I’m posting this from warm, sunny Greenbank, Queensland, Australia, while my friends back in the U.S. are still struggling with some of the coldest weather in several decades. I’ve experienced visiting some friends along the New Hampshire/Vermont border who thought it a great way to save heating oil by turning off the heat at night. First time I ever slept in an igloo… and I suspect a real igloo would be warmer. I’ll just sit here in my shorts and enjoy the magpies’ song, thanks all the same.

“Taters” is more of Sheila’s Cockney rhyming slang. The phrase is “taters in the mould,” which rhymes with “cold.” “Mould” is a word for soil rich in humus and good for planting. So the potatoes (“taters”) in the cold ground… there you go. Now you can say, “It’s taters, mate; grab yer weasel!” (“Weasel and stoat” rhymes with “coat,” not what you were thinking, you naughty-minded males!) Pronunciation guide: Try it as “tate-ers” rather than “tay-ters,” and you’ll get the realistic Cockney accent.

Extra Edit: It’s been brought to my attention that I didn’t explain “Cor.” You may have heard someone say (in a film or such) “Cor blimey!” My best research tells me that it’s a Cockney pronunciation and shortening of the Middle Ages exclamation, “God, blind me!” — when you’ve seen something you shouldn’t have. The Cockney accent twists what we might spell as “gawd,” trying not to invoke a deity directly (that’s why you might see it written as “gor” also). Now used as a generalized expression of surprise, alarm, or even complaint (as seen here), “cor” (to rhyme with “core”) is the shortened form. “Blimey” by itself is often used as well. For once, it’s nothing to do with a rhyme.

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