Thursday, 5 March 2020

All Very Kushti

Jamie Oliver, Del-boy Trotter and others popularised the word "Kushti" on our TV screens twenty years ago. It is from the Romani word for "happy", "pleasant"or "nice". I remembered it on Sunday evening watching the new TV series "McDonald and Dodds"
Not because Tala Touveia and Jason Watkins used the word, nor yet because it is how I feel about the great city of Bath [which is indeed, exceedingly pleasant] Nor because I thought the new programme was particularly brilliant. I felt that it fell somewhere between Rosemary & Thyme and Midsomer Murders - and I doubt that the declared hope that "This series will do for Bath what Morse did for Oxford" is likely to happen.
But I remembered Kushti because one character declared herself to be a Romani, and felt she was looked down upon by others.
I heard a radio programme about the Romani language months ago, and scribbled some notes on a piece of paper. It has recently worked its way up to the top of the pile on the desk.
Do you realise just how many of the words commonly used in Britain today have come to us from old  Romani? Look at this little chart
English words     Romani word         We say
red apple          lollipappi             lollipop
brother             pal                       pal [ie good friend]
gold coin           poshora               posh [ie having wealth]
man                   mursh                  moosh
child                  chavvi                 chav [ie immature]
coal                   wonga                 money [something of worth]
I don't know if M&D will prove successful for ITV , and make it to a second series. McD & D are currently just colleagues, and not 'pals' - maybe the relationship will develop. The Bath locals have complained about the accents. Personally, I believe Jason Watkins is a very gifted actor. I thought he was brilliant in BBC's W1A. We will wait and see...


  1. This is a programme I missed as I was out on Sunday evening. I might take a look as he is a fine actor and I love Bath. My mother in law’s sister was mayor of Bath in 1975. I love language but cannot remember the word for the study of it, linguistics, semiotics? Something to look up anyway.

    1. Please don't let our comments put you off!

  2. I thought that programme felt like a mix of other crime series put together to try and make a successful show. The mix I thought of was Columbo and Death in Paradise!

    1. That's a very good comparison Bob commented that Watkins shuffling along in his untidy anorak was reminiscent of Peter Falk.

  3. I wasn't convinced by it - the plot was slightly unbelievable, and I thought the two main characters were slightly "caricatures" But it passed an hour or two: I'll be interested to see if it improves.

    1. Robert Lindsay frequently seems to play OTT caricatures, I think.

  4. I haven't seen it! I didn't realise that's where Kushti (or those other words) come from!


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