Chris Croft's Personal Blog

March 3, 2010

Twinty Tin

Filed under: Random stuff - uncategorisable — chriscroft @ 10:35 pm

I have to say that every single South African I have ever met has been nice, so I probably ought to go there on holiday!

But the SAs and the New Zealanders do fascinate me with their accents.  I just heard an interview on the radio about the world cup and it occurred to me that it’s not a very good year to have it there, since they can’t even say it properly.

Of course, people can speak however they want, but if it’s ambiguous then that’s a problem.  I mean, we know what they mean by Twinty but how do they say the world “tin” if they want to?

And how so they say “Have you got a pin?” – “You mean a pen?  “No, a pin”

(When I was a sboolboy I was attacked by a bat.  A cat?  no, a bat)

While enjoying flight of the Conchords I made the following list of words which they can’t say:

  • Chick
  • Pig
  • Disk
  • Big
  • Pin
  • Six
  • did I miss any?

And is there a difference between the SA and the NZ pronunciation of vowels?

I’d also like a handy word that would help me tell the difference between Canadians and Americans, which I could then wait for them to say…



  1. In NZ, “ten” becomes “tin”. “Tin” becomes “tun”.
    (“Fish & chips” becomes “fush & chups”).

    For Canada, the diagnostic word is “out”, which is pronounced somewhere between “oot” and “oat”. Americans from Maine and Wisconsin / Minnesota make a similar noise, but with practice you can distinguish.

    Canadians famously also punctuate sentences with “eh”. But they can stop themselves doing this. They can’t help making the “oot” noise.

    Comment by Martin Herrington — March 8, 2010 @ 5:44 am

  2. I also like “Change for the bitter”

    Comment by CC — March 9, 2010 @ 12:44 pm

  3. In NZ, they have “mulk” on their cornflakes

    Comment by Coral — April 12, 2010 @ 3:45 pm

  4. There was an Alan Patridge episode where he was talking with a South African businessman. The conversation was getting a bit heated and the SA businessman says angrily, “No, Alan, you can’t'”, and Alan replies, rather shocked “Well there’s no need for that!”.

    Check it out the youtube clip if clarification is required –


    Comment by Jamie — April 14, 2010 @ 10:52 am

  5. Sorry, either click on the first video for the link above or click this one:

    Comment by Jamie — April 14, 2010 @ 10:54 am

  6. just heard on radio: Dickade

    Comment by chriscroft — April 18, 2011 @ 6:58 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: