
***I am still the child within***

Offline AlanH

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Re: Kent expressions
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2016, 09:59:39 »
Was it Oakwood Hospital at Barming? If so my dear long departed old mum was a nurse (or something) there many, many years ago and she always used the expression "you're barmy" to us kids so maybe you're right in thinking it came from there.
Of course back in those non PC days it was known as a lunatic asylum....... now they're let out on the streets and many end up in parliament.  :)
AlanH.
 

Offline Mickleburgh

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Kent expressions
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2016, 08:43:26 »
In times of stress I often recall my mother (and others) proclaiming "I`ll finish up in Chartham at this rate" or something similar. Local mental institutions were often cited to describe someone not quite all there, in Cornwall "Proper Bodmin, he be" or the likes is still widely used. Now the OED does not ascribe any origin but surely the adjective `barmy` may well have arisen as a reference to an inmate of the former Barming Institution. Any views? If so perhaps the expression could be properly attributed to Kent.

 

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