Sri Lankan English

Remember when:

Putters were boozers, and

Tankers were bowsers,

Trunks were called dickeys,

Longs were just trousers?

Hazings were raggings,

Dresses were frocks,

Tea was kahata,

Before pebbles were rocks?


When hoohas were katchals,

hors d’oeuvre were bites,

Apartments were flats,

And drunks became tight?

BILs were our machangs,

Before slacks became pants,

Lies were all pachas, and 

Aunts were not ants?


When Yo! Was just Ado!

Our network was a gang,

And ammatasiri

Sounded better than dang!

When a bugger ‘going steady,’

Had to first ‘put a break’?

And long before koththu,

We had fish-bisteak?


When fake news was pacha,

A girlfriend was baduwa,

Before cheee became yucky,

When English was kaduwa?


Remember those times?

As Prof Thiru once spake –

Without spit and polish,

We’re so Lankan – and ‘shape!


Note: An extended version of this is available here:

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