As we predicted, we’ve been having a (slightly) less adventurous time of late, bar a Landing Day trip to Bertha’s Beach and San Carlos that we’ll post about soon. This gives us time to contemplate some of the other aspects of life here on the Islands. Following a trip out to Camp recently and a message from a confused friend inquiring what exactly was meant by the Darwin Lodge offering ‘Smoko’, I was prompted to clear up a few Falklands terms and abbreviations in case I slip into using them in passing, along with some use in context:
Camp – from the Spanish Campos, referring to anywhere outside Stanley: “heading out to Camp”
Smoko – the term used to describe a traditional tea break with home cooked cakes, equivalent to afternoon tea in the UK: “pop in for smoko”
a Benny – the ambiguous term for a local Falkland Islander, usually refers to a sheep farmer or person from Camp but I’ve seen it both used as a derogatory term or a description depending on its context: “he’s a proper benny”.
Benny Bop – traditional Falkland Island country dances
Che/Chay – Used informally at the end of sentences in a similar way to ‘mate’ or ‘dude’ might be: “yes che”
The Diddle Dee Telegraph – the faster, Falklands version of the grapevine as the diddle dee plant is everywhere and news travels fast along it: “heard on the diddle dee telegraph”
KC – The local name given to Port San Carlos, not appearing on any maps at all.
FIG – the abbreviation for the largest employer here: Falkland Islands Government
The Coast – found in old documents found here to refer to the South American mainland
Rockies – the Rockhopper penguin
Egging – the collection of eggs, can be penguin eggs (now licensed only) but can apply to the wild Upland Goose eggs
FIC – the abbreviation for the Falkland Islands Company, formerly the majority landowner here but now branched out into, well, everything: shipping, gift shops, insurance, hairdressing, cafés, mechanics and many other businesses
Rover – the local name for Land Rovers, the vehicle of choice (the other type of Rover more familiar with UK residents not being existent on the Islands), often coming in the form of ‘a 90’ or ‘a 110’: “got my Rover bogged, so I had to get x in their 110 to pull me out”
Marking and Gathering – sheep farming terms referring to, respectively, the tagging, tail removal and marking of lambs and the collection of sheep from across land
Lodge – fully catered hotel-type accommodation, often out on the other Islands
The Islander – the name for FIGAS, the Falkland Island Government Air Service, operating Britten-Norman BN-2B planes to airstrips around the islands
I think that’s most of the key linguistic differences covered, but we’ll be happy to clear up any others that arrive over time. Like many annoying friends who return from holiday having adopted odd habits in the week they’ve been there, we risk finding ourselves adopting some of these and can only apologise to friends and family for ending sentences with che.