No sweat(er)

Just wondering when jumpers/jerseys became sweaters in NZ?:

US President Barack Obama has been photographed wearing a sweater made by New Zealand clothing company Untouched World.

Mr Obama wore the sweater as he made Thanksgiving Day calls to US troops from the Oval Office yesterday morning (NZDT). . .

Possibly around the same time biscuits became cookies?

8 Responses to No sweat(er)

  1. Dave Kennedy says:

    I guess when television is effectively a child minder for many families then it also becomes a child’s source of language. When much of the content in from the US then I guess the use of sweater to describe a jersey is a natural consequence. Using a computer most days means my determination to override the auto-correct that turns the likes of labour into labor is also gradually worn down.

    Interestingly I have heard that our battle against the tide of americanisms may be misplaced, some language experts claim that the US has just maintained an older form of Elizabethan English and it is we who have strayed from that earlier form.


  2. homepaddock says:

    You can set your computer language to NZ English and it won’t Americanise your spelling, Dave.

  3. Dave Kennedy says:

    You’re right Ele, I should make more of an effort to make sure it remains on this setting 😛 I guess change is inevitable, however, as I often find myself questioning my own spelling of words as the american version becomes more familiar.

  4. JC says:


    Thats true enough. Also if you want to record the truest forms of Scots and possibly Irish music you head for the US mountains and the ScotsIrish who have preserved the lyrics best.

    From memory Prof Francis Child also sourced some of his material of the Child Ballads from parts of the US and its also somewhat amusing that the much lampooned US “Southern accent” is pretty close to the way English people spoke hundreds of years ago.

    NZ had a place as well in the preservation of Received Pronunciation.. our isolation meant we retained a good deal of RP as it was spoken in Southern England and back in the early 1950s UK language teachers came here and recorded selected NZ school kids voices for use in teaching Cockney kids. I was one of those kids and when I hear earlier recordings of my voice I wince with how “plummy” many of us were back then.


  5. Dave Kennedy says:

    It is interesting to remember our language history, JC, I often listen to ‘Sounds Historical’ on National Radio and it is fascinating to hear New Zealand speeches made fifty years ago or more. Those who considered themselves educated back then often seemed to imitate ‘BBC’ English and our broadcasters were expected to do this too. I remember the consternation caused when Karen Hay fronted a TVNZ music programme using her natural kiwi accent.

    I’m afraid I didn’t sound that ‘plummy’ when I was young. I remember listening to a recording of myself when I was training to be a teacher in the 70’s and was shocked to hear how strong my Southland accent was, my Rs seemed to roll on excruciatingly. This was knocked out of me when I lived and taught in England and had to modify my accent to be understood. It was actually my vowels I had to really adapt but my rolling Rs disappeared as well.

    I am also aware that many words in common usage when I was young have disappeared. When I was of primary school age I remember being sent up into the roof space to deal to the ‘yunkers’ or baby starlings that were very noisy at a certain time of year. This was a common term for baby birds and I have noticed that country kids now call them ‘youngsters’ as that makes more sense to them I guess.

  6. Mr E says:

    My southern accent comes and goes as I come and go.
    Like Dave, I have spent enough time out of region to lose it. When I return it is ambient, and truth be known it used to make me cringe. Back then it would take weeks to return, now it is minutes.

    In my younger days, my accent was so thick, some Wellingtonians thought I was from a different country. It apparently provided a boost during my time of courtship, much needed due to the misfortune of living life aesthetically challenged.

    Now days, I am quite proud of my accent. I can’t help but recognise that such pride has developed in the parallel with my admiration and defence of the region and its people.

  7. Dave Kennedy says:

    I agree with you about feeling pride for our province Mr E. I enjoy the rich burr of the true Southlander, the thoughtful, slower speech and the dry wit that often accompanies it. It is not a harsh accent and I am thankful for where I come from when I visit my wife’s family in Hull. There is nothing nice about the Hull accent and luckily my wife never adopted it.

  8. Mr E says:

    Truth be known Dave, individuality was not supported in my youth, and my accent was a point of difference, not supported by my school yard peers.

    Also we should recognise the accent extends beyond Southlands boundaries, in a diminishing fashion as far north as the Waitaki. I have not recognised it existing inherently beyond this point.

    I can imagine a Kennedy war over the remote when Coronation Street comes on.

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