A simple phrase and response can identify the group one belongs to.
Walking back from the school run one morning I casually said to someone “Brass monkeys today!” and smiled with a show of shivering.
Stood in her doorway as usual, she was waiting for the arrival of her daughter’s transport to school, she smiled and nodded. Her arms were clasped around her even tighter as we shared the moment.
“I know!” she exclaimed, and laughed nervously looking up to the sky as if for confirmation.
We totally understood each other and continued with our separate days after sharing another smile.
As I walked home I wondered what would have happened if I had said that to a recent arrival in this country. Would they have any idea what I was talking about? Language is a powerful tool that is used to include and exclude people all the time.
Knowing and using colloquialism and idioms are signs of belonging to and understanding any particular culture. If you get my drift...
Any the wiser? If not check this out ...