Thursday, August 14, 2008

RAMSEY HARBOUR


RAMSEY HARBOUR - WORKING BOATS AT REST

BY BABOOSHKA

So can you see the longtail? Think it might help to enlarge the image? Afraid not! Why is that then Babooshka? It's because there are no longtails in the image. They are probably scurrying under foot and over the bridge, following the Pied Piper! You think Babooshka has her fairy tales mixed up don't you? Well not if you live on the Isle of Man!

Longtails are better known as Rats. One of the first things you learn when you move here is do not say the word Rat or Rats out loud. There are other words, but this is today's mad one.

Straight from Wiki. Read on.

On the Isle of Man, longtail is a euphemism to describe a rat, as a relatively modern superstition has arisen that it is considered bad luck to mention this word. The origins of this superstition date to sea-taboos, where certain words and practices were not allowed to be mentioned aboard ship, for fear of attracting bad luck (or worse, bad weather).

Although this particular sea-taboo was one amongst many and didn't apply on land, it has become a popular modern myth that the word is somehow "unlucky" and has been adopted by some as a typical Manx practice, despite the fact that the old Manx had no qualms in using the word, or its Manx gaelic version "roddan". In modern times, even non-local and non-superstitious people will refrain from using the "r" word in an effort to fit in with those who take it seriously, or may adopt the superstition in an attempt to become more "folksy".

Local, and socially acceptable alternatives for the superstitious also include joey, ringie, queerfella, iron fella and roddan (a Manx word).

Until I moved to the island I used to say the R. word. Not anymore. I have seen 3 since I moved here( which I have called all Basil!) but none when I lived on mainland Great Britain. Newcomers to the island can often be found laughing at the cheeky squirrel they nickname stumpy as they think it's lost it's tail. Not so. We have no squirrels on the island, just cheeky longtails.

Is there anything in your town that you can't say due to superstition?

30 comments:

Buck said...

I haven't run across any superstitiously forbidden words in Schenectady, but I'm told that we have some of the least distinctive accent of all Americans. It might even be true!

I love the harbour photo.

Kate said...

I had no idea what a "long tail" might be, but given the superstition, it makes sense. How about a photo of a long tail now?!

brad, boston. said...

Lady B. you live in a strange place.
I wouldn't think to compose a picture like this. Another lesson for me to prcatise.

George Townboy said...

Rats!

KM said...

He not Rat he hamster! Yeah I got it.

What a place. Cool mono.

ken mac said...

makes me want to dive into your hot B&W pic!

Christie said...

I'm enjoying your top 100!! Keep up the great work!

Virginia said...

I had longtails in my attic at my old house. I called them something far worse that rats. UGGGHHH> They are disgusting. THEY are the bad luck for anyone that has them. Keep your eye out , Babooshka!

Per Stromsjo said...

:D

I've had enough of our local longtails recently. Seems they attracted to the very same spots where I go hunting for night shots.

Ming the Merciless said...

HA! There are more longtails in NYC than humans, according to some reports. And NYC has a population of about 8 million people.

Olivier said...

belle composition avec au centre des bateaux, ce pont.

beautiful composition with the centre of boats, this bridge.

Jackie said...

This looks like a lovely calm, but still active, scene. Beautiful.

Marie Reed said...

You've done it again! You're posts are always so mezmorizing. I am such a fan Babooshka !

Bibi said...

Oh, so interesting! Like the photo in bw; nice angle. Gee, longtails! Never heard that. I occasionally glimpse a rat while out walking Bibi, who is quite hestitant to go after them, thank goodness. Serbs have superstitions, but no taboo words, I don't think. I'll try to tie in a photo with a superstition one of these days. "Rat," whoops, "longtail," is "pacov" here, pronounced PATS-ov. I don't like rats, even the domesticated white ones, but I loved the film Ratatouille....

magiceye said...

lovely pic! great story about the r word!
not heard of any particular word whose utterance would bring on bad luck out here in mumbai

Hilda said...

Beautiful photo! And funny info!

I can't think of no-no words right now, but do not get me started on Filipino superstitions! I am so glad my parents were both scientists and didn't fill our heads with such nonsense.

mannanan said...

Like you I don't say the r*t word any more and use ringy instead.Also I wave to the fairies whenever I drive over the Fairy bridge down south. Great photo again by the way. I do love Ramsey harbour..

Carrie Hayes said...

Love the photo is black and white.. beautiful photo

Lake Lady said...

Love this shot! Longtails (or not) that look like squirrels? I don't want any part of that! LOL.

D.C. Confidential said...

Rats: YUCK! I saw one the other day that was the size of a small dog. Thing ambled past me and into a flower bed near the National Gallery of Art like I wasn't even there. Yuck. Oh, wait. I said that already. Well, it can't be helped. Yuck!

jacqui said...

I know them as sea superstitions.
The harbour is busy I see.

Sherrilynne said...

I'm really starting to love your blog. You are doing the IoM blogosphere proud. I hope you come out to the social media club lunch next Thursday!

Brett said...

Our longtail is back in the garden, pinching food of the bird table again

babooshka said...

Hi Sherrilynne,

A dilemna. As the Batman, Dark Knightness of the I.O.M blogging world what to do. Go and reveal or remain anon. Obviously the other reason is er, how does one get invited?

Thnak you for the comment. It really is quite lovely to here of some postive reation from the island.

B

LingoVise Says... said...

What a lovely shot... the B&W is so dramatic. Beautiful contrast.

Long tails are merely trying to make their own way... I truly don't mind them :)

http://zoliofrope.blogspot.com/

marley said...

Oh, this post is to weird to be true! Longtails, I've learnt something new (yet again)! Its like the Isle Of Man is its own special little world!

Btw - nice photo.

Thanks for your kind comment today. I'm glad you are liking my new photos. Its liberating to just take a photo of what I want and share it. Looking back lots of my older photos were a bit touristy, which isn't what I wanted to really show.

Laurie said...

Pretty much the only thing you don't say in South Pas is "710 Freeway Extension." (It would cut the town in half and the city has been blocking it for decades.)

I grew up in Austin, Texas -- home of the University of Texas. There, it was considered bad luck to mention rival football team Texas A&M. :-)

I love this post and all the great information you bring us -- along with another beautiful photo. From now on, they are longtails to me, too!

Merisi said...

At the sight of a longtail, I would hightail up to the poop deck, if not out of town, Pied Piper or not! :-)

May I say that your photograph is beautiful? I love it!

raf said...

Love this shot, Babooska, of the fishing boats, harbor and bridge in b&w!
As always, your posts are remarkable! Thank you for sharing your Isle of Mann with us!.

system operator said...

It used to be so, that you were not supposed to talk about bear. It was called with the nick names, "king of forrest", "old man", "honey foot", even finnish word karhu has been derived from word meaning rough fur.

The bear used to steall catle etc. but nowadays the population is kept limited by hunting, there come many from Russian side of the border so it is not endagered in Finland.

There are winter nests all over Finland, even few kilometers from capital Helsinki.

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