Let me explain; one of my minor life skills is an ‘ear’ for accents. I’m actually reasonably good at working out where people are from, and what they are saying, but these kids had me foxed. The actual thought that perambulated through my head was ‘why are these kids trying to sound like Rastafarians?’ Although it wasn’t like any Rasta I’d heard before.
It wasn’t until I was reading Tom Reynolds blog this evening that I worked out what it was. I’d never heard the term until Tom linked to it, but apparently it’s a ‘Jafaken’, or fake Jamaican accent put on by ‘wigga’s’, white suburban kids who are about as hard as jelly trying to make themselves sound tough. Reminds me of a kid I knew many years ago who used to put on a fake Glaswegian accent to make himself sound menacing. A gambit that failed spectacularly when he ran into several guys from the real ‘Tartan Army’ who thought he was taking the piss. This was back in the late 1970’s, before Glasgow became a European ‘city of culture’ and the amicability of the Scottish Football teams supporters was markedly less noteworthy. Last I heard, after his bruises faded, he’d signed up on a college course and later became an accountant. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.
Now my lexicon has been expanded by two brand new words. Well I never, you learn something new every day in this job.