BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.


Accessibility help
Text only
BBC Homepage
BBC Radio
BBC Radio 4 - 92 to 94 FM and 198 Long WaveListen to Digital Radio, Digital TV and OnlineListen on Digital Radio, Digital TV and Online

PROGRAMME FINDER:
Programmes
Podcasts
Schedule
Presenters
PROGRAMME GENRES:
News
Drama
Comedy
Science
Religion|Ethics
History
Factual
Messageboards
Radio 4 Tickets
Radio 4 Help

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

 

factual
WORD 4 WORD
MISSED A PROGRAMME?
Go to the Listen Again page
Word 4 Word
Michael Rosen's poem
Michael Rosen and a section of his poem
Bestselling children's writer, poet and broadcaster Michael Rosen has written this specially commissioned verse about the myriad forms our current vernacular takes.
Michael Rosen's Verse

Following a visit to Britain, a Martian reports back to the leader on the subject of slang and dialect

It's not crabs who are crabby
No one says 'lav'
A baby's often the babby
And they keep saying chav.

I thought parky means you're parked
They said I was barking
They got narked when I barked
Which doesn't mean narking.

The nippers didn't nip
It's not buffers who are buff
Chipper isn't 'more chip'
She's never down the duff

An odd-jobber can have clobber
You can clobber an odd-jobber
An odd-jobber can be clobbered
But your clobber's not jobbered

You can have a take-over and a make-over
A take-away but not a make-away
You could get away with a take-over
You can have a take-off and a get-away
Or make off with a take-away
The make-over could be tacky
The take-off could be wacky
Which would make you wacko
That's barking. Not barko.
There's no barko, there is 'baccy'
Which isn't barking, it's tobacco
I said tobarko? They said, tobacco
Tobarko, tobacco; tobacco, tobarko,
Let's call the whole thing off...




Listen Live
Audio Help

WORD 4 WORD SERIES

MICHAEL ROSEN'S POEM
Michael RosenBestselling children's writer and poet Michael Rosen has written a specially commissioned verse about the myriad forms our current vernacular takes. Follow this link to read the poem.
THE PRESENTER
Dermot MurnaghanDermot Murnaghan has spent most of his career in broadcast journalism. Before joining the BBC, he spent more than a decade fronting ITV's national news bulletins from London. He joined the BBC in the Autumn of 2002, becoming Breakfast's main presenter immediately
Read Dermot's article on Word 4 Word

MESSAGE BOARD



About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy